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Evelo Galaxy Lux E-Bike Review, 2023
Apr 07, 2023
This retro cruiser combines broad accessibility with luxurious tech for a refined riding experience.
Like its sibling, the Galaxy SL, Evelo’s Galaxy Lux e-bike proudly displays styling reminiscent of the iconic California beach cruiser. As the top-tier Galaxy model, the Lux shares a lot of overlap with its more economical sister, but it has also been loaded up with some straightforward upgrades and a few new high-end additions. Our review of the Evelo Galaxy Lux covers all of these features in detail, examines the bike’s performance in our testing process, and shares thoughts from our experiences on the saddle.
Both Galaxy models have been designed with a high level of accessibility for seniors, casual or newer riders, and those with disabilities. The Lux takes this concept a step further by shaving off an additional pound (down to a trim 52.4 lbs total) for ease of transport, replacing the chain drive on the SL with a Gates belt drive for extremely low maintenance, and (almost) completely throwing the need for user-controlled shifting out the window with its Enviolo Automatiq shift system.
Keep reading for more about the user-friendly, functional cruiser appropriately titled the Galaxy Lux!
Bike Category: Cruiser / Step-Thru
Class 2 E-Bike:Pedal & Throttle Assist up to 20 MPH
Evelo Galaxy Lux Video Review
Seriously cool tech! The Galaxy Lux’s Enviolo Automatiq shifter does its job well even if it has a few setup quirks. It’s a great choice for anyone looking for a “set it and forget it” sort of experience, and also eliminates the potential for wrist pain from the SL’s twist shifter.
Lighter than most cruisers at just 52.4 lbs including its battery, the Lux is even more lightweight than its sibling, and just as easy to mount thanks to its step-thru frame design.
Premium components throughout. The Galaxy Lux earns its name by featuring a 500W mid-drive motor paired with a long-lasting, low-maintenance belt drive and smooth, continuously variable transmission.
As an Evelo product, the Lux is decked out with name-brand components and backed up even further by the company’s excellent 4-year warranty.
More immediate power and greater efficiency from the battery thanks to the Lux’s 48V battery compared to the 36V version on the Galaxy SL.
Intuitive ride quality thanks to the pedal assist system on the Lux providing measured, expected increases between settings for intuitive control.
There is just something attractive about the curves of that beach-cruiser-influenced design!
As a tradeoff for having a high-tech gearless CVT and electronic shifting system, the Galaxy Lux does not have the ability to shift if its battery dies.
Our testers unanimously agreed that the stock Galaxy saddle can be a bit too firm for longer rides, but Evelo does offer some alternatives that can be purchased separately.
As with the SL, the Lux has been designed for riders of small and average height. Taller riders may need to consider a larger Evelo model like the Atlas.
ELECTRICAL SPECS & FEATURES
Battery : 48V 11.6Ah Battery with Advanced Battery Management Software
Brakes: Zoom Hydraulic Disc Brakes with 180mm Front 160mm Rear Rotors and Cutoff Switch
Fenders: Composite All Weather Front and Rear Fenders
Fork: EVELO Rigid 4130 Chromoly Fork
Frame: 6061 High-Strength Aluminum Alloy
Drivetrain: Gates Belt Drive w/ Enviolo® Continuously Variable Transmission
Grips: Ergonomic Rubber
Saddle: Selle Royal Comfort Springer Saddle
Handlebar: Cruiser-style w/ EVELO Stargazer 110 mm Stem
Pedals: Wellgo LU-C33
Tires: CST Cyclops 24″ x 2.4″
Evelo Galaxy Lux Review: E- Bike Overview
Technology is a marvelous thing. It’s always evolving, solving problems, and serving to make our lives easier. Of course, e-bikes in general wouldn’t exist without advances in technology, but most haven’t gone much further down that road beyond traditional bicycles except in terms of their batteries and motors.
With the Galaxy Lux, Evelo has included some impressive technology that pushes e-bikes into territory far beyond what is typically expected of them. The core Lux feature is an upgraded version of the Enviolo continuously variable transmission (CVT) that is present on the SL, which eliminates the constraints of locked gear ratios and allows for an infinite degree of user control over pedal resistance and power. Where the SL still requires adjustment from the rider, the Lux incorporates the Enviolo Automatiq automatic shifting system, allowing its rider to hop on, set a baseline resistance level, and just go. Additionally, the drivetrain is powered by a clean, long-lasting, and low-maintenance belt in place of a chain. The whole system takes a general “set it and forget it” approach that makes the bike incredibly easy to use, simple to care for, and more fun to ride.
The Lux, like the SL, is built around a remarkably lightweight (for an e-bike) and accessible frame, which only widens the bike’s possible audience. Where its sibling weighs in at 53.6 lbs including its battery, the Lux has been reduced by over a pound, down to 52.4 lbs. The difference isn’t huge, but in general, lighter often means better. This easily manageable weight means that the Lux can be transported by a wider range of bike racks, many of which often do not have the capacity to carry significantly heavier e-bikes (although you can find some that are exceptional bike racks for e-bike use). Furthermore, the Lux’s step-thru frame design brings the standover height down to just 16.5” – the lowest of all Evelo models. This makes the Lux incredibly easy to mount, eliminating the need to swing a leg over the saddle.
The Galaxy Lux feels completely at home in both urban and suburban environments.
The Galaxy Lux’s Enviolo Automatiq automatic shifting system is governed by a tiny control panel on the right handlebar.
Instead of a chain, the Lux features a long-lasting, clean, and smooth Gates belt drive.
We’ve learned to trust in Evelo as a reliable brand thanks to their great habit of equipping e-bikes with reliable parts, and the Galaxy Lux is no different. The bike’s Dapu motor, Zoom brakes, Gates belt drive, and Enviolo CVT are quality components with tested and proven history. If that isn’t enough, Evelo stands behind their bikes with a nearly incomparable 4-year / 20,000 mile warranty on frames, batteries, motors, controllers, and display panels. Considering that this is similar to the duration and/or mileage that you’d see when buying a car, it’s a safe interpretation to think that the Lux is a quality machine.
I can talk up the Galaxy Lux’s specs all day, but actually riding the bike and measuring its performance leads to a completely separate conversation. There’s no comparison for experience! In the expanded Evelo Galaxy Lux review below, I’ll explain my personal thoughts on the bike, and explain the data we gathered while measuring its performance through our testing.
Evelo Galaxy Lux Review: Circuit Speed Test
The first test we perform with any e-bike is our Circuit Test, explained in the graphic above. This allows us to get acquainted with each model and learn its feel, adapt to its handling, and grasp the relationship between its power levels.
With its Dapu 500W mid-drive motor, the Galaxy Lux rides similarly to a traditional bicycle. Its torque sensors adjust the amount of input from the motor based on the amount of effort the rider applies. As opposed to some e-bikes with rear hub motors that do most of the work, this means that it can still take some exertion to propel the Lux, but the difficulty is managed both by the PAS system and the Enviolo Automatiq shifting system.
I said it previously in my other recent Evelo e-bike review of the Galaxy SL and I’ll say it again here: by looks alone, I did not expect the Galaxy Lux to be a speedy e-bike, but it surprised me with its capability in higher pedal assist settings. The Circuit Test graph above shows a similar pattern to that of the SL, in that the Lux’s pedal assist system (PAS) delivers a relatively linear increase in power between levels. We really like to see this sort of tuning, as it ensures that A) the rider notices a difference between levels; and B) the jumps feel intuitive and predictable.
When comparing the Lux to its twin, I really felt a difference in the motor’s input. The two e-bikes have the same motor and showed similar data points in our testing, but due to its 48V battery (as opposed to the SL’s 36V power source), the Lux felt more responsive and powerful, with quicker acceleration. Responsive is the key word here; the bike never felt like it was too powerful, it just felt right.
Let’s dive a little further into the functionality and behavior of the Enviolo Automatiq shift system, as it interacts interestingly with the Lux’s PAS. The shifter presents as a small control pad on the right handlebar. Once activated, it allows the user to set a baseline level of resistance, which coincides to a cadence setting based on revolutions per minute (RPMs) of the cranks. With a higher cadence, or faster RPMs, less effort is required (similar to a high gear on a standard cassette). With a lower cadence, or fewer turns per minute, the effort increases. The system pairs with an app for calibration purposes, and also displays a numbered cadence/RPM setting, which is not otherwise displayed on the bike’s control pad. This can be a little confusing when looking at both a screen and a control pad (the up button on the pad decreases cadence which increases difficulty), but it feels intuitive with just one or the other.
As the rider pedals along, the Lux’s automatic shifting system detects natural changes in cadence and rotation and adjusts accordingly, though it does have a slight lag in its response time. I appreciated its effectiveness when going uphill, but sometimes found myself pedaling a little too freely for a second or two on the other side of the hill before it caught up. The union of the Automatiq system and the PAS seemed appropriate though, making lower PAS settings feel more effective on hills than I expected despite offering limited input from the motor. Due to the increase in motor assistance in higher PAS settings, I found myself also increasing that baseline resistance level from the shift system to maintain a consistent level of input while maximizing my overall speed.
If I have any real critique with the feel of the Automatiq system, it’s that the adjustment of the shifter’s baseline setting feels a bit too granular. It adjusts by single-RPM increments, which means that it takes many presses of the button (or a longer but less accurate hold) to feel any real difference. While I understand that a high degree of customization is a feature with the CVT, I’d personally prefer to see increments of 5 RPMs at a time instead of 1, which might provide more immediately noticeable differences. Also, considering that the system is made by Enviolo and not Evelo, this critique isn’t really pointed toward the Galaxy Lux itself.
One area I do have to give the Lux recognition for is the inclusion of the Gates belt drive. I’ve mentioned that this system is low-maintenance, but it has an added benefit. When looking at other e-bikes with mid-drive motors and chain-driven gearing systems, we have often seen a surprising level of wear and tear on cassettes caused by the motors’ increased torque. This is most common on low-end cassettes, but the potential still exists for greater wear in any setup using a chain. The belt drive on the Lux completely removes this possibility, and we’d love to see it included with more mid-drive motors.
Overall, I think the Lux’s motor, CVT, and automatic shifter worked remarkably well together. They are a solid combination for someone who doesn’t want to think much about shifting when they hop on a bike, but who still desires a responsive machine with power that is available when it is needed.
We have to admit, the Galaxy Lux is just a good-looking e-bike!
The 500W mid-drive motor on the Lux has been upgraded from the SL’s 36V system to 48V for more immediately available power.
The rear hub houses the bike’s continuously variable transmission, or CVT.
Evelo Galaxy Lux Review: Range Test & Battery Performance
To test an e-bike’s real world range when compared to its advertised performance, we are really testing its battery. At lower PAS settings, lower motor assistance requires less power from the battery, so it lasts longer. At higher PAS settings, you’ll run out of juice much faster. There are a host of other factors that also influence range, including rider weight, weather, terrain, etc., but our two tests give us a good ballpark figure. We run the bike both in the lowest practical PAS setting and again in the highest available setting until the battery gives out, then record the distance achieved in each trial.
In the case of the Evelo Galaxy Lux, that meant a test in PAS 1 and another in PAS 5. The data we gathered from our two evaluations showed a range of roughly 27 to 45 miles, which falls a bit short of Evelo’s claimed 55 mile maximum. It’s not unusual to see some discrepancy due to the previously mentioned factors, but this case does seem a bit odd.
The more economical Galaxy SL lived up to Evelo’s claims, so we need to look at where the Lux differs. When it comes to its base specs, fancy stuff aside, we see a noticeable change in the bike’s battery. I mentioned that the battery on the Lux got an upgrade from 36V to 48V, which should make it more efficient. But when compared to the SL’s 13 Amp hours (Ah), the Lux’s battery is just 11.6 Ah. I won’t go into too much detail here (read our full guide to e-bike battery basics), but just know that fewer Ah equates to less “gas,” and therefore reduced time/distance.
That’s not to say that the Lux has a poor range; it does not. Even the 45 mile range resulting from our test is quite a bit of distance for a single charge. That respectable distance means that the Lux could function effectively as a daily commuter bike with frequent charging, or provide days or even weeks of short, casual rides before needing to be plugged in.
Unusually, Evelo lists a 25-mile “electric only” range in the specs section of the Galaxy Lux’s web page. While we did not – and most commonly DO not – perform a range test on the Lux in throttle-only mode, this does seem like a decent ballpark considering our PAS 5 test result of approximately 27 miles.
Evelo Galaxy Lux Review: Hill Test
An e-bike’s uphill capability is largely determined by the wattage and torque rating of its motor. Our Hill Test, explained above, pushes e-bike motors to their limit by presenting them with a short but extreme challenge. Generally speaking, if a bike makes it to the top, we consider it a win regardless of the time it takes or the speed it travels on the way up. So how did the Evelo Galaxy Lux stack up?
With its 500W mid-drive motor supplying 100 Nm of torque, the Lux performed great. This was to be expected, as smaller mid-drives can usually hold up alongside rear-hub motors with greater wattage. The Lux certainly outperformed its sibling, the Galaxy SL, by a significant margin, and we attribute that to the more immediately available power granted by its 48V battery.
As I discussed previously, the Lux’s Enviolo Automatiq shifter did well on inclines, even in lower PAS settings. To me, the system seemed to compensate somewhat additionally for the fact that the Lux carries a mid-drive motor, and as such requires more rider input than a rear-hub motor by its nature. We didn’t try the Lux on our test hill in anything lower than PAS 5, though I’m sure it would have done well (the rider may have been a different story!).
It’s worth mentioning that during our previously mentioned Circuit Test, I took one lap without assistance from the motor. In that instance, and especially on an incline, I absolutely did NOT appreciate the automatic shifter. The bike was light enough to pedal OK without assistance on flat ground, but on a hill it did not have the range to accommodate human power alone. Realistically, this makes perfect sense, as the Galaxy Lux is clearly made for riders who want a relaxed, stress-free ride.
On a separate but related note, the Galaxy Lux does not have the ability to shift if the battery completely dies. My experience without motor assistance on the Circuit Test prompted this experiment. As long as the bike itself can turn on, the Automatiq system will be able to as well, and can function even without motor assistance. But if the Lux runs out of power and turns off, the bike will be stuck in a single “gear”. Again, this makes sense, but it highlights the potential shortcomings of a fully electronic, automatic system. Let this be a general warning: if you live at the top of a hill, stay close to home when the battery is getting low!
The Lux’s Enviolo Automatiq shifter, CVT, and belt drive combine to allow much more time to just enjoy your ride.
The rear cargo rack holds up to 55 lbs and also has a slot for the 48V, 11.6 Ah battery.
The Lux has kept the same brake setup as the SL; hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors on the back and 180mm rotors on the front.
Evelo Galaxy Lux Review: Safety and Brake Test
Safety features are one area where the Galaxy Lux does not differ from the Galaxy SL, mainly because the more economical sister bike comes equipped so well to begin with. The Lux, like the SL, features a headlight, taillight and brake lights integrated into the battery, quality brakes with a motor cutoff feature, and reflectors. We consider each of these features essential, and feel it important to give a nod to manufacturers who include them as a baseline.
With 180mm front and 160mm rear Zoom hydraulic disc brakes, the Galaxy Lux performed decently in our Brake Test. We brought it up to the Class 2 max of 20 miles per hour, then hit the brakes and measured the distance it took to stop completely. At 22’ 8”, the Lux felt a little on the slow side, but it was still within what we consider a normal and effective range.
Interestingly, while we did notice that the rear wheel on the Lux occasionally locked up during hard braking like that of the Galaxy SL, it did not occur with quite the same regularity. It is possible that the automatic shifting system had some contribution to the Lux’s increased stability, but we’re not entirely sure and will update this review if we’re able to learn more.
To touch back on the Galaxy Lux’s battery, it has a couple of additional features aside from the integrated tail and brake lights that we appreciated. First, while it’s not strictly a safety feature, the battery is easy to access and remove from its position underneath the bike’s rear cargo rack. More notably, the power source for the Lux also features battery management software (BMS) to prevent any hazards that could occur from overcharging.
Bottom line: while its braking could be improved somewhat by increasing the rear rotor size to 180mm, the Lux features both standard and advanced safety features that make it a trusty traveler.
Evelo Galaxy Lux Review: Ride Comfort & Handling, Cockpit, and More
When it comes to the ride comfort of the Galaxy Lux, I found it to be a bit of a mixed bag, though much of that comes from my own personal preferences. For example, while I appreciate the beach cruiser styling of the Galaxies, I find their iconic, curved handlebars to feel a bit unnatural and uncomfortable. That said, their shape is less extreme than plenty of others, and for someone who enjoys the style, I’m sure the Lux would not disappoint.
Similarly, the Lux’s saddle is decidedly not for me, and in fact all of our testers commented that it felt pretty hard after a short time on the road. This could partly be attributed to the fact that neither Galaxy model comes equipped with any sort of suspension, so all of the little bumps on the road come through loud and clear.
Fortunately, Evelo offers quite a few optional accessories to alleviate most of these concerns. At the time of writing, their online store offers two alternative saddle options with what appears to be cushier padding and more ergonomic design, two suspension seatpost options with 50mm and 90mm of travel respectively, and a suspension stem adapter with 20mm of travel. We did not have the opportunity to try these accessories out, but I’m sure they would have largely eliminated my complaints on comfort. It’s great that Evelo offers some customization options here, though unfortunately they are an additional expense.
One permanent feature of the Galaxy models is their frame. Both the Lux and the SL are designed for riders between 4’ 10” and 5’ 10” in height. This makes them accessible to smaller riders who often get left out in the world of huge, heavy e-bikes, but the Galaxies in turn exclude potential riders above 5’ 10”. Other Evelo models like the Atlas or Omega may be a better fit for those folks, but none have quite the same retro styling.
The throttle lever and control panel are mounted on the Lux’s right handlebar.
A nice, bright headlight adds safety and visibility for early morning or evening rides.
A water bottle and cage is the icing on the Galaxy Lux’s cake.
Like the SL, the Lux features a functional cockpit with well-distributed controls.
The Lux’s small frame size does make for quite a nimble e-bike, and its 24” wheels provide excellent agility. The step-thru frame with low standover height places the bottom bracket pretty far down, which can result in your pedals coming close to the ground when leaning into a turn. I never encountered a problem with it, however, and I think the bike’s high level of accessibility is completely worth the trade off.
With the Enviolo Automatiq shifter, the Galaxy Lux has an even more compact cockpit layout than its sister bike. The left handlebar is the same, with the front brake lever, throttle lever, and the bike’s main control panel. The right handlebar only has the rear brake lever and control pad for the Automatiq shifter. This layout makes all of the Lux’s controls easy to reach, but does bring up one other point of critique.
Where most e-bikes have one or potentially two buttons or switches to activate, the Galaxy Lux has three. First, the battery itself has a switch that needs to be turned on. It’s a nice feature and it can be left on, but if you’re trying to maximize the battery’s charge, it’s a good idea to switch off between rides. Second, the Lux’s main “On” button on the control pad needs to be activated, as expected. But third – and this is what I found myself often forgetting – there is also a button on the Automatiq control panel to hit. It’s a relatively minor thing, but in my mind, the bike’s main button should also activate the shift system. I’m sure the separation exists because the Automatiq shifter is made by a different manufacturer, and is therefore a standalone system. I’m also sure that with more regular use, I would probably adapt to the extra step of turning it on before I actually find myself in motion.
The Enviolo Automatiq system really is something worth dwelling on for a moment though. Prior to my own experience with the Galaxy Lux, I had no idea that such a high degree of automation was possible on an e-bike. Generally speaking, I enjoy pedaling and having that complete level of control over my riding experience, so I was surprised by how easy it was to settle into letting the automatic system just do its thing. The system isn’t perfect, but it did a great job at making the Lux’s ride more enjoyable. Fewer things to worry about and manage meant more time to relax, see the sights, and have fun.
Evelo Galaxy Lux Review: Summary / Where to Buy
Overall, I think the Galaxy Lux would be a solid choice for smaller riders who appreciate the cruiser styling and feel, while also enjoying some high-end bells and whistles. The Enviolo Automatiq system goes a long way in making the Lux stand out from the crowd, and really does a solid job in addition to just being cool. It is worth pointing out again that the Lux’s full reliance on automated technology means that it is unable to shift if its battery expires, but cases in which this actually happens should be pretty rare with the bike’s appreciable range.
It’s nice to see the upgrades included in the Lux’s solidly practical features too. The Gates belt drive absolutely makes sense here, and the increased voltage on the battery makes a difference too (though increased amp hours would have been appreciated). While quality parts are a standard feature with Evelo e-bikes, it’s worth mentioning again. With the Galaxy Lux, you truly do get what you pay for, and your investment gets backed up by the company’s incredible warranty.
Subjectively, there are definitely a few personal comfort details that I would change about the Lux, and it’s great to see that Evelo offers options which might appeal to those who feel the same. I think it would be fantastic to see a “bike builder” system on Evelo’s website that would allow for up-front inclusion of those alternate options instead of requiring separate purchases, but c’est la vie. More objectively, the largest downside about the Galaxy Lux is that its small frame doesn’t accommodate taller riders, even though it does cut down on weight.
And accessibility is the Lux’s strong suit. Its portability and ease of mounting, in combination with its largely automated functionality, make the bike highly suitable for aging riders and those with less mobility or riding experience. The Evelo Galaxy Lux makes sure those groups don’t have to sacrifice when it comes to quality or capability, by proving to be refined, robust, reliable, and relaxing to ride.
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 Evelo Galaxy Lux.