Currie Technologies revamped their previous IZIP Path by maintaining the commuter/recreational style while upgrading the electric assist system with a new TranzX system that features their new proprietary Currie Electro-Drive firmware.
The new system includes a super quiet 500 watt direct drive motor, 48V 8.8ah lithium battery, a large LCD display, and convenient control pad.
The new system is certainly a highlight of the Path+, but there is much more to this 2014 electric bike that is priced at $2,200 (USD).
In this second part of the full review of the IZIP E3 Path+, you will get an idea of the ride characteristics, range test, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this commuter style electric bike.
What you can expect from the IZIP E3 Path+ E-Bike:
To get acquainted with the new Path+, checkout this video:
The Path+ aluminum frame is well designed with internal cable routing and clean welds. A metal chain guard and matching metal fenders compliment the frame well.
Currie Technologies spec’ed out a new TransX PST e-bike system on the 2014 Path+, and it definitely has a high quality look and feel.
First of all, you will notice the large LCD display that is front and center on the handlebars and it is very easy to read. The display provides information like pedal assist level (or throttle mode), battery level, speed, odometer, trip distance, and……estimated range!
The estimated range function is pretty cool because it lets you know approximately how much assisted range you have left based on the current battery level and what pedal assist setting you are using.
Cycling (pun intended) through the pedal assist settings (1 thru 4) will show you different estimated ranges.
For instance, when the battery is fully charged these are the estimated ranges that the display provides:
Level 1 = 42 miles
Level 2= 39 miles
Level 3 = 28 miles
Level 4 = 21 miles
Throttle = 21 miles
You can see the display at night thanks to the backlight. There is a light sensor that will automatically turn on the backlight in low light conditions.
A control pad on the left side of the handlebars controls all the functions of the Path+. Here is a break down of each button and what it does.
On/off button: This turns the bike on/off. It also changes the assist to level 0 when pressed while the bike is on. Level 0 disengages any kind of assist; no pedal assist and no throttle assist (even if you turn the twist grip throttle).
Information button: This cycles through the information on the display (speed, odometer, trip distance, estimated range).
Cruise control button: When in the throttle mode, you can push the the cruise control button at your desired speed and then let go of the throttle. Just cruise along! The cruise control will disengage if you use the brakes or if you twist the throttle.
Pedal assist level button: This will cycle through the 4 levels of pedal assist and the throttle mode.
Light button: This will manually turn on/off the display backlight and front and rear lights, if they are installed. There are wires for both front and rear lights on the Path+ and any 6V light set will work. Currie Technologies will offer after market lights for the Path+ soon.
A super quiet 500 watt direct drive motor propels the Path+ up to 20 mph. This motor also features a freehub and quick release which are upgrades when compared to a lot of electric bike hub motors. The freehub provides for a stronger axle setup and the quick release (when combined with the quick disconnect cable) makes the removal of the rear wheel easier.
Adding assist is accomplished with either the cadence sensor pedal assist and/or twist grip throttle. In any pedal assist mode you can turn the throttle to get up to 6mph. That is helpful if you are in a hard gear to get started in.
In the throttle mode, the bike will go up to 20 mph by turning the throttle; pedaling or not!
The 48V 8.8ah (422 watt hour) lithium ion battery is housed in the rear rack. The battery can be charged on or off the bike in 4-6 hours with the included charger that is about the size of a laptop charger. A key lock secures the battery to the rack and there is a fold down handle on the back of the battery for making removal easy.
A Microshift trigger shifter and Shimano Altus rear derailleur shift through the 8 speed Shimano 11-34t cassette (gears).
Promax Render mechanical disc brakes with 160 mm rotors slow the Path+ down. The brake levers have electrical switches that will stop the assist if the brake levers are engaged. That is a nice safety feature.
CST tires with a smooth center tread and some side knobs provide an efficient ride and it is really nice to have the Slime self sealing tubes as a stock upgrade.
The accessory assortment includes a bell, metal front and rear fenders, and kickstand.
Speaking of accessories, the rear rack is sized so that it will work with traditional bike bag/panniers. That is nice because not all e-bike racks are designed that way.
Riding the IZIP E3 Path+ Electric Bike:
The Path+ is a comfortable bike to ride. It has a fairly upright and comfortable position with swept back, commuter style handlebars.
QUIET!!!!! The Path+ is remarkably quiet. I think that is one of my favorite aspects of the Path+. The motor is very quiet and the rest of the components on the bike provide a nearly silent ride.
Adding to the quiet experience is the smooth ride that the Path+ provides. The cadence sensor pedal assist is surprisingly smooth in the way that it eases into providing assist or turning the assist off. In some ways it is close to the feeling you get on a bike equipped with a torque sensor pedal assist. That is all thanks to the Currie Electro-Drive firmware that they have programed into the TranzX system.
When you combine the quiet and smooth ride with assist, the bike has a feeling of just gliding along! It is a fun bike to ride and it has a carefree feeling to it.
Some of that carefree feeling could also be attributed to the powerful 500 watt motor with 42 Nm of torque and the 48V system! At the highest pedal assist level the bike really takes off! And climbing hills is a breeze.
The other assist levels (or less throttle) provide a nice way to enjoy a more mellow ride if you want. There is a noticeable difference between each assist level so that you can find the one that is best for your riding style or mood.
One of the features I wanted to test was the new range function on the display. How accurate was it? Well the good news is that it appears to be conservative in its estimate of range. When I started the range test it showed 21 miles available in pedal assist level 4 (the highest assist level). As you will see in the range test info below, the Path+ went 24.3 miles on pedal assist level 4 with easy pedaling on my part. I am glad that the bike provided a conservative range estimate!
The new LCD display is very easy to read both day and night (thanks to the backlight). It is also nice how it offers a simple and concise range of information; just enough to give you the info you want without cluttering the display.
The new control pad on the left side of the handlebars provides a nice way to change functions on the Path+ without having to remove your hand from the grip.
Changing the assist levels is accomplished by pushing the button on the control pad which cycles through the 4 different pedal assist levels and the throttle function. When pushing the button, the cycle only goes up through the levels and then starts over, so there is no way to go down an assist level without cycling through all of them again. It would be nice to have separate (+) and (-) buttons for adjusting the pedal assist levels.
The Path+ comes with a twist grip throttle option for riders who are more accustomed to that. In addition, the cruise control is a really cool function for letting go of the throttle on long open stretches of road.
The Path+ is definitely a bit back heavy due to the direct drive rear hub motor and rear rack battery. This effect may be a little more noticeable because the front of the Path+ is so light. Since the Path+ is not designed to be a speed racer, it is not much of concern, just something to be aware of.
Shifting through the 8 speeds on the Path+ has a very solid, crisp feel and the gear range seems very appropriate for the overall performance of the Path+. The highest gear allows you to contribute power at the 20 mph range and the lowest gear allows you to help on the really steep hills.
The Promax Render mechanical disc brakes have a lot of stopping power and they also have a solid feel to them. It is nice that the Path+ comes equipped with the brake lever switches that stop the assist when the brake levers are engaged.
The IZIP E3 Path+ Ride Test Results:
Here is the real world information on how the IZIP E3 Path+ 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.
Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the IZIP E3 Path+traveled 24.3 miles and did a total elevation gain/loss of around 2,000 ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled very lightly this is pretty good range for a 48 Volt 8.8 ah battery pack (422 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 IZIP E3 Path+ can get up to around 20 mph on flat ground. The Path+ does a good job of climbing hills. On the really steep climbs you will have to help it some, but it still is doing quite a bit of work.
Weight: This bike tips the scales at 56 lbs.
The weight distribution of the IZIP E3 Path+ is pretty back heavy because of the direct drive rear hub motor and battery housed in the rear rack.
Smooth and quiet: I would say this is the highlight of the Path+. The bike has the sensation of gliding along because it is so quiet and smooth. When you combine that with the comfortable riding position, it has a fun and carefree ride feel.
Powerful: The 500 watt direct drive motor with 42 Nm of torque and the 48V system can provide a very fun ride!
That is, if you want that. The Path+ can also provide a mellow ride in the lower pedal assist levels or by using less throttle. It is nice to have the ability to go fast if you want.
Quality components: The new TranzX e-bike system has a quality look and feel to it. The frame and other components spec’ed on the Path+ compliment the TranzX system well and the bike has a very balanced quality to it.
Pedal assist settings: It would be nice to have (+) and (-) pedal assist buttons so that varying the pedal assist would be easier; instead of having to cycle through all of them.
Rear rack battery: It would be nice to have the battery mounted near the center of the bike for better weight distribution. Currie Technologies has a number of new IZIP e-bikes that have the battery either in the seat tube area or mounted on the down tube. They probably did not mount the battery of the Path+ in these areas to keep the cost down and to provide the low step and diamond frame options.
Overall the new IZIP E3 Path+ is an impressive electric bike. Currie Technologies did a good job of spec’ing the TransX system with their Currie Electro-Drive firmware and a solid mix of other components.
The smooth, quiet, and powerful ride combined with a comfortable position make this a versatile electric bike for commuting, as well as simply enjoying a cruise around town or country.
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.
The IZIP E3 Path+ retails for $2,200 (USD) at the time of this review.
There are also diamond frame versions of the Path+ in medium and large sizes.
Where to buy a IZIP E3 Path+? Check with Currie Technologies for a dealer near you.
Do you have any questions about the IZIP E3 Path+? Do you own the IZIP E3 Path+? 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 or not.