Eahora AM200 Review
Cons: Underwhelming pedal assist power, rear suspension doesn't do much, top pedal assist speed is slower than advertised, questionable quality control
Our Analysis and Test Results
Eahora makes a full line of electric bikes ranging from folding models and commuters to fat tire mountain bikes like the AM200. This slick-looking e-bike features front and rear suspension, 4-inch wide knobby tires, a 750W rear hub motor, and mountain bike styling. We found it to have a great ride quality, respectable distance range, and a quality user interface, but it fell short of the high bar set by the competition for its less than impressive power delivery.
The AM200 is billed as a fat tire "mountain bike" and it certainly looks the part with front and rear suspension and big 4-inch wide tires. In general, it feels a lot like a mountain bike, with a smooth ride, responsive handling, and versatility enhanced by its shock absorbers and girthy, knobby tires. Powerful hydraulic disc brakes and reliable shifting help to keep things running smoothly on the trail. It also comes with comfortable ergonomic grips and a performance seat with a wide range of seat height adjustability.
The AM200 has a modern-looking mountain bike style frame with a simple single-pivot rear suspension design. It comes with a sealed, non-adjustable rear shock and an adjustable suspension fork. The fork does a pretty good job of absorbing bumps in the road or trail, but we found the rear suspension to be a little stiff for our 180 lb tester. Sure, the rear shock helped smooth things out a little, but less than we had hoped. The massive 26" x 4" wide tires have loads of air volume and a knobby tread that helps to dampen the ride and provide traction on variable and loose surfaces. The combination of the suspension and the tires definitely helps to expand the AM200's terrain and surface bandwidth from pavement to smooth dirt roads and trails, sand, and maybe even some packed snow. We think it could also handle some light-duty mountain biking on moderate-difficulty trails, but we would not recommend this bike be ridden aggressively on advanced or super rough terrain. While it may look the part, we have reservations about the quality and durability of this bike's frame and components.
Not only does the AM200 look like a mountain bike, but it handles a lot like one too. In general, steering is responsive, and it makes a variety of turn shapes well. We found it to be stable at speed and comfortable to ride on various surfaces, including dirt, gravel, sand, and pavement, thanks to its large knobby tires. While the fat tires help smooth the ride and provide traction off the pavement, they do have the adverse effect of feeling slightly resistant to turning on the pavement. This resistance takes just a little getting used to but is notable compared to bikes with smoother treads and narrower tires. A set of powerful hydraulic disc brakes do a great job of controlling your speed, with confidence-inspiring stopping power. The 9-speed Shimano drivetrain also worked well for us during testing. We were a little confused, however, by the massive front chainring used on this bike. We think a smaller chainring would probably be a better fit, particularly if you happen to run out of battery and need to pedal this bike without the assistance of the motor.
The AM200 has a claimed maximum weight capacity of 220 lbs and a recommended user height range of 5'7" to 6'8". Our lead tester is exactly 6'0" tall, and even maxing out the seat height didn't quite provide full leg extension when pedaling. Granted, he has long legs, but we feel that users taller than 6'2" or so may have a challenging time finding the proper fit on this bike. Otherwise, we found the performance-shaped seat to be comfortable and suitable for this style of bike, and the ergonomic leather grips were quite nice on the hands. The AM200 doesn't come with loads of features, but we liked the bright headlight that runs on the bike's power supply.
We were generally pretty impressed by the range of the AM200 during our standardized throttle-only range test. It traveled 23 miles with 1,267 feet of elevation gain/loss in 1 hour and 26 minutes at an average speed of 16 mph. While it was outperformed by several other models, we feel this is still relatively impressive given its smaller 499Wh battery and solid average speed. Considering the fact that it has roughly 25% less battery storage capacity, it stands to reason that it would travel around 25% less distance than models with larger 672Wh batteries. Still, it managed to outperform that estimate, rolling just 5.4 miles, or 18% shy of the Aventon Level Step-Thru, for example.
The AM200 is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to power delivery. When using the throttle, the 750W motor feels strong with relatively quick acceleration and holds speed well, even up gradual hills. Using pedal assist, however, this bike feels sluggish and underpowered compared to other models we tested. It works fine, but it was outperformed by other competitors whose motors delivered power more robustly and consistently using both methods.
When you press the thumb throttle, the AM 200's motor responds almost instantly. The power comes on gradually at first and quickly ramps up to zip you along at speeds up to right around 20 mph. When using the throttle, the 750W motor feels quite strong with good torque and acceleration, and it holds speed better than most bikes, even up the gradual hills of our range test course. The throttle power corresponds to the pedal-assist setting, with more power and a higher top speed in the higher settings, and vice versa. We found this to be a nice feature, as you can choose just how fast you'd like to go depending on the setting you're in. Another great feature is cruise control, which can be engaged by holding the throttle down for 5 seconds. The cruise control feature can also be disengaged in the display's advanced settings.
We were a bit less impressed by the power of the AM200 when using pedal assist. The motor felt significantly less powerful than when using the throttle, with much less support than is offered by any other model we tested. Even in its highest output setting, this bike is much slower to accelerate and get up to its top speed. It operates with a cadence sensor, so it delivers power at roughly the same rate regardless of how hard you push on the pedals. It feels smooth; it just doesn't pack nearly the same punch as other models with the same size motor. We even checked and double-checked the settings in the advanced settings menu to be sure it was set at maximum power and speed limit, fiddled with the number of output modes and made some other tweaks before eventually restoring the factory settings. None of the changes we made seemed to make a difference, so we just settled on the fact that this bike's pedal assistance feels much more conservative than other models in this test.
We think Eahora did a good job selecting the display and controls for the AM200. The color display is among the best in the test with a bright screen, vibrant color, and crisp numbers and letters that are easy to read. The controls are relatively standard, with a thumb throttle and 5 button remote located near the left grip. The removable battery slots into a cutout in the downtube, and charging can be done on or off the bike.
The AM200 comes with a Key-Disp KD986 "Intelligent E-Bike color LCD" screen. This display is centered in the handlebar over the stem in an easy-to-see location. The screen measures 2-inches wide x 3-inches tall and shows all of your important ride information at a glance with bright white numbers and green graphics on a dark background. In the center of the screen, your current speed is displayed in large numbers surrounded by a green circle that works like the dial of a speedometer. The top right corner of the screen has a small battery graphic that represents the remaining battery charge with a percentage shown numerically alongside the graphic. Across the bottom of the screen are three data fields. In the center, the current pedal assist setting is shown as a number 0-3 (default settings). To the left is the trip distance indicator, and on the right is the odometer which can be switched to max speed, average speed, or elapsed time if you prefer. The screen also has a motor power indicator (how much power it is using), a headlight indicator, and a USB indicator. The screen's brightness can also be adjusted in the display settings, along with several other parameters including units (metric or imperial).
The remote is attached to the handlebar alongside the left grip. The remote has a total of 5 buttons that control all of the functions of the bike and are also used to adjust the display and advanced settings. The use of the controls is intuitive, but they don't have the best ergonomics. The power button is used to turn the display power on and off. The + and - buttons shift between the bike's pedal assist settings and are also used to access the display's settings. To engage the bike's walk-assist mode, press and hold the - button. The headlight button turns the bike's headlight on or off, while the i button switches between the data fields displayed (odometer, max speed, average speed, or elapsed time) on the bottom right of the screen. Detailed instructions for the display can be found on the Eahora website and are helpful should you choose to adjust any of the bike's advanced settings. The throttle paddle is situated between the remote and the left grip and is very easy to reach and press with the thumb. Pressing the paddle down engages the throttle, and holding it for five seconds turns on the cruise control.
The 499Wh battery slots neatly into a cutout in the downtube of the frame. It can be unlocked using the included keys and removed for charging or security. The charging port is protected by a small rubber cover, and charging is straightforward, with a claimed charging time of 5 hours. The battery also has a USB port, so you can use it to charge other devices, like a smartphone, while riding.
Ease of Assembly
The AM200 arrived mostly assembled and well protected from shipping damage. The steps remaining to complete the assembly were generally straightforward, although we did have a minor issue that caused a bit of a headache. Despite our small assembly hang up, it still only took around 40 minutes to complete the process.
The AM200 arrived in a standard-size bike box that weighed around 70 lbs. Inside the box, the bike was wrapped in two large bags with spray foam injected between them to protect the bike from rough handling and prevent any shipping damage. Once removed from the protective materials, our test bike was in pristine condition, with only a few simple steps remaining to complete the assembly process. The bike came with all of the tools required as well as printed instructions detailing the remaining assembly. Easy tasks like installing the front wheel, handlebar, seat/seatpost, and pedals are all that is required to get the AM200 ready to roll. When installing the handlebar, we did run into a snag when the stem bolts stripped with very little torque. Fortunately, we had another stem on hand that we used in its place, but this issue didn't give us much confidence in the quality of the parts used on this bike.
Should You Buy the Eahora AM200?
The AM200 is a pretty good electric adventure bike, but it was bested by the competition. It has a comfortable ride quality with versatility enhanced by its large tires and suspension. It is a capable adventure-style e-bike, but unfortunately, it doesn't really stand up to the competition in several of our rating metrics. While this bike may appeal to some riders, we'd recommend looking into some of the other models we tested that cost the same or less and deliver pedal assist power more effectively.
What Other E-Bikes Should You Consider?
Our favorite adventure-ready fat tire e-bike is hands down the Aventon Aventure Step-Through, which offers much more power. For a similar price to the AM200, you can get our favorite e-bike, the Aventon Level Step-Thru, which has excellent scores across the map, rides smoothly, and looks sleek. For a budget e-bike, we favor the Aventon Pace 350 Step-Through or the folding Lectric XP Step-Thru 2.0, both of which outperformed the AM200 but cost quite a bit less.
— Jeremy Benson
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