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ELux Fat Tire Cruiser: Review

Elux Bicycles eview

We received the ELux Electric Bicycles Fat Tire Cruiser a few weeks ago and since then we’ve been able to put some miles on it. Rather than fill the first part of the review with the spec info and all that jazz, just go to their website to see all of it. For the most part I’ll be peppering in the spec info throughout the article. So with that being said, I’m just going to jump into it. Ok, so here we go. The ELux is a FUN electric bike! Yep, it’s as simple as that. Fun and functional. The fat tires do offer a different ride and when you keep the air pressure a bit low, it sorta acts like suspension and it also provides some extra traction on loose gravel and sand.

Elux Electric Bicycles

This bike’s 750w Bafang brushless geared motor is powered by a 48v 14Ah Lithium Ion battery. ELux says you can get up to a 30+mile range on a single charge with pedal assist. I was able to get 17.2 miles on a full charge, but that’s with me using the throttle about 90% of the time on various terrain such as steep hills, gravel, dirt, mud, bike path, street and sand. So you’re probably wondering, “17.2 miles is pretty far from 30 miles on a single charge…” Yes it is, but that range ELux provides takes into consideration that their test subject who determined those miles probably weighed about 150lbs and set the pedal assist to 3. But when I rode the bike I weigh over 220lbs and using the throttle most of the time on some steep hills. I figured if all my miles were simply on flat ground on the street, then I’m sure I could have reached that 30 mile range they had mentioned.

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Yes we know that the Elux isn’t what some of you would consider a “commuter bike.” But rather than beating a dead horse and repeating myself that ANY BIKE is a commuter bike, I’ll just go into why this bike got our attention for testing. First of all those fat tires rather fascinating. But we noticed it had fenders, and a rear rack. Plus it has an LED headlight that could is powered by the main battery and switched on by the control panel. Hmm, from the looks of it, this bike would fall into that ideal commuter bike. In addition, it’s electric powered.

In this photo below, we paired the Elux with our Blackburn cooler pannier to show that you can carry bags on the bike. Two things I didn’t like about their rack was it didn’t have an anchor point and the rails were too thick.I have a Banjo Brothers grocery pannier bag that I couldn’t use because it requires it to anchored on the bottom, plus the hooks on the bag were too small for Elux’s rack. However, for the Blackburn bags you see, they worked just fine because it mounts on with Velcro straps.

elux bikes review

We’ve heard from commuter purists that an electric bike is cheating. Eh, is it really? I mean c’mon…anyway. We don’t consider it cheating. We think it’s perfect for those who normally can’t pedal a traditional bike. In this case, it’s right for me since I’ve developed arthritis on both knees. Pedal assist is a welcome reprieve from painful pedaling.

The display on the LCD screen is easy to read and super easy to use. There are 4 buttons on the control panel so you can’t mess it up too much. There’s a power, Set, + and -. You hit the + to up your pedal assist and of course you hit the – button to lower your pedal assist. A great feature on this control panel is the USB port that you can access to charge your devices! Plus the panel  has the ability to be backlit so you can see it at night.

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In addition, there’s even a walking mode too. That means if you’re walking up a hill with the bike, it will give you enough power so you’re not having to lug the bike up. Mind you this is super helpful since this bike weighs 75lbs.

Components are pretty much entry level with Shimano Tourney 7 speed drive train and shifter. The bike is dressed with front and rear 180mm Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes, which offer plenty of stopping power for this heavy rig.

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The battery can be taken out for charging by unlocking it with the provided key and removing the saddle/seat post via quick release. You can actually leave the battery on the bike while charging. Elux says charging time is 4-6 hours. After draining the battery, it took us close to 6 hours to get a full charge.

Elux stated that the bike can legally reach up to 21mph, which it can on flat ground. I asked if you could hack the system and remove the limiter, unfortunately there isn’t a way. But naturally once the battery life starts to diminish, the bike can’t touch those max speeds.

During our testing period, we never experienced any mechanical or electrical issues. In fact the bike performed rather well given the fact we took in on terrain that the company probably never intended it be ridden on. Yes, it is heavy at 75lbs and if you ever have to transport the bike, it would help if you had a rear rack that could handle fat tires or a truck/van.

Overall we liked this bike. We couldn’t find really any issues, other than the rack that I mentioned above. The 750w 48v system works like a clock and is as reliable as a Japanese car. Elux gives it an an MSRP of $2250. This might be high to some of you, but that’s actually on the low site compared to other brands out there that offer the same motor/battery combo. They do offer a decent warranty; 3 Year Frame, 3 Year limited Battery, 1 year Motor. Other brands only offer 2 years on the frame and 12 months on the battery/motor.

Speaking of which, Bafang motors are used by other brands out there. The Samsung battery that Elux equips their bikes with are also a staple brand for the ebike business. That should help put you at ease since these batteries shouldn’t catch on fire like other cheaper Chinese batteries out there. All the other parts on this bike are you standard bicycle parts that you could buy at your local shop. In fact, you’ll maintain this bike just like any other bike, the battery and motor are pretty much trouble free.

Just to keep things clear, we didn’t receive any compensation from ELux Electric Bicycles for this review.

FTC Disclaimer

 

Best of 2013 – Bike Commuters’ Annual Roundup!

Sweet Jesus (pronounced “HeyZeus”), Bike Commuters – the evil end of 2013 has come and gone. Can you friggin’ believe it? Well, just like all those people waxing poetic out there in facegramstaland, the staff writers have decided it’s time to give you a recap with our Annual Roundup for 2013. So, in case you were asleep for most of the game (like I am, during every Superbowl/Tour-de-Whatevs/sporting event) here are the highlights for 2013. Cue obnoxious stadium buzzer!

Commuter Profiles & New Blood: We capped off ’13 with a handful of commuter profiles, where readers shared their sweet rides, photos from their commutes, and stories of bikey conquest with the internet world. Check out Hannah Decker of Boise, ID, Christian P. Kittelson of Seattle, WA, and a related article on four hardcore riders from A Winter of Cyclists documentary. Oh yeah, and did we mention we picked up some new blood? Not like teen vampire smut, but new writers Andrew “The Doctor” Li and Emily “Shelly” Shellabarger have been welcomed to the Bike Commuters team! Look forward to more from them every week in 2014.

Christian Kittelson’s red commuter along the Olympic Sculpture Park in scenic Seattle .

Hannah Decker on her way to the Greenbelt Path in Boise, Idaho

Andrew Li combats the SoCal smog and joined the Bike Commuters staff writing team this past summer.

Read about the newest Bike Commuters staff writer addition, Bay Area cycle lady: Emily Shellabarger.

Winter Wondergoodness: No surprise that Elizabeth covered the controversial topic of crazy snow commuting in icy Chicago. And BIG surprise that Mir (yeah, that’s me, the former “66 degrees feels cold” commuter) rediscovered the joys and pains of winter commuting in rain and colder weather. Check out these posts on “anything goes if it’s clothes” layering technique and thumbhole sleeve hack if you are looking for ways to transition into year-round biking with mild winter conditions. Hey, if I can do it, anyone can!

Easy winter tips for your rainy commute!

DIY & Side Projects: Fancy yourself a new sidecar, bike rack made of wooden pallets, or a simple bicycle repair stand? Look no further than these articles written by RL, Emily, and Doc Li for your 2014 DIY and side project inspirations!

Interbike 2013 Coverage & the Electric-Assist Trend Continues: And, of course, any year-end roundup wouldn’t be complete with snapshots from Jack and RL’s coverage at Interbike 2013 in Las Vegas. Here are a couple of our favorites:

  • Booth Dudes – Jack and RL highlight some of their favorite bike dudes for their dashing good looks and straight up bike knowledge.
  • Even More Gravel Bikes – get ready to grind some gravel, could this be the new face of the ultimate commuter bike?
  • Hydraulic Brakes on the Road – Are road disc brakes in your future?
  • Axiom Performace Gear – One of Jack and RL’s favorite commuter discoveries at Interbike 2013. Axiom has a versatile line up of panniers, racks, and accessories – well-made, stylish, and readily available!
  • Electric Bicycles – You can’t deny the trend of e-bikes cruising into the commuter market. RL shot the shop with Motive Electric bikes, and even got to test ride and review the Motiv Electric Shadow at the end of this year.
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Jack takes a Motiv Electric bike for a spin at Interbike 2013!

Mobile Repair Unit: This year, Bike Commuters founder RL Policar and Andrew Doc Li spearheaded an ongoing effort to offer free bike services to the homeless in their community with RL’s Mobile Repair Unit. Contact info@bikecommuters.com if you live in the Fullerton, CA area and want to get involved with this ongoing event!

RL taking the repair to the people!

Craigslist – Love it or Hate it? And for all of you looking to sell your old ride or pick up a new one for 2014, make sure to check out RL’s WTF commentary on Craigslist… Aside from some hilarious personal experiences, he also gives some good tips on how to deal with the bike section in Craigslist, selling or buying. You’re welcome for the laughs!

Get some, Cycle Ladies!

Oh yeah, and Cycle Ladies are the Bomb: In case you missed the news, Elizabeth visited Washington D.C. for the second time this year to attend the Women and Bicycles and the National Bike Summit. It turns out, women commuters are the new dutch bike (or, the new black, or orange is the new black, or women commuters are the new safety yellow?)… you know what I mean. Check out the article to see what brings women to the forefront for bike commuting in 2013.
Well, How do you do? Sometimes it’s the comments section that generates the best information and the most useful tips. In the spirit of our light-hearted Friday Musings series, check out:
Product Reviews, of course… And, last but not least, we reviewed dozens of products this year to scope out the newest commuting accessories, gear, and bikes. Here are a couple of our favorites, click on the images below in case you missed them this year!

Always a Bike Commuters favorite – Planet Bike presents the Air Smith Mini Compact bike pump.

For the urban commuter, check out the Chrome Truk Pro SPD recessed cleat shoes.

Or for the ladies out there looking for casual summer footwear, here’s our review of the LUV Dream Flats.

If you’re in the market for an upright-style bike, read the Torker T300 Step-Thru review.

Jack even reviewed this interesting safety concept: the QRide Advanced Emergency ID tracker.

Check out Matt’s review of both the 2014 Jamis Hudson Sport bike and the Slidepad brake technology – with a setup targeted at new riders and commuters.

 And so, dear readers, we’ve made it through the first tween years of the big 2K… Thanks for sticking with us, and if you made it to the end of this blog post without clicking any links or taking a bathroom break, you must have the attention span of a squirrel in the bulk bin section at your local New Seasons market. Enjoy the ride into 2014, bikey peeps!