Electric Bike Review – IZIP E3 Metro

The IZIP Metro electric bike in the red rocks of Sedona AZ

After many miles and cargo carrying trips I have prepared the IZIP Metro electric bike review for you!   This bike was designed to carry your stuff easily over hills and through the headwinds to let you enjoy the ride.  Find out how this bike performed and if it is a fit for you.

The features of this bike:

Make sure you check out the video and pictures with the features of the IZIP E3 Metro.

Here is a little more info on the different assistance options: pedal assist and throttle or just throttle.  Currie Technologies explains it this way:

“PAS/TAG+ introduces cadence-sensitive pedal assist technology.  When you pedal in PAS mode this system senses your cadence and intelligently adjusts motor power to match.  Select between three levels of power assist using a handlebar-mounted button.  If you need even more boost regardless of setting or speed, just twist the throttle and override the system to max power.  If you want to forget pedaling entirely, change to TAG mode and use the throttle alone for regulating speed and power.”

Just a note on the PAS/TAG+: to get the boost to max power you can turn the throttle but you will need to continue to pedal.

What you can expect from this bike

One of my goals in these electric bike reviews is to give you “real world” information on these bikes.  Here is what you can expect from the IZIP Metro:

IZIP E3 Metro Range Test

Range: I tested the Metro over a very hilly course with very light pedaling and set the assist level to “High” so this would give you an idea of the worst case range or mileage.  You can see that I got 17.3 miles and I want to include that it was relatively cold when I was doing these tests (40-50 degrees F) which reduces the range of the battery.

Considering that I climbed over 2500 ft of elevation, pedaled very lightly, I weight 190 lbs, and the bike was being tested in relatively cold conditions it seems to match Currie Technologies range of 20-35 miles depending on conditions.

Speed:  The Metro cruises comfortably at 20 mph on level to somewhat hilly terrain using the throttle or high pedal assist setting.  As the battery runs out of juice it dips a little below 20 mph.

A note on the pedal assist settings: The low setting will give you electric assist up to 7-8 mph, the medium setting will help up to 11-12 mph and the high setting gets you up to 20 mph.  These lower assist settings work well when you are in a crowded area and you don’t want all the power of the high setting.

Weight:  This bike tipped the scales at 59 lbs, pretty average for a bike of this style.  And as you can imagine pedaling this bike without electric assistance is a good workout!

Pros

Carrying some cargo!

The IZIP Metro front cargo rack can carry a lot.

First of all this is a nice electric bike that can carry some cargo which makes it a practical car alternative for some trips around town.  I like the way that Currie Technologies has set this bike up with the solid front rack and integrate rear rack that is welded to the frame.

I was able to carry 2 bags of groceries in the front rack with no problems.  I took it easy on the bumps with the groceries but the relatively high sides on the front cargo rack kept the groceries bags contained well.  The front rack does have a weight limit of 20 lbs and is not designed to carry people or pets (yikes!).

Both the front and rear racks have a bamboo style wood deck to add some style and a nice flat platform.

Power to move the cargo.

Currie Technologies did a good job when they selected the motor to move this electric bike and cargo.  They choose a 500 watt geared hub motor and it is definitely torquey!  I was easily able to sit back and let the bike carry my cargo and I up many hills at 15-16 mph (the bike cruises comfortably at 20 mph on flat ground).  This bike never faltered on any of the steep grades (10% +) that I tested it on.

Stop on a dime!

I am a big fan of disc brakes and the Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes worked very well on the Metro.  The Avid brakes offer good stopping power for the extra cargo weight and they modulate well so you can ease into a stop or slam on the brakes if you need to.  I have used Avid mechanical disc brakes on my mountain bikes and they can take many years of rough riding.

Nice battery & placement

The battery is stored in the downtube of the IZIP Metro.

The Metro uses a 36 Volt 10ah Lithium ion battery pack that is “hidden” in the downtube of the bike.  Lithium ion batteries are the way to go to minimize the weight and size of the battery compared to lead acid batteries.  They also have a longer overall life span so even though they are more expensive up front, you may get more value in the long run.

Currie Technologies has a number of e-bike models that use the downtube to house the battery pack.  This is a great location because it places the weight of the battery in a low, centered position which makes the bike handle well.  Considering that you may have cargo on the front and rear racks the battery placement in the middle is ideal to balance the bikes weight.

Cool looking e-bike!

During my time riding this bike around town I had many people tell me they really liked the colors of this bike.  It is also very visible with the orange rims and safety is super important!

Solid frame construction

The construction quality of the frame seems to be very good.  All of the welds look good and the frame is reinforced with additional gussets to make it sturdy for the long haul.  The racks have solid attachment to the frame as shown in these pictures and video.

Comfortable ride

The IZIP Metro is a comfortable bike to ride.

The IZIP Metro is a comfortable electric bike to ride!  The high rise handlebars, wide seat, suspension seatpost, and wide tires make this bike easy to get on and enjoy the ride.  It feels like a bike that would work well for almost anyone.  The frame that I tested is the triangle frame and they also make the step thru frame which is easier to get on and off.

Sturdy components

The wheels, tires, drivetrain (chainrings, cogs, chain, derailleur, etc.), brakes, etc. are good quality and will most likely hold up to many miles of riding.

Nice bonus!

The Metro comes with Slime tubes installed already!  Slime?  In case you don’t know Slime tubes have “slime” in them that can seal the tube when there has been a small puncture from glass, a tack, cactus needle, etc.  Slime tubes are a great way to reduce flat tires and I used them in my bikes.  It is cool to see these as a stock item on the Metro.

Cons

The display

The IZIP Metro display

The display seemed to be slightly lower quality than the rest of the bike and because this is something that you use and look at a lot it would be nice to see this improved.  Since this wasn’t a long term test it is hard for me to really comment on its overall durability.

The power assist could be smoother

The power assist is activated by a sensor near the cranks of the bike and it can tell when you are pedaling and when you are not.  I found that there is a little delay when you start pedaling and when the assistance kicks in.  Likewise when you stop pedaling there is a little delay in the assistance shutting off.  This can be a little weird but when you grab the brakes the system shuts off.  If you are like me and you “soft pedal” to shift gears before you stop the assistance will keep going.

This is a personal preference based on my riding style and it will be up to you to determine if it works for you.  I talked with Larry Pizzi, the President of Currie Technologies and he explained how people generally ride with their pedal (PAS) and throttle (TAG) assist setting:

“We find that as riders get familiar with the bike with this dual functionality PAS/TAG, they ride in TAG mode until they get on a long, open stretch where they don’t want to hold open the throttle and switch to PAS which is then used like cruise control.”

The motor is not silent

The geared hub motor that the IZIP Metro uses is not totally silent because the gears inside make noise.  This is true of most, if not all, geared hub motors.  It is not obnoxious but you can hear it when you are riding.

If you are looking for a motor that is silent you should look for a direct drive type motor.  I also talked with Mr. Pizzi about this and here are his thoughts on the geared motor:

“We have tested almost all of the comparable direct drive motors and have found that this geared motor gives us much better torque and range.”

Battery is not easily removable

This is the cap on the downtube that can be accessed to remove the battery & controller on the IZIP Metro..

In order to remove the battery you would need to unbolt the bottom of the cap on the downtube near the cranks.  Other bikes and e-bike systems have a quick release system that allows you to take the battery with you when you are at the office or at home to easily plug into the charger.

Random thoughts

The IZIP Metro that I tested was an earlier version of this bike and the rack had oversized tubing that makes it hard to use traditional bike bags/panniers with.  Currie Technologies informed me that the current Metro’s rear racks have been adjusted to allow the use of traditional bike bags and the rack has been shifted back a little to provide more clearance between a bike bag and the riders foot at the back of the pedal stroke.

Delivery by electric bike is becoming more popular and there is a company in LA called Fresh Food Bike that uses the Metro for food delivery from Whole Food Markets to peoples houses or events.  Cool idea!

Conclusion 

Overall I give the IZIP Metro electric bike a thumbs up.  It has a lot of nice features and it can carry a lot of cargo without getting bogged down.  The price point of $2,499 seems about right considering the sturdy frame, front & rear racks, and overall electric & bicycle component package.

There are some areas where this bike could be improved upon but I don’t think they are a deal breaker.  Mainly, I would like to see a smoother pedal assist, but that is my personal preference.  You may find that using the throttle for stop & go riding while using the pedal assist for cruising works well.

Also, please keep in mind that this is a relatively short term test.  This testing can’t really give you the long term review of durability and reliability.  My thoughts on the quality of this bike are from previous experiences with similar bikes.  If you own this bike and have some input on the long term durability, please share your comments with the Electric Bike Report community below.

Also, please let me know if you have any comments or questions about the IZIP Metro.

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.

Comments

  1. Mike says

    Hi Pete,
    I was wondering if you would recommend this bike for someone who is 6’2″ tall and weighs 260 lbs.  I am very interested in getting an electric assist bike, but I need a bike that would fit me well.  Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

  2. JoN says

    I think the review was pretty accurate, with the exception of the weight.  I am a pretty small person and it’s not a workout to pedal unassisted, though, yes, it is heavier than the traditional road bike, just a tad heavier than a beach cruiser.
    I bought the female IZip Metro about 4 months ago and made a great choice.  I couldn’t be happier.  

    We moved to Venice Beach and weighed up the option of buying a car or a Vespa, but they both attracted registration and insurance.  Then we came across the IZip store on Lincoln Blvd in Venice CA.  The staff were terrific, Ethan took us around the local streets and we were sold when we went up the closest hill with zero effort!  So impressed with the ease of riding, the TAG & PAS choice, the look, feel, smooth ride, we bought 2! 

    As a dog trainer, my office is the beach, so this is the perfect solution – that and it doesn’t rain in southern CA right.

    We ride it from Venice Beach to Manhattan most weekends and at full throttle, no help, it makes the approx 24 mile trip without any problems…the battery shows 1 light remaining.  

    I use my Metro 5 days a week, up and down the beaches from Malibu to Manhattan and it hasn’t let me down, played up or given me any trouble whatsoever.  Anytime, I have a question, I run down to the IZip store and the guys give the bike a look over to make sure everything is going great, and they haven’t had to make any changes with the exception of bringing my handlebars up closer so I sit up straight.

    We took a friends dog to Santa Monica and back in the basket after tying it off and putting it in a blanket in the basket, without any problem.  Yes, the only let down was the saddle bags not being something you can put on as one set and put on your back, but I believe there is a solution out there now, hasn’t been a problem, I prefer a bag on my back anyway.

    It is too easy to clean, needs a quick wipe and the paint job makes it a breeze, looks beautiful every time you take it out.  Bought ourselves covers from the IZip store so we could leave it in our back yard – no room in the house.

    Taking the roads with all the bumps is no problem, the fat tires and great suspension make it a good ride.  The brakes are beyond impressive, you can stop in an instant and have needed to in the streets around here – thanks!

    I have owned road bikes, titanium, cruisers, racers, off roaders, this is right up there with the best of the best.  I have people stopping me all the time, checking the bike out and when they learn it’s a hybrid electric, all they want to know is how they can get a hold of one.

    Do yourselves a favor and get down to the IZip store on Lincoln in Venice and have a chat with Ethan.  You can rent these bikes to try before you buy also.  

    I would recommend this bike for  ages over 16 – 85, it will go the distance.

  3. Gary Donahoe says

    I purchased two E3 Metros (one for me and one for my wife) after renting electric bikes in California. I also test rode/drove the Pedago before buying the E3 Metro. Although I liked the color choices and style of the Pedago, the E3’s pedal assist and geared hub were the features that favored the E3. I am 6’1″ and find that the seat post is too short so I’ve ordered a longer step post. Otherwise, we love the E3 Metro — it has rejuvenated our desire to cycle (we are in our 60’s) and having the pedal assist option has allowed us to ride in the desert heat in Phoenix. I ride the bike almost daily and have found it fun to ride, relatively comfortable and the bide attracts many favorable comments. Currie Technologies refuses to post any comment that is negative so be aware of the testimonials on its website. Currie’s customer service is pretty bad — long, if not impossible, wait times for phone service, an absurd email system (took over a week to respond and if you don’t enter the code words correctly, your message is wiped clean and you have to start over)and, if you do reach someone, my experience was that the representative was a bit rude. Otherwise, I recommend the E3 Metro.

  4. says

    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for posting about your positive experiences with your E3 Metro’s and also your displeasure with our Customer Service call center.

    Right now, the call center handles calls mostly from end users that buy our eZip electric scooters in the mass market. As a result, the early part of the week is always very busy with relatively long queue hold times after a weekend of tens of thousands of people using their scooters. We are working on improving the call center systems and our website, as we are fully aware how frustrating long hold times like you describe can be. Additionally, if you have any specifics on unpleasant interactions with anyone on our staff, please email me directly at lpizzi@currietech.com. We really care and want to improve so that we can make all of of customers happy.

    IZIP bikes are sold only through servicing Dealers so I’m curious why you are contacting us directly instead of using the expertise of the retailer who sold you the bikes. We work very hard to insure our Dealers are very well equipped to service the products that we sell, so if you don’t mind, please let me know if you are unhappy with the service our retailer is providing.

    Lastly, your comment regarding not posting negative reviews, Rate Point allows us to respond to a review and if needed, contact a customer that posts a negative comment so that we can attempt to resolve any issue they may have. In most instances, we are able to make our customers quite happy, but we are unable to control the ultimate content of the review.

    Thanks again for taking the time to post this and I hope that you will contact me directly if I can be of assistance.

    Best regards,

    Larry Pizzi
    President
    Currie Technologies

  5. Brad Keay says

    After reading reviews and taking a short test drive, I recently purchased the iZip Metro Step through . It seemed an excellent choice as I was looking for a cargo bike for daily transportation of about 10 miles each way in Toronto.

    I guess I should have been tipped off by the the bike shop telling me that there was a 2 year warranty but that I had to deal direct with the manufacture. The first issue is its super stiff and rigid fork. The test ride was done on smooth road but the real word roads of downtown Toronto are not the same. The shock and vibration is so bad the chain constantly falls off (at least once or twice both ways) the kickstand also feel off I assume from the screws vibrating loose. My arms and shoulders are sore and stiff from the ride and the front basket is now bent from only having a 10lb load in it.

    The seat is also falling apart the plastic piping has pulled away from the bottom on both sides and the seat needs to be replaced this is after 3 days of riding

    On the forth day of riding the self sealing rear tire went flat and I was stranded half way home with all my gear, not much fun…

    I contacted the dealer here which was in Mississauga and told him of my issues and explained that the bike was unrideable on Toronto streets and asked if had other complaints. He told me that he hadn’t sold many if any metros in the downtown area…

    I told him that I needed, shocks told him I would pay what ever it would cost…he got back to me told me that there was nothing he could do I was on my own for the shocks and as far as the chain falling off it was do to road conditions (yes I know but its design issues). He did offer to send a new seat.

    Last night i left work and it started to rain after about 20min of riding the motor started to go intermittent form high to low and it became unrideable. I ended up taking the transit home and when I was going up the escalator water started pouring out of the bottom of the down tube where the cap is that holds in the battery and controller. Oh yeah this is another issue replacing the battery is impossible it is wedged in there with what appears to be Velcro tape and does not come out.

    In closing this bike appears to be well built and in the perfect world with smooth dry streets runs fine but in real world application it is impractical. I have no way of getting my money back I offered to pay the difference for the Ultra which is the same frame but in hybrid with shocks and they refused. I will now be forced to re-engineer this bike to make it work so if your planning on spending $2700 to ride a bike on smooth roads on sunny days this is the bike for you….I’m very disappointed with they way they treated me and there lack of customer care is truly appalling.

    The reason why I went with an assisted bike is because I survived ARDS as result of H1N1 and have diminished lung capacity and thought this would be a great way of staying active and exercising cardio…all it turned out to be is a is an exercise in a stress full experience.

    Brad Keay

    bradford.keay@yahoo.com

    • Brad Keay says

      Update after the bike dried out the front tire was flat and the bike no longer works it,s dead. I now have to ship it back to the manufacturer for them to look at which is at my cost….stay away from this bike!!!

      Brad Keay

      • says

        Hi Brad,

        I’m really sorry that you are having problems with your Metro and would like to help you out. Because I am on a business trip, I have asked Tracy or Chawn to contact you and you should hear from them within 24 hours. I’ll be back in the US on Friday Nov 1. If you are not completely satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly. 805-915-4901 lpizzi@currietech.com.

        Thanks,
        Larry

        • Brad Keay says

          Larry,

          It was great speaking with you on Friday. Tracy was amazing and explained to me that you personally wanted to be involved in resolving what had transpired. After speaking with you I feel that indeed the bike was tampered with by someone before it was sold to me. Some of the connectors including the main feed to the motor were not sealed but some were and it appeared that some of the wires going into the connectors had been removed and reinserted. I admire your attitude with not trying to find blame but finding a resolution. Your brief overview of the company and the importance of Customer feedback and satisfaction is amazing and something that is rare in today’s disposable product market.

          As I explained to you I had moved forward after I was told by the distributor here in Ontario Canada, that there was nothing he could really do. I then proceeded sealing the connectors and controller, replacing the tires, installing fenders, then finally special ordering a front fork shock.
          I of course never expected to have you contact me and only posted on here to try and make others aware of what transpired.

          The resolution that you have offered by giving me at no cost a brand new 2014 Izip Dash delivered direct to my door fully tested and to keep the Metro, that I have modified, was not expected and very appreciated. You personally took the time to understand my needs and the geography that the bike would be used in, before suggesting what would best suit me. Also asking for my input and feedback once I had ridden the bike here in Toronto, to make sure that there were no issues and that my needs were met.

          In closing Larry I have been involved with many suppliers, manufactures and venues for years in the entertainment industry and can honestly say that I have never dealt with any individual or company that was so focused on making sure that their product delivered what was promised. Thank you Larry your a good soul and a man of excellent character. I look forward to receiving the bike once it has been manufactured and letting you know how it preforms up here in the great white north.

          With Gratitude

          Brad Keay

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