Electrified Kona Ute + Cadence e-bike reviews (in full)

Posted on February 28, 2011

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[declaration: So yes, once again I find myself in the amusing position of reviewing new products on a frugal blog. Ha! Ive been encouraged to review these bikes by Glow Worm Bicycles, whom I do some barter work for. They were very timely and useful loans for me, so I reckon it's more than fair enough. Besides, it's taken me a good while to get around to it!]

eZee Cadence – during my suburban immersion month, aug this last year


The eZee Cadence was good fun, my first proper electric bike experience. Certainly has the zoom! Whilst its not the kind of bike i’d usually use (size/shape) it did have a pretty comfy cruiser bar setup which felt familiar. The throttle/switch/ gear levers all being on the right hand bar was way too b

usy..

too busy mun

I was initially disappointed with the 35km range when I took it for a ride up the blue mountains but the Glow Worm folk said thats pretty standard for the 10Ah battery and that I wasn’t doing a huge amount of pedalling. The single front chainring was a much bigger gear to what i’m used to for hill climbing so I was relying on the motor more than and ideal amount. It was a solid smooth ride though – the shocks and cruiser geometry made me question the speedo when i was hitting 50ks/hr coming back down the hill. A very nice solid feel.

One of my fave touches about this bike is the brake modulator for the front disc brake. I haven’t used alot of discs so this make it feel more gradual and like a vee-brake – but if you squeezed just a little more you got the full stopping power of the disc. Worked really well in combination with the front shocks and overall sty

le of the bike.

nexus hub + hub brake - ezee cadenece

Natalie (younger sister, recent commuter cyclist) enjoyed trips on the e-bike “It’s like the happy part of riding all the time” and I had to ask her to slow down to keep up on my tourer bike for a change. It was a good chance for her to be able to come on longer rides with me on my normal bike – replacing car trips or soul-destroyingly boring bus rides at the least.

Kona Ute, electrified by Glow Worm, in october last year whilst house-sitting in newtown, working on the place and moving tradie-style materials and equipment around before leaving for a few months in Vic on my bike.

This is certainly my kind of urban bike. It made some geographically-adventurous days quite manageable and I still felt human in the evening (usually big days lugging things around on cargo bikes leave you rather wiped out.)

For me, electric cargo bikes are probably the most exciting machines in the ebike world. A little bit of help gets you a long way and true the name – I was able to do many tasks which I would otherwise do with a ute or a van. The more relaxed time frame of borrowing an electric bike for a couple days rather than travelling to, picking up, using and dropping off a borrowed motor vehicle was really handy. Hopefully that scenario makes some sense to anyone else.

moz + bin bike

I’ve been spoilt with access to cargo bikes in sydney, had communal trailers for a long time, bin bike protoype and then bin bike in recent years have been great. Funnily enough all related to the sydney ex-pat bike character moz, check the links for more of his bikes and photo library.

I enjoyed the Surly salsa styled relaxed geometry frame (angled top tube), semi-cruiser bars, big long cargo deck and the mountainbike/cargo/hybrid easy handling feel of the bike. The single large pannier that comes with it was decent, strong but strangely had big open holes in the ends for things to possibly fall out and rain to.. fall into  ?? Rather odd. Also the built-in rear rack part of the frame has around twice the usual diameter of racks so most panniers won’t clip on unless you attach a floating rail to it (which is a mod I recently saw in town).

The way the Glow W0rm techies made the battery mount withing the frame is pure beauty, you’d think they asked Kona to design it that way for them. So, it was damn good for carrying big loads med-long distances or couriering all day but I found the bigger racks of bin bike or an xtra cycle/big dummy full kit is more suited to the acual ‘ute jobs’ of moving around building materials, timber lenghts and such.

You’ve gotta try it out though. Feels a little bit like a cargo cycle courier on drugs.

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