Hands-On the Revel Propulsion DIY Electric Bike Kit

We take our turn integrating the electro-mechanical system onto a stock Kona Honzo MTB and come away impressed. 

We introduced the Revel ‘Propulsion’ kit in the last issue (#160) of BICYCLIST Magazine with a ‘first look’ at the different components and specifications of the dynamic system. Here you will find our ‘hands-on’ report and build details for those thinking of pulling the trigger.

Electrons with Benefits

There are several qualities of the kit that are attractive in addition to its light weight. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. It was placed on a bike that fit me well and was fun to ride;
  2. It nested to the down-tube and didn’t hang down like a cow’s udder on other DIY kits;
  3. The power delivery was smooth and came on gradually, qualitatively, at least as well as the Bosch and Yamaha systems that I’ve tested or owned;
  4. The bike can be returned to “normal” and the kit can be placed on another bike if desired since the bottom bracket mount is screwed in and doesn’t trash the threads like other DIY mid-drive units;
  5. The mounting system, while lightweight, is more robust;
  6. The ingenious battery mount secures the battery better than any others I’ve seen;
  7. Because the battery is close to the motor and the wires are the correct size, there isn’t a “spaghetti mass” that needs to be hidden in some way. The only wire was from the Eggrider e-bike display and its length was easily controlled by wrapping it around the handlebars; and
  8. It can be switched from 20 mph pedal assist (PAS) to 28 mph with a button on the Eggrider.

On the Trail

The system was evaluated on light trails and more ambitious MTB areas using Class 1 (PAS, 20 mph limit) for the testing, and as a commuter using Class 3 (Pedal-Assist, 28 mph limit) for the road. Qualitatively, Revel’s performance off road was similar to Bosch and Yamaha systems, a major accomplishment for a small company. The power was introduced very smoothly as though the rider was responsible for the boost. Class 3 performance of the commuter was similar to major manufacturers’ Class 3 road bikes that we’ve evaluated. We’re sad to return the kit to Revel. It is a high quality product that can transform your favorite bike into a dynamite e-bike.

ABOUT REVEL PROPULSION

The Revel Propulsion produces 60NM of torque making it slightly less powerful than most OEM combinations. Additionally, the system has a very expensive torque sensing bottom bracket, one of the few DIY products with this feature. This will increase the seamlessness of the transition as the motor’s power is incorporated…

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