X3 Pro: initial impressions from a complete ebike novice.


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My X3 arrived on Saturday! After assembling it I took it for a brief 5 mile jaunt that evening, but ran out of daylight. The following day was the real test ride, a 26.7 mile trip per Google Maps. Today I was able to squeeze in another 12 mile ride to the local store. Initial impressions from someone brand new to eBikes and who got a little overwhelmed by the selection process:

Impression #1: I should have chilled out about the whole selection process. I did a ton of research, but was nearly paralyzed trying to make a decision. Even after settling on the Wallke, I was wracked with anxiety about whether I had made a bad choice. Seems like every ebike has its quirks and occasional QC issues. I shouldn’t have worried so much about choosing the Wallke. First, it’s just a hoot to ride. One reviewer described the whole ebike experience as almost “magical” and I think that’s pretty spot on. It’s like there’s someone always there, pushing you along. It suddenly makes bicycling fun again and makes me want to get out and ride. Which is more than I can say for my conventional hybrid bike these past few years.

Impression #2: Power is plenty adequate. Pre-delivery, I was obsessing about reports that this isn’t a true 750 watt motor and that it’s incapable of attaining the 28 mph advertised top speed. At least for someone who wasn’t looking for an electric motorcycle, the X3’s hub motor gives me all the assistance I need. The boost I get on PAS 1 and 2 is perfect: I still get a respectable workout, but the pedal assist makes a noticeable and welcome difference on hills and my ability to maintain speed over the course of a longer ride. I haven’t tried PAS 3 or throttle-only yet.

Impression #3: The X3 seems very solid and well put together. Shifting is a lot crisper than on my hybrid bike. And once I learned how to adjust the hydraulic brakes, they work really well. Overall, a smooth, composed ride with none of the looseness/sloppiness I feared riding a full suspension, fat tire bike for the first time. Everything just feels tight and dialed in.

Impression #4: Yeah, that display is a little jinky. I don’t for a minute believe the indicated speed. I estimate it exaggerates by close to 20%, which is pretty bad. That battery level indicator is also really weird. Seems like moment-to-moment it’s measuring current draw as much as actual remaining battery life. For the first 10+ miles on PAS 1, it would drop as low as 70% on hills, but then return to 100% on flats. After 12 miles, I did notice the battery level was topping out at 92%. And by mile 20, even coasting downhill indicated around 75% remaining battery life. I finished the 26.7 mile ride with 62% battery life indicated. Staying in PAS 1 and 2, maybe it’s possible to get 50+ miles on a single charge. But I’m reserving judgment on that.

Speaking of coasting downhill, I see firsthand what people say about the speedo dropping to 0 mph. I don’t mind that too much. Harder to live with is the odometer, which reads zero mileage traveled whenever coasting.

Impression #5: The included accessories are good quality and add a ton of value to the Wallke. It was completely dark when I rode home that first night. The headlight is no powerhouse, but it certainly puts out a usable amount of light and doubtless makes me a lot more visible. That light sensing auto-on feature after dark is really useful.

The Sunday ride involved grocery shopping, and I put that massive rear rack to good use. I had to use pliers to open up the mounting hooks on my panniers, but after that they were very secure. That rack is so beefy it looks like it could support a second rider.

I can’t vouch yet for the effectiveness of the included fenders, but they’re very study and lend a no-nonsense, utilitarian look to the bike. And installation was a lot easier than some of the Youtube reviews led me to believe. The struts lined up nicely with the mounting points without any bending.

Speaking of installation, it’s a nice touch that Wallke provides a complete set of metric allen wrenches and the two spanners (and extra hardware!). So far at least, I’ve only need two sizes of the allen wrenches and the smaller of the two spanners (15mm) to assemble and adjust the bike. I have no idea what that larger 17mm spanner is supposed to be used for.

Impression #6: The X3 Pro is a BIG bike. That 5’4” minimum height Wallke recommends is utter fiction. I’m 5’7” with a 29” inseam and technically this bike is too big for me; I cannot quite straddle the frame tube when I’m stopped. Fortunately, I ride adventure touring motorcycles; tall, highly sprung dual sport machines that you don’t so much swing a leg over as you climb onto. So I’m able to accommodate the need to lean the bike over slightly to get a foot flat on the pavement. If you are shorter than I am, I don’t think you’ll be happy with the X3 Pro.

Overall, I’m really enjoying the Wallke so far. I’m guess I needed something to add more of a fun factor to bicycling to motivate me to get back into it. So far, it’s working. I can’t wait to try it on some moderate woods trails!

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