Aventon is one of the more recognizable names in the e-bike industry from its beginnings in fixed-gear bicycles. The Level is one of the top sellers in their lineup, and we’ve looked forward to getting our hands on the 2021 model for this electric bike review.
Speed, looks, and smoothness to back it up. These are a few of the words we use when talking about the Aventon Level, a nimble and quick commuter bike that’s ready to shorten your ETA and increase your riding pleasure. The Level is powerful enough to get you quickly to the top speeds of a class 2/3 e-bike (20 mph on throttle and 28 on pedal assist) which will help you greatly to tackle hills on your commute.
Not only is the Level fast, but it’s also easy to maneuver and handle; you’ll find yourself cornering sharper and faster.
With a killer price point for the componentry it provides, it’s safe to say that this Aventon is on a whole other Level.
**Aventon offers the level in both throttle on demand and throttle after pedal. For our testing, we reviewed the throttle after the pedal version of the bike.**
Written By: Pierce Kettering Tested By: Pierce Kettering, Griffin Hales, Bryce Smith
E-BIKE CATEGORY:Commuter/Urban Style E-Bike
E-BIKE CLASS: Class 2 | Class 3(20 MPH THROTTLE | 28 MPH PEDAL ASSIST)
The Aventon Level is fast and holds speed well.
We experienced distinguishable pedal-assist levels – this helps you stay to your desired speed depending on which PAS level you choose.
The Level is easy to handle and maneuver with a comfortable riding position.
Hydraulic disc brakes on at a sub $2000 price point e-bike are great to see.
The Level is great looking. Everything from the internal battery to the fenders matches nicely.
The cadence sensor is finely tuned, and we were impressed with how responsive it was at engaging and disengaging the motor.
Aventon gives you two different throttle options: Throttle On Demand or Throttle After Pedal. Great for those wanting to opt for the TAP’s ultra-cautious option.
The Level could benefit from a percentage-based battery readout to give more accurate battery life predictions.
Having two throttle options is excellent (throttle on demand, or throttle after pedal), but we would prefer it to be an option in the settings instead of being locked into one throttle type upon purchase.
ELECTRICAL SPECS & FEATURES
Battery: Removable Internal Lithium-ion 48V, 14Ah (672Wh) with Samsung Cells
Display: M5 LCD Smart Easy Read Display with Backlight
Motor: 750W (Peak) 500W (Sustained), 48V Brushless Rear Hub Motor
Peal Assist: 1-5 Cadence Sensor, Speed Sensor
Range: 20-60 miles
Throttle: Thumb Throttle on Handlebars
Weight & Dimensions
Battery Weight: 9.9 pounds
Total bike weight: 62lbs
Maximum rider weight: 250lbs
Maximum load on rear rack: 50lbs
Unfolded Dimensions: 72in x 34in (length x height)
The Aventon Level shines when it comes to acceleration and speed. We’re used to class 3 bikes with specs that claim a 28mph top speed and a 20mph throttle. However, it isn’t prevalent that these bikes hold onto and maintain the momentum they acquire. The Level can keep speeds above 25mph with ease, and the throttle is a proper 20mph throttle which was great to have.
Shifting / Gear Range
The level comes with a Shimano Acera 8 Speed drivetrain and a rapid-fire shifter. In short, eight gears is plenty for how powerful the Level is. I found myself shifting gears a little more often on the Level than other ebikes because of how quick and easy it’s able to shift.
Handling (Cornering, slow speeds, etc…)
The Level is the perfect machine for weaving in between traffic and holding speed around corners. The level handles well for a couple of reasons; first and foremost, the 27.5 wheelbase is snappy and agile, and the 2.2-inch tires provide sufficient traction on the road. We also noticed the integrated battery kept the weight distribution even between the wheels, which ultimately improves balance and traction.
Aventon Level Motor
Aventon Level – Bengal Aries Brake Lever
The Aventon Level is plenty comfortable for commuting and longer rides. From our experience, this is because of the ergonomic grips and the custom “Aventon” Velo Saddle. Both of these contact point components are plenty soft, but more than anything, it’s the shape that makes riding comfortable on the Level.
The Aventon Level is a fast class 3 ebike, so a good set of brakes to assure you can stop quickly are essential. Before we received the Level, we saw it was stocked with Bengal Ares Hydraulic Disc Brakes, which was great to see for the price point. In short, we wondered how well these brakes would work compared to other brands such as Tektro and Shimano. We were pleasantly surprised with their performance. More on that in our Brakes Section.
Range Test: Aventon Level
We tested the battery range of the Aventon Level to see how far we could get on a single charge while using maximum pedal assist (level 5) and minimum pedal assist (level 1).
When we took the Level out on maximum pedal-assist, we reached 29.4 miles, with an average speed of 19.9 miles per hour. That’s pretty fast!.
When we tested the Level on the minimum pedal assist, we reached a whopping 65.82 miles, with an average speed of 12.1 miles per hour.
Both tests were done with a 130-pound rider who pedaled the entire time. We also used the same route for consistency in our results, and after doing these tests, it’s safe to say the Lithium-ion 48V, 14Ah holds its charge quite well and that the Level can hover around 20mph with ease while using the max assist.
SPEC REVIEW: Electrical Components
Aventon has stocked the level with a 48V Brushless Rear Hub Motor, capable of a 750W of peak power, and 500W of sustained energy. Because of this, the Level is capable of 20+ mph speeds with ease.
We found this brushless rear hub performed well with getting you through tough hill climbs and it’s quick to accelerate on flat ground.
A good quality battery is an essential variable in an ebike, as it powers the motor and can dictate how far (or short) your ride is. When we saw how quickly the Level was able to move, we were curious if that came at the battery life/range cost.
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. The internally integrated, removable Lithium-ion 48V 14Ah battery was long-lasting and visually appealing because of its integrated design.
The sleek, internal battery takes more than one look at the Aventon Level even to tell that it’s an ebike. As shown in our range test, this battery lasts plenty long, even on higher assist levels.
The Aventon Level comes with five total pedal assist levels, with the highest level capable of 28mph+. Aventon has created a nice tune for the pedal-assist levels, as they are easily distinguishable from each other.
Most ebikes have variance in pedal-assist levels, but that doesn’t necessarily entail telling the difference between them. For us, we felt about a 3mph difference between the pedal assist levels, combine that with eight gears, and you’ll likely find the perfect speed and difficulty for you and your ride.
We think Aventon is on to something with its throttle concepts and designs. While the throttle may look relatively standard and similar to other lever throttles you’ve seen, the way it performs is far different. Aventon has designed the Level to have two different options for throttle engagement and use. When ordering the Level, you get the choice of a “Throttle After Pedal” or a “Throttle On Demand” option.
We ordered the “Throttle After Pedal” version because we were curious about how it would perform compared to the conventional “Throttle On Demand” setting found on many e-bikes. We found the Level is a lot safer with the TAP design, because you can’t accidentally engage the throttle when getting on or off the bike. The only way the throttle engages is if you’re already moving, which drastically increases the bike’s overall safety.
The Throttle After Pedal option felt slightly less powerful and responsive than what we would prefer. Keep in mind we’re aggressive riders. Someone concerned about safety will appreciate this feature, though.
Because the Level is an Urban/Commuter style bike, we picture most consumers ordering the Level with the standard T.O.D. design to help get up to speed quickly and accelerate from a stand still without pedaling.
Those who value safety and don’t necessarily care about accelerating quickly without pedaling the T.A.P. design will be a great choice, as it’s safer overall.
Aventon Level Battery
Aventon Level – Display
Aventon Level Throttle
Showing you your speed, pedal-assist level, battery percentage, and more is an M5 LCD Smart Display equipped with a backlight. The display is a little basic compared to the rest of the aesthetics that work so well on the bike, but there isn’t anything “bad” about it.
There is a bar readout for battery life. This readout tends to drop a few bars when you’re on hills as it is anticipating battery drain as the motor takes over. The bars fill back up when you return to flat ground and can coast a bit more. While we appreciate that the readout is trying to adjust expectations in a given situation depending on your motor dependence, it leaves you questioning the remaining battery life. Having the battery indicator drop two bars on a tough climb, only to have the indicator jump back up three bars on a downhill is tough to follow. A percentage-based readout might work a little better here.
COMPONENTS AND ACCESSORIES
Three words: Hydraulic Disc Brakes. Aventon successfully equipped the Level with hydraulic disc brakes while still keeping the price point competitive, which is impressive and appreciated. This value isn’t widespread in the e-bike space.
The Bengal Ares 3 Hydraulic Disc Brakes come with 180mm rotors and do an impressive job of slowing the Level down from the high speeds. Bengal wasn’t a brand we were too familiar with before testing the Level, but it’s safe to say that these brakes are good quality and perform as high-powered brakes should.
The Aventon Level comes with front and rear fenders that add a nice touch to the Level’s commuter-oriented feeling. When going through puddles, the fenders do an excellent job of keeping the rider clean, which is essential, especially for those commuting to work.
These aren’t your standard flimsy plastic fenders either. They are thoughtfully painted and made of alloy. These fenders check all the performance boxes for us, and they also add some points to the looks department as well.
Aventon Level – Bengal Aries Disc Brake
Aventon Level – Bengal Rear Disc Brake
Thanks to the SunTour Mobie A32 suspension fork, we could continue to charge hard even if our route got a bit rougher than expected. This fork is a coil-spring fork and has 75mm of travel, a perfect amount for the Aventon Levels intended use. The fork also comes with a lockout dial to adjust the fork’s stiffness specific to you and the terrain you ride.
We were pretty pleased with the SunTour Mobie. It felt stiff horizontally and plush vertically. Aventon appears to have a good understanding of components like the fork they’ve chosen to put on the Level–it’s the right one for the job. Not only does it help smooth out the ride, but it adds to the looks and overall experience of riding the Aventon Level.
All in all, having some suspension up front allowed us to ride faster and have more control even if things got a tad bit bumpy. If you are an urban/commuter-oriented rider, you’ll likely be satisfied with what the SunTour Mobie offers.
Tying everything together is a 6061 Double-Butted Aluminum Alloy frame with an internal battery storage compartment. First and foremost, this is a really good-looking frame – we briefly mentioned it in our battery section, but it takes more than one look at the Aventon Level even to tell that it’s an ebike.
It was visually appealing to our team, and we also loved the way it felt below us. The frame feels excellent. While it’s heavier than a standard bicycle, where the weight is located feels natural when riding. This is particularly impressive because the Level is a rear hub motorbike, and typically bikes of this design have most of their weight on the back end of the cycle.
Aventon Level Frame
Aventon Level – Shimano Acera Drivetrain
Aventon Level – Discrete Battery
The Aventon Level has an eight-speed Shimano Acera Drivetrain and rapid-fire shifter, which is slightly nicer than a lot of similarly priced ebikes. While other bikes may have the same amount of gears, it’s how the Aventon Level shifts so crisply that it clarifies its quality.
We loved the feeling of being able to shift so quickly and smoothly, and because of it, we had a smoother ride overall. While we wouldn’t recommend it, this Acera drivetrain also shifts pretty well under a load (forcing down on pedals hard while shifting).
Grips and Saddle
With commuter bikes, comfort is essential. The last thing you want is to get to work with a sore bum because your saddle is too hard. Aventon seems to understand this, as they’ve given you some killer contact points when it comes to the grips and saddle.
The ergonomic grips are formed around the human hand instead of just being cylindrical, and the saddle is a comfortable Aventon specific saddle designed by Velo. Overall, both components are designed with the commuter in mind. We think you’re going to get to work with a smile on your face.
Remember how we said the Aventon seems to understand componentry? Well, here is another example of that being the case. Aventon has given the consumer a 680mm x 31.8 aluminum handlebar. Now you may be asking yourself, why is that important? The 31.8 diameter is standard in the industry, so if you wanted to replace the handlebar with something else, it’s not going to be an issue finding something.
We’re all too used to seeing bike manufacturers use handlebars with unconventional diameters, so seeing the team at Aventon understands the little details like that is refreshing. We also appreciated the 680mm width of the bar. It’s an ideal size for the Levels intended use of commuting/riding at high speeds. This bar’s width keeps you balanced and stable at higher rates, and it makes keeping the bike on a straight path easy.
The Aventon Level comes with Wellgo Aluminium Alloy Pedals. These pedals have reflectors and pins to keep your foot from sliding around when pedaling. Because the pedals are alloy, they hold up to pedal strikes a lot better than the composite and plastic counterparts.
For any commuter bike, a good set of tires is crucial to the overall experience. The last thing you need is to be late to work because of a thorn puncture. The 27.5″ x 2.2″ Kenda Kwick Drumlin tires are ebike rated and have reflective sidewalls to ensure visibility to others. While there isn’t a tire that’s 100% puncture-resistant, these are pretty close.
We went over our fair share of rubble and gravel on the Kwick Drumlin tires, and not once did we puncture the tube. The tread pattern on these tires is also fast-rolling and provides plenty of traction on the road.
The Aventon Level comes with a rear rack rated for up to 50lbs, which should be more than enough for the average rider. Aventon offers a wide range of bags and baskets that are compatible with the Level, and we feel there is a setup for everybody with the inventory they offer. The rear rack is also removable for those who don’t feel they need it.
Aventon Level – Kenda Kwick Drumlin Tires
Aventon Level – Valoe Comfort Saddle
Aventon Level Cargo Rack
Summary review / where to buy
The Aventon Level impressed the Electric Bike Report team for many reasons, most notably how it performed for the price point you pay.
The Level lasted a long distance on our range test, all while holding high average speeds. While we typically prefer throttle on demand, we appreciate that Aventon lets you decide which throttle design you prefer between the throttle after pedal and the throttle on demand. For us, this shows that Aventon cares about their customers and wants to give them the best experience possible.
That’s not the only example of them caring. The componentry being aligned with current industry standards and the visual appearance matching the bike’s performance are good examples of Aventon caring about their craftsmanship.
We believe that anybody looking to reduce time spent driving and appreciate a good pedal experience will like what the Level has to offer. While there are plenty of class 3 ebikes on the market, very few are as quick and nimble as the Level, especially when taking the price point into account.
Those interested in purchasing the Level can check out their website to have it shipped to your address. They also have a dealer locator tool you can check out to see if it’s available at a bike shop near you.
With plenty of optional accessories and quality customer support, Aventon gives consumers a complete package with the purchase of one of their bikes. Aventon feels ahead of the curve over many other ebike brands around the same price point, and we believe this is due to extensive care on the minor details of everything from the bikes, to the website, to the people who make Aventon the company that it is.
With that being said, go “Level” the playing field, and get to work with time to spare with Aventon’s super-commuter.