As you know we bought a 66STX electric bike from you at the Auckland EV expo recently. I just thought I would send you an email giving our reasons for buying this particular bike, and our impressions so far.
We were looking for an e-bike for my wife at the lower end of the price range. This meant that the bike would have a hub motor, as mid-drives tend to be more expensive. The bike would principally be used around town on paved roads, but we wanted something that would be capable of tackling at least gravel roads and smooth cycle trails. I am a cyclist myself and an engineer who likes to understand the technical aspects of anything I buy, so I had done quite a bit of research and come up with a list of requirements and preferences:
• Step-through frame for easy mounting / dismounting
• Large diameter wheels with high-volume tyres to be able to handle gravel
• Suspension forks, mudguards, comfortable saddle, upright / comfort riding position
• Good quality components.
• Known brand motor
• The highest power motor allowed by legislation
• Rear mounted hub motor (not front)
• Torque sensing control instead of cadence sensing
• Throttle as well as pedal assist
• Larger than average battery
• Higher current charger
We had looked at several bikes and had looked around online. Of all the bikes we had seen, your 66STX was the only one that combined all of our requirements and preferences, so after we had both ridden the bike and liked it we decided to buy one. We have been very happy with this decision.
My wife really enjoys riding it and we have had no problems. Most mornings we ride before breakfast, and these rides are getting longer as she builds up confidence and fitness. On the weekends we have ridden most fine days, increasing the distance to over 20km last weekend, something that we would not have considered if she had been on a normal bike. After the 20km ride, the battery was still showing ¾ full, so we get several days of riding between charges. She normally rides on assistance level 1, occasionally raising to level 2 for strong headwinds or 3 for steeper hills. There are still two levels to go. I doubt they will see much use!
Other than adjusting the height and angle of the saddle the only thing we have had to do is check the tightness of the screws on the handlebar mount as one had come a bit loose. The better-than-average toolkit supplied with the bike allowed me to check all the fasteners on the bike.
One unexpected thing: when I am riding with her on my ordinary mountain bike, even with my tyres pumped up to a higher than normal pressure, the rolling resistance of the electric bike is lower than my mountain bike. When she is coasting without pedalling on gentle downhills I have to pedal occasionally to keep up! So obviously the hub motor is not creating drag while coasting.
The standout feature is the torque sensing: it is very easy and natural to ride, noticeably smoother and more effective than the cadence-sensing bikes we had test ridden.
The only significant problem is that now I am struggling to keep up with her!
David Rumsey, Otaki.