Electric Bike Review: Busettii Big 50 Part 2

Looking good with the matching Ortlieb bags (bought through EBR, of course) and a classic Brooks leather saddle.

This is a guest post from Andy Martwick of Portland, Oregon (a member of the Electric Bike Report community) who recently purchased a Busettii Big 50 electric bike and has prepared the second part of his review for us.  Here is Part 1 of the Busettii Big 50 Electric Bike Review.

NOTE: Please make sure you read the comments below this review.

Performance Report after about 150 miles or so.

My findings:

  • 13 Amp Hour battery at 52 volts, 2.4 Million Joule capacity
  • About 25 mile range under adverse conditions
  • 20-22 mph top speed
  • 300 lb capable
  • Good Great hill climbing
  • 500-600 watts delivered to the road on long climbs
  • 6 ½ hour recharge time from empty

I received a new rack, a new thorn-proof tube, a spare tire and a giant cable lock (for my efforts?). From previous rides most of the spokes were loose. I applied loctite to each spoke, put it on the truing stand and got it tight, round and true again. Back on the road, I noticed an immediate improvement in handling with the tight wheel. The new rack was also improved, moving the battery somewhat forward and improving the handling.

Range: Windy and Flat

With the wind blowing 10-15 mph I went full throttle with a little pedaling, doing some work up the hills but not breaking a sweat. The wind direction was mostly crosswind. Loaded with gear, I was rolling along at a massive 280 lbs total weight. The terrain was gently rolling with about 13 full throttle starts and stops for traffic lights. The average moving speed was 19 mph. The total elevation change was 245 feet. The battery started fully charged, and it went empty at mile 23.  I calculated a rolling power output of around 450 watts, consistent with a 13 amp hour battery.

Long and mostly flat, counting 13 full throttle starts on a windy day

Recharge from Empty

Recharging occurred at a rate of 110 watts measured on my Kill-a-watt meter. It took a total of 710 watt hours to recharge, so the total recharge time was 6 ½ hours. In terms of battery capacity, 710 watt hours is 2.5 million joules. The battery is rated at 13 amp hours at 52 V, or 2.4 million joules. Assuming a 90% efficient charger, the battery capacity would be 12.77 Ah. This is consistent with a 13 Ah battery.

Long and Climbing, no wind

It does a really good job of climbing. My commute requires about 2 amp-hours from the battery just to lift the weight of the bike to the top of the hill. On a few particular segments of two miles for a 4% grade I let the bike climb under electric power only, and used the GPS to estimate that between 500 and 600 watts of power was delivered to the road. The battery level gauge has four levels and fluctuates according to the load. After 12.5 miles it varied between ½ and ¾. The average speed was a respectable 18.9 mph.

On a different trip, I used the maximum pedal assist mode only and did not use the throttle. Definitely more work on my part to keep the speed up and I pedaled hard up the hills. My average speed dropped to 18 mph and the battery varied between ¾ full and full.

I recharge the battery at work, but believe it would make the 25 mile round trip on a single charge.  In pedal assist mode I would expect to get pretty close to 50 miles.

The sections of 10% grade hills were too short to calculate power using the GPS. The speed dropped to about 12-14 mph which is consistent with 800-900 watt output.

Power and Energy Calculations (for those interested in such things)

The amount of energy it takes to climb a hill is simply the (weight) x (the change in height)x(gravitation constant).  The amount of energy required to propel a bike through the wind is a combination of air drag, rolling resistance, and mechanical losses. I use the power calculator at http://www.mne.psu.edu/lamancusa/ProdDiss/Bicycle/bikecalc1.htm to approximate this power, and calculated the energy required to climb hills as reported by my Garmin 305 GPS data. Dividing the energy by the amount of time gives the power.

You can easily do this calculation yourself. The climbing energy = m * h * 9.8 , where m is the mass in kilograms and h is the change in height, in meters and 9.8 is the gravitational constant. The climbing energy is in Joules. Divide this number by (52*3600) to get the number of amp hours it takes away from the 52 volt battery. Divide the energy by the time it takes to climb to get the climbing watts. Add to this the power from the power calculator and you have power delivered to the road.

The energy consumed accelerating is ½ m v * v, where the mass should be in kg, the velocity in meters / second. Convert this into amp hours by dividing by (52 * 3600) for the 52 volt battery.

Overall Impressions

For my commute the big 50 is a good fit. It is the first Ebike I’ve had so I have nothing to directly compare it to. I can get at least 23 miles under adverse conditions that drain the entire 13 Ah battery.

It does a very good job of climbing hills up to 10% grade. The handling is acceptable for a tail heavy bike, although a little scary on some of the faster descents. Overall quality is OK. The rear wheel needed to be tightened, possibly a shipping issue. The hub motor seems to be delivering up to 600 watts reasonably efficiently. The battery seems to be about 13 Ah, more or less.

It accelerates well. All my friends that have tried it gave out a hoot as they take off, and are all smiles coming back. A few have said, “I’ve gotta get one!”.

The range depends on the speed, the wind, the riding position and the amount of pedaling. With a little care in riding position, 25 miles should generally be no problem with little pedaling on a windy day. No doubt 50 miles is possible, but not at full throttle in an upright position. The speed is 20-22 mph on electric only. Pedaling it past 22 mph speed is difficult. I have not been able to pedal it to 27 mph as claimed on the website, it is a heavy bike. But for my commute and buzzing around town I find 22 mph is plenty fast. 18+ mph up the hills is great!

The website is not well organized and the company seems to be going through growing pains. Possibly they are swamped with orders. So far the support has been good, although sometimes they are hard to reach. It certainly helps that I can do my own work on the bike, including wheel truing.

Overall I’m pleased with the bike. It seems to be similar to other bikes at this price with 2x the battery life and lots of climbing power. In the future, I’ll need to add front disc brakes for my steep descents. It is possible that one of my friends will be getting the folding bike in the near future. If so, I’ll be able to add a review for that one.

About the reviewer

Andy has been riding for over 30 years and has completed the Tour of the California Alps five times, dozens of centuries and a number of double centuries. He bike commutes to Portland State University where he is an adjunct professor in the physics department. He can be reached at martwick_at_pdx.edu.

What do you think?

Do you have any questions for Andy about the Busettii Big 50 electric bike?  Please leave them in the comment section below.

Thanks!

-Pete

P.S. Don’t forget to join the Electric Bike Report community for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips!


Other Articles You Might Like!

Stores I recommend: Amazon, REI, Jenson USA, Bike Trailer Shop, Bike Bag Shop, and Bike Kid Shop.

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62 Comments

Leave a comment
  1. Joshua Pfeifer April 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    Have you tried cutting that wire they said to make the bike faster?

    • phiz April 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

      Yes, this is with the white wire in the controller disconnected.

      • Joshua April 7, 2011 at 12:43 am #

        what was the speed like before you cut the wire?

        • phiz April 7, 2011 at 3:57 am #

          Never tried it but they said it was regulated to 19.

  2. George April 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Great review. I’m looking at getting one but curious about the weight. How much does it weigh with and without the battery? The Busetti website states 42 lbs without battery but that sounds too light. If I purchase it, it will be disc brakes, almost a necessity for bigger men.

    • phiz April 6, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

      I highly recommend disc brakes, the v brakes are a pain to adjust and will wear out quickly.

      The battery pack weighs 14.6 lbs. With the battery it was 52.6 lbs. The thorn resistant tube plus slime added another 5 lbs, I’m around 200 lbs.

  3. Ypedal April 8, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    For battery capacity measurements, check out the Cycle Analyst from ebikes dot ca, it will display exactly how many peak watts and cruising watts you are consuming and allow you to gauge system efficiency more accurately.. thanks for the review !! the claim of 80 some miles on their marketing page is complete bs.. glad to see some reality !

  4. Kauaikit April 13, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    Great review, especially with Andy’s background….GIVE THIS MAN MORE EBIKES TO TEST & REVIEW. :-)

  5. Janice April 26, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    I have been looking at the Mini 40-Mile Folding Bike from Bussetti with interest. However, other than this great review of the Big 50 and lots of spam on message boards, I can’t find any information about the company. Have others purchased from this company? Thanks!

    • Dave Taylor May 17, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

       Hi Janice,

      My name’s Dave Taylor and I’ve just become a dealer for Busettii.  I’ve recently spoken with Pete here at EBR, with one of the owners of Busettii and with Andy Martwick.  As soon as my website is developed, I will be advertising on this site for the full line of Busettii electric bicycles. 

      All three guys (Pete@EBR, Andy Martwick and Alan at Busettii) have been great guys to deal with and as such, I’d like to offer yourself and any readers of Pete’s EBR blog free shipping on any Busettii purchased through me, as well as $50 off any model of Busettii bikes.  Included is a three year warranty on all Busettii products.  In addition if you’d like disc brakes or other options added to your bike, I can have Busettii ship them with upgraded parts. (upgrade costs will vary)

      Give me a call any time at 503.381.5198 and we can discuss options/models that will best fit your needs, or feel free to email me at viewsoni83@gmail.com

      Thanks!  ~  Dave Taylor

  6. Unk4jazz May 8, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    Andy – May 8th – how many miles have you put on it so far? any difficulties? motor and battery still up to par? Thank you. Paul

    • Andy Martwick May 16, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

      Probably 500 miles or so, I ride it a lot. I’ve had to replace the headset upper bearings and some rear spokes. Other than that, no problems. Battery and motor are still going strong, on power assist I can easily make 30 hilly miles with the indicator showing 1/4 battery left. 

  7. rogerleolafontaine May 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Excellent review, much more in depth than the typical superficial reviews that are generally given. I thought the bike came out pretty good, not as great as claimed, but then do they ever ? It seems to pretty well cover all my needs with margin to spare. The thing that worries me is all the extra little tinkering and adjusting he did. I’m pretty sure I don’t have the tech savvy or the tools to tune it up like that. Seriously considering getting one. I’m dying to get out of my car as much as possible.

  8. Den37917 June 21, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    I too am having problems with the rear spokes on my 2 week old big 50  , broke one and the rest are loose, i think the stated 300 pound cap if wrong , more like 220-240 pounds .
     I contacted allan of bussettii and he thinks there isnt a problem, i guess a custom spoke and relace are in my future …..

  9. Den37917 June 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    From reading parts 1 and 2, Andy , phiz a guest and myself have had issues with rear spokes braking on the big 50 , mine is in the shop for the second time for repair , this time im replacing ALL the spokes , Its pretty sad the mfg doesnt think this is a problem , and wont do anything about it , i pay near 2 grand for a bike that goes 2 weeks then needs major repair ! Alan of busettii says spokes are a wear item like tires and brake pads and arnt covered by the warranty , hopefully some one reads this and wont make the same mistake i did by buying this bike .
     It also has some other major design flaws , there is no connector to remove the rear wheel power cable  , so to completly remove the wheel from the bike, you have to disconnect the 7 wires from the speed control , and fish them out of the frame where the wires are run , my wifes ezip that cost a third of the bus has a connector ….

    • guest June 29, 2011 at 12:14 am #

      Den37917, did you ever tighten those spokes yourself with spoke wrench? I have the vortex I’m concerned about the rear axel that may pop out. so far I have one spoke missing but have tighten all the spokes around. I hopes it hold. Vortex have two batteries and I think it is 36v 9ah I managed to eak out 19 miles by throttle and pedal with just one battery. hopes it work out for you.

  10. Eric Gieseke June 25, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    i have great support from the company and ALlen, but it seems they have moved and number is full.. not sure what happened..battery failed and he offered one to send the next day after the call, i sent out a battery to them and its been 2 weeks

    hope they didnt go out of business but i guess im out an expensive battery

  11. Den37917 June 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Any word on getting the battery replaced ? As flakey as they seem , i wouldnt be supprised if the were out of business …

  12. Den37917 July 2, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    I took the bike to incycle in Chino and had them replace all the spokes with good ones , i can see something like loctite now on the spokes , but to answer your question , i had it in the shop before to replace a broken one and tighten and true the rim , i also had to tighten them myself in between bike shop visits , hopefully now its fixed , as im leaving tues for a 3000 mi roadtrip to mt rushmore , (with rv)) Last week we had it at Moab ,
     It just sucks the way the mfg feels about this issue , they could easily have the best bike made , but the way they stand behind them sucks , im just hopeing others see the problems people are having and buy something else  , bike are supose to be fun , not a P.I.T.A  like this one has been …

  13. Anonymous July 4, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    I guess I should let everybody know that I did finally buy a Big 50 bike- about 3 weeks ago from Dave Taylor of Busettiioutlet.com. I had some problems getting started as the back wheel came loose and I couldn’t get it back on. I took it to a bike repair- maybe the bike repair shop in town. The guy told me he couldn’t put the wheel on and that the parts were mismatched. He warned me not to ride it. Then I called Busettii in LA and talked to their engineer Alan (or Allen). He told me what to do and I had it working in no time. So far it’s great. The longest trip I took was about 16 miles, and quite a few long stretches of hills and rises. No problem, I just swoop up those hills like a bird taking wing. I am 63 years old and my lungs are pretty much shot from the asbestos and  other chemicals I used to work with decades ago. If I go 6 blocks on a regular bike I have to lie down for the rest of the day because I am exhausted, so that 16 mile ride was almost miraculous.

  14. Keith Cammell July 19, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    Don’t buy Busettii. I worked for a guy who sold Busettii’s and every
    single bike that was sold came back. Complete Garbage. If the bikes
    don’t completely fall apart I guarantee the battery and motor will fail.
    Allen from Busetti put us out of business. He will not warranty
    anything. His voice mail is full from dodging everyone with problems.
    We’re looking to sue. If you had a Busettii nightmare please share.

    • Ldatko2 August 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

      My busetti-junk bike has a battery and control canel problem.I bought this junk from Alen but he will not fix any thing,he will not return any calls or e-mails,I have tried for over 3 months now.I sold this junk Busetti for half price because I could not find any one who would even try to fix this junk bike.If you sue let me know .  

    • Lailitchka August 31, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

      Keith, same story for me. I’ve posted the details of my nightmare on my own post, name lailitchka. It’s under review but should be posted soon. Let me know if you need any additional stories /documentation from me.

  15. Keith Cammell July 19, 2011 at 2:44 am #

    Don’t buy Busettii. I worked for a guy who sold Busettii’s and every
    single bike that was sold came back. Complete Garbage. If the bikes
    don’t completely fall apart I guarantee the battery and motor will fail.
    Allen from Busetti put us out of business. He will not warranty
    anything. His voice mail is full from dodging everyone with problems.
    We’re looking to sue. If you had a Busettii nightmare please share. 

    • Justin Leonard August 12, 2011 at 12:20 am #

      I wish you luck Keith and I’d be interested to learn more about what you’re up to because I was just hosed by Alan this summer. His bike completely failed and was even dangerous in my experience. The batteries went haywire, the control panel didn’t work correctly, the motor started sounding awful within weeks, Alan became more defensive and angry about my inquiries into what was wrong with his product, and everything culminated in my current predicament, which is that I sent the bike back at my expense thinking maybe I was dealing with a human who would understand and give me money back. Forgive my naivety, please. So now he doesn’t answer or respond at all, and I doubt I’ll see my money or anything anytime soon. I gave that giant hemorrhoid Alan the benefit of the doubt for so long even though I felt like he wasn’t very trustworthy, it’s just my nature to trust people as much as possible. I certainly misjudged this one though, and feel pretty dumb about it. The guy is a leech and Busettii’s are nothing more than some prettied up garbage.

  16. Unk4jazz July 22, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    I bought the Big 50 in mid November from Alan. 714 miles later my battery died. He sandbagged me on the warranty for 4 weeks (it’s in the mail) and then railed that I had 4 dents in the casing (from it falling over on the weak stand) and that’s why weeks after that the battery died – not under warranty. He offered another battery at $500 as-if a deal. I got one from a local place that used to carry his bikes for $300. Now, at 427 of my miles, (less than a yr when it ever arrived at original bike shop) it died. Sh*t quality I say!!! He won’t warranty me – said it was probably from a demo model and thus not same warranty. Ha! Not quality Nor warranty!!!! 

    • Ldatko2 August 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

      No warranty is right! Alen is a scam act ,his bikes are garbage! Don’t buy a Busettii bike because there is NO warranty.

    • Ldatko2 August 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

      No warranty is right! Alen is a scam act ,his bikes are garbage! Don’t buy a Busettii bike because there is NO warranty.

      • Justin Leonard August 12, 2011 at 12:06 am #

        I bought a Vortex and the bike completely went to hell within a month. Alan was very helpful at the start and seemed like he understood what was going on, but he was suspiciously aware of all my problems and had answers like he was reading from a sheet of paper. I rode the bike in the rain the second day I had it and the electronics went completely haywire and he said I needed to cover the keyhole of the battery with a shower cap. Are you kidding me? Talk about a huge defect, but I covered it and continued to ride. The bike didn’t shift correctly, he blamed me for not knowing how to shift the internal transmission. Well guess what, I do, and the bike didn’t shift correctly. The power had to be shut down beforehand, real fun when you hit a big hill. Let’s see whatelse, what else… I never got a receipt, I never got a manual, oh, and after a few weeks themotor was popping and screeching, the chain went off course and chewed up the sprocket, and the whole thing became an expensive lawn ornament within a month. I tried returning it, Alan is completely unresponsive, I’m out for over two grand, and now I don’t even have my lawn ornament do kick and spit on because I shipped it back to him at my expense. He is a scam artist, a fast and manipulative talker, and absolutely not to be trusted. 

    • Anonymous September 6, 2011 at 2:08 am #

      I’ve had nothing but problems with that stand. I made the mistake of trusting it. The first time it crashed the back wheel came off and it’s never been the same since. It keeps coming off. I’ve had to walk a mile or two. The bike is getting damaged from all the wear and tear of trying to force that extremely tight wheel into its sockets not to mention the times it came off while riding, that really ground it down. For my money the bike is too unbalanced – too much weight in the back causes it to be prone to tip over.

  17. Ldatko2 July 30, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    DO NOT buy a Buseettii bike! They do not have a warranty that you can count on. I have tried to get my BUSETTII FIXED but no will return my calls (for over 3 months) to Alen.The bike needs repairs and I can’t find anyone to fix it so I’m going to sell it atb a 50% loss .

  18. Ldatko2 July 30, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    DO NOT buy a Buseettii bike! They do not have a warranty that you can count on. I have tried to get my BUSETTII FIXED but no will return my calls (for over 3 months) to Alen.The bike needs repairs and I can’t find anyone to fix it so I’m going to sell it atb a 50% loss .

    • Naughtysf August 26, 2011 at 4:39 am #

      Which bike do you have and how much do you want for it? 

      • Ldatko2 August 27, 2011 at 5:51 am #

        I traded a bIg 50 for a Townie with a electric 36 volt front wheel drive .It has a36 volt lead battery and it is much faster and goes a lot longer than the Busettii Big 50. I would not ever buy a Busettii bike, they are junk that will not last for very long. Buy a
        any other electric bike, just do not waste your money or a Busettii.  
          

  19. Ldatko2 July 30, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    DO NOT buy a Buseettii bike! They do not have a warranty that you can count on. I have tried to get my BUSETTII FIXED but no will return my calls (for over 3 months) to Alen.The bike needs repairs and I can’t find anyone to fix it so I’m going to sell it atb a 50% loss .

  20. Steve Noyes August 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    I have read all the reviews, and noticed immediately that a common theme of loose rear spokes exists.  I purchased the Busettii Vortex in Feb. from Alan.  The rear spokes were a problem until relacing with double-butted replacement spokes.  Safety-wise I promptly replaced the dangerous stock disc brakes with Avid BB-7s.  After the base of the rear battery was damaged by the lock mechanism on the rack box (the Vortex offers a two battery system) Alan offered to send a replacement battery and asked that I return the damaged battery for repairs.  I’m still waiting.  Other changes I made was for handling and comfort; a RochShock fork, suspension seatpost & saddle, better fenders.  The cheesy compass/bell broke off immedoately, and the front light blasted apart after going over a small bump.  I removed the rear kickstand that repeatedly came loose (damaging the paint on the chainstay) and replaced it with a mid-mount stand.  I also changed the rear 15t sprocket to a 20t to handle the imfamous hills of Seattle better, and to tote my grocery-getter trailer.  The trade-off is a lower top-speed.

    However, now that I have improved on the flaws of the bike it has performed very well over the past months of daily use, and I expect it to continue.  It is a heavy monster, but suprisingly easy to pedal.  I like the mid-mount motor, and the distance that the two battery system offers.  Even with the changes I have made to improve the bike, the money spent still comes out far less than what a comparable eBike costs.  

  21. Steve Noyes August 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    I have read all the reviews, and noticed immediately that a common theme of loose rear spokes exists.  I purchased the Busettii Vortex in Feb. from Alan.  The rear spokes were a problem until relacing with double-butted replacement spokes.  Safety-wise I promptly replaced the dangerous stock disc brakes with Avid BB-7s.  After the base of the rear battery was damaged by the lock mechanism on the rack box (the Vortex offers a two battery system) Alan offered to send a replacement battery and asked that I return the damaged battery for repairs.  I’m still waiting.  Other changes I made was for handling and comfort; a RochShock fork, suspension seatpost & saddle, better fenders.  The cheesy compass/bell broke off immedoately, and the front light blasted apart after going over a small bump.  I removed the rear kickstand that repeatedly came loose (damaging the paint on the chainstay) and replaced it with a mid-mount stand.  I also changed the rear 15t sprocket to a 20t to handle the imfamous hills of Seattle better, and to tote my grocery-getter trailer.  The trade-off is a lower top-speed.

    However, now that I have improved on the flaws of the bike it has performed very well over the past months of daily use, and I expect it to continue.  It is a heavy monster, but suprisingly easy to pedal.  I like the mid-mount motor, and the distance that the two battery system offers.  Even with the changes I have made to improve the bike, the money spent still comes out far less than what a comparable eBike costs.  

  22. Steve Noyes August 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    I have read all the reviews, and noticed immediately that a common theme of loose rear spokes exists.  I purchased the Busettii Vortex in Feb. from Alan.  The rear spokes were a problem until relacing with double-butted replacement spokes.  Safety-wise I promptly replaced the dangerous stock disc brakes with Avid BB-7s.  After the base of the rear battery was damaged by the lock mechanism on the rack box (the Vortex offers a two battery system) Alan offered to send a replacement battery and asked that I return the damaged battery for repairs.  I’m still waiting.  Other changes I made was for handling and comfort; a RochShock fork, suspension seatpost & saddle, better fenders.  The cheesy compass/bell broke off immedoately, and the front light blasted apart after going over a small bump.  I removed the rear kickstand that repeatedly came loose (damaging the paint on the chainstay) and replaced it with a mid-mount stand.  I also changed the rear 15t sprocket to a 20t to handle the imfamous hills of Seattle better, and to tote my grocery-getter trailer.  The trade-off is a lower top-speed.

    However, now that I have improved on the flaws of the bike it has performed very well over the past months of daily use, and I expect it to continue.  It is a heavy monster, but suprisingly easy to pedal.  I like the mid-mount motor, and the distance that the two battery system offers.  Even with the changes I have made to improve the bike, the money spent still comes out far less than what a comparable eBike costs.  

  23. Steve Noyes August 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    I have read all the reviews, and noticed immediately that a common theme of loose rear spokes exists.  I purchased the Busettii Vortex in Feb. from Alan.  The rear spokes were a problem until relacing with double-butted replacement spokes.  Safety-wise I promptly replaced the dangerous stock disc brakes with Avid BB-7s.  After the base of the rear battery was damaged by the lock mechanism on the rack box (the Vortex offers a two battery system) Alan offered to send a replacement battery and asked that I return the damaged battery for repairs.  I’m still waiting.  Other changes I made was for handling and comfort; a RochShock fork, suspension seatpost & saddle, better fenders.  The cheesy compass/bell broke off immedoately, and the front light blasted apart after going over a small bump.  I removed the rear kickstand that repeatedly came loose (damaging the paint on the chainstay) and replaced it with a mid-mount stand.  I also changed the rear 15t sprocket to a 20t to handle the imfamous hills of Seattle better, and to tote my grocery-getter trailer.  The trade-off is a lower top-speed.

    However, now that I have improved on the flaws of the bike it has performed very well over the past months of daily use, and I expect it to continue.  It is a heavy monster, but suprisingly easy to pedal.  I like the mid-mount motor, and the distance that the two battery system offers.  Even with the changes I have made to improve the bike, the money spent still comes out far less than what a comparable eBike costs.  

  24. Steve Noyes August 4, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    I have read all the reviews, and noticed immediately that a common theme of loose rear spokes exists.  I purchased the Busettii Vortex in Feb. from Alan.  The rear spokes were a problem until relacing with double-butted replacement spokes.  Safety-wise I promptly replaced the dangerous stock disc brakes with Avid BB-7s.  After the base of the rear battery was damaged by the lock mechanism on the rack box (the Vortex offers a two battery system) Alan offered to send a replacement battery and asked that I return the damaged battery for repairs.  I’m still waiting.  Other changes I made was for handling and comfort; a RochShock fork, suspension seatpost & saddle, better fenders.  The cheesy compass/bell broke off immedoately, and the front light blasted apart after going over a small bump.  I removed the rear kickstand that repeatedly came loose (damaging the paint on the chainstay) and replaced it with a mid-mount stand.  I also changed the rear 15t sprocket to a 20t to handle the imfamous hills of Seattle better, and to tote my grocery-getter trailer.  The trade-off is a lower top-speed.

    However, now that I have improved on the flaws of the bike it has performed very well over the past months of daily use, and I expect it to continue.  It is a heavy monster, but suprisingly easy to pedal.  I like the mid-mount motor, and the distance that the two battery system offers.  Even with the changes I have made to improve the bike, the money spent still comes out far less than what a comparable eBike costs.  

  25. Andy Martwick August 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Follow up to my review. After replacing the rear spokes and one headset bearing I have had no problems. No battery issues, the motor is still going strong, the range is good. It is still really fun to ride and performs well on the hills. As Steve noted below, yes there are some quality issues but it is inexpensive for the capability as long as you are willing to replace the rear spokes and put on a new kickstand. I never discharge the battery completely and recharge it after every ride, but don’t over charge it. I also don’t do full throttle starts to minimize the torque on the spokes and motor.

  26. Andy Martwick August 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Follow up to my review. After replacing the rear spokes and one headset bearing I have had no problems. No battery issues, the motor is still going strong, the range is good. It is still really fun to ride and performs well on the hills. As Steve noted below, yes there are some quality issues but it is inexpensive for the capability as long as you are willing to replace the rear spokes and put on a new kickstand. I never discharge the battery completely and recharge it after every ride, but don’t over charge it. I also don’t do full throttle starts to minimize the torque on the spokes and motor.

  27. Andy Martwick August 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Follow up to my review. After replacing the rear spokes and one headset bearing I have had no problems. No battery issues, the motor is still going strong, the range is good. It is still really fun to ride and performs well on the hills. As Steve noted below, yes there are some quality issues but it is inexpensive for the capability as long as you are willing to replace the rear spokes and put on a new kickstand. I never discharge the battery completely and recharge it after every ride, but don’t over charge it. I also don’t do full throttle starts to minimize the torque on the spokes and motor.

  28. Andy Martwick August 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Follow up to my review. After replacing the rear spokes and one headset bearing I have had no problems. No battery issues, the motor is still going strong, the range is good. It is still really fun to ride and performs well on the hills. As Steve noted below, yes there are some quality issues but it is inexpensive for the capability as long as you are willing to replace the rear spokes and put on a new kickstand. I never discharge the battery completely and recharge it after every ride, but don’t over charge it. I also don’t do full throttle starts to minimize the torque on the spokes and motor.

  29. Anonymous September 6, 2011 at 2:25 am #

    It appears that Dave Taylor’s site is no longer on the internet. Small wonder. The bike turned out to be a $2000 white elephant. It’s been sitting in my garage for 2 weeks, and a couple of weeks previous to that when I made the mistake of believing that I had ‘fixed’ it. It’s probably not even worth $100 at this pt. Nobody can make this thing work. It’s not even a bike anymore, just a heavy piece of junk.

    • Lailitchka September 6, 2011 at 3:16 am #

      Yes, he told me he took down the site because he no longer believes in the product or the service, thanks to our experience and Alan’s failure to pay him as promised. He doesn’t want to mislead any customers now he knows what kind of company this is. However, if you need copies of any pages from the website, I believe he will help you access them. I recommend you QUICKLY contact your credit card company and file a merchant dispute.  That was the only way I got any response from Alan, although the issue is still unresolved. Dave sent me a CC of the following e-mail to Alan last week, with permission to post it on any website:

      Alan/Laila,Dave here from the former Busettiioutlet.com.Laila: Sorry if putting the website on hold (don’t worry, it is not deleted if you need to view it) caused any inconvenience, but I had to shut it down temporarily as I’m getting too many angry calls from folks in situations similar to yours, either looking for support or to return Busettii products.As you may have noticed, many online forums are filling up with extremely negative reviews on Busettii as a manufacturer, for quality control and especially for product support (or lack thereof). Unfortunately as an online retailer of this rapidly declining (in both quality and support) ebike manufacturer I have literally no control over such things. I wish I did and things were different, the Busettii motor and battery combo have SO MUCH potential to be great in the right hands.I’ve received numerous calls from desperate Busettii owners – people whom I didn’t even sell bikes to – looking for support and claiming Alan (the owner of Busettii) is dodging them/making excuses and otherwise not honoring his warranty he so proudly touts on his website, www.busettii.com. (as did I on my website, when I was still selling his bikes)I genuinely want to help these people, but I hold no inventory of parts to be able to do so. (Every bike I sold was drop shipped BY ALAN or someone at his company from HIS warehouse in Santa Ana, CA)  Laila, I mean no disrespect to you with my caps lock and italics…they are simply there to emphasize to Alan certain points.Alan/Laila:EVERY Busettii bike I sold was charged to the respective future owner’s credit card by Alan or someone at Busettii (The manufacturer, NOT busettiioutlet.com) on HIS CREDIT CARD MACHINE. I NEVER ran a credit card myself, I simply forwarded the buyers info to Alan as per HIS instruction when I began selling his bikes.  As per the agreement between Busettii and Busettiioutlet.com, Alan was to send me a check for the difference between wholesale and what I sold the bikes for, minus shipping and fees.  He did this only once, for the sale of two bikes – my first two.  I am STILL (MONTHS later and after texting, emailing AND speaking with Alan on the phone – NUMEROUS TIMES) waiting on a LARGE check for the remaining bikes I sold after the initial two.  He has claimed to have mailed the check twice now, still no check.  Now he doesn’t even answer my calls/emails/texts.  And I’m supposedly a dealer for him!?  Who does business this way?I’m stuck, and Alan’s character being what it seems to be lately, I see no resolution in the near future for myself or any of these people. He’s essentially holding either their bike parts and/or their money hostage.Alan: Unless you pay me immediately, address AND FULLY REFUND the frustrated customers I unfortunately sent you and stop dodging my DAILY attempts to contact you via EVERY medium short of telegraph or sending you a smoke signal – I am getting a good lawyer, I am suing Busettii for not only the money you owe me, but the time and additional funds I have wasted building and advertising my now worthless website along with additional factors.Make it easy on yourself and do the right thing - refund every penny to these people who are unhappy.  Compensate me fairly for the time I have spent and the business I have generated for you, (nearly $20,000 in sales!!) and then go your separate way.  I wish you well in your next endeavor if you choose to do business with honor and respect for others, until then, well…lets just say Alan Partee and Busettii ebikes are looking less honorable by the day.Respectfully yours – Dave Taylor

  30. David September 24, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    Hello, I would like to help you Dave Taylor on your quest to bring down Alan Partee. I too have been helping him sell bikes, and it seems to be a sad broken record playing over and over. I cant conduct business with a man that does not have a care for his customers or employees that the foundation to any company. I have information on him that could help us sue him on solid ground and help out these customers.

    • Dave Taylor January 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

      What information do you have?  This is Dave Taylor.  I’ve called, emailed and texted Alan for *months* with no response, he still owes a few of my customers supposedly warrantied items/repairs or refunds and after the first two bikes I sold, he completely stopped paying me for any of the additional bikes I sold.  He owes me well over $2000, and owes his customers the warranty he so proudly touts.  I even flew out to LA on my own accord on my days off to try to track him down at his shop, but the address listed on his website hasn’t been occupied by him for months.  The eBike guys there were also looking for him.

      Please write back if you have ANY information on his whereabouts, contact info, etc.  Last I heard he’d moved his shop out to Santa Ana, CA into a storage facility.  I’d love to sue him and even more, I’d love to help out my past customers I unknowingly sold $hitty bikes to.  It’s a shame, because Alan could do so well if he’d just stand behind his product and be a decent person.  Unfortunately that is not the case and until he does the right thing, there is nothing I can do for these people. :(

  31. RedTara October 4, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    I have had my big 50 since June of this year and find that the Abus wheel lock has come off on one side. Can’t figure how to get in there and tighten it. Just a few weeks into owning the bike, I noticed the quiet hum of the motor also ended up having a sound similar to grinding metal or ball bearings missing. It is the only way I can describe it. The lights are low grade. Brakes are horrible. Now I am getting realistic to the fact that there is a very interesting road (no pun) ahead of me about this bike and its quality/integrity issues. I have called the number on my manual and the website, with no answer. I left messages and no return calls for the last 3 months. Unfortunate for those of us, yet, it is nice to know that I am not the only one out there with these issues. This clearly is a safety issue. InJoy and safety on the road….

    • RedTara October 4, 2011 at 3:15 am #

      Initially, I should have known when the bolts were being vibrated off the battery carrier….

  32. BS February 6, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

       This bike, in my opinion, is CRAP! This is the poorest manufactured product I have EVER purchased. Within weeks of purchasing the Big 50 (largely based on this misguided and premeture review) multiple component failed including its brakes, crank shaft, wheel and spokes (nearly a dozen busted over a 500 mile stretch despite constant adjustments to assure tightness). The owner, Alen Partee (a.k.a Alan Party) claimed everything but the battery and motor are “wear and tear” items despite the components almost immediate failure. Every bike dealer I brought the bike to repeated the aessessment…. “The components are the cheepest available”.
       After multiple requests for replacement spokes (which he promised but never delivered), he refused to return or acknowledge my calls and emails.    Read the many comments on this review and you will soon realize that there is a 100% chance you will regret purchasing a Busettii bike. Do yourself a huge favor and look elsewhere.  

  33. Andy Martwick February 6, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    My rear wheel eventually disintegrated also. I took everything off and moved it to a Kona Dew and had the rear hub professionally built with disc breaks. I have to agree that the quality of the parts are poor, and it seems everyone has trouble with the spokes breaking. I think there are probably better options out there….  

  34. THETRUTHABOUTBUSETTI February 16, 2012 at 2:05 am #

    Busetti bikes are a SCAM.  The claims they make are outrageous and the battery isn’t integrated into the bike at all.  It’s literally just a converted Trek or Schwin that they paint over.  The bike never goes longer than 20 miles and it can’t go over 23mph.  It is simply FALSE ADVERTISING.  My bike broke down and he never offered to fix it or refund it.  I sold it back to him for $900.  Please put this jerk out of business.

  35. Jim February 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    You can quickly do your own review of this company by simply doing a Googlemaps search for their address, 

    5278 Sunset Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90027, and take a look at the street view.  This company is headquartered in a shack on an auto repair shop lot.

  36. Michael K. July 9, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    Yea your right Jim, It is just a hole in the wall shack. This does not promote confidence nor the many reports of cheap breaking parts. He must be making a mint off each bike. This is very disappointing since I really wanted to buy one of these bike based on the specs and looks of it.
    I live in hilly country and need a good bike to get up the hills, but I guess I will stick with my ebike kit from ampedbike. Solid double wall rims and heavy duty 10 gauge spokes can take any bump around here.

  37. Michael K. July 9, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

    I just looked at the busettii web site and gave the address of 1638 North San Fernando Blvd. Burbank Ca. 91504 which is a gas station. Phone number is 323-901-9941 with the email of bike@busettii.com. My friend is helping me out by giving a spot at his store, but at least I have a sign and product on hand.

  38. Lori Donovan July 29, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Andy, it has been over a year now, so how is the bike working out for you? Did the motor die and have you had broken spokes as others have written? How is your customer support? I just bought one and now after reading the reviews I hope I didn’t make a big mistake. I could have bought one from Trek and not worry about the customer support warranty issues and getting it repaired locally. My only issue so far is that the weight of the bike was misrepresented. I bought the Super 50 advertised to be 33 pounds plus the battery, 13 pounds. Well it weighs 47.5 pounds without the battery. A huge discrepancy. The owner said that I didn’t factor in the motor. Well neither did he when he listed the weight on the web site. I am feeling a little duped at this point. I hope I don’t have all the problems the others wrote about.

  39. Lori Donovan July 29, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Andy: How has the bike been since your report of 2011? I just bought the Super 50 and now after reading these bad reviews I am feeling buyer’s remorse. The bike has been good so far, a little over a week. I rode 30 miles on one charge and the meter still shows full battery. It really moves well up the hills. I hope I don’t have spokes breaking and motor problems as others have had. The specs were definitely exaggerated. The weight was listed as 33 pounds plus the battery, 13 pounds. Well it weighs 47.5 pounds, and I have the smallest frame! A huge difference! I bought the Super 50 because of the 33 pounds! Tom Alan, whatever his name is, said that I didn’t include the 9 pound motor. Well neither did he when he listed the weight on the web site. False advertising. He also does not return calls. I wish I bought one of the Trek electric models, and then I wouldn’t have to worry about warranty issues and return calls and repairs (having them done more locally. I feel duped.

    • dennis everett June 22, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

      alan is still in business (I know a shock !)I have a bad battery , about 2 yrs old , I contacted them about the problem , they said ,” send it back for a quick free replacement” I did , all I got back was a used battery worse than the one I sent them !time to call the DA and see if they will do something to this crook !something he should think about , don’t piss off a disabled person with tons of time , a computer and a phone with nothing to loose …

      • Michael K. April 4, 2014 at 10:30 am #

        Sue him into the ground. It is a rip off of the general public and puts a bad reputation on ebikes.

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  1. Electric Bike Review: Bussetti Big 50 - Part 1 | Electric Bike Report - April 5, 2011

    [...] Here is Part 2 of the Busettii Big 50 electric bike review! [...]

  2. Electric Bike News from Week of 4-4-11 | Electric Bike Report - April 14, 2011

    [...] is the second part of the Busettii Big 50 electric bike review from Andy, a member of the Electric Bike Report [...]

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