Customer Reviews: Currie Technologies eZip Skyline Men's Electric Bicycle
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on May 11, 2011
*** Update 9/11/2012 - After a year of ownership, I still enjoy the bike, but there is about a 20 % diminishment in power going up and down hills. The charge ration is also very diminished. Where I used to be able to get a 15 mile ride out of one charge, I now only get 7.5 miles out of a single charge. Also, it's expensive to replace flat tires, and the manual does not help with this at all. If you have issues with the bike, Currie is very helpful, but the certified repair people are not convieniently located in my region. I still love riding the bike, but I'm wondering if there's a better option out there.

***Original Review
I bought the Currie EZip Skyline as a commuter bike to try and minimize my carbon footprint. I wanted a bike I'd have fun riding and that I could use to get some exercise , but not arrive at work or home completely worn out from the journey. I researched a bunch of bikes and decided on this one based on the battery type, shape, water 'resistance' and price. I received the bike last weekend, and after making my way through a slightly annoying set of assembly instructions, I can review it's performance based on my first 15 mile roundtrip commute.

- Overall performance - The bike is a lot of fun to ride and it seems pretty sturdy so far. I really liked the variable modes of travel, PAS (pedal assisted) or TAG (full scooter mode). I was able to 'zip' past quite a few different bikers on the hills, which made the overall distance seem less. In fact, with this bike, my 15 mile commute felt completely doable. There's a little bit of a whine when the electronic motor is assisting you, which may bother some. The amount of force that the electric assist produces seems well balanced to the type of bike. It's not so much that you feel like you're speeding out of control, but it's enough to get a good boost.

- Functionality - I found the controls fairly intuitive, once I figured out what mode I was in. It pays to have some practice time on the bike to figure out what's happening before you get into traffic. The gears are enough for my plans (no big long hills, mostly bike paths all the way to work). I believe that the correct handlebar placement has eluded me thus far. It's important to figure that out, as your wrists are engaged in a different way if you're using the throttle a lot. It's heavy, so when the electric assist isn't on, it's not fun going up hills, though it's fine on the flats.

- Battery Life -
I fully charged the battery the day I assembled the bike, and it stayed full for the first leg of my trip (7.5 miles) after an hour charge at work, it stayed on full all the way home too. Seems to have long life on a charge.

- Assembly - It's not completely simple to assemble as the packaging is not customized to the bike, and so there's plastic parts that are there just to support the shipping that are hard to remove. Also, there are some places where the instructions point to the wrong location for a bolt, the Wedge bolt in particular, and so that gets frustrating. I did insist on doing it myself though, cause I wanted to be able to know how it was put together if I had any problems out on the road.

- Improvements -
I think this bike would be improved by adding an indicator to the PAS / TAG toggle that lets you know visually which mode you are in. A tilting seat would facilitate easier battery removal.
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on August 9, 2011
I just received this last week to replace a stolen ezip trailz. I loved my trailz but as anyone who has had one knows, it has some downsides that you just have to accept for the price.

This bike does not.

With an aluminum frame and l-ion battery, it is MUCH lighter than the trailz. Whereas I was always tempted to leave my trailz outside rather than bring it up a flight of stairs (which is how it got stolen), this bike is easy to bring in and out.

The battery seems to run forever. I have gone 15+ miles on it driving around NYC a couple times, and am yet to see the yellow light on the battery meter that indicates I am down to a half charge. I would guess I can go at least the 22 listed, and I am a big guy riding with a good amount of stop and go for lights.

The wheels are narrower than those on the trailz, which makes it much easier to pedal without assist. I tend to use the throttle assist to get up to speed, but pedal a lot on my own on streets. Then on hills it really shines--flattening them out completely.

It has an auto-cutoff for the engine to protect against overheating. I hit that cutoff once, and was worried it would be a bit annoying. I haven't hit it since though, and I am glad I have it because I don't have to worry about it as much on my own. With the trailz I was always cutting power on my own on hills and the like out of fear that I was overheating it.

Anyway those are my initial thoughts. I didn't think I could get a good lithium ion electric for this price. It is a very good value I think. I'll try to update in a few months once I've put a coupla hundred miles on it.
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on November 29, 2012
I bought this bike to try and bike to work more. I am in an area where there can be some high winds and so a motor is a great help on those days. I didn't have a good bike and didn't want to deal with an aftermarket add on to another bike so I looked for a bike with a motor already mounted. I found this bike through researching bikes. While the price is a bit steep in price to buy it for casual biking, it has been worth it for commuting to work. I don't have rain a lot so I haven't had to worry about that (it recommends not riding in the rain due to all the electronics).

I didn't end up buying mine from amazon even though it would have been cheaper. Since the bike is a little more complicated than a regular bike, I wanted support and went to a local bike shop that was listed as a retailer. I was worried I wouldn't be able to assemble it myself. I am glad because the two flat tires I have had were the rear tire which has the motor mount stuff and I was able to go back and get help from the shop.

As far as the bike goes I have had some problems but overall it has worked great. I have been able to bike to work and have only had 2 flat tires. Since I got the both the liners and puncture resistant tires I haven't had a flat. (I am not offroading).

All motor components are integrated well into the bike frame and don't interfere with riding. The battery pack is right behind the seat post keeping the bike balanced.

I was able to attach 3rd party lights for night time riding.

I wanted a rack and was worried the battery pack would be in the way of the non seat post attached racks. Turns out the seat post tube was on the smaller side and would not hold the seat mount rack without some sort of spacing material placed in (which with enough force allowed the rack to rotate around the post). I wasn't comftorable with that so I looked and the designers planned in other mounting holes behind the baterry so that a rack mounted with rods could be bolted there without any interference to the battery pack. The rack went on nicely (other than I had to get longer bolts and smaller nuts for the area near the wheel axle. A plate that helps mount the motor was interfering with both rack mount holes on one side and it was thicker than the included bolts (from the rack) that I had to go to a hardware store and get my own bolts to fit. Fortunately the smaller nut worked for the top hole and the rack is on solidly without blocking the battery pack.

Battery pack does slide off if needed. I only take it off during the summer since the harsh sun here is bad for the battery (I am talking 100+ degree F weather). In cooler weather I am not worried about leaving it on. And the key system allows for the battery to be locked onto the bike even while it is off. You do have to use the key to remove the battery. The pack has sometimes been hard to remove and would take me a couple of minutes of tugging to get it to fully come off. I never got around to putting something like WD40 on it to help it slide better.

One size fits all. I am not the tallest but still on the taller side and so may be helped by a bigger bike. I do have the seat out most of the post. In the end it works and I don't feel like that is too straining. But if size matters to someone, no size options here.

Some things were loose and I am not sure if that is from assembly (the bike shop) or if it was left that way from the factory. It would be good to tighten things like the break pad bolts (mine kept coming loose, fortunately it was only one pad at a time meaning I had the other brake still working). I lost a reflector on the pedal within a couple times of riding it. I noticed that another reflector is loose. Overall the build quality is solid with minor parts just needing a check.

The way the motor attaches and pushes the wheel is good until you are trying to just do pedal assist and want to go faster than the no throttle speed of the motor. I feel like it pulls me back down to a slower speed. Sometimes this makes me want to ride the throttle more as I don't feel it pull back when throttle is at full till. Of course this drains the battery more. I feel like I have been able to tone this problem down some with changing what gear I am in.

Other notes:
The battery pack has worked solidly since I have had it (except the time I didn't take the battery off in the high temperature weather, it needed a minute to cool down and then worked just fine). I am not sure if it has lost any of its capacity over the last half year I have had it. I only charge it right after the ride home from work but not while at work and it has worked fine (Only about an 8 mile roundtrip commute). I do worry about this as when the battery pack dies, this bike does seem worthless as the motor is hard to pedal without some power. I also worry because the replacement battery packs are about half the price of the bike in the first place of about $400. Currently the battery has been fine for the half year I have been riding it. It also may be possible to remove the motor and make it more of a normal bike.

Be careful riding in loose dirt or gravel with the motor. The power to the wheel the motor gives while going through loose dirt or gravel can cause some slipping (especially if you turn). When I go through these soft spots I have to stay straight or else I feel like the bike will come out from under me. This happened to my friend who was trying it out by going around the building at work and he biffed it on the first corner because he was turning on loose ground. (That is using the stock street tire that comes with it)

I don't regret getting this bike and have enjoyed my rides. I am mostly worried about future things that haven't happened yet.
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on July 3, 2011
I'm returning this for a couple of reasons, primarily the battery position and the lack of comfort. The battery is removable but you have to take the seat off to slide the battery out. I need to take it out at work to recharge it so that means taking the seat off everytime I commute - not a good design. Also this is touted as a "comfort" bike, yet the handlebars are fairly straight across, like on a trail bike, and the handlebars are too far forward so most of my weight is thrust onto my old wrists - not comfortable at all! Mine also came with a broken PAS system and the right pedal has fallen off after just a few miles of riding (I assume these can be fixed under warranty). On the good news front, the lithium battery gave me almost 14 miles on flat ground with little pedaling on my part - very impressive (FYI - I weigh about 240 lbs and it powers me around with ease). And the bike handles and generally works well. Currie needs to call this more of a "Trailz" type of bike (which I own and plan to get the new lithium battery that removes without needing to remove the seat). I wish Currie made a real comfort bike with swept-back handlebars, easily removable lithium battery, lightweight and affordable - that would be a big winner!
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on August 10, 2012
I was looking into a venue to get a bit more fit (I'm in the 260ish range poundwise) and remembered what fun a bicycle was in the past as a kid, but was concerned about my chunkiness making the riding experience an effort of gigantic proportions. It seemed that an ebike would be the way to go to both make the experience more enjoyable as well as extend the workout duration. For this it is quite an excellent product.

I had been considering less expensive variants of ebikes on the market, but most seem to come with bottom-bin SLA batteries and heavy frames (mainly the Trailz). The equipment that comes on this bike seems to be of reasonable quality and is a decent value for implementing lithium ion batteries, instead. I've put ~230 miles on this product since receiving it in July and have only a few minor quibbles, that may likely be able to be remedied by small adjustments:

-The gearing of the bike is a little bit short, top end comfortable range is 20-22 mph or so until you are pedaling quite quickly, although the trade off with the cassette on this bike is that you have a super-high first gear for things that are really steep (Shimano MF-TZ31).

-Occasionally while riding up a hill in PAS mode, my assist will randomly cut off for a second and then re-assist. This can happen a few times on a reasonably sized hill. It's kind of a falling on your face feeling.

-The motor on the bike is a little bit lethargic if you are only planning on using the scooter-esque TAG mode. It seems reasonable on a flat surface, however any degree of incline with a heavy rider and you won't make it without a bit of pedaling. Fairly irrelevant to myself but may be worth noting depending on your plans.

Two accessories which I would be hesitant to ride my Skyline without:
Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Suspension Cruiser Saddle, Cruiser Gel, Tri-color Black
Sigma BC 1009 Bicycle Speedometer

I actually bought the Sigma 1609 with Cadence but didn't even think about room near the pedals to install the cadence sensor, which is a function that will go unused.

The reason for knocking the rating off of 5 stars were mainly for two factors:

-When I pulled the bike out of the box, the front wheel had a spoke nipple which had been damaged. Had to take it to a repair shop as I really have no maintenance tools.

-I sent an inquiry to their support email regarding the above situation and a few other stupid questions as kind of a 'feeler'. I didn't get a response until about 2 1/2 weeks later.

All in all, this product is quite fun and practical. The figures for range seem to be conservatively rated but may depend on your riding style/weight/etc. I've had outings of slightly over 20 miles and the bike was not completely dead upon my return (using PAS at base setting in a mildly hilly environment).
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on April 19, 2013
I bought this bike in June 2012 and I like it far more than I expected I would. It's now one of my favorite purchases. I use it for three different scenarios - short errands; fun/ fitness 1 to 2 hour local trips 3 to 5 times a week Spring/Summer/ Autumn [I'm in NH so winter is not cycling weather]; and occasional longer half-day or day trips. I typically only use the pedal assist to aid in getting up hills and I cycle without power on the flat and downhill. Since a number of my favorite local routes involve pretty steep hills this makes a huge difference to my enjoyment and also makes possible some really scenic routes which I've tended to avoid in the past because of the hills. The ebike multiplies the number of available routes and extends my range to many destinations that are just too far for a round-trip without some boost for hills or towards the end of a long run. I would reckon my range is at least tripled versus my conventional bike. Used as needed this way the battery seems to keep charged for a very long time, if you use it constantly it would be much less obviously. I'm sure more expensive ebikes have additional features but this suits me perfectly and the price was unbeatable.
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on December 22, 2013
I will write another review if I decide to put it together. I just received it and it has a combination of new and used parts. The handle bar stem looks particularly bad. It looked like it is at less a year old. The deraileur has grime not cleaned off that suggests a few months of usage.

I am pretty certain it is not Amazon's problem. However, let this be a warning that if you get an item from Amazon listed as new, it may be a remanufactured bike.

Here is a list of my evaluation of the condition of the parts:
Kick stand: Rubber foot is worn. 3 months old
Derailleur: Some caked dirt still remained: 3 months old
Handle bar stem: a lot of scratches showing that the stem has undergone repeated readjustments: 1 year old.

It is going back.
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on February 3, 2012
I ride this bike to work about 5 miles either way then charge it for a couple hours as I reach home. I'm 6'3'' and the only adjustment I made was the seat and handle bar height. It's a fun bike; however, I use it as a moped. I just pull throddle on hande bars like a motor-bike and it goes about 25 mph!
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on April 20, 2012
We just have 1 car in the family and live in a retirement community. I wanted to be able to get around locally without having to drive my hubby to work in order to have the car to do my errands. As a kid, I was always on my bike and I road very rugged off-road bike trails all the time with my friend Emily. When my Skyline arrived, it was easy to put together. They supply some of the tools in the kit for convenience. I didn't charge it up right away because I wanted to test it out first on a dry run. What I discovered (and I just couldn't believe this) -- I forgot how to ride a bike! How weird is that?! I fell over the first time I brought both feet onto the pedals. (About 20 years with no riding a bike at all) So first, I needed to practice a bit without power and when I finally got my balance back, I charged it up and went for a ride. Wow. Am I glad I got this bike! It is sooooooo much fun and easy to ride. I did noticed the pedals have grippers now. Most bikes do, I guess so your feet are less likely to slip off. What was happening to me was my sneaker tread was getting caught on the pedals which is what caused me to fall in the beginning. So, now I wear shoes with no tread on the bottom. My balance gets better every time I get on my Skyline so if you're an ole' timer like me, get one. They're lots of fun and you'll get some fresh air and exercise. One last thing . . this getting old stuff is really p@#$ing me off!
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on September 11, 2011
Well I received my bike on the estimated delivery date of 09/09/11. It was a snap to do the minor assembly required. This is the first time I haven't had to adjust the gears on a new bike purchase. I did have to adjust the brakes a little but that was no biggy. The frame is a little small for me but I kind of figured that to be the case before I purchased it. It works out well because I've been wanting a bike with a more upright seat position. There was no weight limit listed on the seller's specs or the Currie website. The reason why I mention the weight issue is because I'm around 330lbs. I rode it yesterday for a test ride of about 4 miles at full throttle while pedaling and when I got home the battery gauge was still on green showing a full charge. I modified the bike a little by installing a 450 watt motor in place of the 250 watt it comes with. I had the motor from another kit a friend of mine had previously purchased. The top speed is about 15 mph on the flat. I'm going to have to get used to the whine of the motor. My mother says it sounds like a bee. I'm going to remedy the small size frame issue by using an extra, extra long seat post I have. In fact I just finished ordering a 27.2mm to 30.4mm shim from Amazon. The seat post has a 400mm length. I forgot to mention that I'm 6' 3" tall. Apparently this bike has a motor controller with a lode fail safe function. When you ride the bike up a steep grade for more than 25 seconds, the controller turns the power off. I circumvented this by squeezing the brakes slightly before the 25 seconds was up. This way the motor shuts off for a second and all you have to do is let go of the brake and the motor starts up again. That's just a little tip from me to you. This will still cut the lode on the battery but this way you don't have to turn the key off and then back on. The seat is pretty comfortable. It has a pretty good gear ratio but I think I'm going to change the rear gears to a smaller set so that I can travel down slight downhill grades a little faster. This bike is almost like having a BMX cruiser frame with 26" wheels. The pedal assist is of no real use to me. I have really strong legs so I out pedal the pedal assist. Well I think this is a pretty extensive review. I hope it helps someone to make an informed purchase decision.
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