Unlike my Allant it looks as if you have a kickstand that works
The kickstand is a beast. Like the rest of the bike, it is very stable and works great. Here is a side by side with my wife's Specialized Como.
 

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Well I was finally able to give my new Samurai Diamond a proper ride. Starting off into a stiff 17 mph headwind, I headed downtown using the Sport mode along a paved bike trail. I was able to maintain about 20-22 mph while using about 50% of the battery to cover 12.5 miles. Heading home I switched the power level down to Tour. Going with the wind I was riding at 22-25 mph when conditions allowed. The 12.5 miles home only used 30%. Overall the bike is extremely quite and felt solid. The Enviolo gearing is perfect for my application, plenty of gearing available to keep a comfortable cadence at top speeds. While I didn't purchase the bike for Sunday rides, rather commuting to work, it was a thoroughly enjoyable first ride of the season.

Well done Ravi and Paul, you built an great bike at an amazing price.
 
Overall the bike is extremely quite and felt solid. The Enviolo gearing is perfect for my application, plenty of gearing available to keep a comfortable cadence at top speeds. While I didn't purchase the bike for Sunday rides, rather commuting to work, it was a thoroughly enjoyable first ride of the season.
Super!
Do you know how much time you can save by switching to the Zen vs. regular bike? I am guessing at least 15 mins. Riding into a headwind on a regular bike can be quite taxing physically.
More than the time, I think getting to the office without exhausting oneself makes E-bikes perfect commuter for distances < 20 miles.
 
I have been following the zen ebike story closely and I am an interested future customer but I have tried a dozen times to use the website on my mobile devices iPhone and IPad and have never been able to see a functioning site it usually comes up with garbled text and nonworking links. Please let us know when the website will be functional. I had tried Safari and chrome both.....
 
spoke to @Ravi Kempaiah today. It is hard being an entrepreneur, and even harder to start a business in the midst of Covid, particularly when that business is so dependent on a complex supply chain, which hasn’t yet been able to recover from a combination of surge in demand and reduction in capacity.

He is an absolute gentleman. I have gone in 12 hours from not even knowing about zen bikes fo seriously considering a samurai. Otherwise I was going down the path of Bulls.

I love the idea of getting the absolute best parts at half the price of what R&M would offer.
 
I have been following the zen ebike story closely and I am an interested future customer but I have tried a dozen times to use the website on my mobile devices iPhone and IPad and have never been able to see a functioning site it usually comes up with garbled text and nonworking links. Please let us know when the website will be functional. I had tried Safari and chrome both.....
Apologies for the inconvenience.
Because there is a lot of activity going on in the background, we had to take it down. It will be back up when we test all the functionalities of the website.
Meanwhile, happy to chat here on EBR via message or have a chat offline. Please do not hesitate to reach out.
 
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spoke to @Ravi Kempaiah today. It is hard being an entrepreneur, and even harder to start a business in the midst of Covid, particularly when that business is so dependent on a complex supply chain, which hasn’t yet been able to recover from a combination of surge in demand and reduction in capacity.

He is an absolute gentleman. I have gone in 12 hours from not even knowing about zen bikes fo seriously considering a samurai. Otherwise I was going down the path of Bulls.

I love the idea of getting the absolute best parts at half the price of what R&M would offer.

Thank you for your trust and cooperation!
Our Samurai line is the premium version whereas the Shakti model line is much more affordable. Glad you were able to find us here!
 
I am somewhat of a newbie to bikes and have been learning a lot for the last month or so.
More I learn about Ravi’s design and component choices, more hooked I become.
Originally I ruled out Rohloff E14. I thought given my use case it wasn’t worth spending so much more. But electronic shifting feels awesome, particularly automatic downshifting. In start & stop NYC traffic that could be a game changer. You could just stop at the light, not bother about downshifting and then just get going without any struggle.
Like it.
 
Originally I ruled out Rohloff E14. I thought given my use case it wasn’t worth spending so much more. But electronic shifting feels awesome, particularly automatic downshifting. In start & stop NYC traffic that could be a game changer.

The gearbox itself is really an amazing piece of engineering. Rohloff has been working Bosch for many years and now they started working with Panasonic as well.
The gearbox communicates very closely with the drive system and ensures there is just enough pause (few milliseconds) in the power application for the shift to occur.
If you have used XTR Di2, the feeling is pretty close to that. Once you get used to it, it is awesome.
 
I have been reading more about Rohloff to get myself better educated and came across this review of RM Homage with Rohloff from ebike-mtb, which was less than flattering.

Ravi and @PDB415 what’s your experience been like?



However, the relatively slow shifting interrupts power transfer, which makes the motor cut out. Because of this, you quickly lose momentum on steep climbs and annoyingly, often have to shift down even further. The shifting also feels rough and loud and there is no haptic feedback from the shifter. The ability to shift several gears at once is great but doing so takes even more time. For better shifting performance we’d actually recommend the more affordable touring version with a Shimano SLX derailleur, even if it means having to do without the belt drive.
 
I have been reading more about Rohloff to get myself better educated and came across this review of RM Homage with Rohloff from ebike-mtb, which was less than flattering.

However, the relatively slow shifting interrupts power transfer, which makes the motor cut out. Because of this, you quickly lose momentum on steep climbs and annoyingly, often have to shift down even further. The shifting also feels rough and loud and there is no haptic feedback from the shifter. The ability to shift several gears at once is great but doing so takes even more time. For better shifting performance we’d actually recommend the more affordable touring version with a Shimano SLX derailleur, even if it means having to do without the belt drive.

Thanks for this note. I do have a few comments.

The review website/magazine is specifically dedicated to E-MTB's and as a result, the editors/testers are very experienced riders who can identify the smallest nuances and are attuned to a certain level of riding dynamics that most common people are not. The bike - Homage is a great fire trail bike but not a mountain bike. It is too heavy for that.

1617046009079.png


MTB's do require swift shifting and that is why most MTB's still come with XT or XTR derailleurs but the riding characteristics are different for the urban environment.

Secondly, Rohloff, whether it is manual or electronic, does require you to pause for a split second and most riders get used to this. I have ridden my R-M Delite Rohloff for several thousand miles and I am sure @PDB415 is used to regular bike with Rohloff as well.

There is another thing you may not be aware of. The magazine rated Specialized Levo as their top choice /Editor's choice. There is no doubt it handles fantastic but the fact that Specialized has a strong marketing department helps mask the fact that Brose motors do not have shift detection and the shifts are far clunkier than Bosch systems which do have a decent level of shift detection (Actually, it was really good on the Gen 2 systems).

So, if you ride a bike with motors like Shimano or Brose or Yamaha and with a derailleur, and you do serious mountain biking, you will see the shifts are still clunky. Here is a real-world experience.

"Derailleurs on eMtbs take a real beating... noisy impact gear changes, excessive wear to chains and rings. The extra power from the electric motor (70-100Nm torque) does cause wear and damage at a much higher rate than you would hope or expect on your eMtb (eBike). I converted my new 2019 Specialized Turbo Levo eMtb from a derailleur drivetrain to an A12 Thru-axle Rohloff Speedhub (geared hub), and what started out as a personal project simply to make my bike much more enjoyable to ride (and minimise repairs and maintenance), I also found an unexpected amount of interest to do the same conversion from other eBikers who are having serious derailleur issues and breakages. The immediate interest was unexpected, the reasons why were not. Very happy with my new Specialized Levo-Rohloff eBike!"

The owner has documented his build extensively. In short, I would recommend you rent a Shimano or Brose (specialized E-bike) for a day or two and see how the shifts are.
You will come to appreciate the shifting mechanism on Bosch and even more so with Rohloff E-14.


I recommend anyone to checkout the comments on that YT video. Here is an example:

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Thanks Ravi. Very helpful to hear your thoughts.

Largely in line with my hypothesis. Which is that all of these magazines are assessing with a certain audience, and therefore a specific use case, in mind. I am sure if a touring cycling magazine or a road cycling magazine or a commuting cycling magazine reviewed the same bike, results would be different.

I continue to believe that this would be a good fit for me and hope to be able to test a RM bike with E14 on it soon.
 
I have been reading more about Rohloff to get myself better educated and came across this review of RM Homage with Rohloff from ebike-mtb, which was less than flattering.

Ravi and @PDB415 what’s your experience been like?



However, the relatively slow shifting interrupts power transfer, which makes the motor cut out. Because of this, you quickly lose momentum on steep climbs and annoyingly, often have to shift down even further. The shifting also feels rough and loud and there is no haptic feedback from the shifter. The ability to shift several gears at once is great but doing so takes even more time. For better shifting performance we’d actually recommend the more affordable touring version with a Shimano SLX derailleur, even if it means having to do without the belt drive.
I see what they are saying based on what you quoted. On a mountain bike going up some technical trail you really do not want to have to shift to an easier gear when you are bogged down. Just because the bosch motor cuts out momentarily does not mean the force you are applying to the pedal trying to get up a steep trail cuts out. I have a twist shift Rohloff on my hard tail mountain bike and the same rule as the E14 applies; be in the easier gear before you need it. This is especially true if you are low on momentum and really pushing the pedals.

Based on my experience with the electronic and non electronic Rohloff hubs you are not going shift to an easier gear while bogged down with torque on the pedals. It is a terrible feeling. The key is to not get in to them which takes practice and experience with the hub.

On my first ride I had a steep hill over a mile long on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge. I was inexperienced with the Zen Diamond and I bogged down in a low assist level. The E14 could not shift as I was standing on the pedals. I had to stop and do an old school "S" turn on the street to gain speed. Now I would have cranked the assist up and been in a medium gear and NEVER LOSE MOMENTUM as that is the enemy in my opinion.

I have been nothing but extremely satisfied with the E14 on the Diamond. IT has been great. People say the Rohloff's gear ratio makes for a great hill climber which is true but it also decimates the flat stretches of your ride. I did a 25 mile loop on Saturday in San Francisco and the bike competently handles hills but it slays the straight aways.

One of the big questions Ravi made me answer was what kind of riding do I do and in what conditions. Answer that before you decide what bike to get.

PS, Under the torque conditions of real mountain biking, I bet the Rohloff/gates belt combo lasts way longer and with less maintenance than whatever the bike reviewer preferred.
Edit: spelling
 
One more thing to add here. A few people have reached out to me regarding the Zen Diamond and I will reiterate what I have been saying privately. This is a very stable and smooth bike. I do most of my riding in an urban environment and there are some streets where my ability to get the Zen Diamond up to speed is a matter of life and death. Anyone who bikes in San Francisco or NYC (or any large American city) knows what I am talking about. There are parts of the city where I have walked my bike up a hill on the sidewalk because I had no hope of getting up to speed and being safe. The Diamond does not have that problem.
There is a learning curve on the Rohloff hub, but there is a learning curve on everything.

When I first started riding the Diamond I kept it in the lowest assist mode until I was more comfortable. There are four assist levels and I had to learn to use them as appropriate which I am still dialing in. Overall the Zen Diamond compares very favorably to an $11k offering from a larger company.

The bike is a blast to ride and I highly recommend it to any city rider or commuter.
 
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