Core5: First Impressions


New Member
TLDR; After waiting 2.5 months for my bike to show up, I'm stoked! It was an easy build and everything seems to work as promised.

Some additional context:
1. I ride a road bike 30-45 miles/day; 5 days a week (weather permitting)
2. I wanted an e-bike for my 9-mile (each way) commute up 10-12% grades. The bike will rarely if ever, be used for dirt or gravel trails. While I love my roadie, those steep grades were too much for commuting. I'd show up to work in a gross, sweaty lather. Ain't nobody got time for that!
3. Regarding the build, I have all the tools I needed in my shop to put the Core5 together.
4. My specs: 5'11"; 165 lbs; 52-yrs-old
5. I've never owned or even ridden another e-bike, so I have nothing else to compare this to.

I've attached a few pics.

The delivered package was in pretty good shape. One hole was punched through the box by the front wheel axle (see pic) but didn't negatively affect anything. The box was also torn near one of the side handles - might have even been done by the FedEx guy as he took it from his truck.

The build took ~1.5 hours and then another ~1/2 hour to fine-tune things for my comfort.

First impressions after only 5 miles ridden: This thing wants to fly. I throttled right out of the driveway and hit 23 mph pretty quickly. Flat road, no wind.
I didn't adjust the controller at least not yet. So I have PAS 1-5. It seems to work as intended and should make short work of those steep grades on my commute. On the same flat road and no wind, I hit 29 mph easy on PAS level 5. Very little effort on my part.

No water bottle cage included (must have only been for earlier orders) but I used one I had laying around the shop. As others have mentioned, you have to be picky about the cage. I had to pick one that didn't extend too low...and even then, I have to remove the battery using a little 'wiggle'...but it works fine.

I switched out the stock pedals for some more aggressive ones I had on one of my mountain bikes. A little wider and longer. I'm not sure if that will affect any pedal drag. Some others have mentioned this issue with the L'MTD, but I'm not sure if it's an issue with the Core5.

The crossbar sits a bit higher than expected. It will be just about right for me, but if my wife (5'8") wants to ride it, that crossbar might pose some problems. I'm fully expecting her to ride this thing and then want her it will be a step-through for her.

Now that the battery is at a full charge, I'm going to take it out on it's real 'maiden voyage' for 20 miles or so in about 30 minutes. I'll post my thoughts afterward.

Excited to finally have this thing!


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Finally getting back on EBR to post some updates.
Since Monday, I've logged about 100 miles on the Core5 (haven't taken it out today yet) and so far, so good.

Took it to my LBS for the build certification and the mech said it's one of the coolest ebikes he's seen - especially at the price. Always good to hear that.

I did have to reprogram the battery bar voltage settings. The defaults that it came with were off so I wasn't getting an accurate read on battery usage. But it was an easy fix after watching the video on programming the controller.

I took it up 4 miles of 12% grade and it cut through it like butter! I did have to use PAS 5 and throttle almost the whole way, which used up its fair share of the battery (as expected) so I'll have to watch my power consumption to make sure I can get to my office (and back) on a single charge. I hate 'range anxiety' so we'll see how it goes next time I go into work.

It took some time for me to adjust to the differences between my Core5 and my road bike. I'm used to a lightweight, nimble bike that reacts quickly to gear shifts and terrain changes - in or out of the saddle. I'm learning that ebikes are not designed to be that nimble. I need to let the bike 'do more of the work' and use extra caution when braking, turning, etc... Also, riding a heavy bike, it feels slower at times...but then I check the speedo and realize I'm still doing 20-25 mph - which is much faster than my averages on my road bike.

To be honest, there's also an attitude adjustment I need to make. I need to get over the feeling of 'cheating' while on my bike and just enjoy the ride. It's an odd feeling flying past other riders on traditional bikes going up a hill and not feeling a little 'sheepish' about it. I almost offered to let a cyclist draft behind me the other night as were riding into a pretty stiff headwind and I was using little to no effort - while he was huffing away.

Anyway - all good so far and loving it. I live in a 4-season climate, so I don't know how many more warm days I'll get for riding. Gotta take advantage!
I did have to use PAS 5 and throttle almost the whole way,
You mentioned you were using the 5 PAS range, so that's the max power, so that's why the bike is doing most of the work. Lower that down to 1 and, and you will have to put a lot more work into it.
Rode 42 miles this morning and still have 1 bar left on the battery. I'm starting to dial in the PAS & gear usage to try and maximize battery life.
The terrain was mostly flat and there was a slight breeze.
Today I kept it in PAS 2 almost the entire way. Only throttled a few times to get me up some short but steep hills.
This helped me still get some exercise (burned about 500 cals in 90 minutes) but not overdo it. It was a nice balance today in getting a bit of a workout, but also getting the benefit of the ebike.