Hi-Power Cycles Review and Comparison

March 11, 2012
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I hate how Hi-Power Cycles and Pedego have posted a zillion advertisments on ebay to effectively drown out any other ebay offerings. I like to check ebay from time to time, to see what new electric bikes are coming in from China.

I also hate how Hi-Power Cycles (HPC) is making a bunch of false and exaggerated claims on their posts. Super misleading. I happen to be very familiar with HPC, have bought one in the past and familiar with the company and how they operate. Expect a Hi-Power Cycles and Pedego review soon.

I will give you a synopsis right now. HPC dealers make false claims in their ebay ads and they sell an overpriced product that anyone with just a few mechanical skills and some direction can build themselves (look at our one-hour bike build thread) and Pedego cycles are way too slow to waste money on, unless you are 40 or older.

More coming soon about these two bike companies…stay tuned to the review section.

Also coming soon is a review on some sub-$1000 bikes. There was a decent $650 lithium-powered E-bike seller on ebay recently but he sold out of them in short order. Given that a decent 36V / 10-Ah lithium battery costs $300 from China, $650 was a damn good price.

I might try again to wade through Pedego and HPC ebay adds and see if there are any gems hidden…if so I will post here on this blog. I did notice some nice Magic Pie bikes on ebay with 5-Ah battery packs for $2,500, on stylish name-brand cruiser frames. Just for the record, 5-Ah is WAY too small, but if it’s a good deal, at least you can add an extra battery pack to that bike to make it acceptable.

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Written by Eric, March 2012

 

Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.

13 Comments

  1. Hi there, we would love to get you on a test unit of one of our new offerings. You are wrong in claiming we exaggerate any of the claims we make. For example, ALL top speeds posted are two way averages with a 170 lb. rider on both GPS and radar. There is absolutely no errors in this at all. All power ratings are rated at controller output. For example a 2000W system will continuously drain 2000W under acceleration or prolonged hill climbing. Peak is ALWAYS higher than this. I do not see how this is false or misleading. Regarding the ebay listings, we have a few, but we also have dealers that believe in our products and advertise online, I see no problems with this…

    By the way, I love your website, very informative. You do a good job with the reviews and have really nice photos to go along with it. We do spend a lot of money on R&D and have spent a lot of time testing and perfecting our OEM’d motors to be the most efficient and reliable motors you can buy. This year also marks the first year we start building our own frames from scratch right here in Los Angeles. Lot’s more exciting things to come from us this year! Stay tuned and keep up the good work!

    • So you are saying all those bikes on ebay are sold from different dealers? IF a bike sales does the dealer ship it or do you build it and then ship it?

      There are 100 bikes on ebay from HPC. Do those bikes exist or are they built by hpc after customer buys? How do we know that HPC is not just using separate ebay accounts to sell its bikes? You have a dealer who regularly sells and stocks a $9,000 hpc bike? And has 5 in stock according to that add?

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/HPC-F1-TORNADO-ELECTRIC-26-BIKE-BICYCLE-5000W-POWER-SYSTEM-16-9-FRAME-/140713800134?pt=Mountain_Bikes&hash=item20c33231c6#ht_1649wt_1163

      So your range limits are tested? I would love to come down to your place and test a 75 pound bike full suspension bike with a 50 mile range and 55mph because frankly those numbers sound exaggerated. The motor you are using on that bike is 18 pounds, the bike itself is 35 pounds. How do you fit enough battery in that little triangle bag to give you enough range? Why don’t you tell us how many amp hours fit in the tornado bike? If you are saying these numbers are true i would like to come down and test the bike.

      • Hello. Yes, it is a separate dealer who operates outside of California. We offer both drop shipments and normal shipments for dealers. We can either build the bike and send it directly to the dealer or direct to the customer. Some of the bikes are in the hands of the dealers, but I would say the majority exist only as frames ready to build up.

        Our inventory is based on the amount of frames we have available at our supplier. Our bikes are built from the ground up after the frames are purchased. Things like larger cranks, shifters, hydraulic disc brakes with cutoff (new), torque plates, suspension components, 11t freewheels to allow high speed pedaling, etc. are added. This year we are proud to start hand building/welding our own frames here in Los Angeles. What sets us apart is that we sell no off the shelf motors/batteries, and all are custom OEM’d for increased speed, efficiency and power. We really have come a long way since the first bike you purchased from us 2 years ago.

        Yes, all of our range estimates have been test verified. The tornado can go a maximum speed of 55 MPH off of a fresh charge. Range is a realistic 45+ miles (50 only under ideal conditions) at a gentle cruise speed of 18-20 mph. The battery is 1.1Kwh (2.2 Kwh optional in different frame configuration). I would love for you to come down here and test ride when we get some in the shop. Even better, lets set up a ride to go off road and put the bikes through their paces. Email us at hipowercycles@gmail.com. Thanks

        • Oh. And the tornado does not have a frame bag. It has removable aluminum side panels…

          • hey Chris,

            Sounds exciting.

            I will be in LA this week and would love to come down and test ride your bikes and do review for this site.

      • What prices are your bikes? US dollars please

  2. Sounds good. Unfortunately we will not have our high end stuff ready for about 2 more weeks due to waiting on a large battery shipment but you can definitely see some of our more basic models. Just drop us a line when you are in the area and we can set something up!

  3. Hi
    I have been dealing with Chris at Hi powered cycles and so far he has been good to deal with, he replies very quickly, he worked out a good deal for me, I gave him a order a week ago and he is shipping the bike next week.
    I will agree with you he puts a loot of details in his adds which in his opinion is correct he is very enthusiastic about his products, so why criticise him for this.

    If there is a better product & Service out there for MTB let us know because I have not found it yet

  4. Chris at Hi Power Cycles gave me the run around and he trying privatize his product to vendors all because he doesn’t like when vendor sell his product for less, but that should stop him continue mass produce his product? Look people if Chris is everything then why in the hell he is not much business with other vendors. If you google his product, he doesn’t have a large vendor base so don’t give him that much. His prices are too high and definately “not” price competitive and too much expensive. Pedeco is coming out with a NEW version in the fall as I spoke to them and it should be good ranginge between 28-35 mph and the batter is hidden in the casing lock and key so that you can free access in the back for your topeak bag. If Chris from Hi Power Cycles do not bring down his prices he will definately go out of business because its the middle class that drives that economy and NOT the filthy rich. Soon enough when it starts to slow down and people won’t care about electric bikes they will turn to solar cars and they will bring their cars down.
    For Example, in Sacramento, Ca
    They are building a new electric car lot and a car manufacturing in Livermore, California called “The Tesla” for $5,000 2 seater and thats all you need to go around the city and save on gas or go downtown or close to the casino.
    When you have Chris from Hi-Power Cycles, selling his joke of a electric for 4,999 for a bike REALLY? Look he is not going to compete with the THE TESLA.
    They are going to rollout the the car in the fall and electric bikes will fade away…BYE BYE

  5. Gads, enough of the venom already! Listen, patience is a virtue…prices do eventually go down, maybe not the official ‘msrp’ markup but definitely cast as the cost reduced ‘demo’. I just bought an HPC 2000W mountain bike 2013 ‘demo’ for 2500 stones and quite frankly nothing out there comes close. It is a fabulous machine, no mistake, even the finest details have been attended to. The shifters alone work silk smooth better than anything I own and that’s the point. I would have ended up spending more building my own making mistakes just to reach the level of refinement HPC achieves here. An HPC vendor selling for less can’t do it without using cheap or refurbished platforms and batteries. I paid a realistic price for a high end machine and am glad it was HPC who I saw first proffering a demo unit for sale. The staff is worthy of my continued business and the organization typical of a decent high end So Cal business.

  6. Purchased the explorer from hi power cycles , they are not returning my emails or picking there phone up bin almost 2 weeks and I wanted answers there site dosent say anything about there bikes, no frame size , wheel size , make of the parts on the bike, number of gears is diffrent on there site compared to there catalogue so how many dose it have again ….. Starting to think I shouldn’t have bought it I, Rly hope they arnt fucking around, I own my own business and I sit down everyday and reply to every email I got that day, no reason hi power cycles can’t return a email or pick a phone up

  7. I’m currently working with HPC on a possible bike, but reading this (and numerous posts from other sites) makes me question my decision. I only want to do business with a solid company with a clean track record – a company that truly embraces,”the customer is always right” attitude. Can anyone give me an update on HPC?

  8. I wanted to report my experience with HPC – it has been less than perfect.
    In the beginning, they took an initial deposit from me without telling me what it was for and that it was non-refundable. Then, they held onto it for an entire month before eventually refunding it (more on that later). Also, they have been extremely difficult to get in touch with afterwards, but to be fair they have a relatively small staff and were preoccupied with the Interbike event.
    I only needed a few simple questions answered and was ready to purchase a bike from them had we been able to connect, confirm the bike build, and negotiate a final price. Instead, weeks later they build a bike using components unbeknownst to me and attempted to charge me for their labor. This seemed unfair and I was no longer comfortable with doing business with them, so I asked them to refund my deposit. At that point, they told me that the deposit was for a custom paint job and refused to refund it. They said “no refunds” and continued to press me for compensation on their labor (they wanted to charge me an additional $750!). Of course I refused to pay since I did not authorize them to build the bike. Heck, I didn’t even know what components they were using to build the bike! Apparently, they just made that decision for me.
    Since they already labored to build the bike, they were very eager to sell it and offered me upgrades to higher-end bike components in order to complete the sale. It was very tempting (as I think HPC makes great bikes). However, I became worried that if I ever had any issues with the bike and had to exercise their warranty, the type of resistance/lag I would run into with HPC during the warranty process. In my interactions with them, I felt that they were a little aggressive and seemed to care more about retaining their profits than helping a customer.
    In the end, after numerous emails back and forth, they did the right thing and refunded my money. However, I am a little sad in the way things turned out. I would’ve loved to have purchased a bike from them, and promoted them to a couple of my friends that are also looking to buy an ebike.
    In hindsight, I believe the whole thing started with a misunderstanding, was exasperated by their slow response time, and ended very badly due to their aggressive approach with me towards the end. I don’t necessarily think that you will have a similar experience as I did, and I am not telling anyone to not consider them as a merchant. Their bikes are overpriced, but no doubt some good bikes.