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Stromer Sport Review

Summary:

Beautiful design integrates the battery, controller and wires while evenly distributing weight from front to rear
Powerful, near-silent, 500 watt gearless rear hub motor runs at 600 Watts and can reach 25 mph
Front shock absorber smooths the ride and includes lock-out to save energy when riding on pavement
Pedal assist runs off of a torque sensor vs. pedelec: more responsive and smooth

Stats:

Price: $3,399.00 USD MSRP
Range: ~20 miles throttle only, ~40 in pedal assist mode
Top Speed: 20 miles per hour electronically limited with throttle only, ~25+ pedal assist mode
Gearing: 8 speed rear chain ring, Shimano Alivio components, rapid fire shifters on right handle bar next to twist throttle
Weight: ~62 lbs with battery, varies a bit by frame size
Battery: 36 volt, 10 amp hour Samsung deep charge 18650 Lithium-ion pack, $700 replacement
Charge Time: ~3.75 hours
Ride Time: ~45 minutes or 8 to 15 miles throttle only depending on rider, terrain and wind, double with pedal assist
Charge Cycles: ~500 cycles, comes with 1 year warranty
Motor: 500 Watt brushless, gearless direct-drive rear hub motor runs at 600 Watts with 4 levels of pedal assist and 2 levels of regenerative braking
Other: Heavy duty Avid BB5 mechanical front and rear disc brakes, Suntour Raidon hydraulic front suspension fork with 80mm travel and lock out

Video Review:

Written Review:

The Stromer Sport is a high powered electric bike that looks beautiful and offers zippy, medium ranged rides. It features a decent, but not top of the line, battery that’s built right into the down tube keeping the center of gravity low and distributing weight evenly across the frame. Controller, battery and wires are all integrated for a beautiful aesthetic. The bike is easy to maneuver at racks or public transportation but the frame is heavier than some others in this price range. The combination of thin, fast rolling tires, firm narrow seat, aluminum build and racy geometry make this bike feel more like a road bike than a cruiser or hybrid but the front shock helps to smooth it out.

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The Stromer Sport is powerful, featuring a 500 Watt brusless, gearless rear hub motor driven by a 36 Volt 10 amp hour battery. Even though the motor is rated and labeled as 500w, it actually drives at 600w based on the configuration. Even so, the motor runs super quiet and is nearly undetectable except for powering up hills, which it does very well. It’s quiet because it is brushess and gearless which also means it will last longer and coast further than a geared option but offers a bit less torque. This bike is capable of supporting heavier riders but may become uncomfortable over longer rides. It can also feel a bit jerky running in throttle only mode and sometimes takes a second to respond.

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It should be obvious from the pictures and even more so in person; this bike is simple and clean. No rear rack (though it does have threaded eyelets for adding one, along with a water bottle cage and fenders). The controller and battery management system are built right into the down tube where the battery fits. Nothing gets in your way, no wires or extra chains, no rattling or jittering, just a great looking bike that’s fun to ride. I especially like the stock chain slap guard and neoprene wire cover fitted to both sides of the rear chain stay. I just wish it had chain guides on the front ring because the chain tends to bounce off when going over bumps.

There are four levels of pedal assist to choose from with this bike including Economy, City, Tour and Power. Rather than using a pedelec sensor, the Stromer Sport employs a torque sensor located right inside the rear hub. In pedal assist mode, the system senses how much pressure you’re applying and then matches it. The primary benefit of this design choice is responsiveness; the motor starts and stops as you pedal with minimal delay. Acceleration also feels very smooth vs. jerky. The only downside here is you actually have to apply pressure in order to make it activate and that can be a drawback if you have sensitive knees and don’t like pushing constantly.

The braking system on this bike is designed for more than just stopping power, it’s setup to capture and store kinetic energy with two levels of regenerative braking. In my experience it wasn’t clear how much energy was actually being conserved or whether the extra weight and expense of the system were worth it. Still, it’s a neat feature and helps to extend the 10 amp hours of capacity built into the battery pack. It also reduces wear on the brakes themselves helping them to last longer.

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The Stromer Sport comes in several color options including silver, black and white. It’s available in a low-step or high-step frame amd can be ordered in small at 15 inches, medium at 18, large at 20 or extra large 22. This is a unique offering because most ebikes are only available in high step or low step with no size variation. Still, that’s usually good enough with a bit of seat and handlebar adjustment because those bikes handle more like cruisers than road bikes. The Stromer Sport by contrast fits well in a road bike shop where riders want to dial in their positioning and pedal more aggressively.

This bike has a lot going for it including the clean integrated design, torque sensing pedal assist, regenerative braking and frame size options but it’s not all good. As mentioned earlier, I found that the chain easily bounced off of the front ring which rarely happens on other ebikes and some of the components seemed lower end. Also, the sheer weight of the bike is a bit annoying and confusing considering how clean it looks. It’s easy to forget once you’re riding however, because the bike is fast, balanced and fun to ride.

Pros:

Purpose built frame fully integrates battery, wires and hub motor, looks great
Built-in rear rack mounts, fender mounts and water bottle cage mounts
Simple controls, four levels of pedal assist
Torque sensor for pedal assist measures how hard you pedal not just whether you are pedaling, extends range and top speed significantly while keeping it smooth
Two levels of regenerative braking built in, extends range but adds to the price
There is a little bit of extra space above the battery in the locking down tube compartment where you could hide a key or money
Heavy-duty chain guard and rear drop out plate
Great choice of kickstand, easy to use and doesn’t get bounced around

Cons:

Front chain ring lacks an inner guide so the chain falls off more easily on rough terrain than other ebikes
Relatively expensive bike, very expensive battery replacement considering the technology
Heavy considering the smaller size of the battery and purpose built frame
Some lower end and mid grade components (shock, brakes, computer)
Throttle seems to cut out occasionally, reports of issues with controller and battery management system from some riders
Aluminum frame and smaller tires make for a fast but rough ride
Swiss design but frame and electronics are made in Taiwan
Key not required to turn bike on, once the battery is secure anyone could click the switch and mess with the throttle

Rating:

Stromer Sport, Rated 3.5 out of 5
Updated March 6, 2013 by Court Rye

Resources:

Official Site
More Pictures
Electric Bike Review