Non-tl;dr version: You cannot go wrong with eBikes USA in Denver or the Aventon Abound.
When I was young, my bicycle equaled freedom. It allowed me to get further than was realistic for my legs, whether it was to the lake a couple miles up the road or, in high school, visiting my friends nine miles away. (Grabbing one of my parents’ car keys wasn’t an option.)
Out here on the high plains in Strasburg, Colorado, the town to the east (Bryers) is essentially over six miles away and the one to the west (Bennett) over eight. (Also, please take into account that the plains are “rolling plains,” not “flat plains.” There are some nasty hills.) My headin’-toward-sixty legs are not the same as my energetic teen ones. I occasionally still do the east and west treks on my sturdy, reliable Giant bicycle, but, sadly, “freedom” at that distance now equals a car.
But who wants to use a car?!
Enter the option of using an e-bike.
The still 18 year-old brain in my head had a hard time with the idea, since it considered electric bicycles “cheating”…but I started doing a bunch of research online for electric bicycle options, heavily leaning toward a cargo bike. (Why? Practicality. Makes it more than just something to have fun with, which helped rationalizing spending all that money. :-))
Based on price, quality, and features I narrowed it down to two: the Lectric XPremium Dual-Battery Cargo eBike and the Aventon Abound. I ultimately chose the Abound because of its torque sensor (versus cadence), its at-least-slightly-better build quality, and extras (like included running boards, dropper seatpost, and turn signals). The main thing I gave up was the Dual-Battery XPremium’s 150 mile range. (With the extra battery Aventon is presently providing free for Abound purchasers, it’ll go 100 miles, but the XPremium has the additional advantage of both batteries being integrated at the same time.)
After settling on the Abound, another advantage of Aventon e-bikes kicked in: not only can you buy them online, you can actually get them through retailers. I’m a big fan of buying local and supporting brick-and-mortar stores, and that hooked me up with eBikes USA in Denver.
When did I know eBikes USA was the the right place to purchase the Abound? When their owner patiently worked with a newbie like me, putting me ahead of the sale.
How did Houshmand put me ahead of the sale? When he proactively acknowledged that, from a pricing perspective, it was significantly cheaper for me to get it directly from Aventon online, and encouraged me not to feel guilty going that route. (Three big reasons online was less expensive: Aventon has a 5% military/veteran discount, where I live tax is less than half what it is in Denver, and, delivered, I wouldn’t have to pay someone to assemble it.) If I were him, I would have then assumed the sale was lost and try to move on (especially since he was busy), but he didn’t. He continued to be genuinely engaged in helping me. Some additional calls back, asking more questions of others on his team, were equally congenial, helpful, and unrushed. (Special shout-out to Sam.)
So, I pulled the trigger, picking up my new sage-colored Aventon Abound two days ago. Interacting with Houshmand and his other employees late Friday afternoon continued to be a tremendous experience (this time a special shout-out to Mark), and I left with the bike and some key accessories.
I was a bit tired after my youngest son and I got back (sneaking in dinner at the The Cherry Cricket, thanks to a recommendation by Houshmand). It also was getting late, so I didn’t hop on the Abound, figuring I’d put some miles on it the next day.
But, yesterday it rained off-and-on all day and my cold was zapping me pretty badly. 🙁
Early evening, however, their was a respite! The ground had dried out. Although it was threatening rain (and precipitation was forecasted), I figured I could sneak in a quick test jaunt around town.
Okay…I am going to temporarily stop here. I know this has been a long-winded initial review of eBikes USA and my Aventon Abound, but at this point I think it should be pretty clear why I have such high regard for the store I purchased my Abound from. Additionally, I think you have a good idea why I bought that specific bike.
What is my proof for how great the Abound is to me? Well, that short in-town test turned into “I’ll just go on the straightaway out of town to see how fast it goes” to “I’ll just go to the top of that hill after the straightaway” to “I’ll stop at my favorite creek a bit further” to “Awww, what the heck, I’ll go all the way to Tractor Supply in Bennett and get the bird seed we need.”
That is how awesome riding the Aventon Abound is!
Now, let’s add some objective stats to enhance my subjective view:
- The total trip was ~17 miles
- On the way out, I tried to be kind to the battery, mostly using its lowest assist mode (Econ)
- On the way back, I knew I had plenty of juice left…and I wanted to get back before it got too dark or I got drenched…so I mostly leveraged the highest assist level (Turbo)
- The return not only included 6’3″, 240+ pound me…I had 35 pounds of birdseed on the back
- Even then, my “50 miles max” battery had 55% left (the 50 mile rating would be for a much lighter person at minimum assist)
- I tested out throttle-only going up a steep hill on the way back and it only temporarily dipped below 18 mph (this is a class 2 e-bike, which means it’s max would be 20 mph)
- When I used my regular bicycle for the same round trip a couple weeks ago (minus the visit to Tractor Supply for birdseed), my heart rate was mostly in Zone 4; this time it was mostly in Zone 2 and only in Zone 4 for 18 seconds)
- This saved a car trip
I’ll put additional pictures and screenshots from the ride below.
Conclusion: A HUGE thumbs up to both eBikes USA and Aventon! Thank you for starting me on a new adventure that will be better for the environment and my health (both physically and mentally).
P.S. Cons? You want cons?
- It’s kind ‘a far away, but that’s on me 🙂
- I wish the dealers could offer all the same discounts (i.e. the veteran one)
- The seat is a bit low for someone who is 6’3″, and it sounds like I’d have to give up the dropper seatpost to increase the height with a replacement
- Their Abound Rear Rack Basket rattles quite a bit when it’s empty
I’ll do a video review in the future…
P.P.S. After I decided on the Abound, I did debate getting Aventon’s Adventure.2, an incredible off-road, fat tire e-bike instead. However, practicality, including wanting something my wife would be comfortable using, had me go with the Abound. However, once she strolled through the Aventon site, she wants the pink Level.2 if she gets her own. If she does that, I might need to find the funds for the Adventure.2. 🙂
P.P.P.S. A shout out to Electric Bike Report, which was probably my single best source for understanding the pros and cons of various times and models of e-bikes. Here is their Aventon Abound review. If you check it out, you’ll see the Abound actually went further than advertised when they tested. Pretty incredible.