Is there a good experience for the XB-600? A new e-bike rider's first steps into this new world of EV's
A new user here that just wanted to ask if anyone ever posts any good news about their electric rides or is this just a fix-it forum?
I'll post my story.
Just purchased a XB-600 a few weeks ago from none other than Amazon.com
I was a bit hesitant. I thought that the XB-600 was going to end up being way too much bike for my daily commute to work, but let me back up.
I moved to live closer to work. I live about 9 miles away, so I needed something that would cover the 18 mile daily commute. I didn't want to drive my car anymore, or should I say that I didn't was to drive a ICE to work anymore. I love my Honda Accord, but I moved to be closer, so I wouldn't have to drive my car.
At first, I thought I could use mass transit. There were no bus lines close to my office, so I knew that I needed something else. I live in Phoenix where it's generally sunny all the time, so I felt that almost all EV options were available to me. I started looking around and found a cheap Currie E-bike and bought it at Target. I didn't want to sink a bunch of money into something that I wasn't 100% sure that I would enjoy. The desire was there, but I was cautious.
Obviously the Currie E-bike has it's flaws, but when I first took that ride, and the electric motor kicked on; I was hooked. It was so simple. Plug it in before I go to bed, ride it to work in the morning. And riding it was fun, pure fun, but the fun didn't last too long... The battery seemed to last much less than the what was stated in the bike manual. So I found that I needed a step up, but I was unsure what to step up to.
I looked around the EV sites for electric bikes and found the Xtreme Scooter company, and was studying their various models, but I couldn't find many good things about the customer satisfaction of their products. Most of what was out there was, in fact, pretty bad, but most of it was way out of date. Some going back a few years. Then I decided to see if Amazon sold the electric bikes. I wanted a review of these bikes. I needed information to base a solid decision on.
I was surprised to find that Amazon sold many models including the XB-600. There was one review that was pretty straight forward and spoke about the positive and negative aspects of the bike. Cheap build quality and the fact that the bike was received with flaws that needed work to be done in order to get it ready to ride, but something about that review lit a fire. The words "I couldn't live without it now" stayed with me, and I even went back to read it a few more times.
The last time I read the review, I decided that I was going to try the XB-600, so i needed to look around to find the cheapest price. I had a few places where I could have picked the scooter up here in town, but they were offering the bike for the most amount of money possible. I looked at the online vendors and decided that the Electric Vehicle Mall would be the best place to get the bike. Then I waited a day. I didn't want to spend $900 on a rash decision. The next day I went back to Amazon for one more read-through of the review, but before I could scroll down to it something caught my eye. It was the price of the bike...
It was $600 and some odd dollars. I was shocked. That was 200 dollars less than anyone else had it.
That was it. I had my bike. Even if it was a bust, I could afford to lose at that price. I bought it. It came to me a week later. It had to be shipped to me from Pennsylvania.
When I opened the box I found that something was wrong. The front end was cracked. The pedals appeared to be missing and the frame didn't seem to line up with the under carriage of the bike that well. I was thinking of returning the bike, but something inside thought that I could fix these issues.
I took it out of the box and found that I did have all the right parts. The pedals were there, but the manual left just about everything to be desired. It was a notch above terrible, but I got the front wheel on and the lights and electronics seemed to work. My brother and I dremeled out a bit of the plastic where the whole for the pedal cranks, and they finally fit. We fixed the front end I were able to glue it together. That worked fine, We dremeled the plastic around the battery lock system and fixed that... We assembled the rear box on the bike and took it out front for a spin. The manual stated that there would be enough charge stored in the battery for a quick ride... I rode it, and the hub motor seemed to work just fine. We adjusted the hand brakes, and brought it back in to charge.
10 hours later I took it for my maiden voyage to work and never looked back. I have rode it to work almost all last week, and I have had no problems with the bike.
I keep the charger, a lock, and a tire pump with me at all times when I ride. The roads out here have great bike lanes and the terrain is almost always flat so I have plenty of juice to get me to work and home. I found that I didn't even have to charge it at work. Everyone at work was shocked to hear at first that I was riding a bike to work, but once I showed them what the XB-600 could do and gave a few test drives, everyone really warmed up to it. I get to park it indoors as well. My boss actually encouraged it. I just hope it lasts.
People look at me funny, but then I just ask them how much did they pay for gas today? I have an "EV grin" that is contagious. I just wish that the bike had decals that stated that it was electric. I know that by looking at it, people should figure it out since there is no tailpipe that it's electric, but no one does. The biggest question I get it is, "how is that thing so quiet?" I then tell them that it's electric and that electric vehicle engines are extremely quiet compared to ICEs and zero polluting too. (The bike, that is not the energy coming from our local power utility.)
I think this bike is really a conversation starter. I have taught quite a few people about EV tech and people now walk up and ask me about this technology versus that one. Have I head about this new car or that car...
That kind of thing... Pretty cool.
As far as the bike goes. I'm hoping that it will last long enough that I can at least recoup my investment.... Doubling my investment would be better, but if I make even, then I will be happy. Then it might be time to go to the next EV step. Electric Motorcycle.
Glad to see you're enjoying the xb600. I've had mine for about 3 years now with no big problems at all. I don't ride every day but probably have around 2000 miles on it at this point. I've found it to be reliable and dependable. I had a flat once, broke the keyswitch (really cheap potmetal) twice and so had to replace it each time. But other than that mine has been flawless. And I received mine without any damage, etc. So my experience has been nothing but good. There's a pic of mine somewhere on the Vforum here...can't recall the specific forum I posted it on...but it's a pic of it in front of the Tesla ev sports car.
My batteries still seem strong as well. Range has dropped some but not that much or what I expected for 3 years. My advice is just take good care of it. Keep it stored in a garage, etc. when not riding if you can and just check it over from time to time to make sure no bolts/screws/connectors/wires are working loose or rubbing, etc. And I think you'll find it well worth the cost!
I got my XB-600 at the beginning of last summer, rode it every day to work (3 miles each way) and I also did a lot of joy riding through the neighborhoods in the evenings and on the weekends. My wife also used it a lot for work commutes and running errands in town. I rode it almost until Thanksgiving, here in southern Maine. I finally put it in the shed for the winter because it was dark by the time I got out of work, and part of my commute involves riding on the shoulder of a VERY busy road. Of course, snow and ice on the roads now doesn't help! I love the bike, but other than some flats, the bike's been fine and a whole lot of fun! Service from X-treme has been fine for me, what little I've needed. For awhile I had some brake light and turn signal issues, but once I sprayed some graphite lubricant into the left handgrip switch, it's been fine ever since. I'm mechanically and electronically inept, but what little work has been needed on the bike, I've been able to fix myself with the help of this forum (like, fixing flats). The bike cost less than the new exhaust system on my Honda Accord, so I've got no complaints. I'm also a huge fan of the "conversation starter" aspects of the bike, and the total silence of the bike as it zips by, really weirds people out. Depending on the mood I'm in, I either tell them it's electric, or it's powered by hamsters. In the spring I'll be putting on better tires with "Stop Flats" liner strips and Green Slime, so I'll let everyone know if that takes care of the problems I had with flat tires.
I too have had a good experience with my xb600. Cant say so much for the charger or replacement batteries though. I would very much suggest you check out the xb-600 handbook pages, especially the series//parallel wiring. I am in the process of getting my UB12220 batteries replaced. I blew up, well my charger blew up my original battery pack and 4 of the 5 12V 22ah batteries I ordered are not working very well. I plan to series//parallel wire them for charging as I feel this is the absolute best way you can maintain your batteries and get the most life out of them.
If you are not afraid of experimenting if you are not that adept with wires etc. I will be posting some further modifications I am doing to my bike.... Mainly a new way to install 5 or 6 batteries without taking up the seat compartment, preventing flats and rear axle spinouts, and a very easy alternative to the shunt mod on the controller.
I was going to ask about the charger in another post, but I too am having issues with my charger... or with my battery(???) But when I charge the battery the red light stays lit. It never turns green. It's a bit of a letdown, cause now I wonder about it... and if the issue is with my battery...
I would start a new thread ASAP!!!!! List in it what exactly is happening if you have checked each battery with a voltmeter etc. If you dont find the cause and fix the problem asap you could be looking at a lot worse happening!!
It could be as easy as just ONE battery is undercharged thus not letting the battery pack reach its full charge of about 54V.
@sixpax2k9 I was going to ask about the charger in another post, but I too am having issues with my charger... or with my battery(???) But when I charge the battery the red light stays lit. It never turns green. It's a bit of a letdown, cause now I wonder about it... and if the issue is with my battery...
I've posted some positive stuff on my experience. I certainly don't regret buying one, after eight months or so!
I was going to suggest two thoughts.
- Series/Parallel wiring: This will let you use a common 12V charger with adequate feedback, allow all batteries to recieve their full charge without damaging any, yet rewire your pack in use to deliver as much power as possible. I've been happy with my Parallel/series plug system:
The actual wiring in the XB-600 pack looks like this:
It doesn't interfere with use of the 48V charger as an "opportunity charger" on long trips.
- Inspect, inspect, inspect. These are light bikes, and vibration and electrical resistance are pernicious interlopers. See: