REVIEW: Story Bikes’ Electric Commuter is the perfect e-bike + photos – Insider
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If you’ve been looking for an affordable, sleek, and easy-to-ride e-bike, Story Bikes‘ Electric Commuter Bike might help you close the chapter on your search. With a lightweight frame, five levels of pedal assist, and a smooth ride for any age group, it’s no wonder Story Bikes landed on Oprah’s “Favorite Things” list.
There’s another reason that Oprah — and Story Bikes’ contingent of loyal customers — love these bikes: For each bike sold, Story Bikes donates a Buffalo Bike to a student in a developing country which plays a critical part in helping kids in rural areas get to and from school.
My last e-bike (from a company that is now out of business) was a bit of a disaster. A number of issues arose, including a motor problem, that would have cost more to fix than the bike was worth itself. So, I embarked on a rigorous search for over a year to find the perfect replacement. I learned what I wanted in a bike but more importantly, what I didn’t want based on my past experience.
That search brought me to the Story Bikes Electric Commuter. What stood out is that it’s lighter than most competitors in its class and has an affordable e-bike price point of $1,850.
My ‘ok let’s do this’ moment came when I saw a video of the Los Angeles-based Story Bikes team visiting Zimbabwe to donate its first round of over 120 bikes to students. An e-bike that’s affordable, looks sleek, boasts all the must-have technical specs, plus does good in the world? Yes, sign me up.
Note about the size: The Electric Commuter Bike — as well as its similar Step-Through Electric Bike, which has the same features and specs but a lower cross-bar — has quick-adjust handlebars which allow for multi-plane adjustments and enables taller folks to have a comfortable fit. You can adjust depending on the type of ride you’re on or if you’re sharing the bike with someone who is a different size.
Story Bikes offer a functional but fun ride. It can serve commuters, leisure riders, and workout warriors; I’m all three, so I’m constantly toggling between using the motor, which is easy to turn on and off, even mid-ride, and actively using the gears.
Most impressive to me was the ability to dial in my speed and effort by adjusting the pedal-assist in conjunction with the seven available gears. This is one of those features I didn’t know how much I’d appreciate until I used it and something that provides diversity in the ride if you choose.
The acceleration from the first pedal is prompt and smooth thanks to the torque-sensing pedal assist — not delayed and abrupt like some e-bikes tend to be. The bike is also quiet, something I hadn’t noticed until another e-bike passed me on the opposite side of the street. The rider’s loud motor put into perspective just how quiet mine was.
Also, the bike seat attachment is standard, so while the bike comes with a sleek and typical commuter bike seat, if you ever want to swap it out, you can do so for an aftermarket option if you want something more cushiony or wider.
With a light frame and torque-sensing cranks powered by the 350-watt motor, Story Bikes’ Electric Commuter Bike is extremely easy to ride and maneuver.
The hidden battery inside the frame of the bike helps keep a clean aesthetic and looking at it, you might not even realize it’s an e-bike. Also, the bike comes mostly assembled and ready to use which is a major bonus. The only thing you have to do when it arrives is put on the handlebars and screw in the pedals, which took me less than five minutes.
Also, if you are absent-minded like me, the battery and LCD screen turns off automatically after five minutes protecting against accidental battery drainage.
With the battery located inside the frame, it cannot be removed and brought to a remote power source. Rather, the actual bike must be near an outlet in order to charge, which isn’t ideal for anyone who has the inability to bring the bike inside.
Also, there’s no rear light (just a reflector), so if you ride at night, you’ll want to buy an aftermarket light.
Yes. Story Bikes’ Electric Commuter Bike is a solid e-bike that’s well worth its $1,850 price tag. It’s reliable, lightweight, and has a sleek design. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better e-bike that delivers on both features and design for its price.
If you are willing to spend more, I recommend considering the VanMoof S3 ($2,298) which has a minimalist design, quiet motor, and high-tech features like an app that controls the battery and allows for geo-location tracking for security.
For an e-bike with a hefty motor, the Aventon Level ($1,799) gives you some bang, and speed, for your buck.
For the e-bike seeker, the Story Bikes Electric Commuter Bike should be at the top of your list. It’s a solid, reliable e-bike that really impressed me in both style and function.
It’s lightweight, able to be easily adjusted depending on who’s riding it, and delivers a smooth ride. In addition to having specs and features that exceed expectations, the brand’s one-for-one bike-giving philanthropy truly makes this a feel-good purchase.
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