Lightest sub-$2000 bike yet
For those of you (like us) not up to speed on your Greek mythology, Coeus is one of the Titans, son of Uranus (heaven) and Gaia (earth). Pronounced like “kEE-aws,” his name means “questioning,” and that pretty much encapsulates what this bike is about—begging the question, why aren’t more electric bikes like this?
Emazing is truly an international mom-and-pop company. That sounds like an oxymoron, but it isn’t. All of their bikes are named after Greek gods and are manufactured in Taiwan by an American company based in Sunnyvale, California. Emazing started up in 2011 with the idea of creating eco/user-friendly electric bikes.
HOWARD IS THE MAN
Howard Lee one of the three principals at Emazing, is an electrical engineer from Taiwan. Before his involvement with the company, he completed several big projects before coming to the U.S., including a semiconductor foundry, a distillery, a sewage treatment plant and more. He is quick to say how much he enjoys electric bicycles and teaching children about engineering.
His influence makes the company much more than a group of people sourcing parts to sell assembled, complete bikes. His choices of the motor, battery, battery management system and programming are all very well thought out. The programming makes a big difference in how the power is delivered. Careful choices have gone into making eMazing bikes possibly greater than the sum of their parts.
When we first received the Coeus, the looks swayed us almost immediately—the swoopy, curved lines punctuated by a dual top tube that becomes the seatstay all in one curved line to create an alluring look. The seat tube is the only straight line on the frame. Besides the blue finish, you can also choose between a bright green or basic black color. Fork and optional fenders match, with black for the tires, wheels and everything else.
The dual top tube on our pre-production bike was open, only connected by the seat tube and head tube. Production bikes will likely have a couple of cross-braces to mitigate any flex. Cable routing is internal (through the downtube), and the controller is at the bottom of the downtube just before the bottom bracket. We’re used to internal routing for cables on more expensive bikes, so this is a nice feature.
Most of your power controls are on the right side of the bars. A twist-grip throttle, trigger shifter and the rear brake are all controlled with your right hand.
Beyond the bike’s appearance, the second thing we noticed was the weight. It’s surprisingly light compared to most electric bikes. The Coeus is also very well-balanced, with the relatively small battery mounted on the downtube and the 350-watt motor in the rear hub. The battery is a mere 8.7 watt-hours, but with the small hub motor, a bigger battery might be overkill and would certainly add to the weight.
The ergonomic saddle is deeply padded for those who like really plush seating.
If you do decide you want a second battery, it’ll set you back $539. Not bad when you compare the price to other batteries in the industry that can cost north of double that. You actually have two choices—an 8.7-amp-hour version or a 6.6-amp-hour battery.
Turning the system on can be confusing. There’s no marked “power on” button and requires pressing the mode button and holding it; the display flickers to life.
When we first stepped on the Coeus, we didn’t have high expectations for power. We were pleasantly surprised at how much power you feel from a 350-watt, 36-volt motor. With five power levels, it accelerates to 20 mph pretty quickly. It has a torque sensor to add power instead of a cadence sensor.
The twist-grip throttle only works when you pedal, so you can’t use it alone to take off from a standing start. A modicum of pedaling kicks the system in, but you still have to pedal some. It’s kind of a nice safety feature if you’re prone to accidentally twisting the throttle on bikes, especially when they’re not moving. We’ve all had bikes that have lurched forward and gotten away from us, sometimes winding up on the floor or running embarrassingly into someone.
Something that definitely stands out is how quiet the whole system is. Even at 20 mph, it’s really quiet. If the battery wasn’t on the downtube, it’s likely no one would ever notice that the bike is electric.
After all our test rides, it seemed that Emazing’s estimate of up to 50 miles was right on the money. It’s not the best hill-climber we’ve ridden, but with the seven-speed gearing in the back, it’ll get you there without any real huffing and puffing. If you normally ride in level two or three, bumping it to level five feels perfect. The small display is great, because it cleanly shows as much information as you want without taking you out of the ride to stare at your telemetry.
The Coeus is a very comfortable cruiser, and with the adjustable stem you can sit upright or adjust it forward for a slightly more aggressive position. While many competitors are going to 27.5-inch wheels, we liked the 26-inch wheels on this bike. It kept the center of gravity nice and low and, coupled with the Kenda Komfort tires, felt planted when cornering. The smaller the wheel, the more torque you feel too. The slight tread pattern offered good grip and little rolling resistance or noise.
The bulbous, anatomic gel saddle is nice for long rides. While riding, we forgot it was there, so it was the opposite of painful. Cycling shorts are not required. Ergonomic grips provide comfort for your hands, and the tiny power control switch to increase or decrease power is quite easy to find without looking.
The Tektro Novela mechanical disc brakes were more than enough to stop us when we were distracted for a moment and needed to stop tout suite. Knowing how well the brakes worked gave us the confidence to ride faster. Tektro adjustable levers offer riders a range of distance for the lever blade to fit any size hand. There are no cut-off switches in these brakes, though we never felt like they would be needed.
Shifting the rear derailleur is done with a trigger lever with a visible display to let you know what gear you are in. With a 350-watt motor, you’ll be going through the range of gears regularly but comfortably.
The Coeus may not be the most powerful or thrilling bike we’ve ridden, but it’s a great ride with enough power to get you where you’re going with no sweat. The bike has plenty of range, and it’s all wrapped up in a budget-friendly price. The palpable lightness is a great feature for walk-up apartment dwellers. They didn’t skimp on components to meet a price point; there are good-quality parts on the bike that you can feel during the ride. It’s a lot of bike for two grand, and it draws attention for its looks, not its electrics. It’s a well-balanced, inexpensive and truly fun e-bike to cruise around on.
Wheels: 26 inches
Tires: Kenda Komfort
Motor: 36V, 350W
Battery: Li-ion 36V, 8.7 Ah
Controls: 5-level pedal assist
Charge time: 3 hours
Top speed: 20 mph
Range: 30 miles, depending on riding style, load and terrain
Drive: Shimano 7-speed
Brakes: Tektro Novela mechanical disc
Weight: 41 lb.
Sizes: Small, medium, extra large
Color choices: Blue, green, black