Aventon’s Budget-Priced Class 3
This is our first look at the Aventon Level, an affordable class 3 electric commuter bicycle that can reach speeds of 28 miles per hour. We have a full review in the October 2020 issue of Electric Bike Action Magazine.
This bike is beautiful. We tested the Aventon Pace, and while it’s less expensive, it’s a completely different look. Aventon started by making traditional bicycles, but they now have a range of e-bikes, including the Level. What sets the Level apart is the integrated battery and really nice two-tone graphics. Nice touches, especially at this price point, including internal cable routing in the hydroformed aluminum frame.
The bike itself offers a lot of creature comforts, including a 75mm-travel Suntour fork, high volume Kenda tires to help take some of the bumps out of the road, and a comfortable Aventon-branded saddle by Velo and ergonomic grips.
Power is provided by a 48V brushless, 500W rear hub motor that peaks at 750W to offer plenty of zip. The controls allow for 5 different power levels, each one has a different speed maximum, level 5 can get you to 28 miles an hour while pedaling. There’s a throttle, and you can use it any time, and it will get you up to 20 miles an hour. There’s an interesting caveat here, in that the throttle won’t work if the bike isn’t already moving, so you’ll have to pedal first to get it going. This bike has a cadence sensor only, and power kicks in, sometimes surprisingly, at about a half revolution of the pedals. It offers 50Nm of torque, and it delivers that almost startlingly quickly.
Once engaged, you only need to keep the cranks spinning to get you to the max speed of whatever power level you’ve set, from about 13 mph in level 1 to 15 mph in level 2 to 18 mph in level 3 to 23 mph in level 4 to 28 mph in level 5. Meaning, you don’t really have to put in a lot of effort if you don’t want to. You can do what we call “ghost pedaling”, meaning that you just keep the pedals going a little and you get the top speed of the pedal-assist mode you’re in. This is great for getting to work without sweating but makes it harder to get in a workout without setting the power lower than you want to go.
It does, however, allow you to ride it very nicely with the power off. There’s no drag from the motor when doing so. With the power on, and even with the generous 672Wh battery, Aventon is very honest with their range estimate of 40 miles per charge. Recharging with their 3A charger takes 4-5 hours.
The large, backlit LCD screen is really easy to read in any lighting condition. It’s big and provides at-a-glance information on battery level, speed, pedal assist level and odometer with options for a trip meter, ride time and even battery voltage.
The rear rack is really well set up to take a wide variety of bags and other accessories to make it easy to carry your stuff to work or bring groceries home and can hold up to 27 kilograms. Aluminum fenders keep splashes off of you and your cargo, while being strong and light.
We like the ride quality and build quality of this bike. It’s sturdy, made from good components and hardware, and is truly a fun bike to ride. There’s a one-year warranty on the whole bike and a lifetime warranty on the frame. The Level comes in three sizes to cover everyone from 5’1” to 6’4” and is a lot of great, class-3 commuter e-bike for the money, priced at $1599, which includes free shipping in the continental U.S. It comes mostly assembled, and Aventon has great manuals and videos on their website.
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