Hello my fellow e-bikers! This time I’ve got the PLS5 from the Danish company Diavelo. This casual cruiser retails for $2499 and features a step through design, 250W front hub motor and the basics to get you through a Sunday morning cruise. So let’s get into it!
Ah yes, the step through design. Was once a ladies bike. And now has become a casual cruiser for people who don’t want mounting on their bike to become a chore. The PLS5 has a step through frame in a metallic black finish with Silver mudguards and some pin striping for some contrast. This model also comes in a cream colour if you want more of that vintage style look. So like most cruisers, this is a very simple and conventional approach, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Because it provided us with one of the cleanest e-bike I’ve seen. The simple colour palette, and minimal decals really gives it that high end, minimalistic appeal. Help from the hiding of most of cables and wires really adds to the clean look. This is thanks to the frame design where it has included inlet and outlet holes where you can find most of the cables subtly snake in or out of them. The design even accounts for the battery’s thick cable. This just shows the in depth process and thought the company had put in. Now to further produce the sleekest electric bike, Diavelo chose to use internal gears. This removes the cassette and derailleur, resulting in a very naked rear section. The PLS5 is equipped with a Shimano Nexus Inter 7 where it provides 7 gears in the palm of your hands which is great for city commuting when you find yourself starting and stopping frequently. The bike allows you to simply downshift to first gear, and without pedaling, the gears are already engaged. Also with the twisting gear selector, you can easily and swiftly change gears. Makes the ride very easy and simple, resulting in a smoother ride with more rider control. Now along with this Shimano Nexus geared hub is coaster brakes which every bike rider would have had experience with. So I won’t get into too much detail. Now because I’m so used to riding bikes with a free-wheel, I found myself pedaling backwards to adjust my position during my test run. As you can imagine, this activated the coaster brakes and nearly threw me off a couple of times. Not exactly what you want while riding to work.
So what’s powering it? Well at the front you can find a 250W hub motor. This will give you that all wheel drive system. Rides will feel more responsive and the bike feels more powerful than it really is. When I put some effort into pedaling, I noticed the great acceleration the bike has. But if you rely on the motor and don’t really pedal, you’re going to find yourself crawling up the hill. This is simply due to physics much like how the front brakes provide most of the stopping power when travelling forward.
Now let’s get into one of the most interesting feature with this bike. The battery! No really, this battery has some pretty awesome features. First off, it has an in-built taillight which can simply be turned on at a flick of a switch. Secondly, it has a LCD screen which displays all the battery information you need. So it displays the capacity in multiple ways. For example as a percentage or amp hour. This can become a useful tool for the enthusiasts whom would appreciate such technology. This battery is supplied by the guys at Protanium which is the subsidiary company alongside Diavelo. So you can find many Diavelo products using Protanium parts. Now the battery found on this bike is a 10.4Ah battery fitted with Samsung Cells. These are highly regarded cells which are the preferred choice of riders. It’s considered of high quality which goes for the rest of the bike.
There was one thing that I found was a letdown, and that was the lack of headlights and only front v-brakes. Like I said before, the nexus 7 comes with coaster brakes. And as a result, Diavelo only fitted the front brakes. For my ride, they got the job done, but I prefer disc brakes. I found that these were just not as responsive as I would’ve liked to be. Maybe they weren’t set up perfectly, but that just adds another advantage of the simpler set up with disc brakes. Also on the point of letdowns and brakes, the coaster brakes becomes a little annoying when you forget and accidentally apply them.
With these aside, the bike was nice. It provided myself with a smooth ride with the help of the internal gears. These were awesome to use as you could simply flick the wrist and change into the gear you want. It was so convenient and I found myself enjoying the ride even more. Something that added quality to the ride was the gear indicator as well. It provides a real clear number of what gear is engaged. I’ve had some bikes where they’re really vague and possess couple of notches you just have to guess in between. Some of the more enthusiast riders probably would not find this as an issue, but for the casual cruiser it might be annoying. So it good that Diavelo used this system.
Just a side note as well. I did notice the motor was pretty loud in the lower revs. The motor sounds like it struggles, but it holds its own and without a doubt provides the power. This is nothing major to be concerned about, however if you wanted a ninja silent e-bike, you would probably have to put some effort in and increase the RPM.
In conclusion, the bike was great, super clean, quick acceleration due to the AWD system and internal gears really provides a smooth and seamless ride. With only a few issues such as the coaster brakes and lack of headlights. It’s still a brilliant bike that a casual rider should look into.
You can find the full specifications below*
*Specifications may differ from supplier
|Tyres||700 x 38 Kenda Tyres|
|Spokes||Stainless steel spokes|
|Brakes (Rear)||Shimano Coaster|
|Gears||Shimano NEXUS Inter 7|
|Seat Post||Alloy Suspension|
|Motor||D-Type 36V 250W|
|Controller||Protanium Speed Controller|
|Battery||36V 10.4Ah (Samsung Cells) Lithium Ion|
|Charger||4-6 hour recharge cycle|
|Range||Range depends on use! Up to 45km/h|