Izip/Currie Urban Cruiser review
I have not found a formal review of this bike, just some comments, so I thought I would supply one.
I have been talking about electric bikes for many years since my commute to work doubled to 24 miles each way and time spent in my 86 (no air or clutch) Honda civic extended to 3 hours on some hot days. Asked by friends when I was getting a new car, I’d say my next car will be an electric bike. This was all talk, so, I was surprised on my 51st birthday gathering to find my whole family was tired of hearing me talk and purchased the Izip Urban cruiser.
Year: 2010 (?) purchased 10/2011
Battery 1: 24v Li-Ion 10ah located in the down-tube (17.5 mile range)
Battery 2: 24v 10ah Ping located on the back rack (24+ mile range)
Motor: 250w geared in the rear
Propulsion: TMM torque sensor, no throttle
Rider’s weight: 140 lbs
First, I am a former road bike person so I was not real comfortable with the entire “cruiser” design. The big padded seat and the wide, cruiser handlebars would have to go when I had the time. I found the torque TMM sensor really cool. Just start peddling and get a boost from the motor. I had not seen this on youtube.
My first long ride was an out and back 35-mile ride with a breakfast stop at 17 miles. I rode with no power for to first 8 miles, then turned on the power to max. The sweet spot for me was right at 16.9 mph. I could peddle really hard and get it up to 18mph but it was not worth the effort. The 16.9mph was plenty good for my riding group. The battery cut out about 18 miles later but fortunately we were around the corner from my brother's house. I recharged for an hour, then rode the last 4 miles into a strong head wind on full power and was surprised to be doing at or close to16 mph.
This got me thinking about tackling my commute to work. 20 of the 24 miles is on the San Gabriel riverbed bike path. I could ride the first 18 miles on the bike path under power, then, when I ran out of power, I could get over on the street and jump on a bus. I could do the reverse on the way home and the wind, which could be very annoying and energy sapping, would not be much of a deterrent.
Over the next few weeks I did 4, round trip (48 miles) commutes on my Izip, and 2 on my road bike. I learned the following:
· a 50 lb e bike with no power still goes faster than a city bus so I only took the bus one time when I caught it from behind
· The big padded seat is actually very comfortable, especially when riding upright or no handed.
· I could get to work 5 to 10 minutes faster with the road bike but was thoroughly exhausted (probably was why I was rarely riding)
· Head winds are no problem with a powered e bike
· I needed more range, 6 miles with no power each way was too much work
After reading the forms and examining the battery and controller wires I decided to purchase a 24v LiFePO4 10ah Ping battery, 10g wire, some Anderson connectors, a 30-amp fuse, a back rack and trunk bag. The controller is mounted under the crank so I ran both the down-tube battery and controller wires up under the seat, crimped both battery’s and the controller with Anderson connectors. I added a fuse (thanks to everyone posting here and showing how to solder and crimp on youtube) to the Ping.
Now I could switch between batteries and get to work under power the whole way. The first few rides I only used the Ping for 10 miles each way but now it easily does 24 miles plus.
This is what I have learned:
· Ping batteries are awesome, 24+ miles on a charge
· The Izip Urban Cruiser is a nice bike if you are not in a big hurry. You cannot get much more then 15 to 17 mph. It is also not good at climbing hills. I love the seat, the handlebars and the simple pedal assist torque device is really cool. It does well on flat ground and in head winds.
· I can get to work 5-10 minutes faster then my road bike and still be relaxed
· I know very little about bikes or electronics and only have about 700 miles on the bike
My next project will be to examine the controller to see if I can get more juice to the motor. The thick layer of epoxy or silicone will make it more challenging. If anyone has one of these controller that they would like to sell, working or not, I am looking for one to play with. I will post pictures later.
Seal Beach, California, USA