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Elops 500e review: the urban electric bike

More and more fashionable, ecological transport is becoming increasingly popular. Indeed, for daily journeys or for walks in the city or in nature, they now know how to perfectly meet our needs. Today, we are going to present you a product from a well-known and recognized brand in France, we named Decathlon. Let’s see together what this last one proposes us in term of green mobility. We propose you to discover our test as well as our opinion on the electric bike Btwin Elops 500e from Decathlon.

The best electric city bikes of the moment

Decathlon is one of the leaders in the sale of affordable electric bikes. In order to guide you to make the right choice, we have made a selection of the best references.

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The complete Elops electric range

Before starting this test we wanted to highlight the full range of Decathlon electric bikes. In this case, you will have no trouble making your selection.

You will notice that in spite of the price, the Elops electric remains an elegant and well cared electric bike. That’s all the know-how of the French brand. Its bikes have now met such a success (in non-electric version) that it was strategic for Decathlon to propose them in electric version.

Is Decathlon’s cheapest electric-assist bike good enough to give you the pleasure you need while cycling ? Let’s find out.

DECATHLON ELOPS 120E
DECATHLON ELOPS 500E
DECATHLON ELOPS 900E
DECATHLON ELOPS 920E
DECATHLON ELOPS 940E

Presentation of the Elops 500e

The new model, the Decathlon Elops 500e, is very different from the Elops 940e.

While the Elops 940e is a rather expensive electric bike and represents the top of the range of electric bikes from Decathlon, the Elops 500e is at a very low price and only plays the electric assistance card. This model does not have a center drive motor. It has a small rear hub motor that allows you to add electric assist to the bike at the lowest possible cost.

To achieve the goal, Decathlon decided to create this electronic bike based on its previous traditional bike model, the Elops 520. This model is a Dutch style bike sold from 260 euros. All Decathlon had to do was to attach a hub motor, a battery, some sensors and an on-board computer to turn it into an electrically assisted bike.

The price

The Decathlon Elops 500e is considered one of the cheapest electric bikes on the market, due to its very low price of 699 euros.

So what exactly are you getting for the price ? Is it worth it ? Do cyclists really need to fall for the entry-level e-bike that is still much more expensive than its fully muscled counterpart, the Elops 520 ? Let’s take a closer look.

Technical characteristics of the Elops 500e

Power and operation

Normally, you should now expect a lot from the hub motor in the model like Btwin Elops 500e. Its maximum torque, which is 26 NM, is delivered only when it is in the sport assist mode. The torque is always lower in ECO mode. If you compare it to other electrically assisted bikes, the torque delivery is far from ideal.

Le moteur central Bosch Active line, par exemple, délivre un couple de 30 NM. Le moteur du moyeu arrière du Cowboy Sport V2 fournit également un couple de 30 NM. Même si le couple n’est pas très élevé, le Cowboy V2 est tellement moins lourd que ce n’est pas un problème.

When it comes to the Decathlon Elops 500e, the main issue is its weight. The Elops 500 e performs quite well on flat roads and the motor provides what is needed to make pedaling easier.

The motor is not very helpful when climbing hills. It is therefore necessary to push on the pedals and change gears quickly to maintain a sufficient pedaling frequency. It is preferable that the climb does not last too long or be too steep, because the ordeal is never far away when it comes to bringing 26 kg of steel to the top.

The autonomy

The Decathlon Elops 500e is equipped with a modest battery delivering only 220 Watts (24 V / 8.8 Ah). It has nothing to do with the marathon runner.

In Sport mode, the Elops 500 e can travel up to 25-30 km, and even less with hills in the way. This may be enough for purely urban trips, but don’t forget to recharge the battery every night.

Switching to Normal mode logically allows you to gain a little autonomy, provided that you accept to pedal harder and potentially slower since the assistance does not propel up to 25 km/h. With the announced autonomy up to 50 km, it means then in Eco mode and without practically any elevation.

Charging takes a little over 5 hours and the bike comes with a 2A charger. That’s a long charge time if you’re wondering, but there’s no harm in letting the battery charge overnight.

This charging time could become a problem if you want to charge during the day. With such a limited battery life, a faster charging time would have been helpful.

Comfort and ergonomics

The Btwin Elops 500e is based on the frames of the other Decathlon Elops models – from the 100 to 500 series – which have been in the Decathlon catalog for a few years now. So the Elops 500e frame is not very different.

The Elops 500 e has a low frame that allows the rider to get on and off the bike as easily as possible (by going through it). This is especially useful if the e-bike is loaded. The riding position of the Elops 500 e is also straightened, thanks to the handles that are placed in a high position. They are curved, so that the arms generally stay close to the rider’s chest.

This well-designed frame allows the rider to keep the back straight while pedaling. This limits muscle fatigue on the upper body and improves visibility while riding. You won’t have to ride in an athletic position, which is a plus if you are riding on busy city streets.

The Elops 500e is very well designed, comfortable and pleasant to use every day !

Frame, geometry and suspension

By using a hub motor, Decathlon did not have to change the geometry of the bike. Thus, the frame is the same steel as the traditional bike model Elops 520.

The frame finishes are satisfactory in this price range. The brake cables and the derailleur go through the bottom tube. However, it is impossible not to see that it is an electrically assisted bike because the battery is clearly visible under the rack.

The choice of steel for the fork as well as for the frame of the Elops 500 e makes it quite heavy. This model weighs 25.65 kg. The non-electric version, Elops 520, still weighs close to 19 kg, which is also quite heavy for a non-electric bike.

At the same time, a steel structure has many advantages. For example, steel is more flexible and absorbs vibrations better than aluminum.

The absence of suspension on the fork and seatpost in the Elops 520 would not have given cyclists the comfortable rides they deserve. That’s why Decathlon decided to add these two suspensions in its Btwin Elops 500e model. The ergonomic handlebars offer the necessary support for the hands. Apart from that, the comfortable and low seat absorbs shocks. But we still recommend avoiding unpaved roads.

Equipment and accessories

As for the equipment, a large luggage rack is welded to the frame and has the capacity to hold about 27 kgs. In addition, turnbuckles are provided to easily hold objects inside the rack.

The battery is housed under the luggage rack and is locked with a key. It takes some effort to remove the battery.

The 28-inch bike tires are wide (42-622) and come from the Chinese Cheng Shin Group (Maxxis). Tires offer a good comfort during the ride.

The bike’s black plastic fenders complement the frame and offer effective protection from mud and dirt. However, the front one should have been extended a bit lower or had a small bib to better protect shoes.

The bottom of the pants is protected by a chain guard. Don’t worry, the chain is well covered. The plastic pedals, on the other hand, are rudimentary and not durable.

Decathlon focused most on the integration of electric bikes. That’s why we found the headlights well welded to the frame. But an aesthetic choice always has a consequence. So you can’t change the headlight if it breaks down. And you can’t replace it if you want a more powerful headlight.

The headlight intensity is sufficient to see the road ahead of the Elops 500 e clearly, but don’t expect to see anything coming from far away.

Speed change from the Elops 500e

The Decathlon Elops 500e is quite pleasant to use, largely due to its 6-speed transmission, which is enough for leisurely riding around town. This transmission, an entry-level Shimano Tourney, deserves only occasional approval, however.

It inevitably hangs up a bit at some gear changes. If you want to ride it with pleasure, it is better to check its adjustment regularly. This is done quite easily with the small screw on the derailleur. As it has a low gear number, you will easily find the right cable tension.

It is obvious that the cyclist will not break any speed records on this bike because of the handlebars. But the riding position and the larger number of gears hardly allow to exceed 30 km/h, even on flat roads.

The absence of a force sensor in the crankset is not too annoying, considering the weaknesses of the motor, which for once provides a fairly smooth assistance, despite a noticeable gap between the rotation performed on the crankset and its activation mode.

Control of the assistance

The level of assistance is easily adjustable with a small control knob on the left side of the handlebars. Switching from one mode to another is done with a single button. Just switch from Eco mode to Normal mode and then to Sport mode. Similarly, you can switch from Normal to Eco mode by pressing this button again.

We would have preferred a two-button system (moving up and down), especially since the responsiveness of the system is not great.

In Eco mode, the engine drives us up to about 14 km/h. You have to switch to Normal mode to be assisted up to about 22 km/h, and then to Sport mode if you want to benefit from maximum assistance at all times, i.e. up to 25 km/h. It would not be wrong to say that with such a low maximum torque, we prefer to stay in Sport mode most of the time.

V-brakes

The Elops 500 e is equipped with classic V-brake pads. They are effective in dry weather, allowing the rider to stop the bike in less than 4 meters. In addition, the size of the tires is also helpful. The extra weight of the battery on the rack prevents the rear wheel from lifting.

But this is not the case in rainy weather. Brake pads lose their effectiveness very quickly when they have to evacuate water from the rim.

But the main problem is that the brakes wear out quickly. Decathlon is nevertheless transparent on this point, indicating that it is necessary to change them every 400 km in case of use in “degraded conditions”, i.e. on sandy paths, with a heavy load, etc.

The Btwin Elops 500e and its warranty

The warranty offered by Decathlon is not the least since the group offers a lifetime warranty on frame, handlebars and 2 years on electrical components and spare parts. Its battery is guaranteed for 2 years (from 350 to 500 cycles of charge at 100%).

Consumer Reviews

Many customers have already switched to electric bikes. For this they have chosen the Elops 500e from Decathlon. In order to be sure to make the right choice it is good for you to read their reviews and feedback.

The Elops 500e is reliable but rather heavy and the autonomy is too little. Very good for short trips

The Elops 500e is only used for running and walking. It suits me perfectly.

Technical file of the Decathlon Elops 500e

  • Brushless motor 250W 26Nm
  • Battery 24V/8,8Ah (capacity 221Wh), 2,1kg
  • Control screen on the handlebars (LCD)
  • 3 operating modes + 1 walk mode to walk beside your bike
  • 30 and 45km depending on your weight, your use, the difference in altitude…
  • Available in low frame and high frame versions
  • Shimano 6 speed transmission
  • 28 inches wheels
  • LED lighting of 10 lux integrated into the frame
  • Average weight of 25,65kg, max load 125kg
  • 100% steel frame

The advantages of the Btwin Elops 500e

It’s nice to ride on flat roads.
Smooth assistance

.

… and the disadvantages

The engine is rather weak
Low autonomy
Heavy weight
Long charging time
Low range transmission
The battery is difficult to remove
500e-elops

To conclude

The Decathlon Elops 500e is not a bad e-bike, but its electric assistance is questionable. It is recommended for riding on flat terrain because its motor is not powerful enough to help on steep hills. This quality alone greatly limits the appeal of this Elops 500 e in many places.

It is also preferable not to go very far with this bike, because you will only cover about 30 kilometers. Its autonomy is weaker than that of other electronic bikes at this price. The risk of running out of energy on the way home is not negligible.

The OnMyBike team helps you make the right choice by writing daily articles on traditional and electric bikes

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