Amidst the boom in e-bike sales, riders are increasingly seeking a lightweight commuter bike that handles like a regular commuter bike, and gives them at least 30 miles of power assist. Responding to their demands, U.S. e-bike giant Pedego sent us the new Pedego Avenue to review. With its lightweight frame, sleek design, and proven power train, this commuter bike wowed us in how it delivers power and range for urban and suburban commuters to relish.
The Avenue is a medium/large commuter bike that does a great job disguising the fact that it’s an e-bike. Featuring a 17” aluminum frame, with 28” wheels,and two frame sizes: the Step-thru (good for riders 5’1 – 5’8”), and a 19” Classic frame (good for riders 5’4” to 6’1”). Weighing in at a little over 52 lbs. (including motor and battery), the Avenue is lighter than most e-bikes when it comes to loading it onto your bike rack, or wheeling it up the stairs to your apartment. It features a 500-watt gear driven motor, a 10.4-amp hour battery (a 14-amp hour battery is available for an additional $250), 28” (700 cm) wheels, rigid suspension, and mechanical disc brakes.
Coming in at right around $2000, this bike costs a little more than competitive brands, but you’re also getting a solid 5-year warranty and support from over 200 dealerships nationwide – something most other e-bike manufacturers don’t offer. Additionally, they offer fairly quick turnaround times on service, and their mechanics are trained specifically to fix Pedego bikes.
The company recently sent us their high-step and step-through Avenue models to test and evaluate. As we have found in testing hundreds of other e-bikes over the years, no e-bike can do it all, but Pedego’s Avenue has a lot going for it.
The following is our Pedego Avenue review, based on the independent tests and analysis we conducted on the e-bike’s motor performance, hill-climbing abilities, distance range, braking capabilities, safety, its handling and ride comfort, and a final summary that can help you decide if this is the commuter bike for you.
Bike Category: Commuter/City
Bike Class: Class 2: PAS/Throttle assist, up to 20 mph
Lightweight & easy to ride around town.
Good battery distance range.
Smooth, consistent acceleration.
Balanced battery power output designed to keep you running.
Designed to accommodate riders of all sizes.
Streamlined design & sleek battery integration hides its e-bike look.
5-year warranty on motor and battery, and solid dealer support.
Optional mag wheels, front suspension and hydraulic brakes.
Stock sport saddle is not comfortable for long rides (memory foam upgrade resolves this).
Rear cassette limited to only 7 gears (after-market upgrade resolves this).
Saddle: Sport style saddle with single density foam & center channel relief; chromoly rails; 270 mm length x 144 mm width.
Handlebar: Black MTB Riser, aluminum alloy, 720 mm width; 31.8 mm stem clamp; 30 mm rise
Kickstand: Black aluminum alloy rear kickstand; adjustable length composite foot.
Pedals: Sport style saddle with single density foam & center channel relief; chromoly rails; 270 mm length x 144 mm width.
Tires: CST Zeppelin 28” x 2.0” or Vee Malibu 28” x 2.15”, puncture resistant + sidewall reflective strip; Schrader valve.
Pedego Avenue Review: Bike Overview
Founded in 2008, by Newport Beach, CA, bike shop owner Don DiCiostanzo, Pedego continues to be a leader in the e-bike industry. This brand has gained a lot of popularity by providing e-bikes that satisfy riders’ tastes, are ready to ride out of the showroom, easy to operate, have the best warranty in the industry, and can be serviced and back on the road quickly.
The Pedego Avenue is the latest iteration of the company’s continued goal of meeting consumer demand. Its integrated battery design in the underside of the frame down tube practically hides the fact to most observers that it’s an e-bike. The 720 mm-wide handlebars, 75” overall length, and its 30.5’ seat height make it an excellent choice for riding though winding city streets, crowded bike paths, and open roads. Normally on commuter bikes I felt narrower handlebars were better for twisting and turning around pedestrians, dogs, and delivery people. But these bars gave me a feel of good control in all situations – tight areas and open trails. This is a feel-good bike that offers an overall feel-good riding experience.
One of the key features is the patented PedelSense software that monitors the rider’s output and contributes power to the overall ride. For riders who want to do more of the pedaling, the motor dispenses bite-size nibbles of power; for the rider who wants the motor to share a bigger load of getting from point A to point B, this system dishes out larger portions to make the ride easier and quicker.
Being a lightweight bike doesn’t mean it’s only for lightweight riders. As an option, Pedego offers heavy duty magnesium rims, perfect for heavier riders and heavier loads. Considering the durability, ease of maintenance and increased utility use mag rims offer, I think we will eventually see mag wheels on most e-bikes. Also available are aluminum racks that can be mounted over the front and rear wheels, converting this bike from being just a commuter bike to also handling cargo duties.
Suspension options include front forks with 50 mm travel, adjustable compression and hydraulic lockout. The step-thru model we tested included the suspension forks, which were nice when riding over a lot of speed bumps and hopping curbs.
Like most of its brothers and sisters, the Avenue features a 7-speed cassette. Having grown accustomed to riding commuter bikes with 8, 9 and 10 gears on the rear cassette, the 7-speed seemed a little limited. It would be great to see Pedego offer an 8 or 9-speed as an option.
Regardless, the Pedego Avenue is user-friendly and designed and built with practicality in mind.Offering e-bikes completely assembled and ready to ride at local dealerships is part of the cost built into Pedego’s electric bikes. They could unload their dealerships and only ship bikes, and that would bring the cost down, but riders really like this convenience, and are willing to pay for it. An added benefit is that most dealerships also rent the same bikes, so you can spend an hour or a day riding the Avenue to see if it’s for you. And if they’re not renting Avenues, you can always test ride it before buying. This is where Pedego really had the direct-to-consumer bikes companies beat.
Pedego’s Avenue shares many of the same parts that can be found on other Pedego models, which means the Pedego shops are more likely to have needed parts in stock, and that their mechanics can fix and return your e-bike to you quicker than most other bike shops.
The one feature the Avenue shares with most other Pedego bikes is the company’s warranty: 5-year parts warranty (wear and tear not included), 5-year battery warranty (3 years 100%, 2 years prorated), 5-year anti-theft protection, and their lifetime frame warranty. Given the fact that Pedego is one of the leading e-bike distributors in the U.S., it’s likely you will see more Avenues on the road in the future.
The optional mag wheels and racks turn this commuter into a lightweight cargo e-bike.
The Bengal brakes performed well, compared to other mechanical brake systems we’ve tested.
The MicroShift 7-speed comes on most Pedegos, and it shifted well on our test.
PEDEGO Avenue Review: Motor Performance, Speed and Acceleration
Like most other Pedego e-bikes, the Avenue utilizes a patented 500-watt motor that distributes predictable bites of power. In the acceleration test, the Avenue did fairly well in comparison to similar types of commuter e-bikes.
Similar to other Pedego motors I have tested, the power assist from the Avenue’s motor is not significant until you use PAS 3. PAS 1 and 2 are okay if you want to primarily peddle the Avenue, and get small doses of power assistance along the way. But if you need a good surge of energy to help you pick up speed, and maintain that speed, then you will use PAS 3 and up most often.
As our testing indicates, PAS 1 and PAS 2 did not contribute much to my peddling, and depending on the grade of incline, sometimes felt like it was not contributing at all. The motor’s performance at the starting two levels probably satisfies riders who want their peddling to do more work than the motor, and help them get more exercise. But the price of this approach is more perspiration and physical exhaustion – which is not what most commuters are looking for in a bike since they are probably going to work, shopping or doing something after the ride that does not involve a shower and rest.
If you plan on having a more relaxed ride then you likely use the top three levels most often – PAS 3, 4, and 5. When using these levels I maintained a consistent pace in the 16-20 mph range while still feeling like my peddling contributed to my two-wheel journey through town. Of course, the battery lost charge quicker when I used these upper levels, but my goal was to get in a comfortable 30-mile ride, not a taxing 50-mile run. Coming from that perspective, I was not disappointed by the Avenue’s power output when keeping my ride in the 15 – 20 mph range.
Pedego’s engineering and design team produced a great commuter e-bike in this version of the Avenue, featuring power performance and eye appeal.
The puncture resistant CST Zeppelin 28” x 2” tires provided good handling on dry pavement. But you’ll want to add liners if you ride in thorn country.
Pedego did a great job hiding the battery in the underside of the down tube, and improving the weight distribution for better handling.
PEDEGO Avenue Review: Range Test & Battery Performance
For the Pedigo Avenue’s range test, I used the larger, optional 7.8 lb. 14-amp hour battery Pedego provided on the high step and step-through models I tested. On our high power range test (PAS 5 on the Pedego display unit), the battery gave us 32.6 miles before dropping off. The lighter-than-average 44.6 lb. frame on the Classic I tested (52.2 lb. total with battery) helped reduce the demands placed on the battery.
My riding weight is 195 lbs. (me and my gear), and I rode a course that was mostly flat bike paths, with six short inclines that had gradients between 5% to 12% – pretty standard riding in most of the U.S. (except for the Great Plains states). Therefore, range results will be a little longer for riders who weigh less, and for riders who are riding only on flat bike paths and roads.
On the steeper inclines, the Pedego Avenue’s 500-watt motor was not able to maintain a speed of 20 mph getting our 195 lb. rider up and over. But as soon as the road leveled the motor resumed the 20 mph goal quickly when the battery was at least 50%. Once the battery dropped below 50%, the motor did not accelerate as swiftly, and it took longer to return to the 20 mph setting. It was as if the controller was telling the battery, “hey, don’t speed up so quickly, or else we will use up the battery power sooner.”
Throughout the range test, it appeared the power system was set up to avoid getting the rider stuck with no battery life left. As the Avenue dropped further in battery life, the motor became more conservative in the power demands it placed on the battery. Giving me conservative readings on the battery’s remaining charge, the Pedego Avenue was destined to get me home, not leave me stranded. The battery life display reinforces this because even when it seemed like I was almost on empty, the Avenue kept providing power to move me forward.
On the two long distance tests I performed, the display readings were consistent in listing the estimated battery life. Rather than displaying percentages, the Pedego Avenue’s display features a bar with five dots, indicating remaining battery life. Five dots on the bar indicates a full charge. As the battery power drains, the display screen removes one block at a time. The five dots on the battery indicator bar imply battery drainage is displayed in 20-percent increments, but the reading is not that precise.
In our test, the first dot disappeared at the 5th mile (87.5% battery life left). The second dot disappeared at the ninth mile (71.8% battery life). The third dot at the 17th mile (46.88%), the fourth dot disappeared at the 24th mile (25%) and the fifth dot began flashing in the final two miles before the motor became ineffective. So, if you can get within a mile or two of your destination before the warning light flashes, you should be okay.
The standard version Pedego Avenue comes with the 10.4-amp hour battery that weighs 6.4 lbs, and sells for around $2000 (the 14-amp hour battery is $250 more). Based on the information Pedego provided, riders can expect to average 18-20 miles using PAS 5 on the Avenue.
Regardless of which battery you get, if you’re leaving work on a Friday with a fully charged battery and a 20-mile commute, and you want to hurry home to start your weekend, the Avenue should get you there quickly using PAS 5. The system display is pretty user friendly in making sure you don’t get surprised and find yourself peddling unassisted for those last few miles.
Overall, I was satisfied with the Pedego Avenue’s battery’s performance. My test rides involved normal streets, terrain and hills the average commuter is likely to face. I rode responsibly, followed local traffic laws, avoided excessive use of the throttle, and pedaled consistently. The battery provided power to the motor at consistent levels, didn’t seem to run low quickly, and I felt like this bike would not leave me pedaling unassisted when I reached the last click on the display gauge, with less than three miles of my destination. The Pedego Avenue battery gets a thumb’s up from me.
PEDEGO Avenue Review: Hill Test
The hill test was conducted at Washington, Utah’s infamous Hell Hole Trailhead by Justin, one of our team members. Hell Hole Trailhead is our standard test we put all e-bikes through for the hillclimbing test. The course is 0.3 miles long, has an average grade of 12 percent, and great for testing e-bikes on their climbing ability.
This bike wasn’t great on the hill test. Compared to other 500-watt commuter bikes we tested, it was one of our slower results on throttle, BUT it did cross the finish line which is an achievement. Several bikes have failed this test.
The first hillclimbing test involved using just the throttle to reach the top – a situation a rider might encounter when he or she wants to avoid exhaustion and sweat. The Avenue made it to the top in 121 seconds, averaging 9.0 mph.
The second hillclimbing test involves using the maximum pedal assist (PAS 5) and a minimal commitment to pedaling to reach the top. Using PAS 5 and pedaling, the Avenue made it to the top in 72 seconds, and averaged 15.1 mph. The Avenue was slightly quicker than the Ride1Up 500 (by one second), and ahead of the Euphree City Robin (by 10 seconds), Aventon Pace 500 (by 15 seconds), and the Blix Aveny Skyline (by 22 seconds). This attests to the necessity for riders to contribute their pedaling on an e-bike when facing steep hills.
Building e-bikes since 2008, Pedego has over 200 dealerships nationwide.
Pedego installs these thumb/trigger shifters on most of its e-bikes due to their history of reliability.
Optional on is the SunTour suspension forks, great for curb hopping and rough streets, and carrying cargo on the front rack.
PEDEGO Avenue Review: Safety, Brakes and the Brake Test
Unlike the hillclimbing test, the braking test is crucial for determining the level of safety the e-bike provides to its rider. Compared to its competitors, the Avenue could have performed a little better in this area if it came stock with a hydraulic system, rather than a mechanical system. You can have the dealer add that for around $200, but we didn’t have the hydraulic system on our test bike. The results would have been better if we had the hydraulic brakes on our test bike.
Our braking test involves a series of three full-power stops from 20 mph. The Avenue came to a stop at an average distance of 22-feet, 4-inches, which was in the middle of the pack of the other commuter e-bikes we brake tested. The brakes did an alright job stopping the bike, slap a set of hydraulic brakes on this bike and it will definitely stop better.
Aside from the previous note, this e-bike comes with quality brake parts and is easy to adjust, repair and replace. The rest of the bike is designed to be easy to operate and maintain, making this a relatively well-designed bike. It also comes stock with a headlight, taillight (both run off the main battery), bell, fenders, kickstand and tool kit. So Pedego has you covered on those parts.
PEDEGO Avenue Review: Ride Comfort, Handling and Cockpit
Throughout my test ride I was impressed at how light the bike felt, and how easy it was for me to get around obstacles, like people stopped in the middle of the bike path, and when maneuvering the bike in traffic on regular city streets. A few times I had to make some tight turns and each time I felt like I was in full control of the bike, which was a clear departure from some of the heavy fat-tire bikes I’ve ridden in the same kind of traffic.
I found it easy to adjust the handlebar stem and saddle to get fitted comfortably on the Avenue. This bike is designed for a variety of different size riders, which means it can be comfortably ridden by most riders. The Twist-and-Go throttle, MicroShift shifter, brake levers and hand grips provided ergonomic comfort and control. The 3-piece crank (5×130 mm, 45T 3/32” steel chainring, 170 mm forged aluminum crank arms) made the peddling experience agreeable with my legs, torso and extended arms. There were a few times when I pedaled and leaned into sharp turns at 20 mph, and the bottom bracket-to-ground clearance was high enough to prevent my pedals hitting the ground. Maintaining my safety, the Pedego Avenue enabled me to continue riding with confidence.
The Pedego engineering tema did a great job integrating the battery into the underside of the frame’s down tube. I could not really feel the battery’s additional weight, which made the overall riding experience that much easier.
As mentioned in the “cons” section, the sport saddle that comes stock with the Avenue is not very comfortable for extended rides. The saddle on this bike feels like the one on my downhill mountain bike, which isn’t so bad for riding since I spend a lot of my downhill riding with my butt raised over the seat.
Commuter riding does involve some points where you will need to stand on your pegs for maneuvering and speeding up, but features a lot more sitting time than mountain biking. The solution to this would be buying the optional memory foam seat Pedego offers ($47). I have the same saddle on another Pedego e-bike and it’s very comfortable on long-seated rides.
The cockpit is built around PedelSense display unit. This is a fairly simple unit to master. After you click the “M” button to turn it on, you can dive deeper into the unit’s functions by pressing the “M” button twice, which can be useful for tracking trips, changing the units of measure, and even temporarily disabling the throttle if you’re trying the limit the activities of young, curious riders. Check out the Pedego manual for more information.
Additional cockpit features include the semi-internal cable routing inside the frame – great for preventing cable damage. If and when you need to partially dismantle this bike for shipping or putting on a jetliner to your vacation destination, Pedego features its unique disconnect cable system, with waterproof connections, to make disassembly and reassembly much quicker and easier.
The C500U display was easy to read in direct sunlight, and easy to operate while riding.
The stock sport seat was hard on my butt, so if you like to sit a lot then you might want the optional memory foam saddle.
The mag wheels look sharp and add a useful cargo utility benefit.
Piloting the Avenue was comfortable, after making some adjustments to the handlebar stem and saddle position.
PEDEGO Avenue Review: Summary / Where to Buy
Considering I am 6’ and 190 lbs., the Pedego Avenue may look like it’s not made for someone my size, but this e-bike gave me a great ride, offering decent bursts of speed when I needed it most, was light and agile to handle, and it didn’t make me feel like I had ridden almost 70 miles by the time I was done testing this bike. Simply said, this bike is made for almost anyone.
An important note about the battery: Pedego designed the battery and has simplified the process of removing and reinstalling the battery by making it a two-step process that doesn’t leave you dropping the battery on the ground. Be sure to have a Pedego associate show you and let you practice a few times before you take the bike home.
I know there are less expensive commuter e-bikes out there, but when considering price there are other meaningful factors to consider when shopping for an e-bike. I mentioned earlier the solid warranty Pedego offers, which you really can’t find anywhere else. And there’s the fact that you can find a Pedego dealership in over 200 cities across the country.
The Pedego Avenue will really appeal to you if you’re not accustomed to wrenching on bikes and you don’t already have a bike shop you love that services e-bikes.If you’re serious about riding your e-bike then you will be logging enough miles on it to require annual maintenance (or sooner if you’re really avid). Pedego makes that easy by providing a shop that likely already has the parts you need, and mechanics who have worked on the Avenue numerous times before. Having a bike shop to service your e-bike is extremely important if you’re not a DIY e-bike owner.
I like to think of the Avenue as one of the e-bikes that is helping to get more butts in more bike seats. This lightweight e-bike simplifies cyclists lives in how it can be easily ridden around town for 30 – 50 miles between charges, it is easier to load onto bike racks, buses, elevators and up stairways. As traffic and crowding worsen, and more people look for solutions in transportation (as well as for exercise) more people are going to hop on e-bikes like the Pedego Avenue. Given Pedego’s powerful role in the e-bike industry, I think we will see a lot more of these Avenue’s on the roads and trails across the country. If you feel the same way, then please click the link below to find out where you can get your Avenue, and get your two wheels on the road.
‘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 Pedego Avenue.