Bike test: Islabikes eJimi
The e-bike dilemma: if you need electric assistance, you’re not best served by a heavy bike that’s harder to manoeuvre and pick up. Islabikes addresses this by using the lightweight ebikemotion system for its e-Icons range. Ready to ride, the eJimi weighs 14.5kg.
It’s aimed at older or less able cyclists, like the unpowered Icons. It has a step-through frame, low gears, twist-grip shifting, short-reach brake levers, and easy-tyre-change rims. Like the Islabikes Jimi, the e-version is at its best on trail centre blue or green routes and non-technical bridleways.
On more difficult trails I found the handling unforgiving. It’s a rigid bike with a fairly steep head angle. Additionally, the 40Nm motor laboured on the steepest (20-25%) climbs.
While a higher torque motor would climb better, you’d only find one on a much heavier e-bike. Given the riding expectations of most eJimi owners, the trade off for lower weight is worth it. The ebikemotion motor still plays a role on tough hills, and less precipitous terrain is a breeze.
The 250Wh battery is concealed in the down tube, where its weight is well balanced. There are anti-tamper bolts to prevent you removing it. That means you must park the eJimi near a power socket to recharge. Mileage will vary by usage but I’d expect 30-40 miles mountain biking – and it can easily be ridden unassisted.
There are three levels of riding assistance, plus a ‘walk’ mode, selected via an iWoc Trio handlebar controller. This shows the same colours (green, amber, red) in the same place for the power modes and the approximate charge remaining, which is a little confusing. It’s also hard to discern in direct sunlight.
There’s no handlebar display so if you want information like speed, distance or exact charge remaining, you must install the ebikemotion app on your phone. This app isn’t flawless but is very useful for fault diagnosis as it sends information to Islabikes. (It helped isolate a problem I had with the rear wheel sensor.)
The eJimi adds discreet, lightweight electric assistance to a bike already well designed for older or less able riders. The iWoc control could be better; everything else is spot on.
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