Aventon Sinch Step-Through Review 2023
The name of Aventon’s newest electric bike may ring a bell for those familiar with the brand, but though it’s positioned as a mere update to an existing model, the new Aventon Sinch Step-Through promises to be something very new and very different.
In this Aventon Sinch Step-Through Review, we take a look at this freshly redesigned affordable electric folding bike and put it through a series of real-world tests; tests designed to suss out how well it climbs, handles and even how far you can ride it on a single charge.
Still built around a simple folding mechanism designed to make transportation and storage easier, the Sinch Step-Through sports a lower frame, a new look and a number of componentry changes that very much differentiates it from its high-step sibling. It’s an e-bike that boasts great handling, good value and a 500W rear hub motor that’s surprisingly peppy on steep hills.
It’s an e-bike designed to serve those who are short on space but still want a ride that’s powerful, fun and can keep pace with larger and more powerful (at least on paper) e-bikes. But how’s it stack up in the real world? We put it to the test to find out.
- Aventon could have simply lowered the top tube and called it a day, but instead they gave the bike a full ground-up redesign for its step-through debut.
- We love the updated looks. It’s very similar to the other new e-bikes Aventon has released over the past year.
- The climbing ability is extremely impressive, especially for a bike with a 500W rear hub motor.
- The Tektro mechanical disk brakes work impressively well, earning a top-5 spot in our brake test.
- The redesigned folding mechanism works great, is confidence inspiring and silent — the folding bike trifecta.
- Tan wall tires. ‘Nuff said.
- The battery range is solid; right in line with what we’d expect.
- It uses Aventon’s new(ish) full-color LCD display, which is one of the most functional and aesthetically pleasing displays in the affordable e-bike category.
- As with many folding e-bikes, larger riders may feel a little cramped.
- The throttle felt a little soft when starting from a dead stop. I sometimes felt the need to give a small “scooter” kick to get going quicker.
- There is a small lag between when you start pedaling and when the motor kicks on, which isn’t terribly uncommon among affordable e-bikes.
- Battery: 48V, 14Ah (672Wh) frame-integrated battery
- Display: Color LCD display
- Motor: 500W brushless hub motor
- Headlight: N/A
- Taillights: N/A
- Peal Assist: 5 pedal assist levels, cadence sensor and speed sensor
- Range: 54 miles – 25 miles (claimed)
- Throttle: Thumb throttle
- Claimed weight: 68 lbs
- Maximum rider weight: 300 lbs (max payload)
- Maximum load on rear rack: 55 lbs +
- Brakes: Tektro mechanical disk brakes, 180mm rotors front and rear
- Fenders: N/A
- Fork: RST Guide, 45mm of travel
- Frame: 6061 aluminum
- Drivetrain: Shimano Altus, 7-speed
- Grips: Lock-on rubber grips
- Saddle: Aventon-branded comfort saddle
- Handlebar: Aluminum
- Kickstand: Included
- Pedals: Included
- Tires: Chao Yang Arisun 20’x4” e-bike rated
Aventon Sinch Step-Through Review: Bike Overview
Though the Sinch electric folding bike has been a mainstay in the Aventon lineup for some time, this step through version is a new beast.
And by new beast, I’m not just saying Aventon lowered the top tube and called it a day, I mean the new Aventon Sinch ST is, for all intents and purposes, an entirely new e-bike.
There are some similarities between the two Sinches, mainly that they both use Aventon’s 500W rear hub motor and are powered by a frame-integrated 48V, 14Ah (672Wh) battery, but many of the similarities stop there.
The new Sinch’s overall look is much different from the old bike. Its step-through frame uses entirely different boxy tube shapes that are much more similar to the Aventon Aventure electric fat bike than the sharp and ovalized tubing we saw in the high-step Sinch. Its battery is also accessible without cracking open the frame. Like the Aventure and the new Pace 500, the battery is easily removable via a latch and key mechanism.
Aventon also redesigned Sinch’s frame closure mechanism and seemed to really beef up the hinge. It still works much the same way, but the latch is much more aesthetically pleasing and, at least in my opinion, a little more confidence inspiring. Though the folding mechanism has been tweaked, Aventon still has not given users a way to secure the two halves of the bike together when it is folded, leading to some potentially floppy maneuvering should you have to lift or move the bike. The addition of a small rubber strap to tie the two halves together would solve this issue, but alas, Aventon and many other makers of affordable electric folding bikes don’t include this with their bikes.
Other new (and highly visible) spec on the Sinch Step-Through are its 4-inch tan wall semi-slick tires made by Chao Yang, a relatively unheard of tire brand. These obviously do a lot for the bike’s look, but the semi-slick tread pattern is also a change from the old Sinch’s more off-road oriented Kenda knobbies. I’ll dive into more about how these tires changed the Sinch’s handling, but the quick and dirty of it is I prefer these new tires to the old ones — they roll better and make less noise on pavement, the surface this e-bike will likely spend most of its time.
But, in all that is new, there are some things that have not changed. The Sinch’s drivetrain is still a 7-speed (in the case of our review model, a Shimano Altus setup), we still have mechanical disk brakes and the weight is unchanged at 68 lbs.
Aventon Sinch Step-Through Review: Motor Performance, Speed and Acceleration
The Sinch Step-Through’s 500W rear hub motor is pleasantly peppy once you’re rolling and felt nice on throttle and pedal assist alike.
It uses a combo cadence sensor and speed sensor setup to engage the motor when pedaling, but despite the dual sensors our review bike had a noticeable lag between when you started pedaling and when the motor kicked on. A motor engagement lag isn’t terribly uncommon in e-bikes with a sensor setup like this, but the Sinch’s lag is long enough that it’s worth noting.
Also worth noting is that, while it took a few rotations of the crank for the motor to turn on, disengagement of the power happened almost immediately after you stop pedaling.
And while the motor’s acceleration felt nice when using pedal assist, it did feel a little soft when using the throttle. Instead of a good get up and go when throttling from a dead stop I found myself giving the bike a little scooter kick to gain momentum.
Like most hub-driven affordable e-bikes the Sinch’s motor power is divided into five pedal assist levels so riders can choose how much boost they’re getting. We sampled the Sinch’s performance in each of the five PAS levels around our Electric Bike Report test circuit, plus one lap with the motor turned off.
What we found was an e-bike with a fairly well divided powerband and a high-power average speed very close to its 20 mph max motor-assisted speed.
Aventon Sinch Step-Through Review: Range Test & Battery Performance
Compared to the battery life of other Aventons we’ve reviewed and similar e-bikes, the Sinch’s battery range is fairly solid.
We did two range tests on the Sinch Step-Through — the first in PAS 3 and the second in PAS 5 — in order to get an idea of how the bike’s 48V, 14Ah (672Wh) frame-integrated battery performs in the real world.
Those tests yielded the following results:
- PAS 3: 38.93 miles, 14.2 mph average
- PAS 5: 27.84 miles, 18.1 mph average
The figure that stands out most to me here are the PAS 5 results which, compared to other Aventon e-bikes we’ve reviewed, is one of the best of the bunch. In fact the only bikes that registered further PAS 5 range tests were the all-new Aventon Pace 500 Step-Through and the Aventon Level.
Aventon Sinch Step-Through Review: Hill Test
For a folding e-bike with a 500W rear hub motor, the Sinch Step-Through performed shockingly well uphill.
On our test hill Hell Hole, a one-third of a mile long section of bike path that pitches to an average of 12 percent, the Sinch was one of the best performing Aventons we’ve reviewed. We did two tests on Hell Hole, the first using just the throttle and the second in PAS 5 with the help of my legs.
The results were as follows:
- Throttle: 1:35.00, 11.4 mph average
- PAS 5: 1:14.00, 14.7 mph average
Compared to the other Aventon’s we’ve reviewed, both of those times are among the best we’ve seen on Hell Hole. The throttle-only result in particular is notable because it’s the second-quickest time we’ve seen among the Aventons.
These results are particularly impressive when you consider the Sinch Step-Through, at 68 lbs, is not particularly light. It’s also powered by a 500W rear hub motor, a motor size that can sometimes yield a mixed bag of results on the steeper pitches of Hell Hole, with many 500W e-bikes (including several Aventons) actually not able to make it to the top without help from the rider.
Aventon Sinch Step-Through Review: Brakes and the Brake Test
The Sinch Step-Through comes stock with a set of mechanical disk brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear which, on our review model of the bike, was a Tektro outfit.
In the e-bike world, mechanical disk brakes have gotten a bad wrap as cheap options that aren’t powerful enough to handle the high weights and high speeds of modern e-bikes. In some cases of off-brand mechanical brakes, this sentiment is true.
But when it comes to name-brand models such as those from Tektro, mechanical disk brakes can prove just as powerful (or even more powerful) than their hydraulic counterparts. Most often, it comes down to how well the brakes are set up.
The Tektro mechanical disk brakes that came on our review model of the Sinch help prove the above rule. Despite not being hydraulic and despite the Sinch’s fairly hefty 68lb weight, the Tektro’s performed better than most in our braking test.
Our braking test results consist of the average stopping distance of five full-power stops from 20 mph. According to our results, the Sinch Step-Through is, as of publication of this review, the fifth-best stopping e-bike we’ve tested thus far.
Like many e-bikes at the top of our leaderboard, we didn’t expect the Sinch to perform so well.
To many people, this test is likely going to seem the least important in this review. But in reality, it might be the most important thing in here. E-bikes are heavy, fast and oftentimes ridden by newer or less experienced riders. Braking matters, especially when things go wrong. So far that result, we give the Sinch Step-Through a big round of applause.
Aventon Sinch Step-Through Review: Ride Comfort, Handling and Cockpit
It’s got narrow handlebars and a very upright riding position, and the overall size of the bike is a little geared towards smaller riders as opposed to lanky folk like me. I’m 6’1” and with the seatpost maxed out I still had quite a lot of bend in my knee. According to Aventon, the new Sinch Step-Through is designed to comfortably fit riders from 4’11” to 6’3”, though if you’re on the upper end of that spectrum I’d expect to feel a little cramped — especially while pedaling.
That’s OK considering the Sinch’s geometry leans more towards compact cruising over high-intensity riding, but taller riders looking to use the Sinch for fitness purposes should take note — it’s not going to be the best fitting or feeling e-bike for high-intensity pedaling.
But when it comes to cruising bike paths, the Sinch is killer fun. Its small 20-inch wheels and fat tires make the bike very nimble while the near normal size wheelbase keeps the bike stable. It’s a quick handling bike, like all in this category are, but not so quick it delivers surprises.
At the cockpit Aventon gave the Sinch its relatively freshly designed full color LCD display, which is my personal favorite among all the displays in the affordable e-bike category. It’s a feature-rich display that’ll do much more than simply record ride metrics, but doesn’t require a manual to navigate. It’s paired with an easy-to-use touchpad that helps navigate the different screens, operate the lights, cycle through the PAS levels and turn the bike on or off.
Among the new additions to the Sinch Step-Through are a new make, model and style of tires. The 4-inch wide Chao Yang Arisun tires are more than a trendy aesthetic facelift, they actually sport a different tread pattern that slightly changes how the bike rides.
The high-step version of the Sinch comes stock with a set of mid-fat knobby tires from Kenda, which offer a little additional off-road performance the Sinch doesn’t really need. The semi-slick tread pattern of the Chao Yang tires better suits the Sinch, giving it less rolling resistance on pavement and a quieter ride.
Aventon Sinch Step-Through Review: Summary / Where to Buy
From the new looks to updated componentry, there’s quite a lot I like about the new Sinch Step-Through. But I’ve yet to mention the one thing about this bike I like the most.
I absolutely love how silent and sturdy this bike is; something I cannot say about every electric folding bike I’ve reviewed.
Folding bikes, in theory, offer a good storage and transportation solution for a product that oftentimes requires ample storage space and special tools (like burly hitch racks) for transport. But, by effectively sawing a bike in half then reattaching it with a hinge, they also pose a huge engineering issue that some brands solve better than others.
Oftentimes, folding e-bikes I review rattle in concerning ways or flex while riding in directions I’d really prefer they not. The Sinch has none of these issues. In fact, this is one of the few folding e-bikes I’ve reviewed where I actually forgot it folded when riding. Aside from the funky looks and small wheels, it handles and feels much like a normal bicycle.
That reason alone is why I’d recommend the Aventon Sinch Step-Through if you’re considering an affordable electric folding bike. Factor in its looks, componentry and motor performance, and this is probably the top bike on my personal list of best electric folding bikes.
Like all of Aventon’s e-bikes, the Sinch Step-Through can be bought online and shipped directly to your door from the button above.
‘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 Sinch Step-Through.
They better take a look at the new Lectric XP Premium, then drop the price about $500.