Sunday, October 2, 2016

E-Joe Epik SE Review - 1st day

E-Joe Epik SE

After a lot of research I have purchased an E-bike.  When we purchased the Fuse we knew we did not want to tow a car. We have come to the conclusion that some local transportation would be helpful.

A really good site I used doing the research on E-bikes was  I recommend this site if you are thinking about buying an E-bike since there are lots and lots of choices.  EBR does a great job of helping with real data.

Why an E-Bike? I wanted to make sure it would be something we used and not just something we hauled around with us.  I am starting to get old and some electric assist will go a long way to making me want to ride.   If the bike turns out to be work, it will just sit there.  We only purchased one so we can see how it works out.  If it does well,  then we will buy another one so Sonya and I can ride together.

I purchased a E-Joe Epik SE from Amazon.   The exact one is at 2016 e-JOE Epik SE Magenta Pink Folding Electric Bike .   It was sold and delivered from .  I purchased it from Amazon for two reasons:
  1. I wanted the protection buying from Amazon gives you.  I was not familiar with these companies so I wanted help if I needed it.    Although, I really wanted to buy local in case I had any problems.  There are just not any places in Tallahassee that had a large selection of E-Bikes.  Several people would order me one, but there were no stores in town that had experts.  The closest stores that seemed to focus on e-bikes were several hundred miles away.
  2. Once I picked the Epik SE the best deal I found was on Amazon.   There was a reason for this.  The bike was pink!  They had several different colors on their web site but pink was available for a $200 savings on Amazon.  For a $200 discount we will ride a pink bike.  For that amount of money I can be secure in my masculinity.  And it might turn into Sonya's bike in the future.
So I placed my order and it was at my doorstep in a week.  Why did I buy an E-Joe Epik SE?  
  • It was light for an E-Bike - 40 lbs.    I wanted light since I need to lift it up onto the bike rack. Most E-bikes come in at 60lbs.   If I got a second bike the combined weights need to stay under 120 pounds so they do not max out the Fiamma bike rack.
  • It got great reviews for a low cost E-bike.  
  • It was low cost for an E-Bike.  Low cost is relative for an E-bike.  List price for the Epik SE was $1600.  I paid $1200.
  • It came with a larger battery - 12amp hours.  More amp hours = more range.   This bike should be able to do 20-30 miles or more depending on how much the rider helps.
  • It has a 350watt/36v motor which was on the large side of the bikes I looked at.  Many were 250-300watts.  I thought this would be important since I am not a small person and I do not want to peddle up hills.
E-Joe Epik SE foldedE-Joe Epik SE

It arrived at our doorstep (thanks Fedex) and it was packed great.  Wrapped in a lot of bubble wrap and some styrofoam.  I think that the company did a great job making sure it did not get damaged in transit.   I had watched the videos on how the bike folded and unfolded.  I pulled it out of the box, unfolded it and it was mostly ready to go.

E-Joe Epik SE

I did have to adjust the cant of the handlebars using an allen wrench which took two minutes.  A bike tool was even included in the box with the charger.  After that, since the battery was mostly charged it was off to the front yard to see how well it worked.

E-Joe Epik SE

It worked great! Almost too great.   In all fairness, I have not really been on a bike in 10 years except trying out a couple of E-Bikes in the last several months.  If you are a hard core biker, you may have very different observations.
E-Joe Epik SE

Using it just as a bike I was pretty happy.  It has 7 speeds and was very easy to peddle.  From a bike perspective, I am sure it is the nicest bike I have ever owned.  It should be since it is also the most expensive bike I have ever owned.  Sitting on it was comfortable.  It has shocks on the front and a cushioned seat.  The seat and handlebars are adjustable for height so it can fit people with a wide range of heights.  It has fenders to keep splashes down and a rack on the back to carry stuff.   All things I wanted in a bike.

E-Joe Epik SE

As an E-bike, the Epik can be used with just the thumb throttle or using peddle assist.    The maximum speed is 20mph.  This is actually a governed speed since if it can go faster than 20mph it is no longer considered a bike and is covered by laws for motorcycles and mopeds.  By the way, 20mph on a bike seems faster than I really want to go.

Using the thumb switch, no peddling is required.  Control the speed with your thumb.  

Using peddle assist, the motor helps you peddle.  The faster you peddle, the faster you go.  It has 3 levels of peddle assist.  Low, Medium and High.  My initial impression given 1 hour of use is that peddle assist actually assists too much. From what I read, this is probably since I am in a very flat area and the assist is tuned for hilly areas.   How  I actually use the motor is what I will have to experiment with.

E-Joe Epik SE

There were only two things I put in the minus column on this bike so far.  Both I knew about when I made the purchase so there were expected and not a big deal to me.
  1. The bike comes with a bell attached.  It is garbage and they probably should not bother.  If I had not read about it I would not have noticed it.  It does not work well and for a bike that is very well constructed and has a lot of thought put into it, this is the only weak point I have seen so far.
  2. The controller is very basic.  Other bikes have speedometers and 10 vs 3 levels of peddle assist.  This controller on the Epik is on/off and 3 levels of assist.   I think that this is a conscious decision that E-Joe made to keep the costs under control.   This is not a big deal to me given my needs. I saw several other companies selling similar bikes with fancier controllers for several hundred dollars more. I think I would rather save the money.

E-Joe Epik SE

I also wanted to see how well it fit on the back of the Fuse.   It went on fine.  I might try with the handlebars folded down or with the seat removed.  It was not too heavy to get it up on the rack so one of my major factors was addressed.

Riding it around the driveway was fun.  Everyone in the family took a turn.  This is a game changer for me and using a bike.  After an hour of use all I can say is this is great!


  1. We wanted better mobility once parked also. Running the RV thru Bar Harbor convinced me, and I am not squeamish about traffic and tight places. But we are taking a different route. I bought a BMW motorcycle and an enclosed trailer. Wife plans to take 'the class' in the Spring, then we will look for a big scooter for her. We are too big to ride together on the motorcycle. But I will not run out of charge, no mileage limits, and I can run on the interstate if I want to (not sure about wife yet, I suspect she will avoid traffic.) I have the added benefit of leaving my truck parked at home for much of the summer, getting 60 MPG while running about doing chores. I even have a top case to bring home the groceries. We talked about just using the bikes, or getting small scooters. Even looked at golf carts and UTV side by side. This looks like it will work for us, well, for me anyway!

  2. The enclosed trailer also gives us a dry place to travel with/ store lawn chairs, the grill, and such. And I will add a rack to the trailer, to haul the canoe.

  3. I thought about a motorcycle as well. Seemed like overkill for our needs. The E-bike does not need a new license but as you said you can't go as far. I was hoping that the bike approach would also let me get to some places I can't get to now due to some mobility issues I have. BTW- What size trailer are you using?

  4. I found a nice 6 x 10 on craigslist. The trailer is certainly not as nice as just using a bike rack- makes wife a little nervous driving with the trailer, she can't back it much. And hey, that e-bike will be a breeze to park on regular bike racks. In Bar Harbor, I swear it would have been worth unloading bikes just to ride from the RV parking area to downtown. It was quite a hike.

  5. You certainly have a lower investment, too. And you do not have to take it to a BMW Dealer$hip for service. Now you are giving me second thoughts! Oh well, I like the motorcycle anyway. Had one when I was young, I think now I have matured enough to give it the respect it deserves.

  6. So now that you've had it for a while what are your current thoughts? Anything you would do different? i.e. Second battery?

  7. I have been super happy with the bike. One thing that happened in my favor was that I got a hole in the front tire and brought it to a local shop to fix. He had seen several before and I asked him to do a tune-up/adjustment/make sure everything was in good shape. He adjusted the brakes and tightened some bolts which he said was common but would cause problems in the long run if not addressed up front.

    I have been happy. Works out well. I would definitely buy it again. I do wish it had a different set of gears so it would not take off quite as fast. But I am in the flats of Florida and not in the hills of San Francisco. Even on some serious hills I have been on, it kept on going. Most of the time I just peddle a little and just coast or hit the thumb throttle to get a little extra boost to stay at speed.

    The key thing is that for an old, out of shape geezer like myself, it got me back out on a bike after 20 years. If it was a regular bike it would not have worked out.

  8. You're almost at the 1 year mark! How are you liking the Epik SE, Don Pace? Any problems with it so far?

  9. No problems and still loving the bike. It is perfect for bringing along with us on the Fuse.