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Cruising Vancouver in ENVO’s Veemo: The 3-Wheel eBike ‘Car’ You Can Ride in Bike Lanes

When I was invited to join a launch event from Vancouver’s ENVO I knew I’d get a chance to check out their ebikes, although the event was held mostly to reveal their new electric ‘UPT’ vehicle. While the UPT was interesting, it’s on the edge of Bikerumor’s scope so I was glad we spent some time riding a few of ENVO’s ebikes too.

ENVO Veemo, pair
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When I was invited to an ENVO event, I knew I’d get a chance to check out their ebikes, even though the event was mostly to reveal their new electric ‘UPT’ vehicle. While the UPT was interesting, it’s on the edge of Bikerumor’s scope so I was glad we spent some time riding a few of ENVO’s ebikes too.

In addition to their line of familiar-looking ebikes, ENVO also had their semi-enclosed Veemo three-wheelers available for test rides. I got the chance to briefly ride the Veemo, plus ENVO’s D50 and STAX ebikes.

One note – Since these bikes were not the focus of the launch event, the Veemo, and D50 I rode were not fully built to current specs. Those differences are noted below. 

ENVO D50:

ENVO D50, drive side

The D50 is ENVO’s all-purpose ebike, built on an aluminum hardtail frame. With mounts for racks and bags the D50 can be an ideal commuter, can haul cargo, or can be ridden on MTB trails with a few component upgrades. ENVO also sells an ST50 model, which is basically a D50 with a step-through frame.

The D50 comes with an SR Suntour 80mm suspension fork (not the RockShox fork shown on my demo bike). The bike comes with 27.5” wheels, but the frame is capable of running 29s. You will have to swap the fork to a 29” model if you upsize your wheels.

The D50 is powered by a 750W rear hub motor and a 48V 15Ah battery. Its top speed is 28mph, and its range is up to 93 miles (using the lowest pedal assist level). If you wish to double the bike’s range, a second full-sized battery can be added. One option ENVO offers is a torque sensor; the D50 comes stock with a cadence sensor, but if you want more response from your pedaling inputs you can opt for a torque sensor instead.

ENVO D50, controller and throttle

The D50’s controller provides five pedal assist levels and a throttle. A 9-speed drivetrain offers ample gear range for commuting but would be a bit lacking for MTB (especially given the D50’s large front chainring). Tektro hydraulic disc brakes offer reliable, all-weather stopping power.

The ENVO D50 sells for $2099. Small and Large frame sizes are offered, which should fit riders from 4’11” to 6’6”.

Initial Impressions:

ENVO D50, non drive side

Right away I noticed the D50’s 750W hub motor offers lots of power.  We got several chances to ride up steep roads on our short test ride, and even in the 3rd assist level out of 5, the bike had no problem sailing up them. The D50 still climbed with ease when I relied on throttle power only.

I did notice quite a bit of overdrive on the D50. I found the rear hub motor still providing power for 1-2 seconds after I stopped cranking, which could be dangerous if you’re not expecting it. With the stock cadence sensor, getting the bike going from a higher gear took a fair bit of effort. The optional torque sensor might help with initial pickup since it can detect how hard you’re pushing the pedal. Once the power comes on, it comes on pretty strongly and you pick up speed fast.

I’ve had limited experience with ebikes that have throttles, but I’ll agree it’s a convenient feature. It definitely came in handy when we veered onto steep uphill streets and I was pedaling in the wrong gear. The D50’s throttle offered plenty of power and quick acceleration. 

ENVO D50, disc brake

The D50’s hydraulic brakes offered more than enough power for quick stops, and they would be ample for less intense trail rides too. At 5’10” I am within the recommended height range for the D50, and I had no issues with how the bike fit me.

ENVO Stax:

ENVO Stax, side

The Stax is ENVO’s stealthy ebike option (though the massive seat post is a bit of a giveaway). This 6061 T6 aluminum flat bar gravel bike has a rigid aluminum fork and offers a faster, sleeker ride versus the D50. The Stax is fast on pavement, but since they gave it 700x40C gravel tires it can handle light-duty off-road terrain too. Coming in at 42lbs, the Stax isn’t super light, but not too heavy either.

The Stax’s hub motor offers 500W of output, and the seatpost battery provides 36V and 12.8 Ah of juice. The range tops out at 625 miles, and the max speed is 20mph. ENVO’s controller offers 5 levels of pedal assist, and the bike I rode had a throttle as well. Since you’ve got power, ENVO gave the Stax an integrated headlight.

Other non-electric components include an 8-speed drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes. The Stax frame does have mounts for fenders and rear racks if you want to haul some cargo. ENVO offers the Stax in one unisex frame size, intended for riders from 5’5” to 6’5”. It sells for $1879.

Initial Impressions:

ENVO Stax, angle

Right away I thought if I chose an ENVO ebike for commuting purposes, I would go for the Stax. I like the stealthy look of the bike, the very reasonable weight (you could actually carry this ebike up stairways), and the fast roll of the 700x40c tires. Sitting right in the middle of the Stax’s recommended height range, I found the frame fit me pretty well.

Even with 500W the lighter Stax has plenty of power on tap. The bike handled steep uphills with no problems at the middle assist level 3. Like the D50 I found the assist power comes on quick and strong, and launches you forward a bit suddenly. The throttle alone has no problem rocketing this bike along the streets and up hills.

ENVO says the Stax has ‘race-inspired’ geometry, and I wouldn’t disagree. The bars felt quite low on this bike, and the reach leaned me forward into a pretty aggressive riding position. I found the Stax’s handlebars quite narrow but I am used to riding 800mm MTB bars. The bars had a generous backsweep, too. If you’re wondering, it wouldn’t be easy to swap to a drop bar on the Stax, since the controller/throttle is made for a flat handlebar.

ENVO Veemo:

ENVO Veemo, side

The Veemo is a semi-enclosed three-wheel velomobile, with front and rear suspension and a partial roof to keep you mostly weather-protected. The ENVO team said the lean roof works well enough that you don’t have to wear waterproof clothing on a rainy ride. For those wet days, the Veemo has a windshield wiper. Inside the enclosure, the Veemo offers a 60-liter cargo area behind the rider.

The Veemo is currently being field-tested in Vancouver by a food delivery worker named Sam. Apparently, he’s loving it, mostly because sitting in the Veemo’s seat for 8 hours a day is a lot more comfortable than sitting on a traditional bike seat.

Max power from the Veemo’s hub motor is 750W and 80Nm of torque, the max speed is 20mph, and its range is up to 125 miles (with the dual battery option). Like ENVO’s ebikes, the Veemo offers 5 levels of pedal assist and a throttle. A 9-speed drivetrain provides gear range, and the Veemo stops via hydraulic disc brakes on all three wheels (with regenerative braking). Other handy commuter features include head and tail lights, side mirrors, and a parking brake.

As for dimensions the Veemo’s front wheel width is 35”, its length is 79”, and it stands 59” tall. The Veemo weighs 135lbs. Its adjustable seat should fit riders between 5” and 6’4”.  

*Video c. ENVO Drive Systems

In Vancouver, the Veemo is fully legal to ride in bike lanes… interested buyers might want to verify local regulations. The Veemo retails for $6199. ENVO is currently accepting down payments with availability expected in April 2024.

Initial Impressions:

ENVO Veemo in park

This was my first ever ride in an enclosed three-wheeler, so I’ll warn you I have no basis of comparison! I was curious to see how it would handle and how stable it would be, but quickly found it easy to drive. The Veemo’s front suspension is firm enough that you don’t lean deep into corners, but it still smooths out bumps in the road. After chatting with ENVO’s employees, I was convinced the Veemo won’t tip over unless you do something drastic. Apparently, no one has rolled a Veemo yet!

I was happy to find the Veemo’s turning radius was tight enough to get around city intersections with no problems. I also found the hydraulic brakes offered enough power to stop the Veemo easily.

ENVO Veemo, rear supension

Pedaling Around Town

With a full backrest, the Veemo’s seat was very comfortable, and I had no issues with the ride stance. I could get enough power to the pedals but sat in a pretty upright and comfy body position. I only had one ergonomic issue: My heels hit the floor under the pedals a few times while we cruised around. A bit more space there might be ideal.

The Veemo I rode had an outgoing Bosch motor system on it, so I can’t comment on the Veemo’s drive system. ENVO has updated the drivetrain with their own electronics since this prototype was built.

The Veemo isn’t really that wide, but it definitely feels wider than a regular bike when you’re driving it. It’s wide enough that as we were cruising around Vancouver’s side streets, cars were more cautious of driving around us than if we were on bikes. On bike paths, the Veemo was narrow enough that other cyclists could easily pass by.

With just a short ride on each, this is all I can say about ENVO’s Veemo, Stax and D50. For complete details on each visit ENVO’s EBike BC retail website, or envodrive.com.

ebikebc.com

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will
will
2 months ago

covered 3 wheels mini cars in tiny bike lanes.. sounds great lol. theyll go right along with motorcycles.

BikeHoarder6
BikeHoarder6
2 months ago

The Veemo looks nifty and all that, however, all these companies pumping out these neat new E-Bikes and such fail to grasp that their customers have little to no bicycle infrastructure in place to facilitate safe transport. Such as protected bike lanes and enough paved bike paths. Also, where and how do you secure your new $6k+ investment when you get to the grocery store, movie theater, etc?

Same problem with EV’s. Too many EV’s and not enough charging stations.
We need a crap-ton more of protected bike lanes and M.U.P.s before all these
new gadgets can be realistically used to the extent needed to partially replace car trips.

WhateverBikes
2 months ago

Yeah, great.
Like I’ve long predicted; ebikes will get more and more like cars. Not per se always in appearance, like this ‘velomobile’, but in characteristics… and drawbacks. Expensive, big, heavy, needing much and expensive maintenance, making people lazier, built-in obsolesce, dangerous for rider and others. Isn’t ‘progress’ great…

Shafty
Shafty
2 months ago

Instead of bothering to look at the bigger picture, let’s all just suck it up and accept that our commutes will be excessively long. No way we could possibly address that. Nope, it’s simply not possible. Surely a $6200 motorized “bike”(it’s a trike!) will entice the masses to change their polluting ways, it’s their fault after all. The batteries are even Fair Trade!

syborg
syborg
2 months ago

This thing should not be clogging the bike lane.

Joe Bond
Joe Bond
2 months ago
Reply to  syborg

OTOH, great opportunity for motor pacing as it looks to have an awesome draft.

Evan
Evan
2 months ago

I’ve affixed some ornamental pedals on my Tacoma and now I take the river path to work. Traffic is for suckers.

Jamie Levett
Jamie Levett
2 months ago

A pretty good effort. I would want sides screens for when it’s totally pissing it. It also needs a second seat behind the driver like the ELF had.

Huffagnolo SuperMagna
Huffagnolo SuperMagna
2 months ago

Not an e-bike but a neat electric 3 wheeled moped though does not belong on bicycle lanes anything with a throttle can go with cars. Bicyclists deserve a lane that is free of throttled vehicles. E-bikes are fine, I like e-bikes but a throttle turns it into a moped and mopeds aren’t bikes

Mike
2 months ago

This seems okay if you have the bike lanes. But realistically this thing needs to go up to 30mph and have significantly more watts to handle hills since it weighs 125 pounds.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 months ago

I have been a bike commuter most of my adult life. I am now approaching 60 year old. Some of my friends have had to abandon conventional biking all together due to compromised knees, lack of balance and such until e-assist bikes came along. perfect application. It is also extremely wet here in the winter, with occasional ice/snow. I have had to push my bike home after heavy snow events as i don’t want to go down. My city is blessed with a fantastic bike infrastructure and this vehicle is perfect for my winter commuting as i age. won’t tip over in ice and it can assist me if i need help with my aging knees. btw, you can pedal this bike with no assist and you can lock the wheels with your smart phone. folks can “hate” on it all they want. I’m getting one and it’s gonna help me continue bike commuting as i age.

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