If you are looking for a quality eBike that is on the cutting edge of technology with an impressive spec of components and accessories then you should take a look at the IZIP E3 Protour.
This mid drive speed pedelec (pedal assist up to 28mph) features the COBI Plus smartphone & lighting system that makes the Protour a high-tech “smart eBike”!
At $3,299 the IZIP E3 Protour offers a lot of value with features that include the COBI Plus system, a mid drive speed pedelec, high quality components from Shimano, SRAM, Schwalbe, and a full assortment of quality accessories.
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 IZIP E3 Protour:
To get acquainted with the IZIP E3 Protour, checkout this video:
Riding the IZIP E3 Protour:
Overall there are some characteristics of the IZIP E3 Protour that really stand out when riding this high tech mid-drive speed pedelec. To summarize they are:
- High tech COBI smartphone display & lighting system.
- A fast (up to 28 mph) and powerful 500 watt mid-drive.
- Solid and stable ride feel.
- Nice selection of accessories with an elegant clean look.
The Look & Feel of the IZIP E3 Protour
The COBI Plus system is definitely one the bigger highlights of the high-tech Protour! It combines a lot of features into one complete system to create a refined and sophisticated “smart eBike”.
Your smartphone becomes the eBike display with a ton of features, the integrated front and rear lights run off the eBike battery, and a digital bell and security alarm are also built in.
Here is the COBI video with some of these features in action.
To recap, here are some of the main features of the COBI system:
- Automatic or manual lighting front and rear, turn signals
- 3D turn by turn navigation with voice guidance (online and offline), estimated time of arrival
- Weather predictions along your route
- Listen to music
- Place and take calls
- Cycle computer info: speed, trip distance, odometer
- Electronic bell
- Adjust pedal assist levels (1, 2, 3, Turbo)
- Walk mode
- eBike battery level
- Pedaling cadence (crank RPMs)
- Can be connected to a heart rate monitor for fitness tracking
- Audible alarm if the bike is tampered with when the alarm on app is set
- Your smartphone is the key to the bike. It will not work with any other smartphone after it has been paired to your phone.
- Smartphone charging from the eBike battery
- Free updates to the COBI smartphone app
- And more!
As seen in the video, the COBI system can be used on electric and non-electric bikes and it can work with a variety of different smartphones with different mounting options.
COBI makes cases for iPhones 6 & 7 with a rain cover (left side of image) that eliminate the external charging cable. The universal mount is shown on the right and can expand to fit wide variety of smartphones. The COBI system uses wireless Bluetooth communication so the phone can be put in your pocket or pack if you are riding on really rough terrain or if it is really raining hard.
The COBI system can also work without the use of a smartphone.
The assist levels can be adjusted with the up and down arrows on the control pad and there is a number of beeps to indicate which assist level you are in. For example:
- Level 1 = 1 beep
- Level 2 = 2 beeps
- Level 3 = 3 beeps
- Turbo = 4 beeps
And the digital bell also works without the smartphone connection. The button on the bottom of the control pad sounds the bell.
The lights can be turned on and toggled through their various modes with the button on the side of the COBI mount on the handlebars.
As you can see COBI Plus system packs a lot of features into its system to create a very modern eBike that has some similar attributes to the newer cars on the market.
It does take some time to become familiar with all of the features but after a few days of use it becomes more intuitive to use the system.
Since I use my smartphone a lot it is nice to have the connectivity and functionally built into the Protour. You may or may not use all of the features that are available with the COBI Plus but it is nice to have the option to use them at some point.
In some sunny conditions it was a little hard to see the display on the sample Samsung phone that this Protour came with for this testing and review.
I swapped it out for my iPhone and I was able to see the display with the brightness turned all the way up. Fully cleaning any smudges off of the screen really helps with visibility in sunny conditions too.
The audio notifications from the COBI are very helpful because you don’t always want to be looking at your smartphone on the handlebars.
Another big advantage of the COBI Plus system is the consolidation of the lights, bell, and alarm into one system that is very clean and it all runs off of the eBike’s battery.
The COBI Plus system on its own is $339. The Protour with the COBI Plus is price at $3,299 and that also includes a lot of high quality components and accessories that will be covered in this review.
That price point offers a lot of value considering all of the features that come stock on the Protour.
Okay now let’s take a look at bike part of the Protour!
Another highlight of the IZIP E3 Protour is that it is a very clean looking eBike; in fact it almost doesn’t look like an eBike!
The battery integration into the side of the downtube and the mid-drive motor that is hidden by the chainring help to create the clean look.
A 6061 aluminum frame with hydroformed tubes is the structure of the IZIP E3 Protour.
The hydroformed tubes have been shaped to provide enough material where it is needed in the high stress areas while minimizing the frame tubes in the lower stress areas. These shaped tubes also create some unique style for the IZIP E3 Protour.
The welds at the headtube have been somewhat smoothed for a cohesive look of the tubes flowing together.
There is some integrated cable routing in the frame that provides for some cable/wiring protection and a modern, clean look.
The aluminum fork has a very smooth and elegant look that blends well with the look of the frame.
Thru axles are used on both front and rear wheels which provides solid side to side stability for the wheels. The thru axles have quick release levers that make the removal and install of the wheels quick and easy.
There are 3 different frame sizes to fit a wide range of riders. This is a nice feature that is not found on all electric bike models on the market.
Small fits riders from 5′-3″ to 5′-6″
Medium fits riders from 5′-6″ to 5′-9″
Large fits riders from 5′-9″ to 6′-0″+
I am 5′ 11″ with a long inseam and the Large frame fit me well in almost all aspects except the top tube didn’t provide much standover clearance when my feet were on the ground. It would be nice to see the top tube slope a bit more to provide additional standover clearance.
After many miles of riding this high tech mid-drive speed pedelec it has proven to be a sophisticated, powerful, speedy, and fun eBike.
The Protour has a gliding ride feel which seems to be attributed to its ability to carry its momentum well. Once the large wheels on the Protour are up to speed they continue that speed with ease.
The ride feels very stable and comfortable with the wider tires and handlebars. It carves into the corners well with an overall feeling of stability.
With assist up to 28 mph the Protour can really fly around town and it is also a nice town and country cruiser in the lower assist levels.
The IZIP E3 Protour is a Class 3 speed pedelec (pedal assist only) per California eBike law.
The Currie Electro-Drive®/TranzX M25 500W mid drive motor can definitely pack a lot of punch at the higher assist levels!
There are 4 levels of pedal assist that add to your pedal power. They are levels 1, 2, 3, & Turbo. Each level has a distinct amount of assist and Turbo really packs a punch!
Levels 3 and Turbo provides a lot of initial acceleration and continue to provide a lot of assist up to 28 mph on relatively flat ground.
Levels 1 and 2 are nice for a more mellow ride which is nice when riding in congested areas or when you want to kick back and enjoy a slower ride. These levels provide a ride feel that is more similar to a 20 mph eBike and they will provide more range.
The IZIP E3 Protour comes stock as a pedal assist only eBike but the Boost Pad can be added for an additional $50 and it provides a throttle option in addition to the pedal assist. There is a wire connection that the Boost Pad connects to on the Protour.
The Currie Electro-Drive®/TranzX M25 500W mid drive motor is a fairly quiet motor.
At higher pedaling cadences in the higher assist levels you can hear the whirring of the motor but once you get up to speed the motor noise disappears with the wind noise.
This motor noise is on the lower end compared to a lot of other electric bikes that I have ridden.
The motor adds assist after about a 1/4 turn of the cranks and stops the assist as soon as you stop pedaling.
This Currie Electro-Drive®/TranzX M25 mid-drive is a torque, cadence, and speed sensor based system and it feels like it really focuses on the cadence (crank rotation speed) for engaging the assist.
With the mid-drive motor the Protour can leverage the gears of the bike to climb very steep hills while also having the ability to assist up to 28 mph on relatively flat terrain.
The 10-speed gear range is comprised of a 42 tooth front chainring with a Shimano 11 tooth through 32 tooth cogset. A SRAM X7 10 speed shifter & rear derailleur shifts through the gear range with the solid and precise action that SRAM is known for.
At the higher assist levels the shifting from the larger cogs to smaller cogs can be a bit abrupt. Easing off on your own pedal power can help this but the motor power at the levels 3 and Turbo can still be abrupt.
A 48 Volt 8.7 ah (417 watt hour) lithium battery located inside the downtube of the frame and it provides the motor with its kick!
The downtube battery location and mid-drive motor provides for a very centered and low weight distribution which is good for overall bike handling and you can definitely feel that balanced ride on the IZIP E3 Protour. It also feels very balanced when picking the bike up.
Removing the 5.8 pound battery pack brings the weight of the IZIP E3 Protour to 48 pounds which makes it a little easier to load on a car rack.
The battery can be charged on or off the bike and fully charging an empty battery takes 4 to 6 hours.
Once the battery has been unlocked with the supplied key it can be removed by pulling it to the side and out of the downtube.
The supplied key can fit an ABUS lock so that you have the same key for the battery and bike lock.
Now let’s take a look at the ride position on the IZIP E3 Protour.
The IZIP E3 Protour has a moderate performance position that is good for efficient commuting but is upright enough to be able to what is around you.
If you are looking for a more upright position an adjustable stem can help to dial in your preferred handlebar height and fore/aft position.
Wide handlebars with lock-on ergonomic grips give the IZIP E3 Protour a stable and solid ride feel.
That stable ride feeling is further felt with the large wheels with Schwalbe Big Ben 28″ x 2.0″ tires.
This wheel and tire combo creates that feeling of consistent momentum for a smooth and solid ride.
On the corners the IZIP E3 Protour feels very stable and it really carries the momentum of the large wheels well.
At speeds of up to 28 mph it would be nice to have some suspension on the Protour.
The Schwalbe Big Ben tires do a good job of taking care of the small bumps and cracks in the road but you may want to consider a suspension fork or suspension seat post if you consistently ride on rough roads.
The Protour saddle has a narrow performance style profile with a relief section in the center for a comfortable ride. It’s a good saddle for an efficient speedy commute but if you are looking for a more casual ride you may want to consider a more cushy saddle.
Shimano M396 hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear do a good job of slowing the IZIP E3 Protour down.
They have a very solid quality feel and they definitely have the power to slow the Protour down in a hurry if need be.
The brake lever reach can be adjusted to fit your hand size with a small allen wrench on the back side of the brake lever.
For the regular commute the accessory collection on the IZIP E3 Protour is top quality!
As covered earlier, the COBI system provides a lot of display features along with the front and rear lights and the digital bell!
Stylish aluminum fenders provide a durable rain guards that add to the overall quality look and feel of the Protour.
And not only that but the rear fender provides structural support for the rear rack.
The rack and rear fender integration has a clean sophisticated look and the rack works with all traditional bike bags and panniers.
Not many eBikes come with a built in lock but the Protour does! The ABUS Pro Tectic frame lock is a handy lock for running quick errands as it prevents the rear wheel from moving with a security bar that crosses between the spokes of the rear wheel.
In most places you probably don’t want to rely on this lock for long periods of time away from the bike but for quickly running into the store it is a handy feature.
Last but not least is the kickstand that has height adjustment to fit the angle you would like the bike to rest at when the kickstand is in use. The kickstand is solid and matches the quality of the other accessories well.
Okay, let’s see how the IZIP E3 Protour did out on the open road!
IZIP E3 Protour Range Test Results:
Here is the real world information on how the IZIP E3 Protour 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. I tested the IZIP E3 Protour in the highest pedal assist level (Turbo) with relatively easy pedaling on paved roads.
Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the IZIP E3 Protour traveled 18.7 miles and did a total elevation gain of around 1,690+ ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled very lightly this is pretty good range for a 48 Volt 8.7 ah battery pack (417 Watt Hours) with a 500 watt motor assisting up to 28 mph.
This range is above the minimum 16 miles of range that IZIP states: 16 to 35 miles of range. With that in mind you can expect to get the up to or in excess of 35 miles at the lower assist levels.
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 Protour will assist up to 28 mph with pedal assist only. The IZIP E3 Protour is a Class 3 speed pedelec (pedal assist only) per California eBike law. There is the option for the Boost Button with provides throttle up to 20 mph.
Weight: The IZIP E3 Protour tips the scales at 53.8 lbs which is pretty good for an electric bike fully equipped with a wide range of accessories. Removing the battery brings it down to around 48 pounds which makes it a little easier to load onto a car rack.
The weight distribution of the IZIP E3 Protour is very good because the battery and motor are low and centered on the bike.
High-Tech: The Protour is a “smart eBike” that brings modern tech and functionality to this high performance eBike. The COBI Plus system does a nice job of adding a lot of useful smartphone features to the everyday eBike ride and the consolidation of the lights, bell, and alarm into one system is very clean.
High Performance Ride: With a 500 watt mid drive assisting up to 28 mph the Protour does a great job of flying around town. It has a solid and stable ride feel that carries its momentum well and carves into corners.
Value: At $3,299 the Protour offers a lot of value with many impressive features like the COBI Plus system, a mid drive speed pedelec, high quality components from Shimano, SRAM, Schwalbe, and a full assortment of quality accessories.
Hard Shifts: At the higher assist levels the shifting from the larger cogs to smaller cogs can be a bit abrupt. Easing off on your own pedal power can help this but the motor power at the levels 3 and Turbo can still cause some abrupt shifts.
Stand Over Height: I am 5′ 11″ with a long inseam and the Large frame fit me well in almost all aspects except the top tube didn’t provide much standover clearance when my feet were on the ground. It would be nice to see the top tube slope a bit more to provide additional standover clearance.
Overall the IZIP E3 Protour is an impressive “smart eBike” that incorporates a lot of the useful smartphone features into a high quality mid drive speed pedelec.
With its full accessory selection the Protour is set up to make your commute and/or country ride fun and convenient.
This high-tech and high performance eBike offers a solid ride feel, quality components and accessories for the impressive price of $3,299.
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 a IZIP E3 Protour? Check with IZIP Electric for a dealer near you.
Do you have any questions about the IZIP E3 Protour? Do you own a IZIP E3 Protour ? 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.
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