Magnum Metro Review
Cons: More expensive, not the fastest in the test
Manufacturer: Magnum Bikes
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Magnum is an electric bike brand that was founded in 2010. They produce a full line of e-bikes and electric scooters to suit a wide range of needs and budgets. Magnum bills the Metro as a "purpose-built electric bike well suited to urban riding or commuting." It caught our attention with its classic, retro style, impressive spec, and list of features. After weeks of testing, it emerged as the best overall model in the test and the winner of our Editor's Choice Award.
After our range and handling testing, we came away quite impressed with the ride quality of the Metro. It's fast-rolling with a very smooth, stable, and damp feel at all times, with steady and predictable handling. We also found it to be quite comfortable, with a relaxed, upright body position, loads of sizing adjustment, and a quality seat and grips.
One of the first things we noticed about the Metro was how smooth and quiet it was. The 2.15-inch wide tires roll fast and have lots of air volume that helps to dampen the ride, and the Suntour suspension fork has just enough travel to make bumps and cracks in the road disappear. While riding over some especially rough sections of pavement during our range test, we were pleasantly surprised by the performance of the fork and suspension seatpost, and how little noise came from the bike. Where other bike's fenders and chains tended to rattle around, the Metro was virtually silent.
In our handling tests, we were equally impressed with this bike's composed and predictable handling. We wouldn't call it the sportiest or most nimble, but it responded well to rider input with a calm and comfortable feel in all sizes of turns and speeds. Short turns or long, high speeds or slow, the Metro has the same easy-going yet steady demeanor. It also proved to be very stable at speed, and it felt damp and smooth when hurtling downhill at speeds approaching 30 mph. Considering the bike's 59.4 lb measured weight, we were pleasantly surprised by how natural it felt to pedal it around without power. While we wouldn't want to climb any significant hills on it without pedal assist, it felt just fine while cruising around on flat terrain.
We found the Magnum to be very comfortable. It has an upright, cruiser-like body position, and the step-through frame makes it easy to get on and off the bike. The handlebar sits relatively high, and the adjustable stem makes it easy to dial it into your preferences. The seatpost offers loads of height adjustability and 40mm of suspension travel that works well to take the edge off rough sections of road. The Selle Royal seat has an agreeable shape with a anatomical relief channel that takes pressure off your sensitive underside. The Selle Royal grips also have a nice ergonomic shape for resting your palms.
The components attached to the Metro all worked very well for us during testing and enhanced the bike's ride quality. The 8-speed Shimano drivetrain performed flawlessly, and we especially liked the trigger-style shifters. The Tektro hydraulic disc brakes are paired with 180mm rotors, which felt very powerful and had no issues controlling the speeds and weight of this heavy e-bike. The Schwalbe Big Ben tires were fast-rolling and provided predictable traction on firm surfaces, plus we liked the retro-inspired tan color. Front and rear fenders, head and taillights, and a stout rear cargo rack only add to this bike's user-friendliness and versatility. The rear rack even comes with a quality bungee for strapping down your things.
We were quite impressed by the range of the Metro, and this was one of the top performers in our testing. Not only did it travel an impressive distance, but it also held the highest average speed of all the bikes we tested. So, not only can you ride this bike quite a long distance, but you might also get there slightly faster when you do.
Magnum claims a range of 30-60 miles for the Metro. On our range test course using the throttle only, we rode for 28.7 miles with 1,660 feet of elevation gain/loss. With an average speed of 17.9 mph, the test took one hour and 36 minutes to complete. While we didn't quite hit Magnum's claimed low-end range of 30 miles, our test course wasn't exactly flat either. We feel relatively confident that we could have gone 1.3 more miles on perfectly flat terrain, and probably even a few more. Not only were we impressed by that distance, but we were particularly surprised by the high average speed. With its 500W motor, the Metro held a higher average speed than other bikes with larger 750W motors. Additionally, this test was performed with no pedaling or input from the rider, meaning you could easily double, possibly even triple, the range with a little bit of effort while using pedal-assist.
Considering the fact that the Metro has a 500W rear hub motor, we were quite impressed with its power output. In fact, it felt just as fast and powerful as competitors with larger 750W motors. This bike is fast using either the throttle or pedal-assistance, though it only has a cadence sensor, and its delivery of power feels a little less refined. Our test bike came in its Class 3 configuration, with 20mph throttle and 25 mph top pedal-assist speeds.
Like any e-bike with a throttle, the Metro is limited to a top full-electric/throttle speed of 20 mph. This bike has no problem getting up to that speed, and despite the smaller motor size, it felt like one of the fastest in its acceleration. It responds immediately when you press the throttle with no lag or delay. Once up to speed, it has no problem staying there, although the power does cut out noticeably at 20 mph. Not only did it have the highest average speed of all the bikes in our range test, but we were particularly impressed by this bike's ability to accelerate and hold speed while going uphill. It easily crested the short test hill on our range test course at 18 mph, and it didn't feel any less powerful than competitors with 750W motors when using the throttle.
The Metro has six pedal assist support levels that are simply numbered, 1-6. It can be ridden in level 0 as well, with no pedal assistance. The six levels provide a considerable range of pedaling support from very light up to very strong. The pedal assistance comes on after about a half pedal stroke and feels a bit abrupt in its delivery. This bike does not have a torque sensor, so it relies on a cadence sensor to modulate its power output. This results in a less refined and slightly jumpier feel than torque sensor-equipped systems. We found this to be most noticeable in easier gears with high assist levels, as it feels like it provides the same output regardless of rider input. Shifts between levels felt smooth, and we found it very easy to get and keep this bike above 20 mph. In level six, we were able to get up to its top speed of 25-26 mph, and it was easy to maintain it on flat ground.
With ergonomic controls and a large, easy to read digital display centered in the handlebar, the Metro had one of the best user interfaces of all the models we tested. The screen has 5 data fields, excellent contrast, and the controls are intuitive and user-friendly. The battery sits in a cutout in the downtube of the frame, locks into place, and can be removed for charging or storage.
The Metro uses the Das-Kit C7 control and display system, and the controls are mounted on the handlebar next to the left grip. This small control unit has four buttons arranged in an intuitive vertical orientation that is easy to reach with the thumb while riding. The power button performs the obvious function of turning the power on and off once the power at the battery has been turned on first. The + and - buttons are used to increase or decrease the pedal assist level and to scroll through options in the bike's settings. The set button is used to change the data displayed in the lower-left data field on the display, and to select options in the bike's settings. The throttle is a small paddle located next to the right hand grip and is easy to reach and press with the thumb.
The display is attached to the handlebar and centered over the stem in an easily visible location. Unlike the all-in-one display/control units found on many other models, you don't have to glance off to the side to read this screen while you are riding. The large 1 5/8 x 3-inch screen has excellent contrast and minimal glare, even in bright light conditions. Five data fields show all of the information relevant to your ride. In the center of the screen in large numbers is the speed indicator, which shows your current speed while riding. The upper right field is the pedal-assist level indicator, which displays your PAS level numerically from 0-6. Below that on the lower right side of the screen is the battery indicator that shows the remaining battery charge numerically as the voltage, and graphically with 5 bars that each represent 20% of the capacity. The lower left portion of the screen is the distance indicator with four options, odometer, trip 1, trip 2, and elapsed time. Pressing the set button scrolls between the data options in the distance indicator field. The upper left side of the screen is the current indicator that graphically displays the discharging current with six bars, each of which represents 2 Amps.
The large 624Wh battery slots into a cutout in the downtube of the frame. The battery has its own power button, and it must be turned on independently from the power button on the controls. There is also a charge indicator on the battery in the form of 4 LEDs. The battery must be locked to the frame, and removing it requires unlocking it with the key. The battery can be charged on or off the bike, and Magnum says charging takes an estimated 6.5 hours. The battery also features a USB port that can be used to charge devices like a phone or tablet while you are on the go.
The Metro topped our charts for its ease of assembly. This bike arrived almost fully assembled with only a couple of easy steps remaining to finish the job.
The Metro comes in a bigger box than most, and given the 59.4 lb weight of the bike, it was quite heavy. Moving the box and removing the bike from it is easiest with two sets of hands. Once we opened the box and pulled the bike out, the reason for the large box size became apparent. The Metro ships with the front wheel and fender already attached. The bike was very well packed and protected from shipping damage, and ours arrived in perfect condition. Once we removed the packing materials, the only steps remaining to complete the assembly were to attach the handlebar and pedals. The Metro comes with a small tool kit with everything you need to finish the job. It doesn't come with printed assembly instructions; however, detailed instructions are available on the Magnum website. After checking all of the bolts and making a few small adjustments, the total assembly time was approximately 20 minutes. The battery was even mostly charged, and we were ready to ride.
The Metro is one of the more expensive bikes we tested, but we still feel that it is a solid value considering its well-rounded performance and wealth of features. This retro-styled bike goes fast, with an impressive distance range and a smooth, comfortable ride quality. Sure, it costs a bit more than most of the other competitors we tested, but we feel the expense is justified for its award-winning performance.
The Magnum Metro impressed our testers across the board and took home our Editor's Choice Award. With a well-rounded performance and impressive versatility, we feel the Metro is an excellent option for any application. Whether you're commuting, running errands, or just getting outside, this bike has you covered with an impressive distance range, a great ride quality, and plenty of power on tap. It may not be the fastest, but we feel it is the best overall bike we tested.
Magnum makes a range of electric bikes and electric scooters, including two colors of the Metro, black and white (tested).
Magnum makes another version of the Metro called the Metro+ that comes with larger 700c wheels. The Metro+ has the same battery storage, drive system, and styling as the Metro we tested, but it is offered in both step-through and high step frame designs.
The Ui6 looks nearly identical to the Metro, but comes with a different display and drivetrain, and retails for nearly $500 less. The Ui6 is also offered in a Ui6+ version similar to the Metro+ mentioned above.
Additionally, Magnum makes several other non-folding models, including the Payload, Ranger, Navigator, Lowrider Crusier, Cruiser, and Peak. They also make a number of folding models like the Classic II, Premium II, and Premium, all of which are available in high step and low step versions.They also make an electric bike R2 Conversion Kit that includes a cargo rack-mounted battery, rear-wheel with hub motor, and all of the necessary hardware, cords, and parts.
— Jeremy Benson