Electric Bicycles Magazine - IZIP E3 Metro
A Cargo Bike With Style From Currie Technologies Review from Electric Bicycles Magazine; Reviewed By: BILL SPENCER
Most of the cargo electric bikes that I have reviewed for other bike magazines were just plain ugly. So it was a refreshing experience to have other bikers along my favorite beach path comment on the stylish good looks of the IZIP E3 Metro from Currie Technologies.
The often asked question of whether good looks and brains go together is not a question here. This is one smart bike. PAS, or pedal assist, is not uncommon on most electric bikes, but so often using the feature results in annoying speed surges. Not so with the E3 Metro. Located at the bottom bracket is a sensor that determines just how hard you are pedaling and relays this information to the controller which then adjusts the power and speed to match. You control the system by simply selecting buttons on the PAS/TAG consol (photo at right)mounted on the left handle bar of this electric bike. An advanced feature of the IZIP system is that you can select the amount of pedal assistance you desire from three levels.
I tested the E3 Metro with various loads mounted on both the forward basket and on the rear rack, and found the ability to select the amount of assistance extremely useful, especially on the hill leading up to my home. When pedaling on the flats, if I wanted more speed I could override the PAS system by twisting the throttle. On those occasions when I did not want to pedal at all, I could simply press the TAG (twist and go) button(green button in the photo) and control speed with just the throttle.
I was especially pleased to see that the E3 Metro has a half twist throttle. I have never liked full twist TAGs. It was always too easy–especially when pushing the bike–to accidentally twist the throttle and have a run-away e-bike. The Metro’s half twist leaves room on the outer end of the grip for pushing or pulling or whatever. I like it!I mentioned the rear rack. . Now have a look at it (left bottom photo)and note the handsome wood finish.
I won’t say that the E3 Metro is built like a tank, but it most certainly is built strong, as a cargo bike should be. Note the size of the steel supports of the rear rack, no Walmart aluminum here and it is welded to the frame as you can see in thephoto below.
As noted on the previous page, the electric bike battery and speed controller are hidden inside the down tube with most wires neatly concealed. The battery is a 36 volt, Li-ion battery. Li-ion batteries are lighter, and will provide at least three times the cycles of a sealed lead acid. The charger is seen at right. Normal charge time is three to four hours. Your Li-ion battery will last longer if you keep it charged so we charged it following every ride. Consequently our charge times were considerably shorter.
Electric Bike Motor Right Side
The motor is 36 volt, 500 watts. There are those who might suggest that 36 volts is not adequate for a cargo bike. But keep in mind that this is a geared motor with a 1 to 5 gear ratio. Geared motors are not as fast as direct drives, but have a lot more torque for hauling big loads and climbing steep hills–similar to the low gears in your car. Further more, they are smaller and lighter–perfect for cargo bikes. Note the 18-speed freewheel for those times when you just want to pedal.
Electric Bike Motor Left Side
Note the disc brake. The IZIP E3 Metro has them on both front and rear. Electric bikes are heavy and too often the kick stands are located at the bottom bracket, which will not support the bike. The kick stand on the Metro is located at the rear axle which balances the bike perfectly. Just another example of the thought that went into the design of this outstanding cargo carrier.
So how does this electric cargo bike ride?
Basically, the design is a comfort bike with semi riser handle bars which are most suitable for a cargo. The bike has no suspension, but very few cargo bike do. So the suspension seat post and comfortable saddle were welcome features.
The front basket, being attached to the frame. does not turn with the handle bars, but remains facing straight ahead. When making turns, this was a bit disconcerting at first, but after a while we got used to it.
The E3 Metro is offered in two versions, a diamond frame and step through. If you plan to carry a load on the rear rack, we definitely recommend the step through. As you can see in the lower left photo, throwing a leg over a sack of groceries on the rear rack is challenging. While on the step through you just–well you just step through.
And don’t be concerned over frame flexing of the step through, just because it does not have the long top tube of the diamond frame. To stiffen the frame, Currie Technologies has built in a shorter cross tube just above the bottom bracket. We never had a sense of the step through flexing even in the tightest of turns.
Although the Metro can be enjoyed just as a pleasure bike, it really shows off its colors when hauling a big load and that is what it is designed for. If that is your need, then you will love this bike.