After many miles of testing the new iGO Discovery Atwater it has proven to be a comfortable and high-tech eCommuter bike with performance capabilities.
A smartphone app lets you customize the ride performance and the haptic feedback from the control pad makes the bike feel very modern.
The Atwater has an easy and comfortable ride style with its low 17″ step through frame and upright riding position.
The Atwater also has performance capabilities with its 750 watt (500 in Canada) motor and high capacity 48V 14ah battery posting impressive range.
At $2,299 with free shipping the iGO Discovery Atwater offers a lot of high end features for a relatively economical price.
In this second part of the full review you will get an idea of the ride characteristics, range test results, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this electric bike.
Make sure you check out part 1 of this review with large pictures and specifications to get a detailed look at this e-bike.
What you can expect from the iGO Discovery Atwater:
To get acquainted with the iGO Discovery Atwater checkout this video:
Riding the iGO Discovery Atwater:
Overall there are some characteristics of the iGO Discovery Atwater that really stand out when riding this step through eCommuter. To summarize they are:
- Easy get on and off step through design
- Performance ride with impressive range
- Smartphone app to customize ride
The Look & Feel of the iGO Discovery Atwater
The 6061 hydroformed aluminum frame is a big highlight of the Atwater with its 17″ low step through area and the internal frame battery.
The large step through area makes it very easy to get on and ride the Atwater without having to swing your leg over the top tube of a triangle bike frame.
If you are looking for a bike like the Atwater with a triangle frame, iGO makes the Discover Bonaventure with similar components and accessories.
Some step through frames can be more flexible because of the missing top tube but the Atwater has a very solid feeling with the large aluminum tubing and reinforcing gussets.
Even when cornering quickly from side to side the Atwater felt very stable.
Another benefit of large tubing is the integration of the 48V 14ah battery into the downtube of the frame for a clean look, protection of the battery, and ideal placement for weight distribution.
From a distance it is hard to tell that the Atwater is an electric bike because the battery is hidden and the rear hub motor blends in with the cogset and rear disc brake rotor.
The protection of the battery with aluminum tubing on 3 sides is reassuring if the bike were to be dropped on its side.
The Atwater feels balanced and handles well with the battery weight relatively centered and low. It balances out the rear hub motor well.
Some of the other detail highlights are the large and smooth weld connection of the head tube and down tube connection. It looks like the tubes just blend together.
There is internal cable routing on both sides of the downtube that adds to the clean look of the bike and protects the cables.
The cable inlets have rubber grommets for quality look.
Another new feature for the iGO Discovery Atwater is the access to the controller that is housed in the bottom bracket area.
iGO describes it this way “the new in frame electronics access port allows anyone to easily access the controller and wiring in seconds. Even if the worst happens, a controller can be swapped out in minutes. Plug in components with twist locking weatherproof connectors makes it incredibly easy for anyone, anywhere to change any electronic component in minutes.”
Now let’s take a closer look at the ride position of the Atwater.
The Atwater uses iGO’s Ergofit system that gives the bike a lot of adjustability to fit riders in height 5’-0” to 6’-2” with its highly adjustable handlebar and seat positions.
In general the Atwater is very comfortable and easy going with an upright ride position.
The upright ride position also helps with being able to easily see everything around you.
The handlebar position is very adjustable with the Satori stem that has a quick release lever system to easily adjust the height and reach.
This is helpful for initial adjustments to dial in your preferred riding position.
It is also helpful if you plan on sharing the bike with someone else in your family who may be a different size.
The handlebars have a slightly swept back profile for a comfortable and stable ride position which gives a nice feeling of control.
The faux leather grips have comfortable ergonomic wings for wrist support.
The grips did rotate a bit during testing and it would be nice to have a more solid attachment to the handle bar.
A solution could be glueing the grips to the handlebar or you could opt for an upgraded grip with lock-on collars.
Smoothing out the road on the front of the bike is the Suntour Nex suspension fork that has about 2.5″/63mm of travel.
It does a good job of absorbing a lot of the bumps and cracks in the road.
There is a lock out dial that is useful for efficient riding on smooth roads.
The Velo seat has a mid width profile that has a comfortable feel.
There is a handle on the back of the seat that is very helpful for maneuvering the bike around.
If you ride on rough roads a suspension seatpost would a good upgrade for the Atwater.
Now let’s take a look at the drive system.
The Atwater is a comfortable and easy to ride eBike but it also has the potential for a fast ride if you want!
The geared rear hub motor is rated at 750 watts for the US market and 500 watts for the Canadian market.
In the higher assist levels the Atwater can accelerate up to speed quickly while maintaining a good clip on the hills.
In the lower assist levels it can be a carefree easy going ride for casually cruising the neighborhood.
There is also the thumb throttle that can add a boost when needed to the lower assist levels. This is great for getting through an intersection quickly or for a little boost on the hills.
The throttle can also be used on its own without pedaling if you like.
The Atwater comes stock as a Class 2 electric bike with max assist of 20 mph.
There is the option of “Off-Road” mode that will provide pedal assist up to 28 mph with throttle up to 20 mph. iGO states this “should always be used in accordance to state/provincial regulations.”
There are 9 pedal assist levels available to chose from. The prototype bike that was tested had 5 levels.
Using the iGO Connect App provides additional Riding Profiles to adapt the performance of these 9 pedal assist levels to best suite riding conditions and rider preference.
The 3 different riding profile are:
Economy – Lower motor reaction time between power assist levels. For those who are either learning to ride an eBike or prefer slower transitions in order to maximize battery.
Standard – Standard reaction time between power assist levels. For those who desire a balanced amount of quickness vs battery economy
Sport – Increased reaction time between power assist levels. For those who demand a quicker ride.
Each profile can be fine tuned to your liking using the ‘advanced’ button and then saved as your own custom profile.
It is nice to be able adjust how you want the bike to add the assist. Some may like a quick addition of assist while others may prefer to pedal a little before the assist starts.
It’s also nice that the app can be used for diagnosing system issues if they arise.
The pedal assist system uses a cadence sensor to activate the assist.
There is also a walk mode that moves the bike at a few mph for help with walking the bike up a steep hill or stairs. It is activated by holding the (-) button on the display.
Like many geared hub motors there is whirring noise from the motor. It is mainly noticeable in the higher assist/throttle levels. At the lower assist/throttle levels you can only hear it when getting started.
The Shimano Altus 8 speed drivetrain covers riding conditions well for climbing steeper hills and higher speeds on flat land.
It has a light action shifting feel that makes it easy to shift up and down the 11-34 tooth cogset.
Another highlight to the Atwater is the new color display and control pad.
When you push on the buttons there is a haptic feedback that really lets you know that you have pushed the button!
It has a bit of a vibration that is similar to how some smartphones make you really feel how you have pushed a virtual button on the screen.
Its a nice feature that adds to the high-tech features of the Atwater.
The TFT color display features the following information:
- Current Speed
- Max Speed
- Average Speed
- Trip Distance
- Ride Time
- Motor Watts
- Battery Level
- Pedal Assist Level
- Light Indicator
- Diagnostic Info
It is nice that the + and – buttons are close to the left grip for easily changing the pedal assist levels.
The display is relatively small which is nice for aesthetics on the handlebar but it can be hard to see some of the information at a quick glance. Important info like the speed , battery level, and pedal assist level are pretty easy to see.
Providing the “juice” to the system is the 48V 14ah 672Wh lithium battery with Samsung 18650 cells.
This is a high capacity battery that provided impressive range that you will see in the range test results below.
In addition to powering the motor the battery also powers the front and rear lights so you don’t have to worry about charging separate batteries for the lights.
As mentioned before the battery’s location in the down tube of the frame is ideal for aesthetics, protection of the battery, and weight distribution.
Keeping the speed in check is handled by Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes with 180 mm rotors front and rear.
They have the solid engagement feel and powerful braking typical of hydraulic brakes.
Each brake lever has a sensor that will stop the assist once either brake lever has been engaged.
The brake lever reach can be adjusted to fit your hand size as well.
MAXXIS Re-Volt 700×47, 28″x1.75″ with SilkShield puncture protection are used front and rear.
They have an efficient ride feel with the mostly smooth tread pattern.
The Re-Volt tires are designed specifically for eBikes and feature a 3mm thick for many miles of use.
Rounding out the Atwater is a high quality selection of accessories for commuting and adventure riding.
A big highlight are the aluminum fenders that have a durable look and feel.
They don’t rattle like some plastic fenders and they are strong enough to provide support for the rear rack!
The aluminum rear rack does use the rear fender as a support point and it is designed to carry cargo with bags, panniers, baskets, etc. on the top and sides of the rack.
The fender and rack combination add to the quality feel of the Atwater.
BUCHEL LED Lights are used front and rear and they both are powered by the eBike battery.
The front 50 Lux light does a good job of lighting up the road in addition to being seen when riding at night.
The rear light is a solid bright red light for being seen at night and it is built into the rear rack for a clean look.
A full coverage chain guard helps to keep your pant legs clean.
Rounding out the accessory package is the bell and kickstand.
The kickstand has an adjustable length so that you can adjust the angle of the bike when it is parked.
iGO Discovery Atwater Range Test Results:
Here is the real world information on how the iGO Discovery Atwater electric bike performed on a riding circuit that includes hills, flats, traffic, wind (when available) etc.
While testing these bikes I like to put them through the toughest conditions to see where their bottom line is in regards to range and speed.
The iGO Discovery Atwater that was tested was a prototype that was set to max assist of 28 mph in the highest assist level 5. I tested the bike in pedal assist level 4 because it provided assist up to 22.5 mph since the standard configuration will be max assist speed of 20 mph.
Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the iGO Discovery Atwater traveled 32.3 miles and did a total elevation gain of around 2,600 ft. Since it was tested at a slightly higher speed of 22.5 mph, an estimated range result at 20 mph is 36.2 miles and 2,900 ft of elevation gain. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled an average pace this is good range for a 48 Volt 14 ah battery pack (672 Watt Hours) with a 500 watt motor.
Watt hours are the total energy in a battery pack and it is based on the volts x amp hours of a pack. This is a way to compare the size of the “gas tank” of electric bikes.
Please keep in mind that if you pedal more, weigh less than me, ride slower and/or you use the bike in terrain that is not as hilly you will get more range. These results are from tough testing.
Speed: The iGO Discovery Atwater will assist up to 20 mph with pedal assist and/or throttle which makes this a Class 2 electric bike. There is the the Off Road Mode that will provide assist up to 28 mph would make this a Class 3 eBike. iGO states that this “should always be used in accordance to state/provincial regulations”.
Weight: The Discovery Atwater tips the scales at 62.6 lbs which is on the heavier side for an electric bike. Removing the 8.3 pound battery brings it down to around 54.3 pounds which makes it a little easier to load onto a car rack.
The weight distribution of the iGO Discovery Atwater is pretty good because the battery is relatively low and centered on the bike with a rear hub motor making it just slightly back heavy.
High-Tech: It is nice to be able to customize the ride performance with the iGO Connect App and the haptic feedback from the control pad underscores the high-tech features.
Easy & Comfortable: It is very easy to get on and enjoy a comfortable ride with the 17″ low step through area and the upright riding position. The handlebar and seat positions can be easily adjusted to fit your riding style.
Powerful & Long Range: The iGO Discovery Atwater can be a high performance eBike in the higher assist/throttle levels with quick acceleration and good hill climbing capabilities. It also offers an easy going ride style in the lower assist levels. With the high capacity 48V 14ah lithium battery the Atwater provided impressive range of approximately 36+ miles and 2,900 ft of climbing. You can expect even more range at lower assist and easier riding terrain.
Price: $2,299 is a good value considering the sophisticated frame, large battery (672 Wh), smartphone app, components from Shimano, Suntour, Maxxis, Tektro, and quality accessories including the aluminum fenders and rack.
Heavy: At 62.6 pounds the Atwater is on the heavier side for electric bikes.
Motor Noise: At the high assist/throttle levels the geared rear hub motor does create some noise.
Grips Rotate: It would be nice to have grips that have bolt on collars to prevent any rotation.
Overall the new iGO Discovery Atwater is a fun, easy to ride, comfortable, and high-tech eCommuter bike with performance capabilities.
The high-tech smartphone app is a nice feature for customizing the ride performance to your preferences.
Its an easy and comfortable eBike with its low 17″ step through frame and upright riding position.
And its impressive that the Atwater is built with performance capabilities like 750 watt (500 in Canada) motor and high capacity 48V 14ah battery for good range.
At $2,299 with free shipping the iGO Discovery Atwater offers a lot of modern quality features and components for an economical price.
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.
Where to buy an iGO Discovery Atwater? Check with iGo for buying options.
Do you have any questions about the iGO Discovery Atwater? Do you own a iGO Discovery Atwater? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Review Note: Each company pays a fee for a review on Electric Bike Report because of the considerable amount of time that it takes to provide an in-depth review of each eBike. A lot of time is spent on the full range test with distance & elevation profile, the wide variety of detailed pictures, in-depth video, and the write up with the specifications, ride characteristics, pros, cons, and overall thoughts. The reviews on Electric Bike Report are focused on providing you with a detailed “virtual” look at each eBike to help you determine if it is the eBike for you.
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