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A Review of the MacWheel LNE 26 E-Bike

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Jack is a volunteer at the CCNY Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.

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Introduction

This is my first experience owning an eBike. I have a 10-speed Motorbecane bike for over 4 decades. It rides well and served my purpose of getting some exercise and getting out and exploring my neighborhood.

My only other experience was with a Rad Power E-Bike that my brother-in-law own. I was visiting recently and was able to try it and rode it from Kirkland to downtown Seattle, a 13 miles round trip...over a long bridge with lots of inclines.

I received this eBike as a gift from my children this Father's day. It is something I was looking into since I am getting older and riding uphills is a chore. I was considering getting a CLIP Bike that will adapt my 10-speed bike into an electric assist bike. Unfortunately, they are not available just yet. The first shipment is not till the end of the year.

- June 2021

The MacWheel LNE 26

This bike according to the specs is a good entry model into the new E-Bike market. It is not super expensive and it has most of the features you would want in a bike for ride around town.

I decided to keep a journal as I am riding this bike from the day I assembled it. It will give others an idea of how this bike performs and its value...

Let me begin and attest that I am just a consumer and have no relations to the MacWheel company or Amazon or any association with the manufacturer. I am not receiving any benefit for writing my reviews. It is merely for information purposes.

Assembly...

The bike came in a large cardboard box and it is well packaged and protected with foam covering.

The instruction booklet is minimal and could use a bit more explanation. However, I was able to figure out the details and put the bike together in about 2 hours of work. The hardest part was to slip the front tires into to fork assembly...being brand new, it took a bit of force and I used some WD 40 to lubricate the tire-wall to get it in place.

The kit included some basic tools like hex wrenches which was very helpful. I found using my own adjustable monkey wrench was easier, but not necessary.

The Instruction Booklet...

One thing missing from the instruction was how to turn on and off the head LED light. I had to go online and search through the user forums to discover the trick. I also sent an email to the support team and they replied within 24 hours with the same solution.

You hold the (+) button down on the left side for 2 seconds to turn it on, and the same to turn it off.

The other thing missing from the instruction booklet was an explanation of the battery indicator. There is a button with a row of LED which I guessed was to indicate the fullness of charge.

Adjustments And Indicators

The E-Bike has just a few adjustments. The handle bar height, the handle bar tilt and the seat height. All are easily adjusted with the hex wrenches provided.

Other adjustments such as the tension of front and rear brakes are also easy to make.

The bike comes with seven gears and they are easy to switch with the right thumb.

The best feature is the throttle which allows you to engage the motor drive with a twist of the right handle shaft. This is especially helpful when getting started from stop, no need to pedal.

The other control and indicator is located on the left side of the handle bar and it allows you to turn it on and it shows the level of assist with a range between 0-5. The + and - buttons allows you to change the assist level up and down.

The LED indicator is a bright blue color and it is fine in most conditions except in really bright sun.

I only wish the indicator would also show the speed and the miles driven. I was able to locate an iPhone App which keeps tract of the distance and the route and the average speed. It is called "Bikemap" and it is free. You can choose to record your trip at the start and save it at the end. Here is a sample output.

Bikemap App

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Riding Experience...

The bike rides like a regular road bike without any assist. It has 7 speeds which is easily shifted while you are moving and peddling.

It is on the heavy side weighing approx. 50 pounds due to the sturdy frame and motor drive and the Lithium Ion battery.

The battery is removable for charging if you have to but it will charge in place. It has a key lock for security. It takes about 5 hours to charge fully. The charger unit has an LED light that is red when charging and turns green when fully charged.

When riding with assist enabled, it will automatically turn on and makes your peddling easier. The throttle will also work so you don't need to peddle at all.

The only thing I found so far is on a steep hill, you will need to peddle to assist. The motor drive is not powerful enough to run be itself.

My Review Summary

At this point, I have not ridden this bike long enough to make a recommendation. It has only been 5 days. I will hold off making a recommendation until I've ridden it for at least 100 miles.

I will say compared to the manual 10-Speed, this is a wonderful improvement. The bike is smooth and quiet, and comfortable to ride. The power assist is great for hills.

So far, I am satisfied with all the features.

This bike is 36 Volt and delivers 10Ah. The power is 36x10= 360 Watts. This number will give you an estimate of how far you can go with power assist. This bike is rated for 25-40 miles range on a full charge. At 12 miles per hour, you are going to ride about 2-3.5 hours road trip depending on road conditions, terrain and amount of assist.


Week of June 28-July 4

June 28 - Took a 3 miles ride around neighborhood. Ran battery down to 1 bar. Charged the battery fully in about 5 hours.

June 29 - 3.2 miles loop around FDR State Park. Battery used approx. 60%, mostly using throttle. Bike rides well in various terrain, grass, dirt road and stone paved trails.

June 30 - 8.1 miles in 45 minutes. Power down to 60% from 100% fully charged. I found the most comfortable setting is set gear to 4 and power assist 3. This is fine for most average routes. On a flat straight road, I was able to stand on one leg an give my butt a rest while using the throttle. Going downhill, I found I was able to reach a max. speed of 25 mph. My average speed is about 12 mph.

July 1 - Road 3 miles in light rain. I wanted to see how the bike performs on wet roads. It kept good traction. Impressive.

July 2, 3 - Road a total of 10 miles, taking the bike further around my neighborhood. The bike performed well and I road it down a winding curve back road and up a slow incline...to return to my house.

I took a day off on July 4th.

My Final Review and Rating (After about 100 miles of riding)

This is an excellent starter E-Bike.

I gave this product a 3.5 star rating. It would be a 4-star rating if the instruction booklet was more complete.

The bike is easy to assemble.

It has all the features of a class 2 E-Bike, minus the speed and odometer display.

The indicators can be easily added as an accessory.

The power of the motor is on the weak side but sufficient for most hills. On a steep incline, you will need to pedal to assist.

The battery capacity is fine for most road trips.

If you want to go for a longer road trips, you might have to add a second battery pack as a spare.

Compared to the Rad Power E-Bike that I had tried, this bike lacks disc brakes but the standard brakes works fine and easy to maintain. Also, this bike does not have shock absorbers but on most paved roads and even off road trails, it is fine on the butt. The Rad Power has a stronger motor and an option for double the battery range.

The price differential is definitely worth considering. This bike is about half the cost of the Rad Power bike.

I also likes the wide tires which performs well on wet surfaces and even light rain.

Overall, MacWheel is one that I recommend.

It is too soon for servicing...which might also figure into my review. I would want to know how easy it is to get parts and also how long the tires and brakes wear but I don't foresee any problems there.

Accessories

Some Accessories...

Besides, the E-Bike, the following accessories are recommended.

  1. A riding helmet.
  2. A chain lock.
  3. A collapsible basket for the rear. Suggest using a plastic zip-ties to attach to the E-Bike.
  4. Bungee cords to tie down things.
  5. A tire pump.
  6. A tools kit to carry while touring.
  7. A speedometer and odometer.

This is something missing from this e-Bike but can be easily corrected. It cost about $10 to add this wireless sensor. It is important indicator to know how fast you are riding and also how far you have ridden and the total miles.

It is like owning a car...you want to know how many miles the car has been driven.

Collapsible Basket

This item is great if you want to carry something. When not in use, you can collapse it to only 2 inches thick.

I recommend attaching it using zip-ties to the rear frame. There are 4 holes that fits perfectly. This product is 37.5x25x20 cm and it is a perfect fit.

It also comes equipped with a carrying handle.

At $10 on Amazon, it is a great accessory to add to your bike.

The Law...

This e-Bike is classified as a class-2 bike. Which means it has throttle and maximum speed of 20 mph. Nationally, it is not a motor vehicle and does not require a license. Some States have restrictions and ban class 2 bikes from some State Parks and trails. Better check with your local towns to make sure it is legal to operate.

Some Related Info

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Jack Lee

Comments

Liz Westwood from UK on June 28, 2021:

This is a very useful review. I had wondered how e-bikes rated, as I can see I could have a use for them in the future.

Jack Lee (author) from Yorktown NY on June 28, 2021:

Bill, I think you want to try a few brands and test drive before you buy it. Everyone is built differently and sometimes, the frame may not suit your height and weight. I am 5 feet 10 inches tall and weigh 175 pounds.

Rawan Osama from Egypt on June 28, 2021:

Thanks for sharing

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 28, 2021:

We are talking about getting ebikes, so this review was helpful. Thank you!

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