As I looked again at my perfectly serviceable off the rack mountain bike that had served me many seasons… I debated once again, "Do I *need* an electric bike?" But how many times had I ridden that in recent years? Not many. Not for lack of interest, but honestly… some hills are a bit tougher than they used to be. Maybe I didn't want to be *that* guy pushing it up an incline instead of riding it, or struggling a bit too much to get it going out of a full stop.
Whatever the reason, I finally hit "buy." And wow. This is everything I love about bike riding — freedom, fun, in motion, distance doesn't matter. The build is terrific, it's an extremely solid piece of machinery. And, in blue, very striking. The "almost fully assembled" is spot on. The couple of steps you need to go through aren't much — wheels, pedals, handlebar — but they might seem a bit of a puzzle, especially as the espin instructions and videos could use a step up: I found some better ones on YouTube and was together in under half an hour. The first half turn when the motor kicks in brought a grin to my face and will make ANYONE a convert. My wife got on, took it to the end of the road and back, and was immediately, "Where's mine?" (We ordered her the flow.)
Couple of dings in the box: the display bracket was cracked on arrival: espin immediately sent a new one. And the deraileur had bent inward, which meant I could not shift into the 2 topmost gears. espin diagnosed the issue with a couple of photos, sent a replacement hanger, and covered the adjustment at my local bike shop. In both cases, very personal and impressive customer service!
My one true criticism is the display: it washes out easily in mild sunlight, in bright sunlight — forget reading it without a fair bit of squinting and concentration. I get that the color display is fancier, but for practical purposes an LCD one would probably have been better to stick with.
Any ebike is an expensive purchase, but this one has already delivered on its value. I am looking forward to putting many more miles on this as often as I can.