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Old 24th May 2020, 21:08   #1
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Default My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!

Hello folks!

Here's a review of my Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!

Note: By "bike", I mean cycle! In the UK, cycles are referred to as "bikes".

My experience with e-bikes

My first bike in the UK was the legendary British bike Brompton. I was smitten by the concept of the folding bike and Bromptons are amongst the best in class. I bought the Brompton and rode it on short runs to the shops and the like.

My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-brompton.jpg

However, I somehow felt the ride was too bumpy (thanks to fixed forks, no suspension whatsoever) and quite unstable downhill (due to the small wheels). Plus, I felt I was running out of steam quite often and hence never ventured too far away.

It was around this time that I started looking for an electric bike. My plan was to go for a folding electric bike, so that I could store it inside the house (as opposed to parking it in the garage along with the car). I bought the Volt Metro, from a British company called Volt Bikes. Here are a few pictures of the bike:

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The folding mechanism on the Volt Metro is not as neat as a Brompton, but it still folds up enough to be able to store the bike indoors.

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Good things about the Volt Metro:
  • Quite nippy, lots of power
  • Handy “moped” mode which doesn’t even require one to pedal and the bike goes up to 15.5MPH (legal restriction in the UK)

Not so good things about the Volt Metro:
  • Riding the bike without pedal assist (battery assist) is almost impossible. The rear hub motor offers a lot of resistance. It makes it quite difficult to ride the bike without pedal assist.
  • Small wheels were not at all suited at speeds, especially when going downhill. The bike would get up to 15.5 mph in no time and hit higher speeds downhill. This was quite a scary experience
  • The gearing (3 front, 7 rear) was simply setup incorrectly. Even at the highest gear, the bike would be going faster than I was pedalling.

I therefore sold the Volt Metro and thankfully didn’t lose too much money in the process.

Fast forward

About a year ago, I suffered a slipped disc injury. Swimming and yoga helped keep the pain under control over the past year. However, ever since the lockdown began, swimming has stopped completely. Walking was just not giving my back enough exercise. I therefore checked with my Ortho back in India to check if cycling was OK for someone with a back injury. I was given the OK but was asked to make sure I bought a bike with an upright position.
With this requirement in mind and having ridden an ebike in the past, I started looking for a hybrid ebike with an upright position. After quite a bit of research, I narrowed down on the Emu Crossbar. These bikes are from a British company called Emu and are manufactured in China.

Here's my Emu Crossbar and a quick review of the bike.

My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-emu-1.jpg

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My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-emu-3.jpg


Likes:
  • FANTASTIC build quality. Every bit of the bike screams of quality
  • Very comfortable upright riding position
  • Absolutely no resistance from the front hub motor. This makes riding the bike without battery/pedal assist a breeze.
  • Comes out-of-the-box with mudguards, integrated front and rear lights, carrier, bell
  • Nice colour display with speed/trip/odo functions

Dislikes:
  • Fixed fork – no suspension means the ride does get bumpy, especially while going on/off pavements/cycle paths

Contd...
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Old 24th May 2020, 21:17   #2
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Default Re: My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!

Contd...

Battery and Motor

The Emu Crossbar comes with a choice of battery options – 10.4amp or 14.5amp, with batteries made by Samsung. I have the 14.5amp battery which should give a range of about 40 miles with medium assist and not very steep terrain. Range of course varies hugely on the rider, riding style, road surface, incline, wind, etc.

The battery is nicely integrated into the frame. It can be charged in the frame OR can be removed (there’s a key to unlock the battery) and charged indoors.

My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-emu-5.jpg

The bike is powered by a 250w front-hub motor.

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Gears

When it comes to gears on a bike, I am quite nervous about the standard derailleur system – perhaps my lack of experience with these. One of the reasons I zeroed in on this bike was because it had a 7-speed Shimano Hub based gear system This keeps the intricacies of the gear mechanism inside the rear hub and therefore has a simple chain mechanism. The gear shifter is mounted on the right handle grip.

My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-emu-7.jpg

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Riding position and comfort

As mentioned earlier, my key requirement was a comfortable upright riding position. The Emu Crossbar comes with an adjustable wide handlebar and a comfortable seat.

My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-emu-9.jpg

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My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-emu-11.jpg



The bike also comes with comfortable and ergonomic grips.

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Brakes

Braking is performed by two standard V brakes – no disc brakes on this bike. Braking is effective and more than sufficient in dry weather.



Control Panel

The bike has a full colour control panel mounted on the left side of the handlebar. The display is crisp and has adjustable brightness levels, thereby making it easy to view in any condition.

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The + and – buttons increase or decrease the level of pedal assist. Switching on the control panel keeps the power level at 1 by default (I would’ve preferred it to be at 0). Level 5 offers maximum assistance, up to 15.5MPH.
The display toggles between – Odo, trip, max speed, avg. speed.

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Press and hold the + button to toggle on/off the front and rear lights. This is nicely indicated by a headlamp icon on the control panel.

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Accessories and other nice touches


The bike comes with almost everything you would need to start riding.
Front and rear mudguards painted in aluminium paint (& pin-striped) with a mud flap. The rear also has a solid aluminium carrier rack with elastic drawstrings. Supports a load of up to 15 kilos, held securely by the drawstrings.

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Brake levers have a nice solid rubber back, making it very nice and comfortable to grip, especially while wearing gloves.

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The left brake lever has a bell nicely integrated into it

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A chain cover, to keep the grease away.

My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-emu-23.jpg

The bike comes with standard hybrid tyres, which I upgraded to puncture resistant Schwalbe Marathon Plus.

My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-emu-24.jpg

Front and rear lights (ON or OFF only – no flashing lights here)

My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-emu-25.jpg

My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-emu-26.jpg

A nifty USB charging point, to charge your phone on-the-go! This is super useful especially on long rides into town where the phone is also acting as a satnav.

My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-emu-27.jpg

One accessory I fitted was a phone holder – a pretty basic one from Amazon.

My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-emu-28.jpg

Riding impressions


Apart from the riding position which is upright and comfortable, the biggest plus point is the way the bike rolls when pedal assist is switched OFF. There is almost NO resistance from the front-hub motor, thereby making normal riding effortless. The gearing is perfectly designed for flat roads and normal inclines. I live in West London and the terrain is not too hilly – the gearing on this bike works perfectly for my riding. Since I bought the bike mainly for exercising, I do a standard 10 mile ride daily (been regular for a week now!) and it takes me 1 hour, with a 5 minutes break included. This is with ZERO pedal assist.

The bike feels very planted. Its very easy to manoeuvre at slow speeds and also very stable at high speeds (rock steady at 20+ MPH).

I have tried the pedal assist, which goes from level 1 to 5. On a steep incline, I normally keep the gear at level 4 (out of 7) and the pedal assist at 3. This takes me comfortably uphill without any strain on the motor or on me! I have tried max assist (level 5) and with this one can ride all day with very little effort. I plan to do a ride into Central London (about 10 miles from where I live) one of the weekends – to see what the bike feels like for commuting and to also test the battery range in real world conditions. Will update this thread once I do this ride.

For now, I will end this review with a picture of the Emu sharing precious garage space with my 2019 6th Gen VW Polo.

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I am very pleased with the Emu Crossbar. It’s a beautiful looking, brilliantly built bike loaded with small accessories that make a big difference. I hope to continue my 70 miles/week riding (with no assist) and the occasional longer trips (with pedal assist!).
Hope you enjoyed reading this thread.

Cheers!
Praveen
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Old 25th May 2020, 16:43   #3
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Default Re: My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!

Thread moved to the 2-wheels Section. Thanks for sharing! Will go to our homepage tomorrow .
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Old 25th May 2020, 20:48   #4
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Default Re: My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!

Nice and crisp review.

I find it really interesting that first motor-cycles where just that, cycles with motor bolted on them. And then we got the 1000cc behemoths that we have today

We saw the same thing again a century later with electric bikes, just bikes with electric motors.

Can't wait for the time when this tech matures fully and we get fully electric motorcycles with 4-500 kilometres of range and a 5-10 min charge time.

How much does this Emu cost? And how much was your Volt?
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Old 26th May 2020, 10:09   #5
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Default Re: My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!

I would love to have something like this for 15k in India. Can compromise on a phone during my next purchase to squeeze something valuable like this.

But options in India are very expensive.
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Old 26th May 2020, 11:18   #6
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Default Re: My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthazar View Post
Nice and crisp review.

How much does this Emu cost? And how much was your Volt?
Thanks! Both bikes are in the £1,100 range. However, the UK has a Cycle2Work scheme where one can save about 40%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
I would love to have something like this for 15k in India. Can compromise on a phone during my next purchase to squeeze something valuable like this.

But options in India are very expensive.
Even here in the UK,electric bikes are expensive. One can get an ebike for £200 but it will be heavy as hell and will have a range of about 10 miles. Good ones start at around £800.
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Old 26th May 2020, 14:24   #7
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Default Re: My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!

My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!-omo.jpg
Great review @51morris. The style of the ebike is truly British.
I bought the pictured OMO Ebike for my son to commute within his campus in VIT.,Vellore, though they later objected to it as motorized mobility is not allowed by students. Its now at home in Bangalore. I also ride it occasionally. Does the job of taking you from point A to B.
The specifications are as below:-
- On a complete charge the range we have achieved is about 30-32 kms, though the rating is about 40 kms, but I have never gone till dry.
- I think it can do a top speed of about 25kmph.
- There are no gears.
- Both brakes are disc brakes.
- Can pull weights up to 90 kgs.
- It has pedal assist.
- The battery is portable. You can carry it home for charging.
- It is unisex.
It costs about 38k in India. I sometimes use it to visit my club on weekends.

Last edited by Pkumarblore : 26th May 2020 at 14:29. Reason: Content editing
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Old 26th May 2020, 16:21   #8
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Default Re: My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!

Thanks, this was a great thread. I've been contemplating getting into cycling to get about considering I was literally the only holdout in my friend circle (had a bad experience trying to cycle in London years ago - never felt comfortable since cycling on busy roads). However COVID has made me rethink that. I normally get by walking or using public transport, but now much to my girlfriends delight, I'm finally starting to see how cycling might be the best option now. Helps Manchester is fairly flat too.

I'm a bit of a design nerd and the e-bikes I keep looking at longingly are things like the ones from VanMoof. Obviously these are all ludicrously expensive for me at this point in time and no way my parents, car folk that they are would allow me to spend that money on a bike instead of a decent used small car.

Ultimately I think like most of my friends I'll stump for a nice and simple hybrid bike. Maybe once I get more comfortable cycling I could stump for a nice ebike.

There's quite a few decent options actually for folding ebikes too. Here was one I read about on the Verge:
https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/9/21...-electric-bike
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Old 26th May 2020, 18:22   #9
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Default Re: My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ads11 View Post
Thanks, this was a great thread.

I'm a bit of a design nerd and the e-bikes I keep looking at longingly are things like the ones from VanMoof. Obviously these are all ludicrously expensive for me at this point in time and no way my parents, car folk that they are would allow me to spend that money on a bike instead of a decent used small car.

Ultimately I think like most of my friends I'll stump for a nice and simple hybrid bike. Maybe once I get more comfortable cycling I could stump for a nice ebike.
Thanks!

The Vanmoof is one of the most beautiful bikes I've seen (not just electric!). Its automatic gearbox is truly revolutionary. Unfortunately, it is quite expensive.

Its a good idea to do a bit of cycling on a regular bike first. Get a feel for what you will use the bike for and stuff, before you go for an ebike.
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Old 26th May 2020, 23:54   #10
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Default Re: My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!

Nice thread. I have a Lightspeed Dryft that I bought way back in 2018. Still runs well. Can get to a max speed of 24 Kms /Hr in "Moped" mode (no pedaling). good range of 65 Kms. Have shocks in the front so the ride is good. Use it to potter around my area when I go grocery shopping. Here is the link:https://lightspeed.bike/product/dryft-electric-bicycle

Last edited by chennai-indian : 26th May 2020 at 23:57.
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Old 27th May 2020, 02:51   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 51morris View Post
Thanks!

The Vanmoof is one of the most beautiful bikes I've seen (not just electric!). Its automatic gearbox is truly revolutionary. Unfortunately, it is quite expensive.

Its a good idea to do a bit of cycling on a regular bike first. Get a feel for what you will use the bike for and stuff, before you go for an ebike.
Aye I've seen two VanMoof S1's in the wild and they're stunning bikes. You can absolutely tell them apart from the general bikes you see even without being a keen cycle enthusiast.

Agreed, I'll likely just stump for a simple bike. My girlfriends family are avowed cyclists so I'm constantly being egged on by her particularly. I'm a total petrolhead and in my head I just keep thinking about buying my first car that isn't a hand me down from mum and dad.
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Old 27th May 2020, 08:53   #12
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Default Re: My Emu Crossbar electric hybrid bike!

Praveen, thanks for introducing this nice bike to us. I liked the handle bar design which is slightly inverted inwards at the end .I am looking for exactly similar designed bike in India. You know of any similar motorcycle available in India?

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