Aventon Level 500 mile review

moondoggie

New Member
Region
USA
I have had my Aventon Level for a couple of months now, and after crossing the 500 mile mark it feels like a good time to share some thoughts on the bike.

As can be seens from the attached photos, when my bike was delivered to my Local Bike Shop I asked them to remove the fenders and rack (it ships wth them already installed). I intended to use this for both street and light off-road riding, and when riding on trails didn't want to have the rattle and extra 'stuff'. I wanted more of a mtn bike look and feel.

As mentioned elsewhere here, when my bike was assembled the back wheel motor did not work correctly. My LBS had to work with Aventon to have a new wheel shipped out. This process took almost a month due to shipping delays - nothing to do with Aventon - but once it arrived and was installed, the bike has performed well since. Kudos to Aventon for being right on top of the replacement, to the best of their ability.

Customizations include custom grips, cell phone mount, headlight and tail-light, bike bell, rear view mirror, Power-Grip pedal straps with custom pedals, and a water bottle holder.

I highly recommend the bell. As goofy as it seems, when riding on shared muti-use paths where there are a lof of pedestrians, I quickly tired of "on your left" and "on your right" shout outs. The bell is a light happy tinkle sound that is universally recognized, everyone knows what that sound means, and it usually results in smiles and people appreciating the heads up that you are approaching. No more scowls as I pass the peds.

The mirror and lights are simply essential safety gear, no-brainer add ons. The mirror in particular is a must-have.

I found the fact that the Level did not have built in cage screws on the frame surprising and annoying. I ordered a velcro strap-on mount for the cage like this one, but while waiting for it to arrive I used some two-sided sticky tape and two zip ties to secure the bottle cage to the main frame. This worked so well, was so stable, that by the time the velcro strap arrived, I chose not to use it for that purpose, and instead used it to mount a flashlight to the handlebars for my headlight. The zip-tie thing may look a little cheezy, but it's worked great and you can hardly even notice it with black zip-ties.

Most of my riding has been on surface streets and gravel or light off-road trails. The Level handles these very well, the suspension is good for these environments. I have tried a few mountain bike paths, and it's clear the Level is not suited to that type of ride. The bike is too heavy, the momentum and agility are all wrong, and the suspension is not sufficient for the rough terrain ususally found on decent mountain bike paths. Stick to streets and gravel / light off-road dirt paths, you'll be fine.

On streets at PAS 5 I can regularly hit 28 to 30 depending on the grade. PAS 4 usually gets me to ~24, PAS 3 to ~20, PAS 2 to ~15, PAS 1 to ~10. Your performance may vary. My record is 42 flying down a hill, but don't tell the law that. ;-)

I find the battery/power to usually be good for about 20-25 miles of PAS 4-5 riding, usually with some hills. The power meter takes some getting used to as I find it stays near full and near empty for a long while, but the middle range of the meter diminishes very quickly. It's not an even burn from top of the scale to bottom. But once you realize that, even if you are down to three or two bars, you still have some life left in the battery, you learn to adjust. And as you get down to two or one bar, the bike definitely compensates and reduces the actual pedal assist output to conserve energy.

Others have mentioned the motor noise. It is a bit loud, imo, but not too bad. I often have earbuds in anyway so don't even notice. I have actually noticed the hydraulic brakes can be quite noisy at times when they are heavily used on long downhill runs. I'm not sure if that's normal or not for hydraulic brakes, never had any before, but worth mentioning.

The shifting / derailleur is my biggest annoyance with the bike. I've had the Shimano derailleur calibrated several times already and still, when shifting, especially on hills, the gears tend to jump around quite a bit, usually at the most inopportune times.

I don't use the full throttle often, but I like that it fires off automatically without having to pedal first. It's quite useful to get up to speed quickly from a dead stop, like when crossing a street after a red light, or just an occasional 'nudge' while coasting or in a lower PAS mode.

Finally, you can of course ride the bike without any pedal assist. When riding in full manual mode though, it's a bit of a tough ride as the bike is heavy and gear range is limited. Riding with 0 PAS on a flat street is fine, but any uphill grade is a real workout.

All things considered, I love the bike. It's fun, fast, and an amazing bike for about $1800. Highly recommended.

I hope someone finds this useful. Enjoy!
 

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scottjpeter

New Member
Region
USA
My wifes bike just reached 145 miles before the battery failed. After multiple error codes that resolved by turning off and back on the battery won't charge now or even show any lights. Support is supposed to get back to people now within 72-96 hours after they have disabled all phone support and only allow you to email them - according to their reviews they often never get back to people.