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Ecotric Vortex Electric City Bike Review

A reasonably quick and sporty Class 2 electric bike that is best for the city or commuting
ecotric vortex electric city bike budget electric bike review
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Price:  $740 List
Pros:  Fast, good handling, comes with fenders
Cons:  Mediocre display and controls, limited rider height range, aggressive body position
Manufacturer:   Ecotric
By Jeremy Benson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 29, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 11
  • Ride - 25% 6.0
  • Range - 25% 6.0
  • Power - 25% 7.0
  • Interface - 15% 6.0
  • Assembly - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Ecotric Vortex is a relatively quick Class 2 budget electric bike that we feel is best suited for commuting and city riding. This bike's 350W rear hub motor packs and punch with relatively quick acceleration and a top throttle speed of 20 mph. The three levels of pedal assist provide a good range of support to boost your pedaling efforts. Its 26-inch wheels and smooth city tires are fast-rolling, and this bike has consistent and steady handling. It also comes with front and rear fenders, ergonomic grips, and an adjustable stem to enhance rider comfort. The user interface is relatively basic, but it is straightforward and functional. We also found it to feel a bit on the small side, and taller riders may not find the seat height adjustment range to be adequate. Otherwise, there was little we didn't like about this zippy electric bike.

Editor's Note: We updated the Ecotric Vortex Electric City Bike review on June 29, 2022, with additional info on which bikes we would buy and more in-depth comparisons between products.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $740 List$999 List
$899.00 at Lectric eBikes
$860 List$700 List$690 List
$568.99 at Amazon
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Pros Fast, good handling, comes with fendersModest price for high performance, convenient folding design, powerful motor, loaded with featuresRelatively quick, solid distance range, good display and controlsLong distance range, removable battery, step-thru design, retro style, comfortable rideFeature packed, long distance range, comes ready to carry lots of cargo, 20 mph top speed
Cons Mediocre display and controls, limited rider height range, aggressive body positionLess steady handling compared to non-folding models, moderate rangeSeatpost too short for taller riders, no instructions for the displayDisplay is hard to read in bright light, 15.5 mph top speedOnly 1 pedal assist level, basic display and controls
Bottom Line A reasonably quick and sporty Class 2 electric bike that is best for the city or commutingThis convenient folding model offers great performance and features at a reasonable priceA mountain-style Class 2 electric bike with relatively good power output and a solid distance rangeA reasonably priced Class 2 electric bike with a solid distance range and retro stylingIf range, comfort, and carrying capacity are important to you, this is a reasonably priced Class 2 e-bike to consider
Rating Categories Ecotric Vortex City Lectric XP Step-Thr... Ancheer 27.5-inch B... Miclon LNE 26 Nakto 26-inch 250W...
Ride (25%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Range (25%)
6.0
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Power (25%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
Interface (15%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Assembly (10%)
7.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Ecotric Vortex City Lectric XP Step-Thr... Ancheer 27.5-inch B... Miclon LNE 26 Nakto 26-inch 250W...
Wheel size 26-inch 20-inch 27.5-inch 26-inch 26-inch
Battery Size (Wh) 360 460.8 374 360 360
E-Bike Class Class 2 Class 3 Class 2 Class 2 Class 2
Motor Power (torque) 350W 500W 350W 250W 250W
Number of pedal assist settings 3 5 5 5 1
Top speed throttle 20 mph 20 mph 20 mph 15.5 mph 20 mph
Top speed pedal-assist 20 mph 28 mph 20 mph 15.5 mph 20 mph
Measured Distance Range 16.4 miles 20.7 miles 20.3 miles 21.3 miles 19.6 miles
Frame material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Steel
Weight Limit 220 lbs 330 lbs 330 lbs 200 lbs 250 lbs
Measured Weight 50 lbs 11 oz 61 lbs 10 oz 49 lbs 5 oz 48 lbs 9 oz 61 lbs
Folding? No Yes No No No
Drivetrain Shimano Tourney 7-speed Shimano Tourney 7-speed Shimano Altus 24-speed Shimano 6-speed Shimano 6-speed
Brakes Mechanical disc Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes Mechanical disc V-brakes V-brake front, Coaster rear
Additional features Bell, fenders. Fenders, rear rack, front and rear lights, folding design, front suspension, mounting points for racks, baskets, and a bike lock, IP-65 rated for water resistance Bell, headlight, tools, digital display Headlight, fenders, rear rack Basket, headlight, cargo rack, horn, suspension fork
Warranty One Year Limited on battery, charger, motor, controller. Six months on frame and other components One Year Two Years on frame, One year on battery, motor, and components One Year One Year

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Ecotric Vortex is billed as an "electric city bike," and this zippy 26-inch wheeled Class 2 e-bike scored relatively well in several of our rating metrics. Its got a 350W rear hub motor, a top throttle speed of 20 mph, and a solid distance range. It comes equipped for the city/commuting with smooth-rolling tires and front and rear fenders. We put it up against the best budget electric bikes to see how it compares.

Performance Comparison


ecotric vortex electric city bike budget electric bike review - the vortex is a fast-moving ride with a powerful motor and a decent...
The Vortex is a fast-moving ride with a powerful motor and a decent distance range. We feel it could make a good budget commuter.
Credit: Laura Casner

Ride


Testers felt the Ecotric had a pretty good ride quality, although there was something about the bike's geometry that didn't agree with our taller tester. That said, this bike has an almost racy feel; it rolls fast, handles predictably, and is generally pretty comfortable. While it couldn't match our top-rated models, it still earned a respectable 6 out of 10 in this metric.

The Ecotric rolls on 26-inch wheels with smooth, fast-rolling tires intended for use on pavement. This bike rolls fast and easily carries speed; we found it plenty stable at just over 20 mph during our high-speed downhill stability test. Considering this bike's 20 mph top throttle speed, that's a good thing. We found its handling to feel mostly predictable and steady, and it tracked well through wide bends and corners. We did find that tighter low-speed turns could feel a touch twitchy, which we attribute to its lower front end and somewhat narrow handlebar. It is intended for use on smooth paved roads, yet we found it to have a reasonably damped ride feel over infrequent rough sections or cracks in the street, thanks to its somewhat girthy tires.

ecotric vortex electric city bike budget electric bike review - the vortex performed relatively well in our handling tests, but it...
The Vortex performed relatively well in our handling tests, but it is a fairly small bike and may not work great for taller riders.
Credit: Laura Casner

The Ecotric should fit a reasonably wide range of users with a suggested height range of 5'3" to 6'0" and a 220 lb maximum rider weight. Testers found the geometry of this bike to feel quite a bit racier than the other models we tested, with a lower front end and a more aggressive body position. The stem is adjustable, but even with it all the way raised, it still felt a bit too low for our six-foot-tall tester. There is a decent range of adjustment in the seat post, although not nearly enough for that same tester to achieve proper leg extension while pedaling. Taller riders may need to get a longer seat post for proper fit and comfort on this bike. That said, the ergonomic grips were quite comfortable, as was the saddle during extended periods of test riding.

ecotric vortex electric city bike budget electric bike review - the vortex felt a bit small for our tall and long-legged testers.
The Vortex felt a bit small for our tall and long-legged testers.
Credit: Laura Casner

We found the 7-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain to work well, and it provided an adequate range for all but the steepest of hills we encountered while testing, even when riding without pedal assistance. The mechanical disc brakes work just fine, and we were able to come to a stop from full pedal-assist speed in 22 feet during our braking distance test. The Ecotric also comes with a bell and front and rear fenders to help keep you from getting splashed if you happen to ride through a puddle or during inclement weather conditions. Unfortunately, it does not have a light, so if you plan to do any night riding, it would be wise to invest in a reliable bike light to keep you visible.

ecotric vortex electric city bike budget electric bike review - the vortex has a respectable distance range that will be suitable...
The Vortex has a respectable distance range that will be suitable for most riders, although it was bested by the competition in this metric.
Credit: Laura Casner

Range


We found the Ecotric to be about average during our distance range test. It wasn't the best in this test, but it was relatively fast. Our test was done using the throttle only with it wide open the whole time, and we feel that it is safe to assume it can go much farther when putting a little effort into pedaling.

Our Vortex test bike came with a 360Wh battery. Interestingly, its factory specs call for a slightly smaller 324Wh storage capacity. We can't be sure if the specs are incorrect or the wrong battery came with our bike; either way, it's a good amount of battery capacity. On our range test course, the Vortex traveled 16.4 miles with 958 vertical feet of elevation gain/loss in 56 minutes and 55 seconds. During the test, it held an average speed of 17.3 mph with a maximum of 23.7 mph while cruising downhill. While this range is a few miles short of the best in this metric, its average speed is what really impressed us. This bike was going considerably faster than any of the other bikes we tested with a 350W motor, and it covered that range in less time than most of the competition. Ecotric claims a range of 18-20 miles under perfect conditions, and we feel pretty confident that it could go that far on perfectly flat terrain and likely be doubled by pedaling and using pedal-assist instead of the throttle.

ecotric vortex electric city bike budget electric bike review - the 350w motor felt surprisingly powerful with good acceleration and...
The 350W motor felt surprisingly powerful with good acceleration and a 20 mph top throttle speed.
Credit: Laura Casner

Power


The Vortex comes with a 350W brushless rear hub motor, and it surprised us with its power. We performed several power output tests, and this bike came out near the top, impressive given its smaller motor. Its acceleration wasn't necessarily any faster, but it had among the highest top and average speeds of all the tested models.

The Vortex is reasonably quick in its acceleration, not the fastest but not far off. It's easy to get it up to its top speed of 20 mph on flat terrain when using the throttle. We found that it held that speed well while cruising, and while doing our range testing, it proved to hold its speed well up the gradual hills on our test course. Its average speed of 17.3 mph during our throttle-only range test is a testament to this bike's robust power output.

The Vortex also impressed us with its power output when using pedal assist. It has three support modes: low, mid, and high, providing 40%, 70%, and 100% support, respectively. It takes about a full rotation of the pedals for the assistance to engage, but once it does, it comes on strong regardless of how quickly you're turning the pedals. The power band extends for about a full second after you stop pedaling, and applying the brakes shuts off all power whether you're using the throttle or pedal assist. On flat ground, we found it to be relatively easy to get the bike up to 20 mph in the high support setting while pushing a big gear, although it was challenging to get the bike going much faster than that.

ecotric vortex electric city bike budget electric bike review - the basic but functional controls on the vortex.
The basic but functional controls on the Vortex.
Credit: Laura Casner

User Interface


The Ecotric has a functional and straightforward user interface, although it can't match the top-rated models in this metric. It earned a 6 out of 10 in this metric. The LED 810 display panel is a handlebar-mounted affair that is home to the bike's three control buttons and LED lights that show the remaining battery charge and pedal-assist setting. While there is nothing special about it, it is uncomplicated and serviceable.

The LED 810 display panel is mounted just next to the left grip on the handlebar. This simple display and control unit combo has three buttons, power, mode, and 6km/h. The power button is used to turn the bike on and off while the mode button shifts sequentially through the bike's three pedal assist modes (low, medium, high). Pressing the 6km/h button engages the motor, which pushes the bike along at a consistent 6 kilometers per hour (3.7 miles per hour), a convenient option if walking with the bike or pushing it up a steep hill. The display consists of seven bright red LED lights. Three lights show which pedal assist setting you are currently using, while the other four show the remaining battery life. The twist throttle is integrated into the right-hand grip and actuated by twisting it back towards you.

The battery is a relatively standard e-bike battery that attaches to the frame's down tube. The battery can be locked to the bike using the included keys, and you can easily remove it for charging or security. The Ecotric comes with a charging cable, and the battery has a charging socket with a rubber cover on its right side. Ecotric claims a battery charge time range of 5-8 hours and a battery life of 400-600 charge cycles.

ecotric vortex electric city bike budget electric bike review - the vortex was well packaged and mostly assembled, finishing the...
The Vortex was well packaged and mostly assembled, finishing the task was relatively easy and took about 45 minutes to complete.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Assembly


The Ecotric scored a 7 out of 10, right about average for its relatively standard ease of assembly. Like most other bikes we tested, it arrived in a full-size bike box and was well packaged and protected from shipping damage. After removing the bike from the box and the protective materials from the bike, the remaining assembly took approximately 45 minutes to complete.

Most bikes are shipped from the manufacturer or seller mostly assembled, roughly 80-85%, and the Ecotric was no exception. The remaining assembly steps included attaching the handlebar, seat and seat post, front wheel, pedals, and front fender. These steps are all relatively easy and don't require any real bike mechanic skills to complete. The Ecotric also comes with all of the necessary tools and printed instructions. The instructions were quite general and not specific to the City Bike model we tested, but they were adequate to get it up and rolling.

ecotric vortex electric city bike budget electric bike review - for the price, the vortex performs relatively well and we feel it is...
For the price, the Vortex performs relatively well and we feel it is a pretty good value.
Credit: Laura Casner

Should You Buy the Ecotric Vortex Electric City Bike?


The Ecotric Vortex is a good reasonably priced electric city bike that would be great for commuting or running errands around town. It is relatively fast and powerful with a respectable distance range, and it comes clad with fast-rolling tires and fenders. It may not be our top-rated model, but it performs relatively well for the price, and we feel it could be a suitable option for many riders.

What Other Budget Electric Bikes Should You Consider?


If you're looking for a powerful electric bike and have a little wiggle room in the budget, the Ride1Up Core-5 is our top-rated affordable model. With a 750W motor, the Core-5 is the most powerful model we tested with a top pedal-assist speed of 28 mph. A city-style bike more your fancy? The Aventon Soltera costs a bit more and has a sleek design with a city-bike style and quick handling. It rolls smooth and fast on 700c wheels and tires, plus it comes in two frame styles and 2 sizes to suit your needs.

ecotric vortex electric city bike budget electric bike review - we feel the vortex is a decent option for commuting or city use for...
We feel the Vortex is a decent option for commuting or city use for smaller riders.
Credit: Laura Casner

Jeremy Benson

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