Ah, but the legendary performance
of the Swiss watch certainly has; the
bike’s real beauty is in the ride. Even
though the assist from the 500-watt,
direct-drive hub motor is very strong
at the highest level of assist, most of
the initial comments were made about
how ef;cient (even at 62 pounds) the
ST2 ride was as a standard bicycle.
The ST2 is available with either a step-over or step-through “comfort” frame.
The sport frame is available in 17- or
20-inch sizes, and the comfort frame
is only made in 17-inch. With Stromer-speci;c Schwalbe 26x2: 15 Big Ben
tires, the chassis rides with surprising
comfort for such a stout aluminum
frame with a carbon fork. Even with
a road surface that is not perfect, the
ST2 holds the road well, and the rounded tire pro;le sustains a smooth and
controlled lean-in while cornering. The
riding position is appropriately sporty
as be;ts a bike capable of the performance of this one, yet it is comfortable
for the long haul as well. It is no beach
cruiser with its sit-up riding style, but it
is more relaxed than a drop-bar bike.
POWER AND GRACE
After spending much effort making
the ST2 perform well and ride comfort-
ably, Stromer faced a self-made prob-
lem—this bike is easy to ride quickly
and for some distance, so the battery
and drive needed to be up for the task.
For the ST1, a 48-volt battery was an
option, and there was no option for a
battery as large as the 17 Ah unit that
is standard on the ST2. Fitting a battery this size inside the frame required
a much larger main downtube. The
effort was worth it. For one 18-mile
ride, the Stromer averaged 18. 6 mph
despite climbing 3400 feet! And that is
with a rider over 200 pounds aboard.
Despite the speeds, the load and the
climbing, the ST2 used only 50 percent
of the available battery power. That
means that with a bit of care to preserve the battery, 40 miles and 6000
feet of climbing are easily within the
realm of a single battery charge.
The ST2 motivated some staff members to attempt e-bike commuting.
Never before had they trusted a bike to
make the trip without running low on
battery. The ride was just over 30 miles
and with about 3000 feet of climbing.
Wind and traf;c are other factors. On
a lightweight drop-bar road bike, one
rider’s average speed for the route was
14 mph or 4. 3 minutes for every mile.
On the Stromer, the average speed
jumped to 21. 5 mph or 2.8 minutes per
mile! The slowest mile on the ST2 was
15 mph—still faster than the average
on a bicycle. To make the distance
required, the test rider spent a good
deal of the time in level two of power
output. After learning the speci;cs of
the battery use, it is possible that the
commute could be even faster, since
there was at least 25 percent battery
left. The rider still had tired legs, but in
heavy traf;c, he was able to ride faster
than cars he dueled with—even on the
The programming of the assist
modes feels like it was designed with
the marketing brochure in mind. The
claimed distances are impressive, but
the lowest of the three assist levels
is ho-hum vanilla, and most riders
spent most of the ride at the middle
or highest level of assist. At that level,
the performance is consistently strong
and effective. For sure the rider has
to pedal, but assist lasts until 28 mph,
and with a ;t rider, the routine road
speeds are quite satisfying.
ON THE ROAD
The Magura MT2 hydraulic disc
brakes are great, and the Shimano
components were as polished as ever.
At speed, the ST2 is planted and responsive. It builds
velocity quickly, and the riding position suits quick riding.