Stromer’s ST1x EAPC is an EU-friendly version of their 800W, 45km/h ST1x speed pedelec. Limited to 250W and 25km/h it’s still a very powerful, silent-running e-bike that’s a lot of fun to ride, and the huge battery gives it an enormous range. Even so, it struggles to justify its equally impressive price tag.
Built around a rigid alloy frame and fork, the ST1x features Stromer’s Cyro Drive rear hub motor. The motor itself is rated to 800W, but in the EU-spec bike it’s limited to 250W and 25km/h. It still feels plenty powerful though, and certainly more punchy than its 35Nm torque rating would suggest. On my benchmark hill (1.5km at 5%, with a 12% section) it mostly breezed up, with a touch of effort required on the very steepest bit.
In terms of climbing power it’s comparable to a Bosch or Shimano city motor. The power is very well applied: it never feels choppy, or cuts in and out harshly. And the motor is functionally silent: even in the highest assistance mode the comfy Schwalbe Big Ben tyres will be making more noise than the motor does. So it’s great for stealth overtaking of other cyclists on hills. They love that. The three assistance modes are easily accessible from the illuminated, bar-mounted remote.
On the flat it feels quick, not least because Stromer seem to have played a bit fast and loose with the EU limit. The bike didn’t cut the feed to the motor until around 28km/h – that might not sound significantly different to the standard limit but it certainly felt a lot quicker, and when riding with friends on more tightly restricted bikes I needed to ease off a bit to stop vanishing into the distance. The bike rides very well indeed. It’s a fairly sporty hybrid position and the bike feels agile and very firmly planted on the surface of the road, with the big tyres giving it a firm-but-comfortable feel in the absence of any suspension. It’s certainly not a light city bike, but under power it never feels sluggish or weighty. You only really notice when you’re moving it around when it’s turned off.
The ST1x has a top-tube mounted touch display, and a button under the top tube to turn it on. The screen gives plenty of information and is pretty easy to use when you’re stationary, but on the move it’s not as easy to see or interact with as a bar-mounted display. The bike has a Bluetooth chip built in, so it’s possible to pair it with Stromer’s OMNI app. That gives you access to a range of functions. Anti-theft will alert you by text or email if your bike is moved: the bike has a built-in SIM card and GPS sensor so it can keep you updated on its location. The bike’s brain can also electronically ‘lock’ the motor, so the rear wheel won’t turn if someone hops on it and tries to ride it away.
Using the app you can also configure the motor system so that the modes match your riding prefectly, and the app will let you know when the bike is due for a service too, like your car would. Overall the control system is fully featured and pretty easy to use; my one gripe is the amount of time the bike takes to boot up from cold, about 20 seconds. If you just want to turn it on and go you find yourself drumming your fingers. First world problems, eh?
This bike has an enormous range. Ours came with the optional 814Wh (!) battery fitted internally in the down tube, but even the bog standard battery is 618Wh which is more than nearly everything else out there. With the monster battery, one round of my 9km commute (with about 160m of climbing) used about 10% of the battery, and on the flat you’d easily get over 100km out of the ST1x, even if you weren’t being careful. Stromer suggests a 150km maximum range, which I’d say is realistic. The bigger battery adds to the cost, but it doesn’t actually add much to the weight. If you’re looking for a bike with a properly epic range, this is certainly one to consider.
Given the price tag you’d expect the Stromer to be sporting reliable, quality componentry, and it is. It’s not the highest spec in terms of transmission; Shimano Deore is perfectly functional though, and the 10-speed 11-42 cassette gives a good range of gears for everything you’re likely to throw the bike at. The Tektro hydraulic brakes worked perfectly, and after dark the Roxim X4 light is excellent, throwing out lots of light in a road-friendly beam. At the back there’s a Stromer custom Racktime carrier that’ll take a standard pannier bag for your shopping.
Value is a moveable feast to some extent, but there’s no getting away from the fact that this is a very expensive city bike, at £4,895. If you don’t need the massive range, and you aren’t bothered by the bike’s connectivity, then there’s plenty of options out there that will give you a similar ride experience – and in many cases, a more powerful motor – for about half what the ST1x costs. That’s not to say it’s a bad bike though, because it’s not: the ride is sporty and fun, the motor is silent and powerful and the bike is elegantly finished with good quality kit. For me, it wouldn’t quite stack up as a value proposition. Your needs (and your budget) may vary.