A new, comfy city cruiser with a lot of kick. The folks at Aventon were kind enough to send me the newest addition to the Aventon e-bike family – the Level.2, an upgrade to Aventon’s flagship commuter – so I could give it a whirl on the streets of San Francisco.
Assembling the Aventon Level.2
The box arrived at my Ocean Beach apartment and I joyfully opened and removed the pieces of the e-bike. Putting the bike together was mercilessly uneventful and straightforward – what you hope for when you’re staring down the barrel of a pile of partially put together machinery. It took less than an hour to get the bike assembled and wheeling about.
The most challenging aspect of assembly, which was pretty minor, was tightening the allen bolts to attach the front mudguard, as the factory allen wrench (that’s a “hex key” –Ed.) sent with the bike was too short for the job. The factory multi tool provided made assembly easy for all other aspects, it was just that darn mudguard that caused some issues.
The seat, handlebars, and all major components were all easy to get in place and adjust. The majority of the accessories were pre-installed – easy as pie. The brakes came tightened and the derailer came ready to go. The battery even had a 40% charge out of the box, so I could test ride as soon as it was put together. What a dream!
Compared to other e-bikes I’ve ridden, the Level.2 is a smooth operator. As with most commuter e-bikes in the sub $2,000 price point, this one has a cadence sensor, which means the motor engages once the sensor realizes you are pedaling. Though the most exciting thing about the Level.2, the newest bike from Aventon, is that it’s engineered with a torque sensor, which is a revolutionary first for the company.
The torque sensor reads the level of force you are putting into the cranks and then tells the motor to multiply the amount of power the rider is inputting by a specific factor, set by the assist level you have selected. The higher level, higher force multiplying factor, the more assist. This makes for a more natural, less jerky feel to the bike and its assist, which are great things for e-bikers everywhere.
While this torque sensor does smooth out the ride significantly, there is still a bit of jerk as the assist boosts into gear, so it’s not completely seamless. The Level.2 also has the signature e-bike hum as it boosts you forward, though it’s not particularly loud and I stopped noticing once I was zipping around fast enough to produce a goofy grin on my face. The e-bike offers both pedal and throttle assist options. These features make the Level.2 versatile and able to take on just about anything a city or suburban commute could throw at it. Similar to other e-bikes, you can also pedal without the assist options and get your old-fashioned bike ride on. Though, if you have this kind of power on your bike, it’s hard to resist really “going for it” on this new Aventon.
I took the bike up some pretty intense SF hills (ones that typically burn out my quads when riding my city bike) and the Level.2 breezed right up those suckers without batting an eye. I was quite impressed. The full color display on the handlebars shows everything from battery life to app syncing (say what?!) to phone charging.
I also took this gleaming beast through some of the off-road trails in Golden Gate Park. This included sand, gravel, some rocky paths, and grass. The Level.2 crushed it all and I hardly felt the bumps and stones as I whizzed along. That cushioned suspension fork the Level.2 features is downright luxurious. Ten out of 10 for comfy rides, for sure. And the hydraulic disc brakes were smooth and (thankfully) effective, no jerking at all.
The Level.2 comes with a rear rack, which is great for attaching panniers or a basket so you can let the bike carry your stuff instead of using a backpack. This e-bike is a bit on the bulkier side for my taste (though I’m a minimalist when it comes to bike aesthetics). While the accessories are very useful and have a thoughtful purpose, I would personally prefer a tad more streamlining.
During one of my test rides, I stopped at a local market to grab a few things. The frame is beefier than a regular bike (often the case with e-bikes), though I was still able to get my U-lock around the frame to lock it up, which is utterly critical in San Francisco. Even with a full (reusable) grocery bag slung atop one of the handle bars, the Level.2 was incredibly balanced and easy to ride. It offers stability and an ease I haven’t felt with other e-bikes. Not to mention it’s fun to ride. The pedal assist really gets you going, transforming your commute or errands into a bit of a joy ride. A much less physically taxing joy ride.
If you’re looking for a commuter or leisure e-bike with great range that can tackle a variety of terrain, trails, even roads slick from the foggy San Francisco skies, the Aventon Level.2 is an excellent option. It has just enough bells and whistles to make your ride (and your life) easier, without looking too done up or extra. The Level.2 is a zippy e-bike with a lot of kick, though I can’t emphasize enough how smooth and comfortable this bike is to ride. So it’s really the best of both worlds – easy, comfy, smooth, but with power and versatility.
Aventon Level. 2 Product Specs:
- Motor: 48v, 500W Brushless Hub Motor with Torque Sensor
- Display: BC280 LCD Color Display with Backlight, w/ App Connectivity
- Brakes: Hydraulic Disc Brakes
- Weight: Traditional 54 LBS. | Step-Through 52 LBS.
- Size: Traditional Reg/Large | Step-Through S/M or M/L
- Drivetrain: 8-Speed
- Frame type: 6061 Double-Butted Aluminum Alloy with Internal Battery
- Tires: 27.5” X 2.1”
- Assistance: Throttle + Pedal Assist Modes
- COLORS Polar White, Himalayan Pink, Glacier Blue, and Clay
- MSRP: $1,949.00
This article is supported by Aventon.
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