Here at Electric Mountain Bikes we have been keeping an eye on the Pendix Electric bike conversion kit since we first spotted them at Eurobike in 2015. As a company they have proved to us that they are in the ebike game for the long haul. We have been impressed with this system after testing it daily in all weathers since Sept 2017 and have found it to do what it says on the tin... and reliably.
In our opinion the Pendix eDrive is to electric bike kits what Apple is to Mobile IT Devices. Simple, Reliable and Powerful.
The motor is a very capable silent and I mean silent direct drive crank motor with incredible torque for such a compact motor and a very sensitive control system that has proved to make cycling away from a dead stop on a 33% hill possible. Thats a 1 in 3 in old money!
One of the smart moves made by Pendix when designing this system was to not take away the smaller two chainrings on the the front chainset but accommodate them . Meaning that if you need a motor that can climb an extremely steep hill and want to be able to hear the nature around you at the same time then the Pendix Drive kit is a very good choice.
At first glance the Pendix Drive Kit has a less is more look about it and that is certainly a simplicity that attracted my attention from the outset. Clean and uncluttered is the order of the day. There are only 3 pieces of wiring externally on the whole kit which is very minimal for an ebike these days, let alone an ebike conversion kit.
The Range capabilities of this kit are impressive too, and it is not due to the capacity of the batteries with a (300 Watt hr battery and a 500 Watt hr battery), which are actually on a par with many higher end electric bike companies and made by BMZ in Germany, but it is the control of that power that is uber impressive. The fact that the motor can be tamed to let through a trickle of assistance to help you through the day on a long ride. So Being able to use low gearing with the combination low power from the motor really can make huge savings on power consumption for those who need to get their without running out of precious juice. Of course if long range is not needed then more assistance and I mean a lot more assistance is available and speed at the turn of the dial. The message here is that by being allowed by the system to take a little more time and the posibilty to use lower gearing, riding range can be extended comfortably.
lightweight and very low centre of Gravity
Because of the very low center of gravity of the kit and the fact that there is not a LCD screen taking your attention on the handlebars, reminding you constantly that, "I am an electric bike so get on with it!" turning off the power on quite not so hilly terrain is actually an option and if you do, the bike feels like a standard bike as you know it and the outlook from the cockpit is that too! Of course there is a bit more weight but the feeling of riding your bike that you have had for years or the feeling of that bike that you have had for years is still there instantly. The addition of the electric drive is truly there to assist you when you need it and not take over unless you actually want it too. You are definitely in charge is the overall feeling and the other feeling is of a lightweightness because as far as very capable drive systems go, the pendix is lightweight only adding around 6kg's to your bike.
The Pendix kit seriously retrofits on to a lot of different types of bikes whether it be a Mountain Bike, Trekking Bike, Road Bike, shopping bike, Dutch Bike, Cargo Bike, Tandem or a folding bike (including Bromptons) The list goes on!! If the donor bike has a standard threaded BSA bottom bracket there is a very good chance this kit can be fitted to your bike. This style of bottom bracket is by a very very long way the most common. If your bike has a fancy pressfit bottom bracket then that is when you are basically out of luck. Pendix also have templates that we can send you and you can cut out to be sure that the kit will fit before getting involved with the conversion, just email or call us on 01458 550304 and we can send them over.
Ease of controll
So, instead of putting that lcd screen up on the handlebars, Pendix have decided to relieved the rider from that and have all the control's for the system on the top of the battery which is actually very easy to reach and operate from the saddle whist riding because the options you have are only options you need and everything except looking to see how much charge is left in the battery is possible without looking too. So what you can control is turning the whole system on and off by pushing the obvious button in the center at the top of the Thermos flask looking battery at any time, on - off thats all that button does. Then the top couple of centimeters of the battery twists and has 3 positions for maximum, medium and low level of assistance which can be chosen to reflect the output needed from the motor combined with the speed at which you want to travel. That's it for the touching side of things, so its other feature is there is a ring of light eminating from the top of the battery to show you what the current state of charge is with the battery, Green is full, then turning yellow then orange then red then finishing at flashing red which shows you that the battery is begging to be charged.
The way the Pendix kit feels during operation
When you pull away with the pendix kit the feeling is very smooth and with the power ramping up in a very controlled way to meet the assistance that is needed. If you are say pulling away from the traffic lights with a feeling of urgency the torque sensing bottom bracket will know that you are not wanting to hang around and that you are prepared to put some effort in. The motor will react smoothly to assist you swiftly forwards and onward. Alternatively if you are cycling along the side of the village green or meandering along a windy tree lined path in no hurry at all, of course your own effort will be relaxed and so there will be no sudden movements from the motor, just some light assistance to help you along the way. Also if you are say riding your daily commute the same will apply and depending on weather you have the dial set to high medium or low assistance the motor will help you accordingly and the millisecond that you stop pedaling the drive will cut out instantly. Cutting out instantly is something the Pendix ki does very well.
Pendix eDrive Videos
Basically there are 3 versions of the Pendix kit and the difference relates to the length of 2 of the cables, to get the right one it is best to talk to Steve about what is right for your application. Whichever length you need the price is £1650 and included in this price is free fitting. So the length of cables refers to version 1 and 2 of the kit.
The 3rd version of the kit is a kit adapted to fit Brompton bikes only as this kit is very popular way of electrifying Bromptons and this kit costs £1750.
Also here is a link to the Pendix website directly for some more info. www.pendix.com
Below, we have taken some photographs that may help customers with an interest in detail see some of the finer details of the pendix set-up.