Aventon Pace 350 Step-Through Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Aventon offers a full range of electric bikes, and the Pace 350 is the least expensive model in their lineup. This affordable Class 2 model comes with a 350W rear hub motor and a 417.6Wh battery with top throttle and pedal-assisted speeds of 20 mph. We put the Pace 350 through our rigorous e-bike testing process and came away impressed by its comfort and smooth, predictable ride. It may not be the fastest or most powerful e-bike around, but we feel it is an excellent option for commuting, errands, and casual joy rides, and a great value to boot.
The Pace 350 has a stable yet easy-going ride quality and high level of comfort. It is smooth and steady with predictable, responsive handling and road-smoothing 27.5-inch wheels and tires. It boasts a high comfort level with a low step-through frame and an upright, relaxed seated position. The component specification isn't flashy but is perfectly functional and surprisingly quiet while riding. The Pace 350 is relatively light on features, but Aventon sells a handful of aftermarket accessories if you wish to customize your ride.
The first thing that stood out to us was the Pace 350's smooth, stable, and quiet ride. This bike's 27.5-inch wheels roll fast and make cracks in the road disappear, while the 2.2-inch wide tires help to dampen the ride and deaden some vibration. It is still a rigid bike, so bigger bumps and potholes don't go unnoticed, but we were surprised by how forgiving it felt over rough pavement. The frame itself feels very sturdy, providing for both stability and responsive handling. This bike makes a variety of turn shapes and sizes well, with precise and comfortable handling no matter the speed. We were also impressed by how quiet it was, with notably little noise or rattling coming from the bike, even over rough sections of road. The lack of noise contributed to the overall impression of quality and durability we got from the Pace 350.
The Pace 350 only comes in a step-through frame design, while most of their other models come in both step-through and traditional frame styles. This bike has a very low-slung frame with a standover height of just 17 inches, making it very easy to step on and off the bike. It has a 300 lb weight limit and comes in two frame sizes to fit a wide range of rider heights. The small size is intended to fit riders between 4'11" and 5'8", while the medium (tested) frame is meant for riders between 5'8" and 6'1". The seatpost provides a large range of adjustment, although the handlebar height adjustment is limited to several spacers below the stem. We found the relaxed, upright seated position to be quite comfortable, quite similar to a beach cruiser or comfort bike. The mid-sized seat offers a nice level of cushioning and plenty of support, and the ergonomic grips also felt nice on the hands. At 47 lbs and 14 oz, the Pace 350 is also one of the lightest e-bikes we've tested. While it is by no means a featherweight, it is a bit easier to load onto a bike rack or move up and down a flight of stairs than the heavier competition.
The components of the Pace 350 gave us little if anything to complain about. The 7-speed Shimano drivetrain performed flawlessly during testing, and we really liked the trigger-style shifters. The mechanical disc brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear provided plenty of control and stopping power. We were a little underwhelmed by this bike's general lack of included features, although it makes sense considering its relatively low asking price. That said, Aventon sells fenders and a rear rack specifically for the Pace models, as well as lights and a few other accessories so you can set up your bike for your needs.
Considering its smaller 417.6Wh battery size, we were quite impressed by the Pace 350 in our range test. Using the throttle only, we rode for 22.65 miles with an average speed of 15.5 mph on our rolling test course. While this is definitely a few miles short of the top performers in this metric, it's important to keep in mind that this bike has a roughly 30% smaller battery and corresponding reduction in range. Regardless, we feel the Pace 350 certainly made efficient use of its power.
Aventon lists real-world range test info on their website for both pedal assist and throttle/full-electric modes. They claim a throttle-only range of 25 miles for a 165 lbs rider on flat terrain. While we didn't make it quite that far, our range test course features gradually rolling hills that make the motor work harder than on flat terrain. We feel that 25 miles, and possibly even a little more, would be entirely possible given the right conditions. Additionally, we are sure you could also extend the range significantly while using pedal assist and putting some of your own power down through the pedals. The 350W rear hub motor of the Pace 350 may not be quite as powerful as some of the other models we tested, but it is also one of the reasons this bike uses its battery power so efficiently. With less torque and slower acceleration, the motor seems to use power less quickly than larger, more powerful motors.
The 350 in Pace 350 refers to the bike's 350W brushless rear hub motor. This Class 2 bike has top throttle and pedal-assisted speeds of 20 mph. It can start from a complete stop using the throttle, and the five levels of pedal assistance provide a good range of support and top speeds to choose from. While it isn't the fastest or most powerful model we tested, it works well and is a capable bike for the rider who doesn't require Class 3 speeds. Those seeking a faster and more powerful bike would be wise to consider the Pace 500 with a 500W motor, larger battery, a 28 mph top speed, and a slightly higher price.
The Pace 350 has five pedal assist levels that provide a great range of support for your pedaling efforts. The motor provides less support and a lower top speed in the lower levels, with both increasing incrementally as you shift up from level 1 to 5. The bike tops out right around 10 mph in level 1, 14 mph in level 3, and up to 20 mph in level 5. The pedal assistance is cadence sensor-based, and the motor begins to deliver power after about a half rotation of the cranks and delivers the same amount of power regardless of how hard you push on the pedals. Shifts between output levels feel nice and smooth with no jumpiness or jerkiness to speak of. The Pace 350 accelerates reasonably quickly and maintains speed well enough, but it doesn't pack the torque or quickness of the larger, more robust motors found on some of the other models we tested.
A push of the throttle and the Pace 350 springs forward, even from a complete stop. This bike is capable of speeds up to 20 mph under throttle power, and we found it had no problem hitting that mark on flat terrain. Considering its less powerful 350W motor, we were relatively impressed by its acceleration and ability to hold speed in the flats. Again, it isn't as powerful as bikes with larger motors, but that is to be expected. This reduction in power was most evident when riding up gradual hills under throttle power where it couldn't maintain speed as well as bikes with stronger motors. While climbing hills on this bike, we found that it was best to pedal a little to help maintain speed and put less strain on the motor.
The Pace 350 has simple and intuitive controls and a quality digital display that's easy to read and understand. Operating this bike is easy thanks to straightforward button controls and a thumb paddle throttle located by the left grip, and the high contrast LCD display tells you everything you need to know while riding. The battery is semi-integrated into the frame and can easily be removed for security or charging.
Located just next to the left grip, the simple control unit consists of three buttons. After pressing the power button on the bike's battery, the display's power is turned on by pressing the power button on the bottom of the control unit which also doubles as the mode button used when making changes to the display settings. On the top of the control unit, the up and down arrows are used to shift through the bike's five pedal assist levels, turn on the display's backlight, engage the walk assist mode, and make changes in the display settings menu. The paddle throttle is situated next to the button controls and is very easy to reach with the thumb. When the bike is in any of the pedal-assist levels, 1-5, simply press and hold the paddle with your thumb to activate the throttle. The only complaint that we have about the controls on the Pace 350 is that having both the button control unit and the throttle in the same space feels a little cluttered. It positions the buttons slightly farther away from the thumb, but they are still easy enough to locate and press while riding.
The large LCD display is mounted in the center of the handlebar above the stem. This location makes it quite easy to see while riding with a high contrast screen that is clearly visible, even in bright sunlight. The screen also has an adjustable backlight for use at night or in dim light conditions. Across the top of the screen, the battery charge is represented by ten bars that turn off progressively from right to left as the battery is depleted. Below that, in large numbers, the current speed is displayed in either mph or kmh (units can be changed in the display settings). Under the speed reading, the current pedal assist setting is shown as a number 0-5, and to the right of that is the backlight and walk mode indicators. Across the bottom of the screen is a data field that can be switched between odometer, trip A and B distance, elapsed time, or a voltage indicator.
The semi-integrated 417.6Wh battery slots neatly into a cutout in the downtube of the Pace 350 frame. A small power button on the top of the battery must be pressed to turn it on before pressing the power button on the handlebar-mounted controls. The battery locks into place but can be unlocked using the keys and easily removed for security or charging off the bike. The charging port is on the side of the battery hidden under a small rubber cover to prevent ingress from moisture, dirt, and debris.
Ease of Assembly
Aventon ships the Pace 350 to your home with the lion's share of the assembly completed and only a few simple steps remaining. It was among the easiest bikes to assemble, taking just under 30 minutes to get it from the box to ride-ready condition. Additionally, since this bike weighs just 47 lbs 14 oz, it's a bit easier to deal with in the box, and when removing it from the package. That said, due to the size and shape of the bike, removing it from the box is still easiest with the help of another person.
Our test bike arrived in great condition and was well protected to prevent any shipping damage. Once out of the box with the packing materials removed, all that remains are a few simple steps that can easily be completed at home using the included tools. Aventon includes printed assembly instructions, and there is also an assembly video on the website. While both the video and instruction manual are for Pace models, they aren't 100% specific to the Pace 350, and there are a few extra steps (like installing the rear wheel) that don't apply. Regardless, finishing the assembly is relatively straightforward and includes spinning the stem and installing the handlebar, attaching the front wheel, and putting on the pedals. We found it to be a quick and easy process but would recommend that people who are unfamiliar with bicycles or unsure of their ability to assemble the bike properly bring theirs to a bike shop for assembly.
Should You Buy the Aventon Pace 350 Step-Through?
The Pace 350 is the least expensive model in Aventon's line of e-bikes. While it is still no drop in the bucket, we feel it is one of the best values you'll find for a quality bike from an established brand. It handles well with a smooth, stable feel, an easy step-through frame, a comfortable riding position, and a wide range of fit with two frame sizes to choose from. If you're seeking a quality Class 2 e-bike at a reasonable price, the Pace 350 should be on your radar.
What Other E-Bikes Should You Consider?
While it may not be the most powerful bike around, the Pace 350 is a great option for the price. For an even more affordable option, we love the folding Lectric XP Step-Thru 2.0. If you're looking for a powerful and speedy city commuter, we recommend the Juiced CrossCurrent S2. Our favorite model overall, though, is Aventon's Level Step-Thru, a Class 3 e-bike that checks all our boxes.
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