01 Jun e-JOE KODA 3.0 electric commuter bike review – an affordable long range e-bike
The e-JOE KODA 3.0 electric bike looks a bit like a standard hardtail mount bike. However, it’s really an all-terrain commuter with plenty of battery to spare. And for well under $2k, you’ll want to check this e-bike out.
Electric commuter bikes
It is hard for me to choose a favorite type of e-bike. That feels like having to choose your favorite child. But if I was forced to choose, electric mountain bikes that are really commuter bikes would be near the top of the list.
And my favorite child is Kevin. (Just kidding, I don’t even have kids!)
The nice thing about budget-level electric mountain bikes is that even though the suspension isn’t really meant for tackling serious off-road trails, it is great for navigating cities. From hopping curbs to absorbing the occasional pot hole you didn’t see until it was too late, budget-level suspension forks like on the $1,899 e-JOE KODA 3.0 are all you need for commuting purposes.
Sure, I love riding $7,000 full suspension e-bikes as much as the next guy, but they are overkill in the city. I’m looking for realistically affordable e-bikes with good quality parts and excellent performance. And that’s exactly what the e-JOE KODA 3.0 e-bike delivers.
e-JOE KODA 3.0 tech specs
- Motor: 500 W continuous (800 W peak) geared hub motor
- Top speed: 45 km/h (28 mph) – I get around 42 km/h (26 mph) on throttle only
- Range: 80 km (50 mi) depending on throttle or pedal assist
- Battery: 48V 17.5Ah (840 Wh)
- Charge time: 4-6 hours
- Max load: 158 kg (350 lb)
- Frame: 6061 aluminum
- Tires: 45 x 700c Kenda
- Suspension: Front spring suspension fork
- Brakes: Tektro Hydraulic disc brakes
- Weight: 24.5 kg (54 lb)
- Extras: Fenders, rear rack, LCD display, front and rear LED lights (powered by separate batteries), 5 speed settings
e-JOE KODA 3.0 performance
The e-JOE KODA 3.0 electric bike offers 5 speeds of pedal assist, though I’m really a throttle guy so I spent most of my time using the pedals as foot rests. That isn’t to say you can’t pedal – the PAS system works great. With 5 different power levels, you never feel like you’re stuck between one that gives too little power and another that gives too much power.
But I’m just lazy so I like to treat it like a motorcycle and use the throttle. In throttle mode, the acceleration comes on smoothly – it doesn’t jerk you forward like some e-bikes. In fact, I’d almost like to see the power come on a little stronger off the line. When you twist the throttle, the acceleration starts off slowly and then ramps up over the first three seconds or so. Whether or not this is an advantage or disadvantage depends on how much you like that seat-of-your-pants feeling upon takeoff.
The ride is quite nice with the suspension fork up front. Again, this isn’t mountain descent-level suspension, but it is plenty good for city commuting. And in my pockmarked streets, I gave it a pretty good test. The 700c wheels also roll nicely over bumps and depressions.
If you are on smooth paths and don’t want front suspension, you can easily lock it out. That will give you better pedaling efficiency, if that’s important to you.
The hydraulic brakes are a great addition to this bike. It’s not a given to find them on bikes in this price range. I usually don’t find juice brakes until the price tag tops $2k. But for an $1,899 e-bike to have hydraulic brakes is a very nice feature. They aren’t top of the line brakes, mind you. But even these entry-level Tektro brakes are nice because you don’t have to apply as much force as mechanical brakes, nor do you need to fiddle with them to get them properly tuned. And anything you can do to reduce maintenance on a commuter bike is a plus.
The battery on the e-JOE KODA 3.0 is huge! Not so much physically (though it is a bit on the large size) but more in terms of capacity. At 840 Wh, it has one of the largest batteries you can find on a commuter e-bike, especially without moving to dual batteries. The company claims it can reach 80 km (50 mi) of range, and that is not an exaggerated claim. Of course that is with pedal assist, but 10.5 wh/km or 17 wh/mi is absolutely a reasonable efficiency for pedal assist. For throttle-only use, expect to get closer to 12-15 wh/km (20-25 wh/mi), which would put the throttle-only range at closer to 50-65 km (30-40 mi). That’s still excellent for an e-bike. Some barely manage a third of that on throttle-only riding.
The battery is also easy to remove, though it comes out at a bit of an odd 45 degree angle. You pull it up and to the side, which is fairly rare, in my e-biking experience. It took a little getting used to but just feels normal now. It even has a little extending handle to help you pull it out, which is a nice touch.
The speed is marketed as 45 km/h (28 mph), though I only get up to about 42 km/h (26 mph) on throttle-only riding. I can get the last bit with added pedaling, but c’mon – I’m lazy. Where’s my last 2 mph, e-JOE?!
I guess I shouldn’t complain – most of the world has a 25 km/h (15 mph) e-bike speed limit. But after riding a 64 km/h (40 mph) electric standup scooter recently, I’ve got the need for speed!
The one thing that annoys me about the bike is that the front and rear lights run on AAA batteries. With such a giant capacity battery on the bike, that just seems like an oversight. I hate changing out dead battery cells in lights, which is why I love when they run off my main e-bike battery. But the company makes up for it with the included rack and fenders. So few e-bikes seem to come with these standard that it helps make the ones that do stand out from the rest of the pack. It’s the small things, including actual metal pedals instead of cheap plastic ones, that add up into big differences versus cheaper e-bikes.
All in all I’ve been quite impressed with the e-JOE KODA 3.0 e-bike. It’s plenty fast, has great range, comes with a nice parts list and has a fair price at just $1,899. While I have a few small gripes, all the major components are wins in my book.
What do you think of the KODA 3.0? Let us know in the comments below!