Mr. Money Mustache inspired me to purchase an Electric Bike. In all honesty, I can’t hold it against him. He pointed me towards Credit Card churning (Where I’ve made thousands of dollars in cash back and travel points in less than a year) as well as budgeting, saving, investing and the general concept of Financial Independance. Enter the Evelo Orion Electric Bike
I have a 20 mile (to be technical 19.9) one-way commute to work. I’ve biked it a half dozen times, and while it is manageable with a regular bike, it takes roughly 2 hours, and leaves me pretty tired. Obviously I’m being a whiny pants – I would get in better shape doing it regularly, but I’m not keen to spend 4 hours a day commuting. My only other option is to use Metro (thanks DC for even making this an option), and while it cuts my commuting time nearly in half, it also costs $11.10 a day.
Thus, Mr. Money Mustache’s post about E-bikes was pitch perfect. I love biking and firmly believe, in most cases, a regular bike is all you need. But I have an edge case, the kind of situation where an E-bike makes perfect sense.
After doing my research I settled on Evelo’s Orion Electric Bicycle. It was slightly cheaper than the competition, an I-zip E3 Path+. While I couldn’t find a review of the Orion itself, reviews of other Evelo bikes were generally positive, and they seemed to have great customer service, something I certainly wanted buying such an expensive item over the internet.
Evelo was running a Labor Day sale, taking $200 off the purchase price and giving you a $200 Gift Card after delivery. Seemed pretty good considering I was already interested. In true Mustachian fashion, the last thing I needed to do was run the numbers. Like I said Metro = $11.10 a day, or $55.50 a week. Once I factored in Holidays, Vacation, snow days, and working from days, metro costs me roughly $2,442.00 a year. Yikes! The Evelo Orion, after the rebate, was going to cost me $2,494.00. Looks like the bike would nearly pay for itself after a year of use.
Evelo Orion Specs
- Motor: Patented Brushless 250W Mid-Drive
- Battery: Lithium Ion 36V12Ah (Upgraded over stock) ($200 extra)
- Charger: 36V 110-220V Lithium Battery Charger (4-6 hours for a full charge)
- Frame: Alluminum Alloy Front-Suspension (Leonis)
- Fork: Suntour NCX
- Wheels: 700C Double Wall Touring Rims
- Tires: CST – 700c x 35c
- Brakes: Tektro V-Brakes 836AL
- Stem: Tonaro TDS-C215 Adjustable
- Shifter: NuVinci N360 Hub (Upgraded over stock)($425 extra)
- Lights: built-in Spinnga Front & Rear Lights
- Computer: Speedometer, trip tracker, battery meter
- Full Rack
- Range: 24- 48 Miles (depending upon how heavily you use the battery)
The bike arrived after a painfully long shipping period (or so it felt). Yikes this thing is big and heavy!
I dug in.
Assembly was pretty easy. First, attach the front wheel, secondly seat the handlebars and secure. Raise the seat and install the front fender/light. I have one little issue with the directions regarding the front install. According to Evelo’s manual, both the light and fender are supposed to hang off of the same threaded screw. Unfortunately, the light has a standoff bracket built into it which keeps it from cinching down on the fender. Without something to hold it in place, the fender rattles loose. The solution of course, was to install the fender on the backside of the fork which was easy enough and did the trick.
Finally I got the bike all assembled and rode it to work for the first time!
**Update: I’ve put roughly a month’s worth of solid riding on the bike. I’ll review it soon!