Strengths: (Phantom Xlite) 2013. . This is my first electric bike, so I have nothing to compare it to. First off, I have received immediate positive comments on its physical style, both from people in my age group (60’s) and others in their twenties. My first impression was a small amount of disappointment on hill torque. It has climbed every hill I’ve attempted without assistance, although speed goes down and I assume the battery is taxed more. On the plus side, the pedal assist on hills is easy and all hills can be negotiated at near max speed, again with not that much effort. The nine gear range is suited well for normal pedaling and pedal assist. I’m 68 and have ridden ‘normal’ bikes several times weekly for the past few years, based on weather. The bike does do the @18mph as advertised; I have a school zone close by that has an electronic traffic speed sign for verification. I enjoy riding the bike, its fun to ride, has a good balance, and speeds up my normal errand trips, while making those trips easier. The brakes are great and will slow the bike even if a rider gets rattled and forgets to let off the throttle. The brakes work well in cold and/or wet weather. . I have been very satisfied with this purchase. I have no Driver’s license and this bike is 100% legal in Iowa.
Weaknesses: Some minor negatives are as follows; The stem adjust hex head screw (6mm) was torqued so tight, I broke both included tools trying to crack it free to adjust the handlebar position. The resolution was to use a 12” adjustable wrench on the shaft of the 6mm hex multi-wrench to get enough leverage to crack the bolt loose. I felt there was a real chance of snapping the bolt. I am competent and well experienced with all sorts of tools. Another small problem is that the 5mm hex bolt under the nose of the saddle is not easily accessed by either of the included multi-tools. I bought an extra 5mm hex with a right angle bend to better access this screw. There is some disagreement about the LiFePO4 battery type on the web. The ability to recharge the battery is shown as @2000 recharges. The disagreement is that this battery type may have a chemical life of three to possibly four years, whether it sits on a shelf or is actively used. Charge it twice a week for four years, the charge total is 416. Does that mean the battery will die before maximum recharge usage? I do not know the true facts on that limitation, but I mention it in passing. Replacement battery cost is a real factor though; a replacement cost of $499 is @ a third of the cost of the whole bike, with battery. This is the 36V 12ah battery I purchased with the bike, instead of the standard 6ah one.
Purchased a 2013 Prodeco Phantom XLite in February 2014. $1399, free shipping, with a 12ah battery instead of the standard 6ah. I'm 5'6" and this is a 26" cycle. It can be adjusted well for my size. My area has bike racks on the front of city buses, so If I take the battery off, the resulting bike weight is @40 pounds and manageable. Increases distance and trip flexibility by also using transit. A 6ah battery adds 6 pounds and the 12ah adds 10 pounds.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 26, 2013
Strengths: Relatively Low cost, well made, good customer service, comfortable to ride. Legal to ride on bike paths with 20 mph governor standard, Battery capacity: i have gone 30 miles on a charge and the company claims up to 36 miles. I believe that claim. When you are cruising along at over 20 MPH with full power assist engaged, very little battery power is used.
Weaknesses: the folding frame has less rigidity, peak speeds ( traveling over 30 mph); the bike weighs 60 pounds and i can still manage to carry it to my 2nd floor condo, but i would prefer to leave it on the ground floor, also, I would not want to hang it on hooks on the ceiling like a regular bike. The bike does not have a regenerative feature (but the battery is large).
I commute 12 to work on this bike and the 900 foot elevation change is tolerable so that i can get to work and not be excessively sweaty! Extreme riders may find the folding frame a limitation. This bike is ideal for most casual riders that would enjoy biking greater distances with out being in perfect shape. Any extreme rider that wants to spend most of their time off pavement will find this bike too limiting. The company has other versions that may better suit those riders.