I have just completed my first 100km on my new AMX LE so time for a first review.
I appreciate that a number of people will find this review very lengthy and most likely boring however there may be others like myself that just want to get as much information as possible before committing to purchasing their Ebike.
So why did I purchase an Ebike when I have been cycling to work on average 3 days a week, 10 mile round trip for 2 years on a Giant Anyroad drop handle gravel bike.
Well as a man in his late 50`s I’m not getting any younger which may be part of the reason however I found when the lockdown hit my work as a logistics manager exploded and I found myself working long hours and being so tired at the end of the day that I started just taking my car to work. I thought if I had an electric bike then I could choose when to ride with or without power depending on how tired I was.
So the next decision was what Ebike should I buy and that is a very difficult decision. Taking into account budget and the features i wanted. I changed my mind numerous times and looked at a variety of bikes all of which had plus and minus features for me, some examples below.
2017 Reise muller Roadster – Bosch mid motor, quality bike and was being offered for £1500 would of brought but by the time I had got a reply to my enquiry it was sold.
Wau Bike – liked the look of the bike and the security features but after selling at £1600 in November they were back up to £2400 which was a little to expensive for me
Vanmoof S3 - loved the advanced features and adjustable settings in the app but was unsure about the automatic gear change and only one frame size Large which is a little to big for me, lastly charging would be difficult for me without a removable battery.
So how did I choose the AMX. Well, my ride to work consists of a few back roads which tend to be quite dirty and to cut a long story short my whole drive chain set on my gravel bike was having to be replaced at a cost of over £120 every 10 months.
So I started to research into the Gates carbon belt drive system to which I found 2 options, Analog Motion and Ampler, the Ampler Curt at £2600 was once again out of my price range so I started to look in more detail at the Analog Motion AMX LE.
I liked the fact the AMX had an additional throttle available and that it could potentially be de-restricted in the settings however this is something in reality I have found I do not use as I prefer to try and push my speed above 25kph with my own power thus giving me more exercise.
The throttle can be used on its own and I have found it most useful at times when pulling out of junctions
So what do I think after my first 100 km?
I think I made the right choice
The Gates Carbon belt drive is a revelation for me as it doesn’t pick up anything like the amount of dirt my chain and cassette used to and rather than noticing my drive train getting noisier and less slick through the week as it got dirtier and spending at least 30 minutes every weekend cleaning it I now find 2 minutes with a simple glass of water and a tooth brush is all it needs to be back in tip top condition.
I want to continue to use the bike as exercise so I only ride in level one on the lowest setting and try and push past the motor cut off on the flat when I can and on occasions, I do turn off completely however when I do I find I can’t get much over 21kph on the flat as although the bike is light by Ebike standards you still get a drag factor from the motor slowing you down to a normal bike. To give you an idea if I spin the back wheel without the motor on it maybe rotates somewhere between 12 and 15 times before coming to a complete stop where as my non electric bike it will spin maybe 30/40 revolutions.
When I have tried increasing the power levels the bike has some serious power, as a test I did derestrict the bike and tried power level 5 and I found myself doing 36kph very quickly with practically no effort at all.
I think the bike is well suited to a variety of riders at different weights and fitness levels however top speed etc will be different for all, I weight 69KG
For reference to the performance I mention.
I am hoping to keep the bike as my daily commuter for sometime and I am hoping to possibly service myself as that was another factor in buying the AMX as most of the parts are easily replaceable or upgradeable and you are not solely reliant on the manufacturer for replacement parts like Vanmoof or a propriety system where you might end up having to replace the entire system if there is just one part you cannot get.
So what have I changed?
Well, I must admit I wasn’t keen on the Moustache handle bars so I have replaced them with straight bars and I have upgraded the pedals as I found my feet were prone to slipping off when riding in the wet and lastly a slightly more padded saddle.
What about dislikes?
I find the controller buttons a bit to soft and spongy which can make it a little awkward if changing power levels on the go especially if wearing gloves I’m also still getting used to the wide balloon tires which i have to say provide excellent shock absorbency but are very different to what I’m used to handling wise and I’m still a little unsure as to exactly how much grip they provide in poor conditions.
I hope I will continue to enjoy the bike over the coming months as much as I have enjoyed it over the last couple of weeks.