The Evelo Compass is a 24” e-trike that combines a smooth ride with extra cargo capacity. Evelo’s expertise in electric bikes shows through on the Compass. If you are a rider who wants something zippy, fun, and stable, the Compass is a great option to consider.
Last updated : February 18th, 2021
Review by: Kristen Nelson, Pierce Kettering
Photos By: Pierce Kettering
Tested By: Pierce Kettering, Kristen Nelson, Griffin Hales, Justin Taylor
With plenty of storage room and power, the Compass is perfect for tackling hills and carrying cargo. We found the Compass e-trike to be smoother and more sprightly than a lot of its competitors. This is a well engineered e-trike with nimble handling and lots of power.
Our test riders at Electric Bike Report agreed that Evelo balanced out this trike very well as it is equally safe, comfortable, fun, and it performs up to the standard Evelo sets with their other bikes.
eBike Category: Commuter / Cruiser
- Class 2: Throttle and pedal assist to 20mph
- The trike was surprisingly powerful
- Very comfortable riding position
- Works for riders of all sizes
- Easy to get on and off
- Plenty of storage room
- The brake switches made parking much easier
- We recommend riders try the first ride at low power and get used to balancing on a trike – it’s different than a two-wheel bike. Once you’re comfortable, it’s very stable and smooth!
- May be harder to assemble, but they have instructions to follow and an assembly walkthrough on YouTube
- Rear fenders are a bit flimsy
Evelo Compass Electrical Specs & Features
- Battery: Panasonic Lithium Ion 48v 10.5Ah with Advanced Battery Software
- Display: Multi-Color 3.2” IPS Display w/ USB Charger
- Motor: 48v Custom 500w Bafang Mid-drive Motor
- Lights: Front and Rear Battery Integrated Lighting
- Pedal Assist: Multiple Levels, Plus Electric only (throttle)
- Range: Up to 40 miles on pedal assist, 80 miles with battery add on
- Throttle: Lever Throttle – Left Side, up to 20mph
Evelo Compass Components & Accessories
- Brakes: Tektro 180mm Mechanical disc brakes w/ Brake Cut-off Switches
- Fenders : All Weather Front and Rear Fenders
- Fork: Custom 6061 Alloy with Steel Steerer Tube, Designed for Fenders
- Frame: 6061 High-Strength Aluminum Alloy
- Gearing: Shimano 3-Speed IGH Transmission
- Grips and Saddle: Extra Wide Velo Breeze with Memory Foam, Leather Plush Grips
- Handlebar: EVELO Alloy Stem, 5” Rise Steel Handlebar
- Pedals: Wellgo Comfort
- Tires: Innova 24” x 2.8″
Evelo Compass Weight and Dimensions
- Battery weight: 6 lbs (x2)
- Total bike weight: 83 lbs (includes batteries)
- Rider Height: 4’10” to 6’4”
- Maximum rider weight: 350 lbs
- Maximum Load on Rear Rack: 45 lbs
- Unfolded Dimensions: 72.75 x 29.5
The Evelo Compass is surprisingly fast. We were pleasantly surprised at the power and responsiveness of this e-trike! The Compass is fun to ride and packs a lot of power under the rear rack. Evelo has engineered the Compass with a mid-drive motor, balanced rider power, a rear differential and a double-battery setup for extended range.
Whether we were using pedal assist or using the throttle, the Evelo Compass could accelerate with ease. The trike also maintained its speed quite well, even when loaded with cargo.
Shifting / Gear Range
The Evelo Compass doesn’t have the widest gear range we have seen, but it has enough gears for what you’ll need. The climbing gear is easy enough to pedal up hills (with use of pedal assistance) and the hardest gear is low enough that we were able to maintain speed on flat ground decently.
The Shimano grip shifter with three speeds provides a very smooth, crisp feeling when shifting and is simple to use overall. I like that the shifter is integrated into the right grip – you don’t have to lift your hand off the grip to adjust gears and it’s easy on the wrist.
The three gears are actuated by a Shimano 3-Speed Transmission. All 3 gears are distinguishable from one another so you’ll notice a difference in pedal resistance with each one. We appreciate that Evelo integrated shifting into the trike. Since this bike is built to haul cargo, having the option to reduce pedal resistance is very helpful, especially when headed up hills.
Handling (cornering, slow speeds, etc.)
The handling of the Evelo Compass took some time for us to get used to, as handling on trikes is different than two-wheel bikes. The main difference is on a two-wheel bike, you lean into the turns (even if you don’t think about it, this is instinctive). However, on a trike you have to lean away from the turn. Leaning away from the turn increases stability – but it takes a ride or two to get used to. We recommend riders try the Compass on a low-level of assist the first time and get accustomed to feel while riding. After a ride or two, it becomes natural to balance and you’ll find riding the Compass is much easier than a two-wheel bike.
Evelo outfitted the Compass with a rear differential to allow for greater stability. The rear axle is split into two different segments – one for each wheel – with the drive system centered between. This makes it so each wheel has its own power and enables the wheels to turn independently. When you turn on a trike, the inside wheel turns slower than the outside wheel due to a smaller radius on the inside. If there is a solid axle, the wheels are not able to turn independently which creates an imbalance that can cause the trike to tip. The rear differential on the Compass keeps it stable in turns and balanced on uneven surfaces. The engineering is impressive and makes a huge difference when riding the trike.
The Innova 2.8” tires also help stabilize the trike since they are just wide enough to grip the road but still allow for easy navigation.
When purchasing a trike, most people are looking for cargo space, stability and comfort – and the Compass provides all three. The saddle is wide enough to be comfortable but doesn’t cause friction on your inner thigh. The seat stem is easily adjustable so you can raise or lower it as needed. The Velo Breeze saddle is made of memory foam and is one of the more comfortable saddles we’ve tested. You can ride long distances on this trike without discomfort.
Upright handlebars help with rider comfort as well since you can sit with your torso erect during the ride. This keeps your diaphragm open, so it’s easy to ride and breathe, and allows for clear visibility since you aren’t hunched over. The gently sweptback handlebars reduce pressure on the hands and wrists, and the gear shifters and throttle are an easy reach.
Start up on the Evelo Compass is pretty simple. For safety, you need to turn the battery switch to on, and then hold down the power button on the display controller for a couple of seconds. The combination of both power buttons prevents an accidental start up. Once the LCD screen is lit, you are ready to go!
One item to note: Users may feel a little confused at first, as there are two separate key holes under the rear rack – one for each battery. These keyholes are used to lock and unlock the batteries on the bike but they are not involved in start-up. The battery is integrated into the power system so once it’s locked in, the battery power button will turn the battery on and off – you don’t have to leave the key in. Locking the battery holds it securely and prevents others from tampering with or removing the battery. There are two battery ports on the Compass even if you only opt for one battery.
Stopping and Parking
The Evelo Compass has impressive braking power. The wheels have disc brakes so they are able to stop independently. While some users may prefer hydraulic rather than mechanical brakes, the Compass has a parking brake for both rear wheels which is tremendously helpful.
Since the trike will easily stand on its own and doesn’t require a kickstand, the parking brakes are an excellent way to hold the bike in position while you load/unload it, etc. The Tektro brakes have 180mm rotors, which will provide you with plenty of modulation and stopping power even at higher speeds.
During our range test, we got 18.38 miles out of the Panasonic 48v 10.5Ah Lithium Ion Battery. Similar to some of Evelo’s other models, the Compass comes with Advanced Battery Management Software, which is designed to get as many miles out of the battery as possible.
Most riders aren’t looking to do a century ride on a trike, so we felt the 18.38 miles we got on our range test was plenty for most riders.
Evelo has spec’d the compass with a Custom 500w Bafang Mid-drive Motor, which is definitely powerful enough for the Compass to be quick on the straight aways, and a good hill climber overall. When testing the compass we agreed that the motor was smooth when engaging, and respectively quiet even on more strenuous hills.
The Evelo Compass comes with one 48v 10.5Ah battery, and this Panasonic Lithium Ion Battery comes with Advanced Battery Management Software to help maximize its range. The Compass can hold two batteries for an extended range. The battery compartments are easily accessible and tucked away nicely below the basket behind each rear wheel.
While one battery is standard, there are two ports on the bike, so if you want to add a second battery later, you always have that option. Each battery has its own lock and power button.
These batteries charge quickly and are relatively lightweight for their specifications. There is a charging port for each battery so you can charge it on the bike or unlock and remove it to charge inside.
Evelo has always impressed us with their display quality and it is no different with the Compass. The Multi-Color 3.2” IPS Display w/ USB Charger is bright, easy to read, easy to understand, and fits the overall look of the trike. It also reads out your speed, assist level, wattage use, time, trip miles, and total mileage. Even though there is a USB port on the display, there’s no front basket or anywhere to set a device while charging – so you’d need to invest in a simple phone holder that mounts to the front handlebars if you plan to use the USB port while riding.
The Evelo Compass’s integrated headlight keeps you visible to others, but it doesn’t provide a ton of light for daylight riding. This is more of a safety feature that allows others to see you coming.
The tail light is reflective and integrated into the battery system as well, so it doesn’t require its own battery. We’d like to see a brake-responsive tail light on the Compass that gets brighter when you brake, but in all, the tail light is adequate and adds to your overall visibility while on the road.
The pedal assist on the Evelo Compass engages seamlessly with your pedal stroke, and offers a wide range of assist levels. With 5 total levels of assistance we always felt like we had enough power for where we were riding, even when things got steep. During our testing we rode a lot in higher assistance levels, which enabled the Compass to accelerate to top speed after cornering and tackle steep hills. Using lower assistance levels will extend your battery range and are sufficient when you just need a touch of added power.
The throttle is surprisingly powerful on the Compass. Usually, pedal assist provides more power while a throttle is supplemental. On the Compass it is almost the opposite. While pedal assist provides added motor power as you pedal, the throttle really adds some kick. When we did our hill test, throttle power alone was actually able to get us up the hill just as fast as pedal assist – and that was with me pedaling! The throttle is nicely powered so even though your top speed is limited to 20mph – this throttle will get you to speed quickly and hold you there.
Evelo Compass Components and Accessories
The fenders on the Evelo Compass did their job well, as they kept all of our test riders dry when riding through puddles and mud. The rear fenders were a slight hassle to install, and they are a bit flimsy, but that keeps them lightweight so you don’t have added drag on the backend. For around town riding, fenders are a must-have for the Evelo Compass.
The fork on the Compass is pretty standard, and is the same color as the frame for a clean look. It also comes with quick release drop outs with mounts for the fenders and for the head light.
We found the angle of the fork to be great for overall handling and control, and we had no complaints. Unless Evelo upgrades to a suspension fork for the next model, we wouldn’t change anything about it.
The Compass frame comes with internal cable routing, and is made out of 6061 High-Strength Aluminum Alloy. It was apparent to us that Evelo took a lot of time developing the frame, as it is the perfect size and is visually quite appealing. The frame felt sturdy below us and wasn’t too heavy to work with and maneuver.
The Wellgo Comfort pedals are made of alloy, and provide orange reflectors to increase your visibility to others. During our testing we found these pedals to be quite sturdy, and have a decent amount of grip to keep our feet in place.
We liked the amount of tread they put on these pedals, any more and you’ll likely gash yourself when you slip a pedal, any less and you’ll be slipping pedals far more often than you’d like to. Overall these pedals fit the Evelo Compass set up well, and are replaceable if the rider prefers another pedal.
Every time we test a bike (or trike) there is usually a component or two that we really enjoy over the rest, and in this case it was the Innova 24” x 2.8” tires. These tires are quite grippy, and voluminous enough to smooth out the trail.
They’ve also shown to be decently puncture proof and resilient to off-road debris. We would highly recommend sticking with these tires, they’re wide, thick, and provide a lot of grip.
When we were discussing the tires we couldn’t help but wonder what even wider tires would feel like on the Evelo Compass, the extra weight and traction may help the trike stick to the ground even better.
In conclusion we were very satisfied with the tires, and we didn’t ever feel the need to change them out.
The Evelo Compass fits an astoundingly wide range of rider heights, from 4’10” all the way to 6’4”! Because of this, our whole team was able to comfortably ride the Compass and give us their thoughts.
Our shorter riders definitely had an easier time handling the trike, as they were more behind the handlebars as opposed to over the top of them. Our taller riders still handled just fine on the Evelo Compass, they were just a bit top heavy when riding.
Chances are you’re between 4’10” and 6’4”, and if that’s the case then you’ll be able to pedal around the Evelo Compass with relative ease.
Summary Review / Where to Buy
The Evelo Compass is far more fun and capable than we were initially imagining. Evelo has clearly taken a lot of time and care in designing the Compass, and we were able to tell the second we started riding it.
The Compass is a great option for those who want to enjoy a picnic at the park and need to bring lunch and small dog with them! The motor was strong enough for us to climb all the hills we tested it on, and it was also decently quiet while doing so. With a ton of storage space, power, and stability, the Compass will go pretty much wherever you please.
Evelo operates as a direct to consumer company, so they ship your bike/trike directly to your doorstep. Assembling the trike did take some time compared to Evelo’s other bikes, but that wasn’t much of an issue overall. Evelo’s instruction manual, and online instruction videos provided us plenty of information on the Compass and how to assemble it.
With that being said if you are having trouble putting together your trike, Evelo offers a “White Glove Assembly” where a certified mechanic will assemble the Compass for you. Evelo also offers plenty of additional accessories on their website. If you’re looking for a fun, stable e-trike, this is a great option!
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