Some links may be affiliate links. We may get paid if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these.
Electric Bike Review – IZIP E3 Metro
Dec 23, 2011
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.