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This e-bike had the best motor system we tested. It was smooth to start and ride, and assistance stopped the instant pedalling ceased. All testers appreciated the assistance up to 32km/h and thought the ride position was “just upright enough”. The Turbo Vado was easy to pedal and glided up hills with minimum rider effort. It was stable and balanced coming back down, with smooth and powerful disc brakes and an excellent suspension fork to soak up the bumps. The controller and display are excellent to use. $5500 isn’t cheap – you certainly pay for quality and attention to detail – but we thought it was worth it. The only real negative to note is the small rear rack platform.
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)
Bike (50% of overall score)
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