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In this preview article I’ll be taking a closer look at the new budget mid-drive electric bike range from Chinese brand Yadea. The YS500 e-MTB and YT300 e-city bike are now available within the EU from geekbuying.com, and on paper the specification of both bikes looks to be excellent. If I can get hold of one (or both) of these e-bikes in the near future, I’ll be doing a full review.
The Yadea Technology Group are a Chinese-based e-mobility company with experience spanning over 20 years in the industry. Their range of electric bikes have only just come to my attention, so I thought I’d take a closer look at what they have to offer and share my opinions with you.
Budget mid-drive electric bikes
One of the main things that drew me to this brand was their range of affordable mid-drive electric bikes. The words ‘cheap’ and ‘mid-drive e-bike’ aren’t usually found in the same sentence nowadays but both the YS500 electric mountain bike and YT300 City e-bike look like incredibly good value for money.
Yadea Fusion Motor
Of course, an electric bike is only as good as its components and the new Yadea Fusion motor looks very impressive on paper – with a bilateral torque sensor and CAN-bus communication protocol (as developed by Bosch) it seems to be using the latest technology. The claimed torque of 85Nm is also impressive putting it on a par with the latest Bosch CX and Shimano Steps EP8 motors (85Nm) and above the Shimano Steps E6100 and Bosch Active Plus (60Nm) which, considering the budget price is pretty good.
As far as reliability is concerned, it’s too early to tell how robust this motor is going to be but no electric motor is immune from gremlins including Bosch and Shimano.
Bilateral torque sensors are nothing new and are used on all premium systems like Bosch etc. It means that pedal force is measured on both sides, giving a more accurate reading and hence a smoother, more intuitive assist. This pedal assist system also uses cadence and speed (like Bosch and Shimano). The motor is quite compact and uses an ISIS crank fitment.
On the face of it, this system looks really good and I’m looking forward to trying it out sometime in the near future.
Fusion mid-drive motor comparison
|AXIS SPEC.||ISIS SPINE||ISIS SPINE||ISIS SPINE||ISIS SPINE||SQUARE HOLE AXIS|
|POWER TRANSMISSION||II STAGE HELICAL GEAR||STAGE I HELICAL GEAR & STAGE I PLANETARY GEAR||STAGE I PLANETARY GEAR & BELT DRIVEN||II STAGE HELICAL GEAR||II STAGE HELICAL GEAR|
Both the display’s look okay – the display on the YT300 is a basic LED design and is limited to 3 levels of assist, walk assist, light on/off, distance and battery indicator. This is acceptable considering the excellent price and intended use of the YT300.
The LCD display on the Yadea YS500 looks fairly basic, but functional and is similar in size and shape to the Bafang C965 display. There’s 4 levels of assist to choose from, a battery range indicator and trip function.
The battery on the YS500 e-MTB uses high-quality LG cells and has a total energy capacity of 468Wh (36v 13Ah) which is very reasonable on an e-bike of this price. The YT300 has a 36v 7.8Ah battery (280Wh) and there are no cell specifications available, so I’m assuming generic cells on this battery.
Yadea YT300 Electric City Bike
When I first saw the price of the Yadea YT300 I was surprised to see a mid-drive city electric bike available for under €1000. It looks like fantastic value for money and providing the motor proves to be reliable enough, then I would say it’s potentially a great option. The YT300 is aimed squarely at the commuter / urban riding sector with 20″ wheels, mudguards, rack and lights.
I would say that this could be a great option for a rider looking for a reasonably lightweight and nimble commuter e-bike. The components look fairly basic with v-brakes and 7-speed gearing but I’d say that’s all you need for day to day commuting and all these parts are easily serviceable and cheap to replace.
The 36v 7.8Ah battery should give a realistic range of around 30 miles which will be ample for most commutes. I reckon the Yadea YT300 could also be popular with leisure riders and owners of camper vans.
- Material: Aluminium alloy; Steel
- Colour: Red /Black/White (Optional)
- OKAWA mid-motor:
- Rated Power: 250W
- Rated Voltage: 36V
- Torque: >75N.m
- Max. Speed: 25km/h (15.5mi/h)
- Max mileage: 60km/37mi
- Battery: 36V 7.8Ah
- Rear Derailleur: 7 Speed Gears
- Brake: Front and rear V-brakes
- Meter: 12V-LED 3-speed level
- Wheel: 20″/50cm
- Max Load Capacity:
- Bicycle: 120kg/264.6lbs
- Rear Carrier: 15kg/33.1lbs
- Size: 157*89-95*59cm/61.8″*35″-37.4″*23.2″
- Net Weight:22kg/48.5lbs
Yadea YS500 Electric Mountain Bike
At it’s current price of around €1300, the Yadea YS500 is excellent value for a mid-drive e-MTB. The components are entry-level and include a Shimano Altus 9-speed rear derailleur, Shimano MT200 hydraulic brakes and Suntour XCT forks. The YS500 is going to be a great budget alternative to something like the Cube Reaction Hybrid 400, or Decathlon Rockrider E-ST520.
|Model||Three-speed electric assist mode and bicycle mode(Not support pure power mode.)|
|Battery rate voltage||36V|
|Motor||Motor rated voltage||36V|
|Motor rated power||350W|
|Range per charge||80-100Km|
|Shift||Mechanical shift||SHIMANO Nine speed|
It’s always good to see new budget electric bikes become available to the consumer especially when most ‘brand-name’ mid-drive electric bikes start at over €2000.
Yadea have a large presence in Europe, Asia and the US and employ over 7000 people, plus they’ve been in the industry for over 20 years so I’m sure they’ve invested a lot in to the research and development of these new electric bikes and their motor.
There’s always an element of risk involved in buying an electric bike and even the more prestigious brands can cause problems, so I reckon the real test will be in the after-sales support.
The specifications of both the YS500 and YT300 are excellent considering their respective prices and I would say that if you’re in the market for a mid-drive e-bike and don’t want to risk buying a used bike, then the Yadea bikes are well worth a look.
Thanks for reading and if you already own one of these please feel free to share your experiences below.