Review: The eZee Expedir, an electric family bike

New e-bike ... One of the many configurations of the eZee Expedir.
New e-bike ... One of the many configurations of the eZee Expedir. 

Glow worm bicycles gave me the the opportunity to try an Expedir, the new pedal-assist electric longtail bike from eZee.

The Expedir, a new offering in the eZee range, meets the needs of families looking to move more than one child on a bike. It’s great for the school/childcare drop-off and other short journeys that are better suited to cycling than car usage (such as weekend activities and running quick errands). And using an electric bike makes the average commute so much more enjoyable!  

The set-up

At first our nearly five-year-old son sat in a yepp maxi on the back, with our one-year-old up front in a yepp mini, which is a front handlebar-mounted infant seat.

But partway through our trial period we popped in to Glow Worm to get a different configuration for slightly older kids – one where the bigger child is behind the rider on the rear rack with "stoker bar" (handles) and a cushioned seat (so there wouldn’t be the usual structured harness seat). The younger child then sits behind this in the yepp maxi. (As shown in image below.)

This second set-up was much easier as my older son could climb on himself while I kept the bike steady (he was a bit nervous at first), and once on the go, you couldn’t wipe the smile off his face!

You need to ensure you’re on very stable ground when loading the kids on, for both configurations. You also need to be fully ready to go (bags packed, keys in, helmets strapped on, jacket zipper done up) before loading the kids on.  

eZee Expedir

The electric factor

Being on an electric bike makes the commute so enjoyable. I can tackle those few hill climbs with ease, and move off from the lights with speed and confidence – then there’s the bit of extra "get up and go" to help you zoom along and not feel like you’re holding anyone up.

Having an electric bike actually encouraged our family to ride a little further than I would normally agree to on a regular pedal bike, knowing I wouldn’t get all sweaty, knowing how easy the hills are, and knowing the small amount of energy I'd need to use in the return journey after a big day out with the kids.

Some may ask what the point is of the electric pedal assist, but in fact you’re still getting out there on the bike, you’re still pedaling, you’re still modelling your active lifestyle to your children.

Of course, the obvious benefits of riding a route that would otherwise be taken in a car or by public transport is reduced cost (petrol and parking or travel tickets), reduced time spent in traffic, and increased physical activity.

Pros

  • Is a complete e-bike
  • Powerful and strong
  • Comes already kitted out with lights, bike computer, double kickstand and lock
  • Chain guard to protect little fingers and trousers
  • Low step-through frame
  • Powerful throttle and five level power assist
  • Disc brakes
  • Eight speed hub gears

Cons

  • Heavy (too heavy to store up any steps/stairs – you need access to undercover storage on one level)
  • Difficult to manoeuver in tight spaces due to its length, width and heaviness (when compared to a regular bike)

The verdict

We thoroughly enjoyed having the chance to try this bike out. It takes a little getting used to, but once you have the hang of it, it's really fun. I really enjoy riding the commute on this bike: on a regular bike I dread the hills, but with the Expedir, I love them!

I see it as a great bike for helping parents manage school/daycare drop-off and pick-up. I can imagine using it to get to weekend swim classes loaded up with all the gear, or for nipping up to the supermarket for the groceries.

It's a bit of a shock to hear the base cost ($2949.99), but the components are high quality and the power is unsurpassed. When you work it out on cost per use and compare the convenience of being on your own timeframe against the same journey made by alternative methods (that is, car in traffic + parking costs, or public transport delays + ticket cost), divided out over several years, there’s a very good case in choosing this as a viable car alternative.

For the complete specs, options and extras, visit the Glow worm website. Glow Worm Bicycles are the Australian distributor of eZee bikes; visit their website for more information about their complete range of ebikes. 

eZee Expedir

Other Expedir owners say ...

"I didn't know how much I'd love it until I started to use it as my regular commuting vehicle. I drop my son at preschool and then ride into the city. Being electric, I don't arrive tired or sweaty. I just have a suit at work to change into so I can ride in comfy gear. And I am getting an hour of exercise I wouldn't otherwise get. My son loves it too and asks 'can we take the bike today?'"

P, Dulwich Hill

"The bike is great - we just love it. My husband was a bit scoffy about getting an electric bike but he absolutely loves it too. He is the first to offer to duck out and grab something from the shop and takes off on it regularly."

L, Northern Beaches 

More on riding with kids

Families that ride together - cycle paths around Australia (Essential Kids)

More on electric bikes

Back on the bike - riding the green power trail (Domain)

Pedal power gets a bit of a push-along (SMH)

An electric dream that's built for comfort (SMH)