I posted this on bikeforums.net but figured I should also put it here. And I guess the Bionx forum is the appropriate location?
It arrived over the weekend and I rode in to work today. While I like it, I'm not sure it wouldn't have been better to install a Bionx kit on my old Trek 7100 hybrid. The most disappointing feature is the battery. Rather than using the 10 Ah battery that should come with the 350 motor, it comes with a 6.4 Ah battery that normally comes with a PL-250 kit. Slightly different because the 6.4 listed on the Bionx site is 22.2 volt while this one is 6.4 / 40.7 volt.
The bike is heavier than I thought - I guess it would be even heavier with the 10 Ah battery though. It's ok on level surfaces without using the assist at all, but I wouldn't want to do it for too long. Assist level 1 overcomes the extra weight of the system and adds a bit of a boost. I'd like to use level 2 much of the time.
My major concern is that I have a 30 mile r/t commute, and while being pretty conservative (mostly using assist level 1) it's still about 1/2 used after coming in. And that's with using regen modes coming down most hills. I'm guessing that it's going to get a bit better as it breaks in but I understand from the folks on this forum that the battery shouldn't be run down that much. An extra charger is around $70 and I already ordered one. I'll keep one at work and the other at home.
The charger (fan) is very noisy and I don't look forward to having it in my office but I don't really see an option. Maybe I can put a pillow over it or something. Astonishingly, the instructions call for disconnecting the battery from the charger once it's full rather than just leaving it attached until ready to go. I find it hard to believe that a system this sophisticated could actually hurt the battery by leaving it plugged in but that's the implication. I'll review the manual tonight but that's what I recall.
The light that comes with the kit is decent but is really only a "be seen" light. It will not replace my MagicShine. It would be nice it if at least had a blink mode but it doesn't. The rear light (on the battery) is nice. Again, no blink mode though.
The rack doesn't seem too well thought out, or maybe it's just my bag - which is designed for the Topeak rack system. Using the Velcro fasteners, the placement of the bars doesn't allow for much of the velcro to grip and I worry that it won't remain stable. I'm likely to get front panniers anyway, just for the weight distribution. The battery does slide in and out and lock nicely.
When in mode 3 or 4, this baby does fly up the hills. Even being very conservative this morning I got in 10 minutes faster than normal. It will be much quicker when I'm not afraid of killing the battery.
Well, that's the initial report.