Aventon Pace 500.3 Step Through Review, 2023
Making a Great Bike Ride Even Better by Adding Torque Sensor and Improving Safety
This time around Aventon has made a few welcome changes to on the Pace 500.3 Step Through. Replacing the cadence sensor with a torque sensor was something we had our fingers crossed that they might do. Aventon also changed the tuning on the motor, dumping the old 5-level PAS system with a more refined 4-level system. So, we were super stoked to ride this bike and see what new changes Aventon made compared to the old model.
Our burning question was, did these changes to this bike justice? Read on and see what we found in our full Aventon Pace 500.3 ST review.
- A joyful, casual pedaling experience. The new torque sensor makes it the best feeling Pace 500 yet.
- Better low end power and overall power range with new 4 level PAS (Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo modes) replacing old PAS 1-5
- Greater energy efficiency from the new torque sensor and battery management system, extends range of up to 67 miles.
- More effective pedaling with the new 48-tooth crankset replacing the old 46-tooth crankset.
- Better road traction and handling with the new, thinner 27.5” x 2.1” tires.
- Adding turn signals is great for convenience and safety on the road.
- The 19″ stand over height makes this easily managed for shorter and taller riders alike (plus the multiple frame sizes).
- Easier to lift this 52 lb e-bike into a rack than comparable models.
- Great handling and overall ride quality make it a capable cruiser or commuter or city bike. However, those wanting fenders and a rack for commuting will have to add them after checkout.
- Class 2: Throttle & pedal assist up to 20 mph
- Motor: 48V, 500W
- Battery: 48V, 12.8Ah(614Wh) with LG Cells
- Range: 25-48 Miles Average
- Display: LCD Smart Easy Read Display with Backlight, Colorful screen with app
- PAS Sensor: Torque sensor. Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo modes
- Charger: 48V 3 Amp Fast Charger, 4-5 Hour Charging
- Weight capacity: 300 lbs
- Bike weight: 52 lbs
- Front basket capacity: 40 lbs.
- Brakes Tektro: E351 hydraulic disc, 180mm rotors, dual piston caliper
- Bottom Bracket: Square Taper, Sealed
- Crankset: 170mm w/46T
- Drivetrain: Shimano Altus, 12-32T, 8 Speed
- Frame: 6061 aluminum alloy, S/M: 4’11” – 5’7″; M/L: 5’7″ – 6’1″
- Fork: AE-E08 Pace V2 AL fork
- Gearing: 8-speed
- Grips: Ergonomic Comfort
- Handlebar: Aluminum 31.8 15 Degree Sweptback
- Headset: VP Sealed Bearing Headset
- Hubs: 36H Disc Nutted Front and Rear
- Pedals: 9/16″ Alloy Platform
- Racks: Aventon front rack 40 lb capacity
- Rims: Double Wall Aluminum 36h Front & Rear
- Saddle: Aventon by SelleRoyal
- Seat Post: Forged Alloy, 30.9mm, 2-Bolt Clamp
- Shifters: Shimano Rapid Fire 8 Speed Trigger
- Spokes: Black Stainless 13 Gauge Front/12 Rear
- Stem: Threadless, Adjustable 31.8mm
- Tires: 27.5″ x 2.2″ Ebike Rated, Reflective Sidewalls
- Throttle: Thumb Throttle on Handlebars
- Tubes: Butyl Rubber, Schrader Valve 27.5″ x 2.2″
E- Bike Overview: Aventon Pace 500.3 Step Through Review
Aventon’s Pace 500 has been one of the most popular e-bikes on the market. Riders love its lightweight, comfortable “Dutch” style riding posture, power and handling, and its stylish looks. So why change anything? One might ask.
Their decision to add a torque sensor to the Pace 500.3 ST really wowed us. In our reviews of past Pace 500 models we noted how lower levels of PAS didn’t do much for you. But now, we see meaningful assist to all riders on the low PAS levels. The refining of the speed profile and hill climbing on all levels is markedly better.
Whetting our appetite further is the new pedal assist design that works with the motor. Aventon engineers dumped the old PAS 1 – 5 design with a new 4-level design, using Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo modes.
Further iving your pedaling more effectiveness is the new 48-tooth chainring that replaces the 46-tooth chainring on the previous models. The earlier model had a slight issue with ghost pedaling at top speed, so the new chainring eliminated that. Also, the new chainring gives the feeling that you’re getting more out of your pedaling, because you are. Additionally, this slightly improves your battery distance range because you’re actively pedaling more.
It’s not all about the pedaling though. A safe new feature we’ve seen from all our recent Aventon e-bike reviews are the turn signals. For a bike that’s designed to be ridden on streets, turn signals are a must-have for safety. The new signals are sleekly integrated to the point that we didn’t notice them at first, until the indicator switch is activated. Riders on this new Pace will appreciate not being honked at anymore by nearby cars.
Fortunately, Aventon kept all of the other great features that make this bike so popular. They include the 12.8 amp-hour battery with the reliable LG cells, Shimano 12-38T 8-speed gearing, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, comfortable Selle Royal saddle, and the slightly swept back riser handlebar (for that “Dutch” feel).
After looking at the new additions and the unchanged features on this e-bike, we were ready to put this bike through our battery of tests to see how well it performed.
Circuit Speed Test: Aventon Pace 500.3 Step Through Review
The Circuit Test tells us how well the motor engages with rider pedaling and it shows us the average speed in each PAS mode. We do the first lap with no motor assistance, and record the time and calculate the average speed. After that, we did 4 more laps, one for each pedal assist mode (Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo). We can learn a lot about a motor’s ability from this test.
The chart above shows how significant the motor kicked in once we switched from pedaling with no motor, averaging 12.4 mph, to the Eco mode where we averaged 16.4 mph. The acceleration and cruising speed the new Pace gets in Eco mode is more than 2 mph faster than previous version. The Eco mode on the Pace 500.3 worked better for consistent riding than the PAS 1 on the Pace 500.2, meaning scaling down the PAS to 4 modes was a good idea.
As we moved up to the next mode, Tour, we didn’t see as significant an increase in speed, but it transitioned consistently at the same speed. This is what we want because it’s easier for us as riders – and safer – that we know when to expect the motor to kick in, and at what speed.
The rate of increase continued on to the Sport and Turbo modes, which makes for a better quality ride because there are no inconsistencies, no surprises, and nothing about the motor engagement that will throw you off. In fact this motor’s output was so consistent that it made it easier for us to predict how hard to pedal, and when.
Comparing the results from this Circuit Test with the results from the earlier two models of this bike, we see a noticeable improvement in power output and energy efficiency. The new Pace version delivers good riding power in the first pedal assist level, which the prior models did not. Furthermore, the power output is more equitable at each of the levels. That means you won’t have one level where the bike lags or jumps out from underneath you. This also means the motor uses energy from the battery more judiciously. And that leads us to our next test, related to energy efficiency.
Range Test & Battery Performance: Aventon Pace 500.3 Step Through Review
The total distance an e-bike will travel on a single battery charge, is one of the most common questions we get. The range not only depends on the size of the battery and motor, but also the rider’s style and other conditions, like terrain, weather and rider weight. Riders want their e-bike to take them further between charges, and the Pace 500.3 ST’s range is sure to satisfy many riders.
In our minimum PAS range test, riding in Eco mode, this bike went 67.79 miles on a single charge. That’s 7.79 miles further than the range claimed by Aventon. In our maximum PAS range test, riding in the Turbo mode, this bike traveled 35.15 miles before running out of juice. Both of these range test results are excellent when compared to similar e-bikes, and it shows how sometimes an e-bike can show significant improvements without having to change a lot of things on it.
The Pace 500.3’s improved range can be attributed to the new torque sensor. Cadence sensors, like those used on prior models, only count the number of revolutions the pedal spins in order to determine motor power output. Often that causes the motor to crank out more power than the rider needs, and uses up more of the battery. But the torque sensor only delivers power based on how much you need. This helps deliver power that is predictable and conserves battery power.
Re-calibrating the motor’s pedal assist program also played a role in improving the range on this bike. The Eco mode on this new version provided better average speed than the PAS 1 on the previous version, affording us the opportunity to use a mode for this test that didn’t use as much battery power as the PAS 2 we used for the previous model’s minimum PAS range test. We got the best of both worlds: more speed while using less power. You can’t beat that!
The maximum PAS range test also gave us good results. The Pace 500.3 traveled 7.1 miles further than the Pace 500.2, and its average speed of 19.1 mph was 2.2 mph faster than the 500.2. Again we see how this new setup enables the new Pace 500 to go faster and use less battery power than the previous version – good job Aventon!
Hill Test: Aventon Pace 500.3 Step Through Review
The Hill Climb test tells us how well an e-bike is equipped to climb hills. Using Southern Utah’s own Hell Hole Trail, we know this is a test of extremes. Not all e-bikes reach the top, which doesn’t make them bad e-bikes, it just tells us how much raw power and torque they can muster when facing steep conditions.
In the first test, the throttle-only test, we wondered if this new Pace 500.3 ST would reach the top. The old Pace 500 ST (V2) didn’t make it. But the new bike did make it to the top in 2:09 and an average speed of 8.4 mph. Chances are, when climbing a hill, most riders will pedal to get the bike to reach the top. It’s comforting to know that this bike had enough power to make it on its own.
In the second hill test we use the highest PAS, Turbo mode, and contribute just basic, non-strenuous pedaling. Having reached the top on the previous – and tougher – test, this Pace 500.3 reached the top in 1:28, at an average speed of 12.3 mph.
The big takeaway here: the bike has the capability to go it alone on the steepest of hills, but the smarts to know to “pace” itself and give mesured assist on hills that aren’t blazing time, but the battery life won’t suffer either. All-in-all, it was a good hill tests that showed improvements.
Safety and Brake Test: Aventon Pace 500.3 ST Review
The Pace 500.3’s brakes worked well stopping this bike in our test. The average stopping distance was 19’11”; using Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, with dual-piston calipers and 180mm rotors. With this bike weighing in at 52 lbs., it’s lighter than your average cruiser bike. And that helps with the braking. Heavier bikes take longer to slow down and stop. The great brake distance and nimble handling make this a viable city cruiser as well.
Having consistent and reliable brakes is a must-have with any e-bike. So the fact that these brakes worked this well on our Brake Test means I could ride this bike with added confidence. And sometimes that’s what a rider needs to have a better riding experience – added confidence in the bike he or she is riding.
Ride Comfort & Handling, Cockpit, and More: Aventon Pace 500.3 Step Through Review
The 15 degree sweepback of the handlebar placed the grips in the right spot for me to rest my hands the entire time when riding. The gear shift switch, pedal assist control buttons, and brake levers were super easy to reach and activate.
Seeing as how grips are one of the items we’re touching the entire time, some bike makers overlook that and don’t make this a priority. Aventon understands, which explains why the Pace 500 includes a really comfortable set of ergonomic rubber grips. When you’re putting your hands on multiple handlebars each day, you’re likely to become more discriminant toward grips. After you’ve ridden the Pace 500, and then put your hands on a cheap pair of faux leather grips, and then you rest your hands on these grips, you’ll notice the difference.
If there is anything the Pace lacks it found be fenders, and the commuter crowd would like an included rack as well. Where we see this as a casual cruiser first, and a capable commuter / city-cruiser second we’re not overly upset about it, but we couldn’t be mad at fenders at least included in the future to make the value feel like a complete slam dunk.
Summary / Where to Buy
As mentioned a few times in this review, the Aventon Pace 500.3 Step Through proves you can make a great e-bike even greater with only a few minor changes. We laud Aventon for deciding torque sensors are the way to go with this bike, and all their other e-bikes (all new Aventons now have torque sensors). The re-calibrated pedal assist and new chainring are also important parts of the equation that improve this bike tremendously.
Featuring this bike in two different frame sizes also gives riders a better chance of getting a bike that fits them better. For the record, our offices like both frames, but if forced to pick one, we like the easier-to-swing-a-leg-over Pace500.3 Step Through model a bit more.
Even though fenders and racks are not standard to this bike, you can order to have them added, along with other accessories to help make this bike fit your needs better. Our “Check Best Price” link has the details (see below).
It’s not by accident that the Pace 500 line is one of Aventon’s top sellers. They came up with a great original design and have gradually improved it to be even better in its current form. So, if you’re looking for a lightweight cruiser e-bike, that gives you good power, range, braking and is very comfortable to ride, then you should be satisfied with the Aventon Pace 500 Step Through.
Happy Riding! Make sure to let us know if you have any questions down in our comments section or if you think we left anything out in this review of the Aventon Pace 500.3 ST. And if you’re not currently a subscriber to our site, please sign-up. You’ll be the first to find out when we have new videos and reviews on other e-bikes you might be itching to learn more about.
I have an earlier model Pace 500. My bike and this new version have rigid frames. You will feel every imperfection in the road, sidewalk, etc. If all of your riding is on a nice smooth surface this bike is great. I added a handle bar shock and seat shock to compensate for the jolts which made my ride much more enjoyable. I would recommend a bike with at least front fork shocks to make a more pleasant ride.
Hard to believe the Blix was a half minute faster up the hill. It’s the true beast, IMO.
Lou Ramon says
How would you compare the Aventon 500.3 with the Level 2? Both have torque sensors, have hydraulic disc brakes, the same power motor, similar battery capacity and are about the same weight. The Level 2 has a (simple) front shock and comes with fenders and a rack.