I used to bemoan the high cost of electric bicycles, but lately we’ve been seeing prices drop while component quality rises. And the Aventon Level electric commuter bike is a great example of fair pricing matched with quality components. And the performance is great to boot!
Aventon Level e-bike review
We’ve reviewed Aventon e-bikes before, and they’ve already scored very highly. The company simply knows how to build a quality e-bike that looks as good as it rides.
The Aventon Level is no different.
You can tell that the company takes pride in the Level’s construction, and was sure to outfit it with good components that matched its excellent build quality.
In fact, you’ll definitely want to watch as I put the Aventon Level through its paces. Check out my full video review below, then read on for my detailed written review.
Aventon Level video review
Aventon Level tech specs
- Motor: 750 W peak-rated rear geared hub motor
- Top speed: 20 mph (32 km/h) on throttle, 28 mph (45 km/h) on pedal assist
- Throttle range: 30 mi (48 km)
- Pedal assist range: 25-57 miles (40-92 km)
- Battery: 48 V 14 Ah (672 Wh) frame-integrated, removable
- Charge time: 4-5 hours
- Max load: 250 lb (113 kg) rider + 50 lb (22 kg) cargo
- Frame: 6061 double-butted aluminum
- Weight: 62 lb (28 kg)
- Suspension: Suntour Mobie A32 spring suspension fork with 75 mm travel
- Brakes: Bengal Ares 3 hydraulic disc brakes, 180 mm rotors
- Extras: LCD display with speedometer, wattmeter, battery gauge, PAS level indicator, odometer, tripmeter, 5-speed settings, thumb throttle, included front and rear fenders, included rear rack
Let’s talk shop: performance and value
So here’s the skinny: The Aventon Level isn’t just a commuter e-bike. It’s a commuter e-bike with really nice performance. It didn’t wind up in our Top Five Commuter E-bikes of 2020 list by chance!
It’s a level 3 e-bike in the US, meaning you can get up to 28 mph (45 km/h) if you add some pedal assist, or 20 mph (32 km/h) if you’re feeling tired and just want to use the throttle.
With a large 674 Wh battery, you’ve got a minimum of 30 miles (48 km) of range.
And Aventon is a straight-up company that gives you honest range ratings for all of its different operating modes, including throttle-only and on each pedal assist level. Check out their chart below.
At a price of $1,599, you actually get some nice components here as well. There are dual-piston hydraulic disc brakes, a decent spring-suspension fork, thru-axle front wheel (instead of a cheap skewer), an 8-speed Shimano transmission and a beautifully frame-integrated battery.
Now are these components top shelf? No, of course not. But I never expected them to be top shelf at this price. For the price though, they’re better than I would expect. Just compare to other $1,500-ish commuter e-bikes that are still rocking cable brakes, cheap wheel skewers, and bolted-on external batteries.
The Aventon Level’s Bengal Ares 3 hydraulic disc brakes are powerful, the levers are comfortable in your fingers and the stopping power is exactly what you need for a 28 mph (45 km/h) e-bike. Plus they are essentially zero-maintenance, which is always a big plus in my book.
The bike even gives you included fenders and rear rack as standard equipment — no surcharge! I love not getting nickeled and dimed for accessories. That rack is no slouch either. It says it is rated for 55 lb (25 kg), but that’s the rating after the lawyers got done with it, so you know the real breaking limit is of course higher. It even held my weight standing on it. (Obviously I do NOT recommend doing the standing test on a typical cheap rack, or probably any rack. I’m what they call “a professional.”)
Another note about quality: Check out the welds on the frame. I always have to hand it to Aventon, whenever I review one of their e-bikes I know I’ll be looking at some of the best frame welding I’ve ever seen.
Those welds are so nicely dressed that the frame almost looks like a single molded carbon piece, not a collection of welded-together double-butted aluminum tubes. Props to whoever welded this frame because it is a work of art.
Perhaps the only other e-bike I’ve seen with as nice welds everywhere on the bike is the Serial 1 RUSH. But not only does that bike come from 100 years of motorcycle lineage (and thus better have some pretty good welds!), but it also costs 3x the price of the Aventon Level.
So suffice it to say that Aventon is batting well above average here.
The Aventon Level is comfortable to pedal and smooth to ride — it’s as simple as that. The frame comes in three sizes to give a more custom fit to a wider range of riders, unlike the many one-size-fits-all electric bikes out there.
The riding position isn’t upright like a cruiser but it’s also not hunched over like a road bike. The Level finds a happy middle ground that balances comfort and performance.
The centrally mounted LED screen is giant and easy to read with a quick glance. You won’t need to spend long time looking down for your battery info or speed; it is practically already visible at the bottom of your field of vision.
The 27.5″ x 2.2″ tires are also a happy balance that offers enough rubber to hit a few obstacles, yet are narrow enough to stay light and efficient.
What are the downsides?
The pedal assist uses a cadence sensor and so it is fine, but not great. There’s the telltale lag that nearly all cadence sensors provide. While I would have loved to see a torque sensor added to the pedal assist to give the most accurate pedal assist response, the cadence sensor is still pretty good for pedal assist activation.
A torque sensor is the single largest improvement I could have asked for on the bike, but I know that’s not in the cards at this price, especially with all the other components on the bike.
The only other area I might have wanted to see a bit more investment in is the lighting (or lack thereof). There’s none to speak of. You’ll have to add your own lights. Which is a bummer, because I love when commuter e-bikes use lights that run off the main battery. It’s one more thing I don’t have to worry about.
But those are really my only two complaints here. The torque sensor is forgiveable and that’s just me being spoiled, but the lack of lights seems like an oversight.
Summing it up
Despite the lack of lighting, the Aventon Level is a huge win for an electric commuter bike. It features incredible build quality, comes standard with rack and fenders, has a powerful motor paired with a large capacity battery, and even gives you hydraulic disc brakes at a price point that normally sees mechanical disc brakes.
The bike also looks very elegant with that integrated battery. No bolt-on batteries here!
The value proposition we’re looking at is incredibly high. Other electric commuter bikes in its price range simply don’t offer the advantages of speed, build quality, and components that the Level does.
It may not get a perfect score from me, but darn if the Aventon Level doesn’t get really close!
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