The Evelo Aurora Hub-Drive really surprised me with its usability. I’m a little spoiled because I own a “bike-shop ebike” that I ride to work daily. Because of that, I’m often disappointed in the quality of $2,000-and-under ebikes. Components, weight, and workmanship are often sacrificed to get to those low prices. But that’s not the case here…
So right off the bat, the Aurora isn’t light. One look at this thing and you know it’s built as strong as one of those bike-share bikes that are meant to get thrashed. However, unlike those bikes, the Evelo isn’t insanely heavy and rickety. Even more impressive, it has a step-thru frame. That’s thanks to its 6061 high-strength aluminum alloy frame. So the bike you see before you weighs in at a still hefty 60 pounds before you put on its 7-pound battery. That frame lets larger riders up to and beyond 350 pounds use this bike.
Solid luxury ride
In practice, the ride is solid and the rider sits upright. Handlebars are swept back and raised for a higher upright ride height. Not good for wind resistance, but nice on the back.
So it’s way sturdier than you’ll probably ever need it to be. That sturdiness is accented by big 3-inch-wide by 26-inch Innova Kevlar belt tires. On the front you have a solid Suntour XCM32 boost technology 15 mm thru axle fork.
With that sturdiness comes about the biggest motor considered legal on most US streets: a Bafang 750W continuous/1kW nominal rear hub motor. That gets the Aurora up to 20 mph surprisingly quickly, either with five levels of pedal assist or by left hand-placed throttle. You can get to 25 mph assisted in “off-road” mode, or just set the wheel size to something smaller in the settings like I did. The left-handed throttle took some getting used to.
As far as the pedal assist, five different modes allowed it to go from zero assist to all 1,000W pretty fluidly. I will say, as a cadence sensor setup, there is the typical small lag between stopping and starting pedaling and the motor kicking in and releasing. But it’s minimal and very easy to adapt to.
The Cadillac ride
So you’re sitting upright with those bent handlebars like a meat sail in the wind. You’ve got a ton of power at your fingertips or at the push of a pedal. On flat ground, you’ll quickly get right up to 20 mph. Hills? LOL, no problem. Most won’t even require pedaling. You’ll likely stay at 20 mph without assistance since your wind resistance is huge, and this bike is not light.
The ride itself is buttery smooth. Those 3-inch-wide Kevlar wheels are going to absorb much of the road damage and add a Suntour front fork, and even the bumpiest trails are manageable. The seat is a basic Velo Breeze with memory foam, 28 mm wide VL-6106. I might upgrade this to something a little softer if this was my scene.
Components are rounded out with:
- Shimano Revo shifter, 7-speed sprockets
- Tektro MD-M300 disc brakes with 160-mm rotor and cutoff switch
- Wellgo LU-C33 pedals
- Multicolor 3.2-inch IPS display with USB charger (DPC-18) speedometer
- Spanninga Linio front, Spanninga Kendo rear lights
The battery range is quoted at up to 45 miles pedal assist or 25 miles on throttle alone, but I I found that to be a little… optimistic. I’d return from my mountainous 10-mile ride going full bore on the throttle/pedal assist with 25%-35% of range left. That in itself isn’t horrible, but I also found that at the end of the ride, where I’m going up the last hill to my home, I wasn’t able to squeeze out the peak 1 kW of power, getting a more realistic 500-750W. That’s still a lot more than my lighter daily driver, but I think this thing is drinking power.
Math bears this out:
48V x 11.6 Ah = 556 Wh battery. 20 mph for a half-hour = 10 miles (my commute) and 1 kW motor running for a half-hour = 500 Wh means the battery is almost dead. All that power moving this heavy bike on huge tires fast kills the battery. Shocking, I know.
I’d probably also choose a softer seat/seat-pole suspension (Evelo will let you choose another up-to-$40 seat), as well as fenders/mud guards for rain, and a Class 3 top-speed cutoff.
Evelo Aurora Hub verdict
I really like this bike. It rides like a dream, it’s way stronger than it needs to be, with a rack that can probably hold half of your friends. The motor is as powerful as is legally allowed, and components are solid. The step-thru frame ride is smooth and luxurious, and it doesn’t break down.
But I’m not the target rider for this bike. I like to go full bore, crouched over, and travel more than 20 miles at close to 30 mph in an outing. For me, I’d like a longer-range and a higher-class 3-speed on a more efficient bike. I’m willing to sacrifice smoothness for less weight and efficiency. But I realize I’m in the minority. This is a great middle-of-the-road bike that will make upright riders very happy.
Add to that components like a super-strong body and rack, front and rear integrated lighting system, super-wide tires, and a fantastic four-year, 20,000 mile warranty, and its $2,499 price seems decent compared to other mid-tier bikes. Evelo also offers a 10-day home trial, $49 white-glove assembly service (you won’t need it, it is super-easy, and comes 95% assembled), and a 0% financing option.
You made it this far, so as a reward, take $100 off the price of the Evelo Aurora Hub with this affiliate code: REF-RV0LL3D5KXYPQ2.
- Motor: Bafang 750W continuous (1,000W peak) rear hub, patented brushless design, speed sensor control
- Battery: Lithium-ion 48V 11.6 Ah with advanced battery management software
- Charger: 48V smart charger
- Maximum motor-assisted speed: 20 mph (can be increased to 25 mph maximum in off-road mode)
- Range: Up to 45 miles on pedal-assist or 25 miles on electric-only
- Electric assist: Multiple levels, plus electric-only (via throttle)
- Frame: 6061 high-strength aluminum alloy
- Fork: Suntour XCM32 boost technology 15 mm thru axle, with fender eyelets
- Wheel: 26 inches
- Tire: Innova 26-inch x 3-inch Kevlar belt
- Brakes: Tektro MD-M300 disc brakes with 160 mm rotor and cutoff switch
- Seat: Velo Breeze with memory foam, 28 mm wide VL-6106
- Stem: EVELO Stargazer, 110 mm
- Speeds: Shimano 7-speed transmission
- Shifters: Shimano Revo Shifter, 7 Speed
- Pedals: Wellgo LU-C33
- Lights: Spanninga Linio front, Spanninga Kendo rear
- Speedometer: Multi-color 3.2-inch IPS display with USB charger (DPC-18)
- Fender: None, fender-ready frame and fork
- Rear rack: Cargo rack, 45 pound weight capacity
- Bicycle weight (without battery): 60.83 pounds
- Battery weight: 7 pounds
- Maximum rider weight: Recommended for riders up to 350 pounds. Larger riders can be accommodated — contact Evelo for details.
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