Updated 28 Sep 2017

Smartmotion

Pacer GT

Bottom line: The SmartMotion Pacer GT is a good bike with an OK motor system. It is more suited to riding around town or commuting than on cycle trails.

Pacer GT
Consumer worth considering
67
Avg price

$4799

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Test results

Overall score
OK
67
Motor system
OK
6.3/10
Bike style
Good
7.1/10

Good points

  • Good motor responsiveness.
  • Excellent motor assistance at speed.
  • Motor assists to 40km/h.
  • OK display and controls.
  • OK battery and charging.
  • Bike is easy to pedal quickly.
  • Bike has OK slow speed balance.
  • Bike handles well on rough surfaces.
  • Has rear rack, plastic mudguards and a rear-mount kickstand.
  • Has built in lights.
  • Has hydraulic disc brakes.
  • Has a suspension fork.

But

  • Just OK assistance climbing hills.
  • Doesn't have a frame lock.
  • Comes as a full frame only.

Extended review

Our testers had a love/hate relationship with the SmartMotion Pacer GT. As a high-speed, long-distance commuter, it was brilliant. It felt solid and stable at speed, the motor-assisted pedalling up to 40km/h and the ride position made it comfortable to pedal, the 522Wh battery was bigger than average, and we generally liked the continuously variable manual gears. However, climbing hills was a different story, where it felt underpowered, heavy and sluggish. Testers also thought the overdetailed display was poorly positioned on the frame top tube, and the harsh-feeling suspension fork with uncontrolled rebound did more harm to the ride than good.

How we test

Each e-bike was taken on a test route by two riders. The 5km route in and around Wellington’s CBD included city traffic, fast flat roads, hills, kerbs, wooden bridges and a busy waterfront path shared with pedestrians.

We also put the e-bikes through a gruelling 20km route around Wellington’s Wadestown and Northland suburbs. The main challenge was climbing a 2km-long hill five times at a steady 20km/h (a kilometre of vertical ascent) and descending the same twisty narrow road between climbs. It also included a short, steep section of rough path with a narrow barrier negotiated at walking pace, an undulating 5km of suburban streets, and a steep descent requiring brakes to keep the e-bike to the 50km/h speed limit.

Our riding tests, along with a static assessment of the features and functions of each e-bike, were used to score the performance of the motor system and the bike. Overall score includes:

Motor system (50% of overall score)

  • starting, stopping and responsiveness (30% of motor system score)
  • hill climbing assistance (30%)
  • controller and display (20%)
  • high-speed assistance (10%)
  • battery and charging (10%).

Bike (50% of overall score)

  • uphill and slow riding performance, ease of mounting and dismounting, off-bike handling (50% of bike score)
  • downhill and fast flat riding stability, safety and comfort (30%)
  • comfort and safety on bumpy and rough surfaces (20%).

Key data

Model

Avg price
$4799
Type
Commuter
Frame style (and alternate)
Full frame
Sizes available (tested size in brackets)
(SM) /LG
Wheel size
27.5 inches
Motor
Bafang
Motor location
Mid
Power (W)
300
Battery (Wh)
522
Battery location
Down tube - built-in
Removable battery
Key
Max assist speed (km/h)
40
Hand throttle
no
Tyre width (mm)
51

More test results (/10)

Motor - Responsiveness
7.0
Motor - Hill climbing
5.0
Motor - Interface
5.5
Motor - Speed assistance
9.3
Motor - Battery
6.5
Bike - Slow speed
6.7
Bike - Riding fast
7.8
Bike - Rough terrain
7.0

Features

Mudguards
Plastic
Kickstand
Rear mount
Rear rack (l x w cm)
47 x 17
Rear wheel (Frame) lock
No
Gears
Continuously variable / Twist (hub)
Suspension fork
yes
Suspension seatpost
no
Lights
yes
Brakes
Disc (hydraulic)

More Info

Notes
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