For 2018, Magnum is refining a lot of their existing electric bike lineup but also introducing a few new models. I spoke with the North America lead, Jesse Lapim, and got some insight on each of the e-bikes they are promoting.
We started with i-max electric kick scooters, including the T3 and S1+ which are reviewed at Electric Ride Review https://electricridereview.com/brand/i-max/ I was told that their S1 model is a Red Dot award winner for 2015 and 2016 for best design (it’s an international award), and it has colorful replaceable decks which makes it different from some of the other scooters on the market today. These scooters are great for cutting down the time and effort of the “last mile” for commuters who take the train, subway, or bus. They are compact, relatively lightweight, and easier to lift and store inside than a full sized electric bike.
We discussed the two folding e-bike models from Magnum, including the cheaper and slightly weaker 36 volt Classic and more expensive more powerful 48 volt Premium model. Jesse told me that all of their folding models now have seat post suspensions to improve comfort. The big update on these models for 2018 is that now you can get the Classic model in a wave low-step design that is even easier to mount and stand over. Jesse told me that their current models tend to weigh 55 lbs to 60 lbs and they are exploring a lighter and more portable model for the future (but no word yet).
We looked at the Ui5 and Mi5 models which are their “bread and butter” models. These are affordable full sized commuter bikes. They use comfortable balloon tires and have adjustable stem. They offer a 36 volt battery and 350 watt motor. These bikes are priced at $1,699 to be value priced but are still sold through dealers which can offer some support and test rides. Jesse explained that they are working to reinforce and improve their throttle design and will release an update for 2018. The throttles we saw were their older design which worked pretty well but took up more space. The throttle is modular and can be disconnected to comply as a Class 1 electric bike to buy and use in New York.
A bit later, we explored the Magnum Peak and Peak 29 models (the difference being a 27.5” wheel size to the larger 29er 29” wheel size and slightly larger frame).
The Metro+ and Cruiser models were introduced in the past year and offer a different style and more relaxed ride while delivering higher battery capacity and power than the Mi5 and Ui5 models. They still have fenders and integrated lights, perfect for commuters or just cruising around town. Jesse highlighted the Schwalbe Marathon tires which are more efficient than the Big Ben that you see on the Cruiser… but possibly less comfortable on bumpy terrain.
For 2018, Magnum is introducing a new integrated battery design and mid-drive motor from Dapu, which I am not super familiar with… I have used Dapu hub motors and they are some of the best with sturdy wiring and powerful output. Mid-motors require a custom frame and often more more than traditional hub motor offerings. These new bikes are stealthier than the old ones and offer a refined approach if you are willing to spend a bit more money, mid-drive motors also impact the drivetrain a bit so shifting smoothly and carefully becomes more important. The idea is that these electric bikes don’t even look like they have a motor or battery on them and riders who are just getting back into the sport might not stick out so much. Jesse did say that these were “Magnum Future” sort of prototype models that could be changed slightly. It sounds like they will have a different rack option, but I did like that the bottle cage bosses were present on the seat tube for staying hydrated. The batteries are 48 volt 10.2 amp hours and the motor is a 500 watt Dapu design which can be operated through pedal assist and throttle mode (unique for mid-drives). This model is called the Magnum Navigator, they are targeting April of 2018 for this line of bikes and hope to hit $2,500 price point. Another similar bike, with the integrated downtube battery, is the Voyager and Voyager Plus. They have some very sturdy front racks which mount to the headtube and stay straight and steady as you turn. The Magnum Payload $2,700 and Voyager around $2,300 bikes use a Das-Kit hub motor but feature the integrated battery. I loved the streamlined head-shock design of the forks, to offer a bit of comfort without the weight and price of a more traditional dual-stanchion fork. Magnum is also considering an app that will work with smartphones so people can use that instead of the stock display, we may hear more about this in 2018.
You can see some of my previous Magnum ebike reviews at https://electricbikereview.com/brand/magnum/ and learn more about the company at their official website: https://www.magnumbikes.com/