Consumer NZ Recommends Sinch Electric Bikes
Consumer NZ has recently conducted another round of electric bike tests, which has seen the Sinch Jaunt 2, Jaunt EZ 3 and Mode 3 gain ‘Consumer Recommends’ endorsement. The test is unbiased and independent: “We assess their features and functions, then ride each bike for more than 125km on roads, shared paths and trails, up and down hills, around town and (where appropriate) on mountain bike trails”.
They have scored the bikes on the following 5 uses, which shows which bikes can multitask and which excel at just one thing.
- Mountain. Confident in tackling grade 3 and 4 mountain bike trails.
- Trail. Good for riding on easier, unsealed grade 1 and 2 tracks – the sort of bike that’ll explore rail trails all weekend.
- Road. Comfortable racking up kilometers on sealed surfaces – perfect for longer commutes.
- Daily. A generalist e-bike suited to running errands around town and short commutes.
- Cargo. Capable of hauling a lot of stuff, including precious human cargo.
Buying an electric bike is certainly an investment – with a quality entry-level model starting from $3,699 it's important you do your homework. So how do you find a good one? Along with the recommendations from Consumer NZ, the most important things to consider when buying an electric bike are,
- Buying a reputable brand, or a brand that not only makes electric bikes, like Sinch, Giant, LIV, or Focus. These brands have better overall development like the handling and ride quality versus others that just focus on the electric motor and battery.
- Test ride, to the less informed person most electric mountain bikes look similar, so it's important to take them on a quick test ride to ensure you feel comfortable.
- Ensure it is equipped with one of the leading motors from Shimano, Bosch or Yamaha. This ensures that the motor can be updated and/or diagnosed via any authorised bike shop and that there is sufficient backup support in New Zealand.
- Like the motor the battery needs to either match or be from a leading manufacturer like Samsung. More often than not you’ll find an e-bike equipped with one branded motor and another branded battery.
- To ensure the bike fits your needs and future plans, as e-bikes are so easy to ride you’ll find yourself covering more terrain and riding more often than you may have first thought, so it is important to ‘future proof’ yourself in the choice you make, considering both the power and battery capacity.
- Finally, don’t forget to budget for an electric bike rack, as the weight of an e-bike is considerably more than a conventional bike and therefore requires a stronger reinforced rack like EziGrip or Yakima.
Pushbikes have been supporters of the Sinch brand since its release into New Zealand in 2019, with this now our best-selling comfort electric bike. Sinch bikes are equipped with quality Shimano components and motors, featuring a head-ups display, lights, a kickstand, mudguards and a carrier. Their bikes have one of the most comfortable setups, through the key touch points (grips, seat, handlebars...), including a step-through frame making it easier to get on and off.
We recommend the Jaunt 2 as a TRAIL and DAILY bike.
The Jaunt 2 is easy to ride with a position that’s more upright than sporty, but still lets you power comfortably up hills. It has a reasonably low-step frame, a full set of accessories and versatile tyres. The Shimano E6100 motor is responsive (though sometimes it feels a bit too ‘pulsey’), has plenty of power for climbing, and feels nippy through town up to its 32km/h limit.
Sinch has fitted this version of the Jaunt with Shimano 9-speed gears and hydraulic brakes and added a very comfortable suspension seat post to complement the suspension fork up front. The overall parts specification offers great bang for your buck, with no weak points.
We think the Jaunt is the pick of the three-bike Sinch range (Jaunt, Jaunt EZ and Mode) for most people, because it’s the bike that’ll work as a weekday town bike and confidently tackle easier trails at the weekend.
We recommend the Mode 3 as a TRAIL and MOUNTAIN bike.
The hardtail Mode 3 is more than a rail trail bike – it’s assured on grade 3 mountain bike trails and will take on easier grade 4 trails too. That means it’s capable of tackling steeper, looser and narrower trails with less easily avoided obstacles. It has a relatively benign riding position and handling, which is secure and confidence-inspiring on all but the steepest terrain.
The Shimano E7000 motor doesn’t have the grunt of its more expensive E8000 sibling, but it has the all-important ‘trial’ mode to tackle technical trails. The parts fitted are good with an air-sprung fork, dropper seatpost and Shimano’s new Linkglide gears – which shift quietly and Shimano claims are much more durable than other gear systems.
The frame has mounts for mudguards and a rack, should you want to fit more weather protection and carrying capacity. Overall, the Mode 3 is a fine choice for rail trails and tougher offroad riding.
We recommend the Jaunt EZ 3 as a DAILY bike.
The Jaunt EZ has the lowest step frame and most upright riding position of all Sinch bikes. That makes it easy to ride around town, and it’s fitted with all the useful accessories you’d expect for that task (rack, integrated lights, mudguards and kickstand).
The EZ 3 uses Shimano’s E7000 motor and Linkglide gears. Its gearshifts are extremely quiet and Shimano claims the parts are more durable than other systems. The motor is powerful and responsive, with a ‘trail’ mode that matches assistance seamlessly to rider effort. You’ll have few complaints about its performance. However, you might find the small display mounted under the handlebars awkward to read and use.
The Jaunt EZ 3 is a great bike for daily use, but we suggest you also test-ride the cheaper EZ 2 model with Shimano’s E6100 motor before you buy. You’ll get similar motor performance and a display more suited to use around town.
You can view the full electric bikes test on Consumer NZ, however you will need to pay a small subscription fee to join there platform.
We invite you to come in-store for a test ride of the Consumer NZ Recommends Sinch Electric Bikes today.