Review: Self-recharging e-bike Eahora Snow X6, I want to believe

Eahora (or “Energy Ahora”) has a few different bikes on their site. I had a lot of fun riding the Eahora Snow X6 for the review. This stubbly little bike is a useful combination of components that make it a predictable ride for fun romps in the snow or slush.

Today we’ll spend some time on a common feature of all the Eahora bikes, what they call E-PAS Technology. With this, Eahora make some bold claims on their site:

Our latest Eahora E-Bikes use the E-PAS system, which can achieve 45% energy recovery on downhill, making battery life more durable and keeping the battery active.” and “double[s] the duration of regular e-bike under the same battery capacity and motor usage”. 

Unfortunately, I can’t report the same findings under the brief tests I did. Without the luxury of a laboratory or fixed positions to test from, I put rubber to the road and tested on the street.

I will say that this system is the most impressive form of energy recapture I have tried to date. That bar is very, very low. I can’t yet say I’ve found one that would make an impact on my particular commute/route.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s talk about the bike first.

  • Motor: 350 W Shengyi hub-drive motor
  • Top speed: 28 mph (45 km/h) with pedal assist (PAS)
  • Battery: 46V 13Ah (624Wh) lockable and removable battery
  • Range: 40 mi (64.3 km) estimate
  • Charge time: 6 hours
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Weight: 50.6 lb (22.9 kg)
  • Brakes: Logan 180mm hydraulic disc
  • Tires: 20 x 3 Chao Yang
  • Extras: LCD display, 8-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain, E-PAS energy recapture mode

At first glance

The frame offers a low center of gravity and a folding utility, and of course, the 3” wide tires, a great middle-ground between fat and normal width. The folding frame is nice, I’ve put this bike in the trunk a few times, and it’s a piece of cake. The bike is a pretty medium size, for greatest appeal. But, since it’s a folding bike, the handlebars are a bit far from the seat. They do telescope up and down, but not front to back.

Decent mechanics

Mechanically the bike has some capable components. The Shimano Altus derailer is acceptable for this kind of bike. The gear range in somewhat limited, but the hydraulic disc brakes really stand out at this price point.

Although it’s a folding bike, it feels alright just pedaling normally without the motor. The grips have a slight ergonomic edge, and the seat is pretty comfy, which is really nice combined with the high air volume of the tires. I had a lot of fun in the snow on this bike. The low center of gravity and the throttle save the day, and made this a dream to ride in the fresh powder!

Electric standard

Electrically the bike is quite interesting. The 48V 13Ah battery tucked in the frame is pretty nice. I didn’t think they would fit that much in there, but they did. The wires and cables are routed outside of the bike, so that’s part of it. The 350W motor felt more powerful to me, more like a 500W motor. I’m kind of wondering if it was mislabeled because it performs really well.

Pedal-assist is a cadence based system, with a sensor in the bottom bracket. Throttle is cool. Dig that. Display is easy to ready and easy to use. Now, let’s talk about E-PAS.

Energy recapture

Here’s how it works: The bike will recapture downhill energy, and reroute it back to the battery pack. This adds charge back into the pack as it rides downhill. It’s not regenerative braking, since it’s not tied to the brakes at all, and it’s not pedaling to provide power. I’ve tried bikes with these features, and somehow the companies find their way into dire straights.

350w motor

How to “Recharge” the bike

When the display is set to level 0 the bike will automatically recapture downhill energy when coasting over 14mph. At that point, you’ll feel the bike slow down on its own, and you’ll see the odometer change to show incoming watts into the motor. And this system does exactly that, which is already a big accomplishment. But, what kind of scale are we talking about?

Real test

Well, that’s hard to say. A normal range test, trying to kill the battery is fraught with variables. Testing the energy recapture is even more victim to the environment. I had one dedicated experience that I didn’t catalog the results for, and one test. With high hopes, I went to the top of a 520ft hill that spans about 4.37 miles. At the top of the hill, I had half a battery showing on the display. Using E-PAS as much as possible, by the bottom I still had half a battery showing on the display. The route I took had plenty of traffic lights and some flat areas, and I think those spots didn’t allow for the E-PAS to really shine.

The next time, I took it on a small 80ft hill that only stretched for .43 miles. This time with no stoplights, and no flats. Starting the hill the battery showed exactly 47.8V on a voltmeter. After descending the hill, the battery showed 48.1V. A measurable difference of .3V into the battery.

.3 volts is still volts

What does this all mean? If you have a pretty big and predicable hill on your commute or route you enjoy, then this could help you recharge a tiny bit back to add more length to your total ride. Does the concept work? Yes, it works. Is it practical? Well, that’s entirely up to you.

One thing I really enjoy about this cool tech is that it doesn’t carry a high price. Eahora is quite upfront that this technology is equipped on accessible bikes with accessible pricing. They don’t act like it belongs on a Ferarri, or justify something overpriced with carbon fiber or anything. The folk at Eahora seem genuinely interested in making a practical bike that people will use, which is quite the relief compared to tech labs that make awesome stuff, that is completely out of reach for consumers.

Is it worth it?

I think this tech has a long way to go before it changes the world. However! Being equipped on a low-price bike, with some adaptable features and uses, I’m really happy that this tech can get more miles from real riders, and help improve the tech in the real world. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this tech and Eahora, because I’m excited to see where it goes. Check out their site here:

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