With design cues stemmed from Europe and a premium feel to the e-bike, it’s expected not to disappoint. Uhvo is new to the game of e-bikes, and with having tested their Uhvo Compact I was interested in reviewing their other option – the Uhvo Step. As you might be able to tell from the name, it is a step through bike. To those people out there wanting an easier to mount e-bike, you’ll be interested in this review.
Europe has always been the forefront of elegant and minimalistic designs. From their luxury vehicles to interiors; their designs has appealed to many people. The Step from Uhvo has done the same. We have the step through frame with a glossy white finish accompanied by some blue hues. These can be found on the seat tube and down-tube. Interestingly, the down-tube features twin cylindrical geometry that runs along the frame. This is most likely for visual purposes and is something unique.
It wouldn’t be European if it didn’t have any leather on it right? So at the handle bars you’ll find some brown leather grips complimenting the premium feel of the bike. In all the Uhvo Step looks like a classic European beauty.
You’ll find it utilises a street legal front hub motor powered by the 36V battery. The battery is quoted to possess a capacity just shy of 317Wh and estimated to provide riders a range of 50km when used on medium pedal assistance. The battery pack is mounted on the rear rack which unfortunately lacks some straps or mechanisms to hold your belongings. Thus you will need to provide that yourselves.
Much like how the Europeans pushed for dual clutch transmissions in their cars, Uhvo has followed in similar fashion with their bikes. The 3 speed Shimano Nexus found on their Compact has found its way into the Step as well. As I mentioned in the Compact review, the internal gears are a pleasure to use and are super convenient.
Disc brakes are fitted on the front of the 700C wheels. They’re Tektro Novela disc brakes whilst the rear boasts drum brakes. This set-up was a little underwhelming. They struggled with responsiveness and power. Tuning them may be necessary as I think it just needs a bit of tweaking. My riding review section will cover this later. You can check out the brake test in the video review.
As for other components found on the Step, you can find the standard Velo Plush saddle and 880 meter. Quite the conventional meter. It does the basics such as PAS level and shows battery level. The only issue I have with these meters is that it doesn’t allow you to turn off pedal assistance when turned on. You will need to turn it the e-bike off to have no PAS.
I had the Uhvo Step for a while and rode it a fair bit to get as much out of it as I could. My thoughts of the bike were mixed like a bag of trail mix. You like most of it, but there’s just a couple of nuts you don’t like. So the Uhvo Step has good things. These are the style and aesthetics. It’s pretty, there is no doubt about that. The clean and elegant styling of the step through frame allows easy mounting of the bike in style. The premium feel from the internal gears and leather grip all adds to that experience.
So onto the bad apples now or nuts in this case; the motor was average. It didn’t feel powerful or torquey as other motors. My experience with the Uhvo Step lacked presence of power. The motor is there, and helps me with pedal assistance however felt absent at times. Presence from the motor was more so heard when it was on. The noise from the hub was quite loud.
From my initial thoughts, I said the brakes needed adjustments and tuning. I gave it a shot and adjusted the cable levers to see if it would change anything and it seems it did. The brakes were touchier and felt as if they had more of a pull on the disc rotors. They are still lacking in performance as responsiveness is still quite low, however still gets the job done and is now a bit better than before.
More into the ride of the Uhvo Step provides, it’s clear it’s aimed to position you in a relaxed position. The adjustable handle bars and seat post allow you to change all the itty gritty to get the bike to fit you. Once you’ve got it all sorted, you’ll find the e-bike is a comfortable and smooth ride. Seamless shifting from the Shimano Nexus and the extra leverage from the cruiser handle bars all contribute to the easy riding.
Using the bike is simple. As soon as you hop on, the LCD is on your left hand and cannot be any easier. With the basic on/off and couple of other buttons for PAS, you can’t possibly have any trouble with this. You don’t get any advanced settings or options, but I doubt you will require them for casual fun cruises.
Dyno numbers have come in for the Uhvo Step, and there is something very interesting. You can see the torque peaked at 48Nm which is normal figures; however peak power came in at 256W. This is well below the peak output of a usual street legal motor. Generally street legal 250W motors peak at least 300W. This may explain my experiences with the motor during my testing.
If style points is all you’re looking for, then the Uhvo Step has won all of them. It looks beautiful with a European aesthetic appeal. The performance of the e-bike is the only let down with the sub-par motor and brakes. The brakes can be adjusted and tuned as I did which improve the feel, however the motor is what it is. If you check out the review on the website ebikignow.com, you’ll find the dyno numbers for your own conclusions. If Uhvo could provide a better motor and possibly incorporate better brakes, maybe even high quality v-brakes; the step could be (one step) closer to being among the top e-cruisers.
You can find the full specifications below*
*Specifications may differ from supplier
|Rear Derailluer||Shimano Nexus 3|
|Brakes||F: Tektro Novela Brakes|
R: Drum Brake
|Battery||36V Lithium Ion (316.8Wh)|
|Charger||36V SANS (4.4 Hour Charge Up Time)|
|Range||50km (Average on medium pedal assistance)|
|Additional Features||Bike Rack, Chain Guard, LED Headlight|