There are only two rings on the front FSA
cranks. While the SRAM derailleur handled
the shifting just fine, we found the smaller
ring largely unnecessary on pavement.
It’s all the good stuff back here: powerful
assist hub motor, replaceable steel dropouts to protect the aluminum frame and a
rare (for a hub motor) QR axle. SRAM handles the gears.
The small cycle computer display is easy
to read, supplies the information you need
and stays out of the way. Rotate the computer on the bayonet mount and it comes
off, so you can take it with you.
There are 30mm of front suspension.
Spring preload is the only adjustment.
but we generally pedaled and just used
the throttle to dial in the assist we wanted for the terrain.
With the Nitro’s assist, the SRAM
2x10 drivetrain worked great. For our
riding conditions, we didn’t use the
small front ring much, and perhaps we
could have used more gear for the fast
flat sections. Currie gifted the Nitro with
an aluminum frame that is beefy where
it needs to be. It isn’t overly unyielding
on rough pavement, but we credit the
largish Maxxis tires and the suspension
fork for much of the smooth ride.
LIFE IN THE BIKE LANE
Currie says they will have a 15 amp-hour battery for the Nitro, and that would
be fine with us. That would allow at least
a 30-mile range riding at a sporty pace.
The Nitro is fun and comfortable enough
that we weren’t always ready to head
home at just over 20 miles when the battery would be running dry. It would be
even more fun to slam out 30 miles or
more with this level of assist on tap.
Two models of the Nitro are available—our flat black test model (with a
high top tube) is available in small, medium and large sizes. You can also get it
in white with a dropped top tube in small
and medium sizes.
One of the unique aspects of e-bikes
is the way they change the traditional sport of cycling. With an e-bike, it
becomes more about the ride since the
misery is gone. Sure, you can still get
plenty of exercise, but you are allowed
the time and energy to enjoy the ride
and the scenery more. The Nitro does
nothing to detract from the ride. It has
the riding position to exploit the joy of
the powerful assist. ■
Motor: TDCM 500W Hi-Torque DC
Direct Drive Motor
Battery: EV-rated rechargeable
lithium-ion cells in power pack with
advanced power management system 36V10.7Ah 396Wh standard
Battery life: 600 to 700 cycles
Charge time: 4–6 hours
Controller: Currie Electro-Drive,
36-volt with power state of charge
function, pedal torque sensor and
POD (Power On Demand throttle)
Top speed: 20 mph (rider weight,
rider input and terrain contingent)
Range: 25–35 miles with normal pedaling
Drive: SRAM Apex front and rear
derailleurs and SL700 shifters,
Brakes: Tektro Auriga E-Sub hydraulic disc with 180/160mm rotors front/
rear, Tektro Auriga E-Comp brake
Wheels: Alex FR- 30 26" double-wall
alloy rims with stainless steel spokes,
Controls: LCD display with power
switch, battery state of charge, power
mode/level selector, bicycle computer functions (distance, time, speed),
monitoring of regenerative braking
Fork: RST SS-A6-T 26" with preload
adjustment, 30mm travel
Frame: Hydroformed aluminum,
fender, rack and bottle mounts
Weight: 52 pounds (medium)
Sizes: S ( 18", 46cm), M ( 20", 51cm),
L ( 21. 5", 54.5cm), LS-S ( 18” 46cm),
LS-M ( 20", 51cm)
The frame geometry is sporty, with quick steering and nimble handling. No doubt that is
helped by having the battery weight directly in the center of the bike.