Friday, May 15, 2009

Electric Bike Love: The R Martin LX1

OK, so I know I've been harping on the eZip bike for a long long time now, but I have a new love. Thanks to not having the dough to make any rash decisions based soley on price or otherwise I have been doing a LOT of research.

And now I am in love all over again.

Her name is the LX1 (from R Martin).

This time it's for real. (click the pic for more info)

Click here to visit R Martin Limited website

So, she comes in at just under 2X the current (ever fluctuating) price of the eZip, but $799 is still far less than all other models I can find that are in the $1200 and up range.

Why the change of heart? While the top speed is about the same (18 mph), the possible distance with minimal peddling is 25 + miles, where the reviews on the eZip clain it really doesn't appear to get more than about 15, unless you are a twig.

Another thing? LiOn Batteries. Lithium ion batteries on the R Martin should last a lot longer than the SLAs on the ezip. Although I don't know the actual replacement cost, I do know with the amout of riding I would be doing, it would be years before I would need to replace the battery. Seeing as the eZip would probably require me to use 2 batteries to confortably get the milage I'm looking for (about 20), the R Martin LX1 would really seem to be the bike for me, when you break down the costs.

At a weight of 50 lbs, she'll be a lot easier to put away, or peddle if need be.

..and she's REALLY good looking. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I know, but I think she looks really sharp, and less tank-like than my previous love. Available in Black or red .. I'ld be going for the black one myself

Now I just gotta come up with the dough to put her in my garage.

Hey, if you have an LX1, (or any other R Martin Products) I would really like to hear about them.


EdHeath said...

I assume you have been to endless-sphere ( I also assume you have seen the LX1 (from R Martin) on ebay for $883 or $884 with free shipping. Unless you live near the R Martin shop, this is a better deal than $799 plus $100 shipping.

R Martin claims to be using Lithium Phosphorus batteries, I believe, although it is not absolutely clear. If so, they are supposed to be better than Lithium Ion batteries, which in turn are much better than the Izip's Sealed Lead Acid batteries. I had bought an Izip Mountain Trailz Hybrid for 299 or 350 plus tax from Walmart, with their free shipping (to the Walmart of my choice). It was a colossal failure in that the batteries never did charge correctly (I will never try SLA batteries again). That may have been my fault, my commute starts on a short but steep hill, and that may have drained the batteries right away.

R Martin’s LX1 is really just a generic Chinese bicycle, which makes me nervous. I am also considering purchasing that bike, but I am also looking at the LX3, partly because of the LX3’s handlebar design and a couple of other minor factors. Both bikes are 36 volt models, and I gather it makes a difference in the amount of oomph the bike can deliver. I gather the higher voltage may also drain the battery quicker, which again makes the type of battery more important.

You might also look at the EG family of bikes, from either Eco-Wheelz or MyBikeOnline (a one man operation which has gotten a couple of good reviews). They use Lithium Ion batteries at 24 volts, but they are 21 (or 18) speeds, rather than the 6, 7 or 8 speeds every other electric bike seems to be. Their battery arrangement may make adding a rear cargo rack difficult (important to me, but I also may be wrong about that). They run between 930 and 980 dollars, only a little more than the R Martin’s with shipping.

You might also look at Amazon, they have many electric bikes (mostly from third parties, but at attractive prices). Specifically the Wentz “Hanna” and the Cyclomatic bikes are $699, but both have shipping charges of $100. So both are really about 800 dollars. The Cyclomatic is a 24 volt lithium ion (Chinese) bike, an eight speed mountain bike design. The Wentz “Hanna” is actually a beach cruiser design, and it uses NIMH batteries. It’s one advantage, besides price, is that it appear to have a lot of cargo space.

Amazon also has the Evo-Cycle. It is listed for $229 plus $46 shipping, or on the Icatchdeals website for $269 and free shipping. It is really a small wheel scooter type thing with pedals (and I assume no gears), 24 volt with Lead Acid batteries. On the other hand, if you live in a flat area and you are careful with the batteries (follow instructions and don’t strain them too much early in your ride) this might fit the bill. I live in hilly Pittsburgh, and I want to be able to stop for at least a few groceries with my commuter bike, so it wouldn’t work for me.

john said...

Where do I order a replacement battery for my rmartin bike?

Lauren said...

I bought the R Martin LX1 bike. It is a very cheap and shoddy bike from China. Rode the bike 2 times with less than 30 miles on it and all the screws loosened up. Some of the screws repeatedly become loose even after tightening. Very dangerous when the screws that hold the wheels come loose. Also, there is no "on/off" switch for the electric motor on the handle bar. I have already had a bike accident because of this. One can very easily accidentally twist the throttle for the electric motor to kick. When you are coming to a stop, you can very easily unintentionally twist the throttle as you let go of your hands, this will cause the bike to move forward while getting off, that is how an accident can occur. I do not recommend this bike to anyone because it is not safe for the rider.

Marty said...

Lauren, Do you work for a competitor of R Martin? I can't believe that you would trash the LX1 like that.

I have bought two LX1s over the last three years. They have been excellent and you can't beat the price. We have over 4000 miles on the first one. It still has the original battery pack. The second one has an upgraded derailleur and some other upgraded parts and is even nicer. We have gotten over 40 mile range with this one with pedaling.

The bikes aren't perfect but they are probably the best bang for the buck anywhere.
The company also has real engineers that you can talk to over the phone if you have any issues. That is what keeps us coming back.

Raul said...

I bought one and it worked great for about an hour.
Then the rear wheel locked up due to shoddy QC.
I have been unable to get R Martin to do anything meaningful about it.
You "must speak to a technician", who is "gone for the day".
After waiting for 2 weeks, i received a replacement wheel with no gear cluster. It was obviously used and from a discontinued model. It does not fit the new bike. I do not believe they intend to support anyone who is dumb enough to buy from them.

Randall said...

This is a comment from R Martin. We don't normally do this but feel compelled to respond to this negative post after having several customers point this out to us.

We did have a customer that received a defective bike. Our customer was frustrated by this and posted several biting comments. We understood his frustration and worked to get the problem resolved.

When we were first notified of the problem, we immediately offered to replace the bike. The customer wanted to fix it himself. We sent parts twice and the customer fixed it and then wrote us a great review on Amazon.

We stand behind our products and want all of our customers to be completely satisfied.

You might want to check our Amazon ranking. We have 100% customer satisfaction and some great reviews of our products.

R Martin Customer Service

Randall said...

Here is the correct link to the Amazon post from this customer after we took care of the issue:
Amazon Link

We have also just switched the LX1 to a different manufacturer. It has a lot of upgrades and is incredibly powerful. R Martin Link

Thank you for the opportunity to post this update.

Randall Schleier
Sales Manager
R Martin Limited

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Lemonsong said...

I bought an $800 bike from R Martin a few years ago. The bike was made in China. Within the first 90 miles the pedal just sheared off. I've never had that happen on any bike before. R Martin offered to replace the pedal and crank arm, but they wanted to mail the parts to them before they would reimburse me. I had it fixed for an additional $200 at a local bike shop. Soon after, the battery died because the charger stopped putting out any voltage and it wouldn't charge. Again, R Martin wanted me to mail this 20 lb battery back to them and they would "fix" it for $75. Now R Martin says I should replace the battery and charger for another $400. I can't bring myself to spend that much money on fixing it. This bike now sits in my garage unused. It has been a $1000 lemon. I may just try to sell it without a working battery and just cut my losses.