I had a Dash delivered. It's much larger than I expected with a 45-1/4" wheelbase and 21-1/4" O.D. tires, so 67-1/2" long overall including 1" for the rear fender. The folding hinge just about splits the length evenly. The handlebars are 24" wide and feel pretty solid. The 20x2.4 tires measure just over 2.5" at their widest. The spokes are 2.3mm, 13 gauge. The crank is 170mm with the centerline at about 11.5" above ground. The frame members and fork are large hydro-formed units; I would describe the bike as stout overall. The fit and finish look good. The motor controller display is color, high-resolution, with a brightness control available in the settings.
The carbon belt is geared 63x24. With the Nexus 3-speed hub providing 186% range this equates to something around 36 to 67 gear-inches, probably a bit higher as the Sheldon Brown gear calculator is based on a 20x1.75" tire while the tires on the bike are larger at 20x2.4". Some customers apparently gear it higher, but I don't think that would work well for us as we have a lot of steep grades locally around the Sound, and we also camp in mountainous areas.
I've only got a half-mile on the odometer so far. It pulled an 8% grade at PAS level 3 (of 5) in second gear just fine, but you should understand that my riding style is not oriented to high speeds or technical riding. I'll post more as I get a chance to ride it more, however I don't have any experience with e-bikes so I won't be able to compare it with other bikes or motor drives.
I took the bike out for a couple of quick rides and ended up calculating how a 350 watt motor might handle various grades. Mind you, this is not just an Evelo thing, but it would broadly apply to any e-bike with similar power and efficiencies.
I don't have an app to track routes and grades, but I found that Komoot.com will do this.
I took the bike up a nearby hill and hit a grade that Komoot indicates as 12%. Though I haven't verified it yet, I'd say that 12% looks ballpark. The motor power was less than I had hoped for, even in 1st gear with PAS set at 5/5. I had been hoping for sort of a "beach cruiser" experience, even if it was slow, but I found I had to (gasp!) use my muscles to assist! While I didn't stand on the pedals, I was pedaling with a high seat position and it required considerably more effort than I had hoped for on a warm day.
We then took the Dash and one of our folding bikes out to the paved Foothills Trail just west of Buckley, WA and the experience was night-and-day different. I rode up a steady grade of about 4% with PAS 1/5 in 3rd gear with minimal pedaling effort. It lugged a trifle as I was pedaling so minimally, but it still moved along quite nicely. I've also been very comfortable with pedaling up our street, which is at 8% grade.
The difference in these two experiences led me to think about the power required to travel up slopes, leading me to a formula where the power required = mass x gravity x velocity x the sin of the slope. In order to keep it simple, I neglected the effect of aerodynamic drag, where the drag increases with the square of velocity as I was focused on the impacts of grades.
Per Evelo, the motor on the Dash is rated at 350 watts of input power. I allowed a modest additional 0.15 horsepower for a relaxed pedaling effort as per the graph below from the International Human Powered Vehicle Association. This 0.15 HP contribution is roughly mid-range for a two-hour effort-level from an “average human”.
Summing 350 watts of motor input power plus (0.15 HP x 746 watts/HP) multiplied the total times an estimated 75% electrical efficiency and 90% to allow for various mechanical inefficiencies resulted in a total of something over 300 watts of output power. Plugging this conservative 300 watts into the formula with a combined weight of 230 lbs. for the bike and rider gave me the results shown in the second graph below.
In the end, what I found interesting about this exercise was how this combination could easily maintain a satisfying 8 mph or more on slopes up to about 8%. After that, the speeds with this limited pedaling effort are going to be lower. This appears to be in general accord with my observed experience; 4% grade was a joy, and 8% was just fine, but the 12% grade required more effort than I might really want to contribute on a hot day.
However, I also took heart that the speed curve flattens out to the right. With the proper gearing, I think this bike could be just the ticket for our needs. I'll post more about that later on.
I spoke with the service manager at one of the local bike shops today. He has a great deal of respect for Evelo. It's apparently one of a very few "direct-to-consumer" brands that the shop will support with a service contract. He respects the quality of their bikes, and he says they consistently overnight parts to him so that he can get his service work done promptly.
We evaluated changing the 3-speed hub out for an 8-speed hub and shifter. That would take the gearing from about 38-71 gear inches to 27-84. While the project is entirely feasible, bike parts are extremely difficult to get at this time.
Given the quality of the bikes, and how they suit our needs for a folding configuration, we are going to pull the trigger on the purchase, enjoy the bikes "as-is" this year, and let our experience guide whether we might want to change the gearing for some instances where the slopes are just too steep.
I know these bikes will readily do the job for us up to 8% or 10% grades. But if you've really got a lot of steep ground that you want to climb faster on a consistent basis, that's probably going to require going to require more power and, particularly, more torque.
350 watts is limiting at any efficiency; any brand of 350 watt mid-drive motor would share the same basic limitations I outlined above.
I agree, one of the main purposes for me would be pulling a trailer with 75 pounds on it and there could definitely be some long hills if not quite as steep
so with that weight and my weight I just don’t know that it would work…
I bet you will be very pleased with them
Keep us up-to-date
Our experience has really gone well as we've had a chance to ride a bit more.
We returned to a trail with grades that range from 1% to 5% and the bikes gobbled them up at just about 10 MPH in 2nd gear with almost effortless pedaling at about 60 RPM while set at PAS 1 of 5. We turned the PAS down to 0 on a few of the gentler grades and all of the downhill just to get some exercise. ; )
Our Giant Expressway folding bikes have "twitchy" steering. The Dash has much better steering geometry and is very easy to guide along, which my wife greatly appreciates as she is not an experienced cyclist.
So far, I managed to pull one battery down to 4 of 5 bars (80%) after riding some 10 miles with very little time on the flats and grades ranging up to 12%, so that's promising.
I plan to post more information as we get more miles on the bikes, but for now I'll just say that we're really pleased.
Just ordered one and while I was hesitant because of the 350w motor, all I hear are great things about this bike, the company in general and of course the customer service. I spent about an hour on the phone with one of their representatives who had no issue answering all of my questions late on Sunday and at the end I asked if he had any coupon codes and he tossed a free bike lock and Pannier bag in at no cost. Of course the 21 day trial is a really good sign that they know what they are doing and aren't afraid to let you play with your toys before you fully commit to them. Should be here next week! Can't wait.
Same! I also ordered a Rad Mini 4 so I'm gonna do a comparison as well which should be interesting since one is half the price (but also great value). Both have try before you buy policies but if all goes to plan then I'll end up keeping both.
I wonder why there are like ZERO reviews of this bike. None of the bigger channels have covered it and I can't even find a smaller channel. I'd like to see anyone other than the main EVELO Youtube channel ride one.