NCM Milano Electric Bike Review

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NCM make high quality, but affordable electric bikes, in this review I will explain why I believe the NCM Milano is the best electric commuter bike for the money.

About NCM Electric bikes

NCM electric bikes is owned by Leon Cycle GmbH a German company based in Hanover. Their e-bikes are designed in Germany and manufactured in China.

Specification

The centre piece of this Electric bike is the X15 geared rear hub motor: This reliable 250W rear electric motor is known for its durability and high torque output, enabling the rider to maintain 15.5mph for long periods of time. There is no compromise in handling with the small motor centred in the rear hub.

NCM Milano electric bike photos of saddle, rear wheel and handlebar grips

48v13ah Lithium battery pack with USB charging port for mobile devices: Bulky battery packs take up a considerable amount of space, but the Milano’s battery is integrated in to the down tube of the bike, keeping weight low and central, which helps to improve stability. The manufacturers claimed maximum range of 75 miles seems a little optimistic. The total battery energy capacity is 624wh (watt hours), so if you were consuming 20wh per mile, your range would be 31 miles. My friend owns one of these bikes and gets an average range of around 40-50 miles.

NCM milano electric bike view of battery

This bike is built for comfort: The Schwalbe touring tyres, Suntour front suspension, adjustable handlebar stem, Selle Royal ergonomic grips and saddle with suspension post all make for an incredibly comfortable ride, even over longer distances. The Shimano 7-Speed gears, index perfectly – shifting is crisp and precise.

photos of the ncm milano tyres, display panel and front light

Fully function control panel display: The Das-Kit LCD display gives you all the information you would expect from an e-bike display. including journey time and mileage. It also has 6 power levels of pedal-assist, so you can fine-tune the power output to suite your ride.

NCM Milano electric bike lcd display

Excellent build quality: The NCM Milano is designed to look great, but with no compromise on functionality and safety. The Tektro mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors provide adequate braking and the brake levers incorporate motor cut-off switches to ensure a safe riding. The front and rear lights work off the battery and provide an extra level of safety – especially when riding in the winter. Internal cable routing finishes off the package neatly and not only looks great, but protects the cables from the elements.

NCM milano electric bike dimensions

Summary

In my opinion the NCM Milano electric bike offers exceptional value for money. It is unusual to see such a high quality, well made e-bike at this price point. What’s more the specification is excellent. The 48v13ah battery will certainly provide users with a realistic range of between 30-45 miles, or 31 miles using the 20wh per mile calculation. The claimed range of 75 miles may be a little optimistic for every day use – it really depends on how much you use the electric assist.

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Tektro Mechanical disc brakes should provide adequate stopping power, while the Schwalbe tyres will provide a reasonable amount of puncture protection.


The attention to detail on this bike is great. The internally routed cables and the integrated battery pack make for a very clean finish, something you only usually find on more expensive e-bikes.

The fact that this bike has mudguards, pannier rack, lights and a kickstand fitted, mean that it is excellent for the daily commute in all weathers, or perfect for some weekend touring. The inclusion of a gel saddle and suspension seat post make this bike a truly comfortable and versatile all-rounder.

If you are in the market for an incredibly versatile and affordable e-bike this definitely ticks all the right boxes

The Ride

A friend of mine purchased one of these back in the Summer and he was kind enough to let me take it for a spin. I can honestly say it was a revelation! The gel saddle was incredibly comfortable and the small X15 hub motor was quiet and smooth. It produced a lot of power for such a small motor, making climbing the steep Cornish hills a doddle! The brakes and front suspension were more than adequate for the back lanes of Cornwall.

Conclusion

I really cannot recommend this bike enough. It has to be one of the best value e-bikes on the market at the moment, and the specification is great.

The great thing about this e-bike, is that it is a true hybrid – it is equally comfortable being ridden on tarmac or unpaved surfaces. It can even be used for some light off-road riding.

If you are in the market for an incredibly versatile and affordable e-bike this definitely ticks all the right boxes.

Incidentally, NCM’s other 48v 250w bike is called the NCM Moscow, I will be reviewing this bike in the near future. I have personally worked on and ridden a Moscow, and it is on a par with the Milano for ride and build quality. In fact it uses identical electric components, but in a mountain bike style frame. All of NMC’s bikes feature in my list of best electric bikes for sale.

Buy from Amazon

Now available from Amazon UK

France

Germany

Italy 

Spain

 

NCM Milano Electric Bike

9.7

Value for Money

9.0/10

Comfort

10.0/10

Reliability

10.0/10

Pros

  • Excellent Value for Money
  • Versatility
  • Very comfortable

Cons

  • The front forks are not suitable for heavy off-road use
  • The brakes felt a little vague.

Tony

Passionate E-Bike advocate and enthusiast. 5 years experience converting bikes for customers primarily using Bafang and Tongsheng electric bike motors.

30 thoughts on “NCM Milano Electric Bike Review

  • Is there a Milano plus with 28″ wheels?

    Reply
    • I’ve just checked their website and they only sell the 28″ version in the EU at the moment.

      Reply
  • I am thinking about getting this bike to bring my 4 year old daughter to school and cycle in the mountains. We live in a mountainous area in Southern Spain. Do you think this bike would be a suitable and safe option for carrying a child up very steep hills and trekking on weekends? Thanks in advance 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi,

      The NCM Milano would be more suitable for gently undulating terrain – the rear hub motor will struggle on steep hills, especially if your carrying extra weight. The NCM Milano Max would be a good option (if it’s still available) as that uses a Bafang 250w mid-drive motor – these are much better for hill climbing as the power is transferred through the bike gearing.

      Your best option would be something with a Bosch CX Performance Line motor as these motors are designed to be used in extreme conditions (mountain biking / cross country riding). The Shimano Steps E8000 or EP8 are also good high performance motors.

      I hope this helps, if you have any more questions, please let me know.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
      • Hi Tony.
        Thank you so much! That’s very helpful.

        Reply
      • Hi Tony. It seems the NCM Milano Max is not available to purchase anywhere. I see the Milano Plus is though. Is this similar to the Max?
        Thank you!

        Reply
        • Hi Nicola,

          The NCM Milano Plus is the same as the standard (hub drive) Milano it just has a larger battery. It would also be worth looking the Decathlon e-bikes – Here is a link to their mid-drive step-through, this bike uses the Brose motor which is very good for hill climbing.

          Regards,
          Tony

          Reply
  • I bought Milano 26 “for my wife. Today we tried it and we were thrilled. I had seen other e-bikes with much higher prices but I must say that it doesn’t look bad, quite the contrary.
    I’m thinking about Venice. You say that with an upgrade, such as a fork, you can do dirt roads?
    I am unsure why I have a brand new 17 Tongsheng + battery at home.

    Reply
    • Hi Giuseppe,

      You can ride the Venice on dirt roads as it is, but I would get slightly wider tyres that have a more suitable tread. The Suntour NEX suspension fork is fine for mild to moderate off-road riding, but will not be good for doing jumps and rougher terrain.

      Reply
    • Value for Money

      10

      Comfort

      10

      Reliability

      10

      I purchase one for my wife and one for me. I live in Boulder, Colorado. I love this bike! At my age 78 I can once again cycle over the mountain passes. Great value!
      Ken

      Reply
  • Hello,
    deepening the information on this bike I came across a blog where we talk about a hidden menu with passwd. If anyone cares, here’s the explanation:

    1 Eco
    2 normal
    3 power

    1 turn on the display
    2 Press and hold the plus key and minus key at the same time for 7 seconds until you enter the hidden menu.
    3 the password is 8007
    You have to press + to increase the number and – to decrease.
    After each digit press M to go to the next digit and so on until the end.
    4 press M three times, the figure 2 will appear
    5 press + and bring it to 3
    6 press M
    7 press + and – at the same time for a couple of seconds and return to the normal menu

    8 turn off and on again.

    The display as well as being illuminated allows you to reset the trip odometer as on cars. To reset you have to press the + button for about 8 seconds.

    Reply
  • I saw that it is fitted with a 48 T but it is possible to change it with a 42.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Giuseppe,

      It should be possible to change the chain ring for a smaller one, but I would double check with the shop just to be sure.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
  • Hi, I would like to give an NCM Milano to my wife.
    I went to their site but I find several models and with different engines and weight, even, of 36 kg.
    In addition to Milan there are Milano Plus and Max.
    Could you give me some clarification?
    Joseph

    Reply
    • Hi Joseph,

      The Milano Plus is rear hub motor with a more powerful battery (48v 16Ah vs 13Ah for the lower-priced model) this will give a greater battery range. The Milano Max uses a Bafang mid-drive motor which means it will be much better for climbing hills, efficiency/battery range and provide the rider with a more natural pedal assist feel.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
  • Hi Tony
    Thank you for the reviews. They are very informative. I need a bike for commuting which includes some hills and I love the sound of the NCM Milano Max Trekking E-bike. However, I would prefer the brakes to be hydraulic. Can you recommend a bike that has the specification of the NCM Milano but which also has hydraulic brakes. I understand it will be more expensive. If possible, but not essential I would prefer if I could buy it on the cycle to work scheme. Thank you.
    Stephanie

    Reply
    • Hi Stephanie,

      I would take a look at the Raleigh Motus electric bike. I took delivery of one recently on behalf of a friend and was very impressed with the build quality. The motor is a Bosch Active Line and is very smooth and quiet, it also has hydraulic brakes which work very well. Here is a link to the Raleigh Motus on Evan’s cycles website – they support the Cycle to Work Scheme.

      If you need any more advice, please let me know.

      Regards,
      Tony

      Reply
      • Value for Money

        10

        Comfort

        0

        Reliability

        0

        I was almost inclined to take a Plus but I discovered that the warranty covers the motor, battery, display, etc. for 1 year.
        2 years on the frame.

        Reply
        • Yes, that’s the only let-down. I would be inclined to go for the Cube due to the reliability of the Bosch unit – their warranty is 2 years minimum, but apparently you can pay for extra cover beyond that timeframe.

          Reply
    • Value for Money

      10

      Comfort

      10

      Reliability

      9.5

      The NCM Milano Plus has hydraulic brakes as well as a larger battery

      Reply
  • HI Tony,
    I live in hilly country near Cowbridge South Wales. I weigh approx. 12 st 7 lbs and am about 5 ft 5 inches tall.
    I noted the max payload stated 125 kilos , sadly I am not that light.
    do you think this NCM Milano would be ok for me .
    Also is availability ok given the C19 pandemic.
    Thanks
    John

    Reply
    • Hi John,

      You will be fine on the Milano. I weigh 17.5st and it coped with me well enough! The motor should provide enough assist on all but the steepest hills, there is a 1 in 4 near where I live and I still had to put in a fair bit of effort to get up that, but all the moderate hills (6%-12%) it handled just find. I’ve just checked eBay and they still have 4 in stock – here is the link (as far as I know there aren’t any major delays in shipping).

      If you need any more advice, please let me know.

      All the best,
      Tony

      Reply
    • Sorry….I am 82 kilos so ok after all !!

      Reply
  • Hi Tony. I’m very tempted to make the Milano my first electric bike but, based in Devon, I worry about the problems that I might have in terms of servicing or dealing with mechanical problems for a bike supplied from Germany (warranty not withstanding). Will it be a problem to find someone here to do such work and should I consider a UK sourced bike (and what should I look at?)?
    Thanks, Mike

    Reply
    • Hi Mike,

      As it happens I’m not far from Plymouth (near Saltash), there’s also a guy in Newton Abbott who services / builds e-bikes. I’ve worked on NCM electric bikes in the past and they’re nice and easy to work on.

      I know a few people who own NCM’s and I haven’t heard of any persistent reliability issues. Plus if you buy from eBay you are pretty well covered, and to my knowledge Leon Cycles are good at honouring warranty claims.

      If I were to recommend a UK sourced bike, the Carrera Crossfire E from Halfords is decent enough bike, although it’s more expensive, has a lower battery capacity and doesn’t come with mudguards and pannier rack.

      If you have any more questions, please let me know.

      Cheers,
      Tony

      Reply
      • hello, i’ve just ordered a milano plus trekker from their Ebay shop. Can i call on you should i have any troubles in the years to come? I live down in St Eval.
        al the best
        toby

        Reply
        • Hi Toby,

          No worries, I’m only about an hour from you. Give me a shout if you have any problems in the future, I can get hold of the parts easily enough.

          Cheers,
          Tony

          Reply
    • Value for Money

      10

      Comfort

      9.5

      Reliability

      9.5

      I have had one of these for about 15 months now and absolutely love it. I am 73 and live in a very mountainous area of southern Spain. The hot weather/mountains decided me on an e bike as I figured I wanted all the help I can get. I went out for my first ride telling my wife, “I will only be 20 minutes”. About an hour and a half later I got back to my rather worried wife having done 36 kms with the only muscles aching those in my face through grinning like a Cheshire cat. My wife was going to try biking but didn’t want one of these in case she didn’t enjoy cycling after not doing it for years (she couldn’t try mine as it is far too big for her) so she got a fat tyre bike so I could use it if she didn’t get on with it. To cut a long story short she is now on her fourth which is the smaller 26″ version of mine and she loves it. The fat tyre bike we got our money back after it was back for repair twice and a lot of argument. And now have two others we are about to sell. I have had two minor problems with my Milano but they sorted it out so I could fix it myself. I would recommend Leon cycles to anyone. In fact I am pondering whether to buy the Moscow now for off road tracks as the Milano isn’t suitable with one and a half inch wide wheels although the smaller version is slightly wider at 1.75″. My longest ride so far has been 64 kms but I still had battery power left so would have bettered that if it wasn’t for these damn lockdowns. Anyway if anyone is thinking of one of these, go for it. It’s a lot of fun and would make a great commuter bike even for very hilly country. If it can cope with the mountains here it can cope anywhere.

      Reply
      • Value for Money

        9.5

        Comfort

        10

        Reliability

        9.5

        In the end I got a Milan for my wife and a Venice for me.
        Comparing them with what is around at significantly higher prices, I must say that they are very good. The hub pulls well even uphill.
        Unfortunately we have used them little, here the weather sucks.

        Reply

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