Some electric bicycles are for leisurely rides in the park. Some are for dropping off the kids at school or picking up groceries. Some are for budget-friendly alternative methods of transportation. The C3STROM ASTRO PRO electric bike is none of those things, and I struggle to even call it an electric “bike.” This is a powerful, full-featured electric motorbike wearing an e-bike’s clothes.
C3STROM ASTRO PRO tech specs
- Motor: 750W rear geared hub motor
- Top speed: 28 mph (45 km/h) or claimed 32 mph (51.5 km/h) in offroad mode
- Range: 31+ miles (50 km) on throttle, more on pedal assist
- Battery: 52V 20Ah 1,040 Wh (removable and lockable)
- Weight: 95 lb (43 kg)
- Wheels: 20-inch x 4.25-inch fat tires
- Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes
- Extras: Large LED display, bright headlight and taillight with turn signals, included rack and fenders, 7-speed gearing, USB charging port in display
C3STROM ASTRO PRO Video Review
Motorbike meets electric bicycle
This is no ordinary electric bike.
Yes, it has pedals. And sure, they work. But there is so much power here that you’re way past typical e-bike performance.
The C3STROM ASTRO PRO sports a 35A controller, which means that its electrical system is pulling around 1,800 watts of peak power from the battery when you gun the throttle.
The Bafang motor is listed with a 750W continuous power rating, but that’s just a sticker. The true power is what you feel when you twist that half-grip throttle. And what you feel is an e-bike that is ready to rocket.
Let’s all take a moment to appreciate those mag wheels too, which are both made by Bafang and add to the bike’s slick look. They also mean you never need to worry about spoke maintenance since you don’t have any spokes. For moped-style electric bikes, these mag wheels are becoming a popular option, and I couldn’t be happier about that.
The half-twist throttle makes quick work of laying down the power, though you’ll find yourself relying on the pedal assist too if you want to go even faster. That’s because the throttle gets you up to 20 mph (32 km/h), and then the pedal assist activates the Class 3 mode to bring you up to an even faster 28 mph (45 km/h).
Fortunately, the bike feels like it was designed to actually handle that kind of riding. The street tires are sticky and confidence inspiring. The front suspension is decently responsive (though you don’t want to hit any big bumps with a rigid rear). And the bench seat is more or less comfortable, even making for some decent pedaling geometry with the pedals more forward-mounted.
I’m also glad to see some safety considerations like a big headlight, strong hydraulic brakes, and even turn signals, though I’ll be the first to say that the rear turn signals aren’t very visible. The fronts are a nice touch though!
And there’s even a low/hi-beam selector, just in case you want to go around blinding motorists at night.
The upside-down shifter on the left bar end is kind of comical, but not something we haven’t seen before. That’s due to the typically right-mounted rear shifter being installed on the left to make way for a right-hand half-twist throttle.
With a massive 52V and 20Ah battery, you’ve got over 1 kWh of capacity to keep you riding. They claim over 30 miles of range on throttle only, and that’s absolutely doable (especially since throttle-only riding limits you to 20 mph).
If you do plenty of 28 mph riding with slight pedaling to activate the higher speed, expect the range to dip down below the claimed 30 miles. If you can resist the high power and instead stick to moderate pedal assist, you can get significantly more range. They claim a maximum of over 70 miles, though that’d be a tall order, especially on a motorcycle-style e-bike like this.
I must say that I’m a big fan of the way the frame is built around the battery to incorporate it into the design. It fully embraces the motorcycle styling yet keeps the battery removable. However, you do need to remove the key to actually drop the battery out, since it interferes with the frame tubes on the way out of the bike.
And while we’re talking design, the funny little pseudo mid-motor cover panels are a cute touch, though I don’t think anyone will be fooled into thinking you’ve got a mid-drive motor hidden down there near the pedals. I assume they’ve just shoved the controller down there or used it to hide away the messy wiring, which means it might actually make for a useful access panel if the controller or wiring ever needed to be worked on.
There may be a few oddities here, but all told I think the design is nicely refreshing while still maintaining a classic motorcycle-inspired ethos that is becoming increasingly popular in the e-bike space these days.
At a price of $1,999, you’re going to have to really want this kind of styling to open your wallet that hard. I’m not saying $2k isn’t a fair price for such a powerful and long-range bike. But with a new company that is asking for you to trust their Indiegogo campaign, that’s a significant outlay.
Having tested the bike and confirming that the company actually knows what they’re doing – at least for a few models – I feel pretty comfortable vouching for their e-bike design chops. But not so comfortable that I’m not still going to warn you that crowdfunding campaigns are inherently risky since you aren’t outright buying an e-bike but instead backing a project with the promise of an e-bike in return.
So make sure you’ve considered that when you make a buying decision.
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