Moose Reviews: Analog Motion AMX LE Classic Electric Bike
Not everyone can afford to spend thousands of pounds on an electric bike. That's why Analog Motion, a company based in the UK, ran a crowdfunding campaign for their AM1, their first pedal-assist bike that could be snapped up for a low price.
Now it was back with another crowd funder, the AMX, and some similar jaw-dropping price for the early birds. Unsurprisingly, everyone was interested to see if the company had struck an equal balance between price, performance and quality.
Fast-forward, and again Analog Motion delivered on its promise to its backers. The design slightly changed from their prototype. Moose was keen to review the bike and determine whether other manufacturers should be scared of Analog Motion becoming a fast-rising brand in the electric bike market.
First, a quick explanation of the AMX lineup. During its crowdfunding campaign, Analog Motion offered the bike three basic frame shapes: Classic, a Low-step, and a Mini version with smaller 20-inch wheels. Backers could pick from a few different tiers, which altered some of the bike's basic components.
Moose have been testing the Classic LE, available in either white or blue. The AMX is a good-looking bicycle that wouldn't look out of place on the streets of Amsterdam, London or Berlin. Despite the battery being on show, Analog Motion has made no attempt to hide it. It's attached to the seat tube and, from a distance, looks just like a 1-litre water bottle.
The team noted that the design was intentional. If someone is standing a few metres away, they might think it's a drink—which is great if you want to keep the bike's electrification under wraps. But this also means storing a fresh battery within your work bag or backpack, is easy enough.
The AMX has swept-back handlebars that lead to a more upright riding posture, similar to other electric bikes in the urban commuter market. Analog Motion's objective is for riders to spend more time looking around rather than directly in front of their front tyre. That will keep them safer and, if it's quiet, give them a chance to admire their surroundings.
The AMX's display is not flashy - not like others. But the screen provides all the essential information you need while riding; this includes your speed, the current power level and the remaining charge. Two physical arrow buttons change the motor level. At the same time, a third 'M' option toggles between your current trip distance and lifetime mileage.
To start the AMX, you'll need to long-press an orange button on the display's side. That's it! There is no companion software or physical key to consider. Although the AMX is easy to start up and ride, it doesn't include anti-theft protection. If you're planning on leaving it somewhere, like in front of a store or cafe, you'll need to invest in an old-fashioned lock.
There's little to complain about the AMX's appearance. It has slimmer rims than the pre-release model. Some will say that thick rims are cooler on a bike designed for the city, so why make the change? Those benefits are worth the aesthetic compromise.
"It started as simple as the fact that a standard U-lock could not fit through a deep rim with that massive tyre on it," Analog Motion co-founder Jack Chalkley explained. "Simple as that. And then, when we got the shallow rims, we realized they were lighter. So two birds, one stone."
The AMX's suspension damping is reasonably soft, which makes for a smooth riding experience. The AMX surges forward like a greyhound set free after a few seconds. The motor efficiently manages flat roads and gradual slopes even at the lowest power level. There's always a higher power level to bail you out. Alternatively, you may ride on the maximum power setting constantly. However, you run into an issue: battery life suffers.
Navid Gornall, one of Analog Motion's founders "The AMX has more power than others which is an intentional decision. I hope you grow to love the power and security high torque can offer, especially on less forgiving terrain and when boosting away from traffic. Make sure to smile at them as you blast off into the distance."
Using the power levels like traditional bicycle gears, the AMX comes into its own. It's undoubtedly fun to dash around at the bike's top speed, which is 25KMH (15.5MPH) in Europe.
The motor and chainring are connected by a Gates carbon belt drive. It's cleaner and more durable than the ordinary chain you see on most bikes. Analog Motion isn't the first to embrace this kind of drivetrain; other companies have used belt drives for a while before.
Many rival manufacturers, including Cowboy, have adopted belt drives because they make their e-bikes more reliable. Reducing complaints and repairs — and attractive to commuters who want to cycle without getting oil or muck on their clothes.
READ NEXT: Chain vs Belt-Drive: Which is Best?
Range and charging
The AMX promises 27 miles (44 kilometres) of assisted riding on a single charge.
The Analog Motion battery is removable, simply undo a rubber strap and lift off the bottle-shaped power pack from its plastic base. This means you can charge the battery at your desk, in your flat, house or apartment.
The smaller capacity also makes it faster to charge. Analog Motion's battery takes just 3 hours to replenish. A smaller battery offers weight benefits, too. The AMX LE comes in at roughly 16kg. You can find lighter e-bike alternatives, but most rely on carbon fibre frames. The AMX is competitive in the weight department, though lifting it up a flight of stairs would still be difficult.
The AMX isn't for everyone, but neither is a supercar. Analog Motion followed through on its second crowdfunding campaign and now has the chance to make a successful commuter e-bike for the urban traveller. The UK doesn't have many e-bike brands. This plucky startup has already proven to be one of the best in the fiercely competitive commuter e-bike space.