Eco Expedition

cyberdyne_systems

Pedelecer
May 8, 2016
153
111
53
Surrey
Here is my review of the Eco Expedition Bike. (The first part is to do with how I ended up buying this model, scroll down further to see the review).




Pre Ramble:
My entry into e bikes, was on the back of my partner having to move office. At her new location she wouldn't have parking as before, and the prices to park near would add up to a fair amount over time!

Thought's turned to parking a little further out and maybe a folding bike would be the answer to get into town on a fairly flat run (although we all know when riding you can suddenly realise there is more inclination than first thought).

Then in another twist, on business I was at this premises, with a folding e bike (Volt), outside. I asked about it with my renewed interest in bikes and it belonged to the person I was there to see! Within a short while, I was off up the road trying it out, what fun!!

So the searching started, I came here also and joined up. And this new world folded out before me. Now I'd had bikes all through my life and had a MTB that was currently sitting not being ridden. There are a few decent cycle tracks on former railway lines, not far from me, and I always harked to get back there and try them again (having ridden a small section some years back). I'd also attended the Gadget Show, and ridden an E MTB round there track a few years earlier, so I knew what they were capable of, but never thinking they would be in my future.

Now the whole E Bike thing had bitten me, so it was my interest to find something, could I in fact be the one to commute to work?

So upon looking I discovered the pricing and set my budget around the £800 mark, I still felt this was a lot to spend on something I didn't fully know I would use it enough to justify the expense. I guess as a casual rider it was all the unknown.

I closed in on a couple of bikes, and rather fancied a hybrid style with my budget limit, upon checking online details I homed in on two within travelling distance that I could go and test ride, one being the Eco.

The online information and video's the guy has produced certainly looked slick, but on paper (or on screen as i should more accurately say these days), I actually thought I would prefer the other bike i went to see.

But the proof is in the pudding as they say and riding them both it really became clear which suited me.

Review:
And so we come to the review.

Firstly the presentation of the bike, obviously it is subjective, but to me I think it sits right, and is a good looking bike, the black detailing with white frame does set it off nicely. Perhaps not totally important but aesthetics do play a big part rightly or wrongly in today's society, and i'm happy to know i'm on this one. Of course at this budget some of the components are cheaper, but i'm not up on all that yet.

Controls/screen were something that did impress me, the clear to read screen with a multiple of information, with two further additional menu's to change a couple of the readouts. Not having had a timer or distance ridden before is certainly something that creates a challenge to do just a little more each time you go out. It's all nice and clear to see and there is a back light that can be turned on for night mode. On my first run, I had a little difficulty resetting the single trip display, the instructions although thorough, seemed to be almost identical to changing a setting. I have since figured it out though - it's to do with the timing of when you turn it on as it mentions in the manual, I just didn't understand! :rolleyes:



Power assist is very pleasant, turn it up to the max level (5) and it really does pull you strongly up to speed, and for me i think this is where it came into it's own on my test commute. There were quite a few stop starts on the cycle route, and being less than fit I enjoyed the bike getting me back up to the cruising speed. There is partly pathways, road and cycle track with the usual ridges and dips, the bike handles these well with some suspension on the forks to take out any jarring.

As it's pretty flat around my immediate area, I've tended to only use a couple of gears, mostly for pulling away and then getting up to speed, occasionally dropping down when I do face a small hill. All changes appear to be similar to my other experiences with gears. It actually has 21 gears, and I don't think as a road bike you'll ever need them, but maybe if using without power and going a little further off road or facing a climb they could be useful?

The 36v 10ah battery is mounted on the down tube and is completely out of the way, it has the usual press for battery state indicator so should give a rough idea what's in it. To charge you are told to remove it, although not particularly difficult, the connector is a screw on type, and I've seen other designs where the battery can slide off once unlocked.

Putting together was pretty easy, with good instructions you download from the eco site. In fact the instructions are very detailed, including do's and don't's, and service information too. All the shimano instructions were included. There are also two allen keys and a wrench. Although the seat angle adjustment, required another size allen key.





I should say it came with reflectors, but they don't have a rubber insert so are next to useless to attach, and also a screw holding the screen bracket was missing when i opened the box up. Though this was quickly sent to me when i reported it back to Eco.

So far the bike has been out quite a few times, and it does make me want to get out again and explore somewhere new or beat that last distance/time. It's comfortable to use (will take a little while to get used to the saddle), the brakes are bedding in nicely and do a good job for cable disk brakes. I decided to go up a newly finished track near me, that i knew would only be fun on the way down (on a conventional bike!). So I thought, I have the assist now, why not try it. Well it was impressive to say the least, was such a blast going somewhere I'd have shy'd away from previously. I do hope that my fitness will improve riding more even if it's assisted at first. As for the commuting, I don't really want to turn up to work sweating or having the thought of a hard ride home after, so it's ideal.



At this stage, for this budget and for what I need the bike to do, I would recommend it. The seller is a very amiable chap and easy to deal with. I hope to report back with more enjoyable experiences of my first foray into the e bike world.
 

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Last edited:

yaffa

Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2016
55
39
54
Kent
Great review. I thought about getting one of these as the company is only a few miles away from me, but I didn't think I could cope with the crossbar!
 
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cyberdyne_systems

Pedelecer
May 8, 2016
153
111
53
Surrey
Great review. I thought about getting one of these as the company is only a few miles away from me, but I didn't think I could cope with the crossbar!
Thank you, it is a single size frame also, so won't suit everybody.

I'll have to check what bike you got...
 

cyberdyne_systems

Pedelecer
May 8, 2016
153
111
53
Surrey
So I've completed my first 100 miles, it's all been a pleasure really. Definitely been out more because I've known I can explore more with an ebike than I would have before.
IMG_20160618_123403.jpg
Commuting has been going well too, I can only do two days a week, as I need the car for the other days (shame). The weather hasn't been that kind lately, but so far I've only had mildly damp surface and fine rain, not those massive down pours! I really like being able to avoid the traffic and traffic lights (avoided by using cycle paths), but also parking issues!
IMG_20160618_095233.jpg
A slight squeak occurred and was coming from the crank area, this turned out to be a simple fix, the crank sensor was slightly rubbing the disk, and a gentle pull of the bracket sorted that out.
IMG_20160618_124238.jpg
All in all I've been really enjoying the bike, and would recommend anyone to try ebikes as a means to get out and about.
 
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D8ve

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 30, 2013
2,142
1,294
Bristol
Nice pad you have their man.
 

Croxden

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2013
2,134
1,384
North Staffs
Is that one of those robot butlers in the top picture?

I want one of those.
 
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cyberdyne_systems

Pedelecer
May 8, 2016
153
111
53
Surrey
Update: so one thing that's slightly bugged me was the suspension fork, works perfectly ok on the terrain I tend to use, but if I pull up on the bars to clear some rut as I go over it, I get this metallic sound as the fork tops out, it's a minor annoyance but never the less now I know it's there :rolleyes:.

So i looked into what replacement forks I could get and ended up getting Rock Shox Recon Silver TK Air. I'll probably have time to fit them next weekend.

 

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cyclebuddy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 2, 2016
1,579
751
Beds & Norfolk
Good review....

Like you, I too liked the simple clean lines of this bike, uncluttered by an OTT paint-job and an excess of stickered nonsense. The web-site marketing is slick, and the seller Myles both very knowledgeable and helpful.

My main issue with this bike is that, at the current cost (£840 direct and £930 on ebay), it still rides like a clunky, cheap, Chinese-made pedelec (which is exactly what it is). I’d personally expect a little better for this money.

If I were to hazard a guess, I would say this eco Expedition is based on a Trinx alloy frame and assembled by the likes of Shanguaye. To be fair, my own eco-Expedition frame was cleanly brazed (although it does depend on which individual in the factory actually did the brazing), and both the paint finish and parts assembly is accurately done. But at the end of the day, this is a sub-£200 Chinese bike fitted with £200-worth of cheap “Chinese bike” electrical parts (a very similar bike retails for around £400-£450 in China, although shipping into the UK, import duty, Customs clearance and VAT would add to that price). Other UK sellers are currently selling an identical pedelec bike as this (at least, identical to the 2015 model eco-Expedition) at £590 – same frame, same parts, UK stock. The simple eco-Expedition custom paint-job and a few slightly upgraded parts added here doesn’t justify the £250 price hike in my view.

This 2016 eco Expedition is fitted with Zoom forks, Shimano Tourney gears and Tektro cable-operated disc brakes: They are all well-respected brands, but these are all base-level, low-rent parts (in the case of the Tektro brakes, so low-rent they’re only available for OEM and not for retail sale). The Zoom forks are simple, spring-loaded jobs that prove somewhat clunky in real-world operation – as you’ve found – and add little over the generic Chinese parts previously fitted on the cheaper £700 MK1 2015 version of this bike. Most everything else on this bike is unbranded, cheap but functional Chinese fair.

Of particular disappointment is the drive train. The bottom bracket/crank, chainset and pedals are unbranded, the chain rings being very crudely and unevenly cast and pressed. The motor is geared and brushless but again unbranded (possibly Hengtai?)... unlike the more highly regarded “8fun”/“Bafang” branded motors some other bike-sellers are offering at a similar mid-£800 price point. The cadence sensor is a simple 5-magnet affair which gives sluggish uptake of that motor (a far more responsive 10-magnet would add just a few dollars, and again wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect).

Battery cells aren’t stated, but if they were high-quality Samsung or Panasonic (as a few are even at this price level) I’m sure that’d be stated. The maker’s spec states 500-600 cycles, which suggests mid-rank Lithium rather than premium cells – which at this eco Expedition price they really should be. The KT3 LCD display and control package added to the current 2016 eco Expedition model does raise the bar slightly over some of the other low end electric bikes a little, but IMHO it’s still not enough to justify the extreme price hike.

At last years pricing of £700-£740, it perhaps wasn’t a bad entry-level MTB pedelec package. But with the recent price hike to £840-£930, even with the modest specification improvements added to the 2016 model, I personally don’t think there’s enough here to justify the price now being asked.

I'd agree your shock upgrade is probably worthwhile... but then the overall price of this bike is entering a different league. I'd be looking elsewhere for a budget pedelec from the outset (Zipper, Kudos etc)

Just my own opinion.
 
Last edited:

cyberdyne_systems

Pedelecer
May 8, 2016
153
111
53
Surrey
I've done around 650 miles on it now, the only other niggle has been the front derailleur needing a few adjustments, that's a Shimano item, probably lower end, but seems to have needed more than any other item on the bike.

I agree with many of your points, I paid the earlier lower price and it seemed to compare reasonably, but much higher and I might have checked other options. Probably the crank and forks are the main area that would benefit from higher spec.

Most people that have seen it were impressed with it. I'll have to check on there updated model to see the changes you've mentioned.
 
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cyclebuddy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 2, 2016
1,579
751
Beds & Norfolk
...Probably the crank and forks are the main area that would benefit from higher spec....
Interestingly, Shuangye have in just the last few weeks updated this A6 frame style – the “old” A6 frame being used on the 2015/16 eco-Expedition models. The new A6 frame design is being promoted with better parts - 27-speed Shimano Acera gears and a Shimano crankset (whoopee!), although the cheesy Zoom forks remain (although they have fitted Shox before – the buyer can specify).

It’ll be interesting to see if the “eco-Expedition” evolves into an “evo-Expedition”!

I can’t see how you couldn’t use a decent Bafang motor, quality Samsung cells, a better shock and crankset and still keep the price of this bike easily below the £1000 threshold. Or keep the old Chinese fitments and sell this bike for <£750. But I'd guess the devalued Brexit £ is likely to impact most imported ebike pricing soon.

How are your new shocks performing on this frame? Do you feel it’s worth the cost? And where is that old railway cycle-track pictured in your earlier post (I'm guessing the old Guildford to Christs Hospital line as you're in Surrey?)
 
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Craig1967

Finding my (electric) wheels
Nov 19, 2016
12
0
57
Mansfield
Hi I small after
Good review....

Like you, I too liked the simple clean lines of this bike, uncluttered by an OTT paint-job and an excess of stickered nonsense. The web-site marketing is slick, and the seller Myles both very knowledgeable and helpful.

My main issue with this bike is that, at the current cost (£840 direct and £930 on ebay), it still rides like a clunky, cheap, Chinese-made pedelec (which is exactly what it is). I’d personally expect a little better for this money.

If I were to hazard a guess, I would say this eco Expedition is based on a Trinx alloy frame and assembled by the likes of Shanguaye. To be fair, my own eco-Expedition frame was cleanly brazed (although it does depend on which individual in the factory actually did the brazing), and both the paint finish and parts assembly is accurately done. But at the end of the day, this is a sub-£200 Chinese bike fitted with £200-worth of cheap “Chinese bike” electrical parts (a very similar bike retails for around £400-£450 in China, although shipping into the UK, import duty, Customs clearance and VAT would add to that price). Other UK sellers are currently selling an identical pedelec bike as this (at least, identical to the 2015 model eco-Expedition) at £590 – same frame, same parts, UK stock. The simple eco-Expedition custom paint-job and a few slightly upgraded parts added here doesn’t justify the £250 price hike in my view.

This 2016 eco Expedition is fitted with Zoom forks, Shimano Tourney gears and Tektro cable-operated disc brakes: They are all well-respected brands, but these are all base-level, low-rent parts (in the case of the Tektro brakes, so low-rent they’re only available for OEM and not for retail sale). The Zoom forks are simple, spring-loaded jobs that prove somewhat clunky in real-world operation – as you’ve found – and add little over the generic Chinese parts previously fitted on the cheaper £700 MK1 2015 version of this bike. Most everything else on this bike is unbranded, cheap but functional Chinese fair.

Of particular disappointment is the drive train. The bottom bracket/crank, chainset and pedals are unbranded, the chain rings being very crudely and unevenly cast and pressed. The motor is geared and brushless but again unbranded (possibly Hengtai?)... unlike the more highly regarded “8fun”/“Bafang” branded motors some other bike-sellers are offering at a similar mid-£800 price point. The cadence sensor is a simple 5-magnet affair which gives sluggish uptake of that motor (a far more responsive 10-magnet would add just a few dollars, and again wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect).

Battery cells aren’t stated, but if they were high-quality Samsung or Panasonic (as a few are even at this price level) I’m sure that’d be stated. The maker’s spec states 500-600 cycles, which suggests mid-rank Lithium rather than premium cells – which at this eco Expedition price they really should be. The KT3 LCD display and control package added to the current 2016 eco Expedition model does raise the bar slightly over some of the other low end electric bikes a little, but IMHO it’s still not enough to justify the extreme price hike.

At last years pricing of £700-£740, it perhaps wasn’t a bad entry-level MTB pedelec package. But with the recent price hike to £840-£930, even with the modest specification improvements added to the 2016 model, I personally don’t think there’s enough here to justify the price now being asked.

I'd agree your shock upgrade is probably worthwhile... but then the overall price of this bike is entering a different league. I'd be looking elsewhere for a budget pedelec from the outset (Zipper, Kudos etc)

Just my own opinion.
Good review....

Like you, I too liked the simple clean lines of this bike, uncluttered by an OTT paint-job and an excess of stickered nonsense. The web-site marketing is slick, and the seller Myles both very knowledgeable and helpful.

My main issue with this bike is that, at the current cost (£840 direct and £930 on ebay), it still rides like a clunky, cheap, Chinese-made pedelec (which is exactly what it is). I’d personally expect a little better for this money.

If I were to hazard a guess, I would say this eco Expedition is based on a Trinx alloy frame and assembled by the likes of Shanguaye. To be fair, my own eco-Expedition frame was cleanly brazed (although it does depend on which individual in the factory actually did the brazing), and both the paint finish and parts assembly is accurately done. But at the end of the day, this is a sub-£200 Chinese bike fitted with £200-worth of cheap “Chinese bike” electrical parts (a very similar bike retails for around £400-£450 in China, although shipping into the UK, import duty, Customs clearance and VAT would add to that price). Other UK sellers are currently selling an identical pedelec bike as this (at least, identical to the 2015 model eco-Expedition) at £590 – same frame, same parts, UK stock. The simple eco-Expedition custom paint-job and a few slightly upgraded parts added here doesn’t justify the £250 price hike in my view.

This 2016 eco Expedition is fitted with Zoom forks, Shimano Tourney gears and Tektro cable-operated disc brakes: They are all well-respected brands, but these are all base-level, low-rent parts (in the case of the Tektro brakes, so low-rent they’re only available for OEM and not for retail sale). The Zoom forks are simple, spring-loaded jobs that prove somewhat clunky in real-world operation – as you’ve found – and add little over the generic Chinese parts previously fitted on the cheaper £700 MK1 2015 version of this bike. Most everything else on this bike is unbranded, cheap but functional Chinese fair.

Of particular disappointment is the drive train. The bottom bracket/crank, chainset and pedals are unbranded, the chain rings being very crudely and unevenly cast and pressed. The motor is geared and brushless but again unbranded (possibly Hengtai?)... unlike the more highly regarded “8fun”/“Bafang” branded motors some other bike-sellers are offering at a similar mid-£800 price point. The cadence sensor is a simple 5-magnet affair which gives sluggish uptake of that motor (a far more responsive 10-magnet would add just a few dollars, and again wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect).

Battery cells aren’t stated, but if they were high-quality Samsung or Panasonic (as a few are even at this price level) I’m sure that’d be stated. The maker’s spec states 500-600 cycles, which suggests mid-rank Lithium rather than premium cells – which at this eco Expedition price they really should be. The KT3 LCD display and control package added to the current 2016 eco Expedition model does raise the bar slightly over some of the other low end electric bikes a little, but IMHO it’s still not enough to justify the extreme price hike.

At last years pricing of £700-£740, it perhaps wasn’t a bad entry-level MTB pedelec package. But with the recent price hike to £840-£930, even with the modest specification improvements added to the 2016 model, I personally don’t think there’s enough here to justify the price now being asked.

I'd agree your shock upgrade is probably worthwhile... but then the overall price of this bike is entering a different league. I'd be looking elsewhere for a budget pedelec from the outset (Zipper, Kudos etc)

Just my own opinion.
Hi
You seem go know your stuff ,what eould you recommend for a budget of about £1000
 

cyclebuddy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 2, 2016
1,579
751
Beds & Norfolk
Don’t get me wrong... I’m not saying this eco-Expedition isn’t worth considering as a budget e-bike (I did buy one too), just that I personally think it should be offering a little bit more for the money even at this budget end. The Greenway MTB, for example, uses the branded and well respected 8fun motor and Samsung cells, has a tidier integrated controller with a King LCD display, has Shimano gearing and discs and uses the newer style alloy frame, yet currently sells for about £100 less at £765. It has a better warranty too (1-year on frame, forks, battery and motor).

There’s still a lot to choose at the circa £1000 level, although considering most of these lower-cost e-bikes are imported from the Far East that might begin to change with the devalued £ and worsening exchange rate. You might be better looking at/posting your question in the general threads for others to see and comment.
 

Craig1967

Finding my (electric) wheels
Nov 19, 2016
12
0
57
Mansfield
Don’t get me wrong... I’m not saying this eco-Expedition isn’t worth considering as a budget e-bike (I did buy one too), just that I personally think it should be offering a little bit more for the money even at this budget end. The Greenway MTB, for example, uses the branded and well respected 8fun motor and Samsung cells, has a tidier integrated controller with a King LCD display, has Shimano gearing and discs and uses the newer style alloy frame, yet currently sells for about £100 less at £765. It has a better warranty too (1-year on frame, forks, battery and motor).

There’s still a lot to choose at the circa £1000 level, although considering most of these lower-cost e-bikes are imported from the Far East that might begin to change with the devalued £ and worsening exchange rate. You might be better looking at/posting your question in the general threads for others to see and comment.
 

Louise Bruce

Finding my (electric) wheels
May 4, 2020
8
0
Does anyone need spare parts? My bike is faulty but I have two batteries and two charges. First bike was stolen.