Electric bikes are so popular and plentiful right now that it can be hard to tell them apart. The, however, stands out by leaning into the little extras that show attention to detail and offer more value than the similarly priced competition. It's these little things that make for an overall better experience.
For example, the $1,899 Aventure 2 bike ships with a small packet of grease, which is useful for the pedals. That may not seem like much, but it was the first time I had seen this from a bike at this price. It arrived securely packed in easily recycled cardboard, not foam, and all the tools needed for assembly were in cardboard cutout slots in a branded box.
As I put the bike together, I appreciated the high-quality paint finish and all the stylish branding throughout the bicycle, tastefully placed from the rear fender to the kickstand. Even the charger had a letter A that lights up in red while charging, then green when full. Standing out like that means a lot to a guy with a bunch of similar chargers.
The cables run through the frame and are only visible where they exit it. The buttons on the handlebar used to change the assist level are small but soft and well laid-out. The model I tested was the step-over, pictured above, but there's also a step-through model, pictured below. The step-over comes in gray and green; the step-through comes in black and blue.
The bike is pretty hefty, constructed of 6061 single-butted aluminum alloy weighing in at 77 pounds. The Aventure 2 can support a total load of 400 pounds. The bike has a front headlight and brake/signal lights are on the rear, integrated into the frame. In addition to human power, the bicycle has a 750-watt motor that runs on an internal lithium-ion, 48-volt, 15-Ah battery. It can be charged in four to five hours, and is removable.
The bike comes with hydraulic disc brakes, eight speeds and four levels of assist with a top speed of 28 mph. There's also a throttle that gets the bike up to 20 mph without pedaling. The Aventure can be set up as a class 2 (pedal-assist only up to 20 mph or throttle up to 20 mph) or class 3 (pedal-assist to 28 mph or throttle up to 20 mph) e-bike from within the mobile application. By default, it ships as a class 2.
The multicolor display has a matte finish, which cuts down on reflections making it easier to read in sunlight. Each of the four assist levels is indicated by different colors, making it easy to see your level at a glance. It also shows the battery level, current speed, total miles, signal indicator and uptime.
The Aventure 2 handles smoothly both on and off-road -- the 80 millimeters of travel on the front-fork shocks help. It has locking ergo-grips and a comfortable Aventon-branded Velo seat. It comes with 26-by-4-inch puncture-resistant tires and a rear rack front and rear fenders, making riding in all weathers as painless as possible. (I only wish I'd had a chance to test it in snow.)
The Aventure 2 would be great for daily commuting, though. The original Aventure came with a cadence sensor (the motor assist kicks in as the cranks are rotated). This updated version uses a torque sensor, which works via pressure on the pedals, so the assist kicks in faster. Also new to version 2 are the rear rack and turn signals and improved range. The original had an estimated range of 45 miles, whereas the new one is closer to 60 miles on a full charge.
Aventon has an app for iOS and Android that connects to the bike via Bluetooth. The app displays battery level, calories burned, total cycling time, max speed and average speed. In addition to this, the lights can be turned on and off from the app, riders can record their trips and there's even a section where Aventon riders can connect and share photos.
In the app's settings menu, you can change things such as mph to kph, set auto-off for the bike and adjust the display brightness and the speed limit. You also never need to worry about your mobile phone's battery life, because the Aventure comes with a USB-A charge port.
The one thing missing that would make this complete would be an electric horn, but that might be too much to ask for when the bike will only set you back $1,899.
How fast can an electric bike go?
Before we can go into top speeds, we first need to go over e-bike classifications. There are three classes:
- Class 1 is an e-bike where the motor only supplies pedal assistance while the rider is pedaling and has a max assisted speed of 20 mph.
- Class 2 follows the same pedal-assist top speed as class 1 but also has a throttle, enabling the rider to get around without pedaling.
- Class 3 has a top assist speed of 28 mph and can be either pedal-assist only or pedal-assist along with throttle-assistance.
These classes are limited to 1 horsepower (750 watts). That said, some supposed "e-bikes" can hit 50 or even 60 mph. But they are more like motorcycles with pedals. They are not optimized as traditional bicycles for pedaling from point A to B and do not legally fit into the class 1-3 category. Typically only class 1 and 2 e-bikes are allowed where traditional bicycles are.
Do I need a permit or license to operate an e-bike?
The short answer is no. However, riders must meet their state's minimum age limit (which can vary). In New York, that's 16.
Should I buy an electric bike or an electric scooter?
It's frankly pretty fun to have one of each. But if you need a reason to pick one over the other, an e-bike can also be used as a traditional bike so riders benefit from getting a workout along with the fact you can travel further, even on a dead battery. In addition, most people I talk to feel better on bicycles because they've had more experience riding them.