Tech

Tremendous73 S2 Evaluate: A A laugh however Horrifying Ebike

But it kept happening. Over and over, the bike would go to full throttle, or I’d stop pedaling but the bike wouldn’t stop accelerating. Other times, I’d be pedaling and suddenly get no power until I blipped the throttle, which would bring the electric assist back on. It was acting glitchy all over, which made for a tense ride home. 

At a crowded intersection, I was at a red light when the bike suddenly launched me into a crowd of pedestrians in the crosswalk. Thankfully, I caught it with the brakes before I toppled anyone. I did some research to see if other S2 customers were having the same issue. Sure enough, over multiple forums, people were reporting the same throttle woes. This problem didn’t appear for the first few weeks I had the bike, but all those rides were taken on dry roads. As soon as I took it onto a wet road for the first time, the malfunctions appeared within 15 minutes.

Super73’s engineers say they couldn’t replicate the problem on my test bike when I shipped it back, but they suspected it needed a firmware update. The company says it has heard of similar issues, but that a firmware update should solve them. 

I remain skeptical. If it’s a firmware issue, why would it happen only when roads are wet? It makes me suspect the controller isn’t sufficiently waterproofed, but I can’t say that definitively. I asked the company if it tested the bike in wet conditions, but it did not confirm or deny this.

All Kitted Up

Photograph: Super73

It’s hard to get past those dangerous faults, but the rest of the bike feels well built. Super73 didn’t skimp on the details. All the cables and wires from the handlebars are routed through the frame, which gives the bike a tidy, clean look. The LED headlight is huge and awesome for lighting up the road on a dark night (630 lumens!), and the integrated LED taillight is hard to miss. The metallic white paint is a very nice touch as well, but you can also get it in black or metallic steel. 

The motorcycle-style seat is comfy, but it’s non-adjustable and somewhat low at 31 inches tall. Super73 says the bike fits anyone from 5’1″ to 6’8″ in height. I’m 5’10”, and I already felt like a bear sitting at a school desk. There’s a smartphone app that pairs with the bike, but unlike brands like VanMoof, you’re not forced to use it to ride the bike. That’s good. I rarely want to bother with anything more than the LCD screen on the handlebars.

The S2 is a fun bike—one with heaps of power and feels like it should cost more than the $2,695 asking price. And I had a good time riding it … until I didn’t. Super73 would have a recommendation-worthy bike on their hands if it could eliminate the throttle issues and offer a front fender that actually works.

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