iGO eXplore Electric Bike Review Part 2: Ride & Range Test [VIDEO]

igo-explore-electric-bike-ridingThe iGO eXplore is a versatile commuter style electric bike that provides a solid, smooth, comfortable, and quiet ride feel. 

It’s a highly adjustable bike that can fit most people and their preferred riding styles.

At $2,199 the eXplore offers a solid line up of components and features that make it a good all around turn-key commuter. 

In this second part of the full review you will get an idea of the ride characteristics, range test results, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this electric bike.

Make sure you check out part 1 of this review with large pictures and specifications to get a detailed look at this e-bike.

What you can expect from the iGO eXplore:

To get acquainted with the iGO eXplore, checkout this video:

Riding the iGO eXplore:

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Overall there are some characteristics of the iGO eXplore that really stand out when riding this eCommuter. To summarize they are: 

  • Smooth and quiet electric assist
  • Versatility in fit & ride style
  • A comfortable yet solid ride feel

The smooth and quiet ride gives you the feeling of gliding down the road and a lot of that is thanks to the iGO 500 watt direct drive rear hub motor. 

igo-explore-electric-bike-motor-2The iGO direct drive motor is so quiet and smooth that it can be surprising how fast you are going some times. This is definitely one of the highlights of the eXplore and it sets it apart from many eBikes in this price category.

The 48V system and 500 watt motor (700 peak) can provide for peppy ride when using the Power drive mode and higher pedal assist levels.

If an easy going ride style is more of your preference, the eXplore can accommodate this with the lower assist levels. More on the driving modes and pedal assist levels in a bit. 

The eXplore is very easy to get on an ride with its low step thru design. iGO has created the Ergofit design that allows riders of either gender from 5’-0” to 6’-5” to be able to ride the eXplore comfortably. iGO electric bikes are designed and tested in Montreal Canada.

The 6061 aluminum frame has been designed with a shorter seat tube height and the long seatpost and easily adjustable handlebar stem provide adjustments for the eXplore to fit wide range of riders.

igo-explore-electric-bike-frameThis can be a handy feature if family members or friends of different sizes want to share an electric bike. For instance, my wife and I share an eBike that fits us both even though we would normally ride different conventionally sized bikes. 

In general the eXplore has an upright and comfortable position. The upright position is very nice for seeing everything around you and for also being seen by others.

Upright eBikes give you more of a vertical profile that provides the comfortable ride but they are not as efficient when compared to the more aerodynamic performance ride position (hunched over).

igo-explore-electric-bike-stem-1The quickly adjustable Promax stem can vary the handlebar position significantly to fit your riding style and preferred comfortable position. You won’t feel hunched over on the eXplore!

The swept back handlebars provide a solid feeling of control over the bike. 

igo-explore-electric-bike-suspension-forkSmoothing out the road is accomplished with the Suntour suspension fork on the front.

It is very active and it has enough travel to take the edge off of most cracks and bumps in the road. 

The saddle is comfortable and it helps to smooth out the ride with a wide profile. For even more comfort I recommend a suspension seatpost for most eBikes with a rigid frame.

A suspension seatpost is a great match with a suspension fork and balances out the shock absorption on the front and back of the bike.

igo-explore-electric-bike-frame-batteryIt is impressive to see how iGO designed their lithium battery (48 Volt 10.4 ah) battery pack into the downtube of the frame while still maintaining the step thru frame design.

The frame feels solid and there isn’t any noticeable flex in the ride from the step thru design with the integrated battery. 

And speaking of integration in the frame design, the front and rear racks have a solid aluminum structure that bolts to the frame to provide impressive carrying capacity; 55 pounds max for the rear rack and 20 pounds for the front rack.

igo-explore-electric-bike-front-rackThe front rack has a wide platform that can handle a variety of objects that can be secured with a mesh bungie cord net. A basket could also be attached to the front rack.

The rear rack can handle a wide variety of bags, panniers, baskets, etc. with its multiple points of attachment. 

igo-explore-electric-bike-rear-rackBoth the front and rear rack can be removed from the bike by loosening 4 bolts. 

iGO offers both pedal assist and throttle options with the eXplore. The pedal assist is a cadence sensor system.

Within the pedal assist function of the bike there are 3 driving modes (Eco, Normal, Power) with 8 levels of pedal assist each. 

24 different pedal assist options can sound overwhelming but I found that I picked one of the Driving Modes (Eco, Normal, Power) that I normally kept the bike in and then just varied a few of the pedal assist levels during my normal rides. 

If you want to bypass the pedal assist there is the the thumb throttle option that you can use with or without pedaling.

The thumb throttle on the eXpore has a large platform that provides a solid feeling. Adding assist with the throttle can be helpful when you need a quick boost through an intersection. 

There is also the walk mode that provides assist up to ~3.7 mph and it helps when you are walking the bike up a steep hill or stairs. It is activated by holding the + button on the display.

igo-explore-electric-bike-displayThe LCD display provides a lot of information like the driving mode, pedal assist level, speedometer, odometer, trip odometer, battery level with voltage reading, energy consumption, and error diagnostics.

The energy consumption is a nice feature for monitoring how much assist you are using and it can be used to help you maximize range by focusing on using more pedal power and less assist. 

Important info like the current speed and pedal assist level are shown in a large format for easy visibility at a quick glance. A backlit feature makes it easy to see day or night. 

igo-explore-electric-bike-front-lightSpeaking of lights, the eXplore has built in LED lights that run off the main eBike battery so you don’t have to worry about charging the lights separately. 

The front light is mounted to the fork so that the light is not blocked by items placed on the front rack.

The light also lights up the front tire and rim which is a nice safety feature with the reflective side wall of the tire but the tire itself does block some of the lights projection which creates an odd dark spot in the overall beam. 

Slowing the eXplore down is handled by the Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with 160 mm rotors. These brakes offer solid stopping power and they have built in switches that will stop the assist once the brake levers have been engaged. 

igo-explore-electric-bike-front-brakeThere is a grippy rubber material on the Tektro brake levers that provides a comfortable feel while helping with grabbing the brake levers in wet conditions. 

The 28” x 2.0” CST Zeppelin tires roll over the rough roads pretty well and the width of the tires provides for a very stable feel and a comfortable ride.

Reflective strips on the sidewalls of the tires help with being seen from the side and they do a great job of adding to the overall visibility of the bike. 

iGO eXplore Range Test Results:

Here is the real world information on how the iGO eXplore electric bike performed on a riding circuit that includes hills, flats, traffic, wind (when available) etc.

igo-explore-range-and-elevation

While testing these bikes I like to put them through the toughest conditions to see where their bottom line is in regards to range and speed. I tested the iGO eXplore in the Power drive mode with the highest pedal assist level with relatively easy pedaling.

Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the iGO eXplore traveled 27 miles and did a total elevation gain/loss of around 2,300 ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled very lightly this is good range for a 48 Volt 10.4 ah battery pack (500 Watt Hours) with a 500 watt motor.

iGO also offers the 48V 13ah (624 Wh) lithium battery for increased range.

igo-explore-electric-bike-batteryWatt hours are the total energy in a battery pack and it is based on the volts x amp hours of a pack. This is a way to compare the size of the “gas tank” of electric bikes.

Please keep in mind that if you pedal more, weigh less than me, ride slower and/or you use the bike in terrain that is not as hilly you will get more range. These results are from tough testing.

Speed: The iGO eXplore will assist up to 20 mph. 

Weight: The eXplore tips the scales at 63.5 lbs which is on the heavier side for an electric bike. Removing the battery brings it down to around 56 pounds which makes it a little easier to load onto a car rack.

The weight distribution of the iGO eXplore is pretty good because the battery is relatively low and centered on the bike with a rear hub motor making it slightly back heavy. 

Pros:

Smooth and quiet: The iGO 500 watt direct drive motor is one of the smoothest and quietest motors that I have ridden on an electric bike. This is definitely one of the highlights on the eXplore. 

Versatile fit & ride style: You can really adjust the the eXplore to fit you and your riding style. The iGO Ergofit system works well and the variety of pedal assist options allow you to customize the ride to your riding preferences.

Solid yet comfortable ride: The step thru frame with integrated battery is designed well so that there isn’t any unwanted flex. The upright position, suspension fork, seat, and tires provide a comfortable ride. 

Cons:

Heavy: At 63.5 pounds the eXplore is on the heavier side for electric bikes and the direct drive rear hub motor makes it a bit back heavy. 

Front light: Some of the front light beam is blocked by the front tire which creates an odd dark spot in the overall light projection on the road.  

Conclusion:

igo-explore-electric-bike-7

Overall the iGO eXplore is a versatile commuter that provides a solid, smooth, comfortable, and quiet ride feel. 

At $2,199 the eXplore offers a solid line up of components and features that make it a nice turn-key commuter. 

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.

Where to buy a iGO eXplore? Check with iGO for a dealer near you.

Do you have any questions about the iGO eXplore?  Do you own a iGO eXplore?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Thanks!

-Pete

Review Note: Each company pays a fee for a review on Electric Bike Report because of the considerable amount of time that it takes to provide an in-depth review of each eBike. A lot of time is spent on the full range test with distance & elevation profile, the wide variety of detailed pictures, in-depth video, and the write up with the specifications, ride characteristics, pros, cons, and overall thoughts. The reviews on Electric Bike Report are focused on providing you with a detailed “virtual” look at each eBike to help you determine if it is the eBike for you or not.

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!

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