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Magicycle quality? Customer Service? Others for $600?

Old 07-11-23, 11:01 AM
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Magicycle quality? Customer Service? Others for $600?

My stepdaughter's boyfriend is looking at either a moped or eBike for his next set of wheels. (he's got an mountain bike now) He's leaning towards an eBike, but his budget is $600.

I've had one bike in this budget, the Sailnovo from Amazon. I found it very unstable due to steering geometry that's only suitable at low speeds. My stepdaughter crashed it twice and my niece crashed it once. Quality was fine, just the design was not as good.

I looked around on Amazon and they're filled with direct-to-consumer Chinese bikes. When I read customer reviews, they often have to deal with customer service due to low quality and rarely get their problem fixed quickly; it often takes months.

One bike that is tempting and is a brand name I recognize is the Magicycle Commuter, coming in right at the top of the $600 budget. It's a single speed w/belt drive. 52 V, 7 Ah. If the quality is good, this would fit the bill pretty well. (hence my Subject question)

I like that it comes with fenders and a pannier rack.


Any other bikes for max. $600 that are of decent quality and would be suitable for a 5'11" tall 17 year old boy? He'll be using it to commute around a medium sized city, pretty flat. He's not wreckless, just a little dopey and absentminded.

Thanks!
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Old 07-11-23, 05:26 PM
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For $599 I'd say GO FOR IT!!!

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Old 07-11-23, 05:56 PM
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Here's another review,...

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Old 07-11-23, 10:40 PM
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Thanks fellas, I just watched both of those. It seems like a fine bike. One way the Chinese bikes distinguish themselves as low quality is with brakes. In that first one, he said the brakes were squeaky out of the box, but they got better. (the ones on my heybike got worse and worse)

I think going to a single speed and lower capacity battery (but still high voltage) is a good way to keep cost in check, especially with smooth-rolling 700c street tread tires. In that first video, it looks like a comfortable cadence at 15 mph. Acceptable at 13 mph and fast but doable at 20 mph. It's not going to be as efficient at low speeds like a multi-speed bike, but in my case, the multi-speed bike I'm thinking of is the XP 2.0. Whatever efficiency it gains from having multiple speeds, it loses in the fat knobbies.
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Old 07-12-23, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Thanks fellas, I just watched both of those. It seems like a fine bike. One way the Chinese bikes distinguish themselves as low quality is with brakes. In that first one, he said the brakes were squeaky out of the box, but they got better. (the ones on my heybike got worse and worse)

I think going to a single speed and lower capacity battery (but still high voltage) is a good way to keep cost in check, especially with smooth-rolling 700c street tread tires. In that first video, it looks like a comfortable cadence at 15 mph. Acceptable at 13 mph and fast but doable at 20 mph. It's not going to be as efficient at low speeds like a multi-speed bike, but in my case, the multi-speed bike I'm thinking of is the XP 2.0. Whatever efficiency it gains from having multiple speeds, it loses in the fat knobbies.
This bike, with the 350 watt motor, 52v battery, and lower top speed of 20 mph is a perfect starter ebike. It's simple, single speed drivetrain is no muss, no fuss. It's not an off road bike, but for the price it's a solid deal to get around on. The mech brakes are also good for the price, but since the bike is pretty inexpensive (for today's market) I'd personally upgrade them.

I do like the XP 2.0, but I personally prefer the simplicity of that SS type bike. Especially if the battery + rear hub motor are sufficiently powered. The RadMission I had was zippy with the 500w motor + 48v battery. This one should be a good pairing as well. I wanted fatter tires, so that's why I sold it, and went with the RipRacer. The occasional beach ride was a long time calling I'd, unfortunately, ignored for much too long. For a street rider this is an excellent bike. If my wife wouldn't kill me, and I actually had more space, I'd have jumped on the $599 deal IMMEDIATELY myself.
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Old 07-12-23, 02:57 PM
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The simplicity is definitely one thing in favor of Magicycle. I tuned up this boy's mBike yesterday, it was in a sorry state: It's a Chinese Schwinn mountain bike. (probably a Walmart bike) Tires were at 14 psi, front brake was dragging, chain was filthy (but at least not rusty!) kickstand was flopping all around, brake levers were at the wrong angle.

I noticed he had the bike in the highest gears, both front & rear. He said he likes it there and he just stands up and mashes on the pedals. I should've also probably checked the chain for stretch... With this in mind, the single speed of the Magicycle would not be a con for him. In fact, it is probably a lower gear than he's used to, hehehe.

*****************
One strike against the Magicycle is the battery pack, which is not easily removed. It looks like the front cap comes off of the steerer tube and then the battery somehow comes out of there. (hopefully without special tools) However, it's $200 cheaper...

Being an American-based company, I have a bit more confidence that Lectric will have batteries in stock for the foreseeable future, and maybe they have the same architecture as newer models?
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Old 07-13-23, 05:57 PM
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I saw in another video on YouTube that the guy asked the company about that battery. It DOES require that front plate to be removed, and the front fork to also be removed. The good part of it is, it only requires a few allen keys, and it's really simple to do - if you're slightly mechanically inclined. Considering it's so simple a bike, and the replacement battery shouldn't be that expensive, considering its smaller size, I think this would work quite well for a pedal-masher. As far as Lectric is concerned, that XP Lite is also a killa option. More expensive, as well as easily sourced replacement parts.
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Old 07-14-23, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by tds101
I saw in another video on YouTube that the guy asked the company about that battery. It DOES require that front plate to be removed, and the front fork to also be removed. The good part of it is, it only requires a few allen keys, and it's really simple to do - if you're slightly mechanically inclined. Considering it's so simple a bike, and the replacement battery shouldn't be that expensive, considering its smaller size, I think this would work quite well for a pedal-masher. As far as Lectric is concerned, that XP Lite is also a killa option. More expensive, as well as easily sourced replacement parts.
I didn't know a fork could be removed with just a couple allen wrenches; I thought there were specialized tools needed.

I put the Magicycle in my Wish List and now the seller has reduced the price from $600 to $400, but removed the free shipping. Shipping is $150, so that equates to another $50 discount.

MAN this is tempting, but I'm still paying off the Trek Domane... Gonna hafta wait.
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Old 07-14-23, 02:06 PM
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Man,... That really is a solid deal. It must be on clearance.
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Old 07-26-23, 03:06 PM
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Cool

I got the bike yesterday. Had the boy over to assemble it. (I coached him while sitting in my supervisory chair with a glass of wine)

We got 90% through the setup and were inflating the rear tire when the tube exploded at 60 psi. (recommneded range is 50-75) That was pretty irritating. The women came out of the house; said it sounded like a gunshot. (it did) I told Ethan we would contact Magicycle and wait for a new tube, as I didn't have any in stock of the right size. (it's a 700x38) His heart sank. I thought about it some more and decided I could risk putting the 700x28-32 tube in.

Getting the rear wheel off was not too bad, compared to my Lectric XP Lite. They didn't use the hollow bolt nor put a cage over the nut. I could get a 19 mm socket on it and the acorn axle nuts came right off. The rear fender stays had to be removed, and that allowed enough fender flex to sneak the wheel out. Looking at the burst inner tube, it had blown open right at the seam over about an 8" length. No way to patch that SoB. Seems like a bad quality inner tube. (CST brand; avoid them) The rim band wasn't installed evenly, but no spokes were poking through.

Anyway, I got the new tube in and inflated without any further drama.

I put a couple blocks on it, and here are my first impressions:

+ Motor is completely silent
+ Power delivery is seamless; It just feels like I'm twice as strong and half as heavy. PAS5 gets me to 20 mph lickety-split. (it's a Class 1)
+ Headlight is good for about 15 mph
+ The charger has a proper safety certification to US and Canadian standards by TUV. (I'm a regulatory engineer, so I notice and value these things)
+ I LOVE the belt drive arrangement. All single speeds and IGH bikes should have this.
+ Smart rear axle design; doesn't take forever to get the wheel off to change a tube
+ Fender stays have a telescoping adjustment that makes them easier to center; a nice touch!
+ Wheels are aerodynamic! (but the beads are hard to get seated around the valve stem)
+ Center stand is a home run, on a commuter bike! The cranks can be turned without hitting it, and the weight is biased toward the front, so brakes and fender can be adjusted without a workstand.
+ All electrical cables have plugs. This paid off on the very first day when that back tube burst.
+ Cable routing is clean
+ Display is monochromatic, but easily legible, day & night. This is a good place to save cost, in my opinion.
+ Beautiful metallic yellow paint job.
+ Branding is not obnoxious. It's in big letters, but on the bottom of the downtube, where it's not so shouty.
+ Nice chrome acorn axle nuts; add a 19 mm box or combo wrench to the tool kit, as the open-ended wrenches included only go up to 18 mm.
+ Good packing job; no damage. It may have helped that I helped the FedEx guy unload it and carry it up the driveway.

+/- Very sturdy pannier-only rack. Why not give it a flat top, so a trunk bag could also be used?
+/- White cotton gloves are included. That's a thoughtful touch, but why, on a belt-driven bike?

- Saddle is not good, but not bad either. I'd say it's about a 1 hour saddle.
- Pedals (metal Willgo) are heavy and frictiony. Might just be new bearings & grease to break in?
- Tail light won't keep its angle setting. It ratchets up and down too easily, but there's no good way to lock it in position without glue. It's powered by an internal rechargeable Li-Ion battery; charged with a little Micro-USB cord.
- Riding posture is leaned forward, but the grips are round and only a bit bigger than the bars. (i.e. thin) That's going to put the hands to sleep by ulnar nerve compression pretty quickly. This can be fixed with a set of $16 grips from Amazon.
- Instructions are crap. They're written in technical terms and translated from Chinese, so the wrong terms are used sometimes. For example, when talking about adjusting the saddle, they refer to the "downtube" instead of the seat tube. They need to add some annotated drawings and have it proofread by a native English speaking bike tech. If I were not mechanically inclined, I would've had to make The Drive of Shame to the LBS, and maybe be told "we don't work on Chinese internet bikes."
- The charge jack cover tether is indeed flimsy, but if it breaks, the cover should still stay in place; there's enough friction there.
- No water bottle bosses. WTH?! It does have some bosses on the bottom of the downtube; don't know what they're for just yet. Probably some proprietary Magicycle stuff.
- There are a LOT of 5 mm Allen fasteners on the bike, but no 5 mm key provided. That's annoying, as the tool kit came in a nice little nylon zip bag and the tool quality is decent. I found a spare 5 mm in a bag of allen keys inherited from my dad.
- Walk Mode requires the DOWN button to be held down. That's dumb.
- Tail light is not integrated into the bike's electric system. Please spend the extra $5 to make this happen, Magicycle.
- Brakes require quite a firm squeeze to get adequate power from 20 mph. They're not nearly as strong as rim brakes on a mountain bike or hydraulic discs. I'm fine with mechanical at this price point, but give them proper leverage, at least.
- No key switch and battery is built-in; better lock this thing up! Why are eBike mfrs. not including this on the bikes? It's so simple!

I'm going to try to get an inner tube from them, but I'm not going to feel too confident in it.

If it were my bike, I'd immediately replace the pedals, saddle and grips and glue the tail light hinge at the right angle.

I've never seen a 17 year old boy so happy as when I sent him home on it last night.

Here are some pix; more in the following posts.




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Old 07-26-23, 03:11 PM
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It jus occurred to me that the front wheel is quick release. This is not good, on a commuter bike. It's also inconsistent with the seat tube clamp needing an allen wrench to ste... adjust.

More pix:


It's a 1-hour saddle. Note the seat tube clamp doesn't have a quick-release cam. This makes sense on a commuter bike.



Telescoping fender stay adjustments; nice touch; very handy for centering the fenders properly.



Heavy and frictiony Wellgo pedals. Centerstand is an A+!



Simple, but nice & legible (day or night) display.



All electrical cables have plugs for easy servicing. Cable routing is good.
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Old 07-26-23, 03:15 PM
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Last batch of pix:


Aerodynamic wheels, nice tires, Presta valves.




Very strong pannier-only rack. Crappy tail light w/built-in Li-Ion battery. What is the purpose of the removable part of the right seat stay?



Crappy CST-branded inner tube; blew open at the seam at only 60 psi.



Thank you letter from the lad. He was well-raised .
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Old 07-26-23, 08:21 PM
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The purpose of the removable seat stay section is so you can remove/replace the belt drive. You can’t “break” a belt drive like a chain.
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Old 07-26-23, 10:15 PM
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The Achilles Heel of that bike is the 7ah battery. My battery is like 20ah. I just read this entire thread in 15 minutes. It never occurred to me the o.p. already got the bike until they said so. Sigh. Anything by Aventon or Juiced Bikes would be more practical. Why don't people believe that e-bikes cost $3K for a good reason? But an Aventon for $1K is as cheap as anyone should want to go. Anyway, the good news is the brakes probably just need braking in (heh). At least the breaking will get better.
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Old 07-26-23, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
The Achilles Heel of that bike is the 7ah battery. My battery is like 20ah. I just read this entire thread in 15 minutes. It never occurred to me the o.p. already got the bike until they said so. Sigh.
Sorry to leave you hanging.

Anything by Aventon or Juiced Bikes would be more practical. Why don't people believe that e-bikes cost $3K for a good reason? But an Aventon for $1K is as cheap as anyone should want to go.
Itís irrelevant, because his budget was $600, and he had to save awhile and pool his birthday gift money to raise that.

Telling him he should save the rest of the summer because his budget was too low wouldnít have been doing him any favors. Heís ecstatic about it and for his uses, a 30 mile range will be adequate.

eBikes with a 52 V, 20 Ah battery are a LOT heavier than this and usually have inefficient fat tires. They NEED more power to haul themselves around.

This bike, on the other hand, weighs only 45 lbs and has smooth rolling 70x38 tires with street tread.

Anyway, the good news is the brakes probably just need braking in (heh). At least the breaking will get better.
Ah, that IS good news; thanks!
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Old 07-26-23, 11:17 PM
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Also, the bike was ordered a week or so ago and only arrived yesterday. Itís not like I had it all along and was wasting all yíallís time.
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Old 07-26-23, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
Also, the bike was ordered a week or so ago and only arrived yesterday. Itís not like I had it all along and was wasting all yíallís time.
Wasn't implying that. Just saying I was reading through the posts waiting to have my say and ... that's all. None of it is on you.
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Old 07-27-23, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
Why don't people believe that e-bikes cost $3K for a good reason?
Re. this part, I remember thinking that too, before I got my first eBike. I think it's because of comparison to used motorcycles and new & used scooters.

$3k would also buy you:
  • A nice used motorcycle that can go 80 mph as long as it has gas
  • A nice 150cc class scooter than can go 55 mph as long as it has gas and return 90+ mpg.
  • A nice new 49cc class scooter that can go 35-40 and return 100+ mpg.
Most $3k ebikes will only go 20-28 mph and are limited in range to 20-50 miles before needing a 6+ hour charge. On the other hand, with an eBike:
  • We get exercise; as much or little as we want
  • Cheaper upkeep? (no licensing or registration or insurance is needed [yet]) but battery lifespan can kill that)
  • Can take many of them on MUPs without getting in trouble.
Another good compromise is retrofit bicycle engines. My state (WI) has pretty lenient laws for them, and they can go 40+ mph. They're cheap too, around $200 and you just need a cheap donor steel framed mountain bike.
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Old 07-27-23, 08:56 AM
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Ethan's mom approached me the other evening. She said she's going to start saving for an eBike for herself, and wants my advice when it's time to buy.

I'm spreading the eBike gospel!

I originally planned to have my wife ride it to keep up with me on my acoustic bike. But she thought it was too heavy.
...so I started riding it. Used it for commuting and errands, even through the winter.
Then, my 17 year-old stepdaughter wanted one. (if she would quit crashing them and her car, she'd probably have one by now)
Then, my 11 year-old daughter wanted one. (She rides my Lectric XP Lite when she's over)
Then, my stepdaughter's boyfriend tried the Lectric and wanted one. His choice (money's no object) is the Aventon cargo bike. But money is very much an object for a 17 year old from humble background, so he got this. ^
Now, my wife is riding her own eBike with me at least weekly and the stepdaughter's boyfriend's mom
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Old 04-06-24, 08:17 PM
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Magicycle is total joke! Clearly a company conjured out of thin air pimping mediocre products with the worst customer service you can imagine. They screw up what you order and then screw up shipping it to you. And when you inquire WTF they just offer weird CYA BS trying to lay off responsibility to the cosmos or some other mystical fubar. Do not do business with this company!
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Old 04-06-24, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mb1154
Magicycle is total joke! Clearly a company conjured out of thin air pimping mediocre products with the worst customer service you can imagine. They screw up what you order and then screw up shipping it to you. And when you inquire WTF they just offer weird CYA BS trying to lay off responsibility to the cosmos or some other mystical fubar. Do not do business with this company!
While it might or might not be useful info the thread is from last year and hasn't been updated since then. Maybe create new more relevant threads.
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Old 04-10-24, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
While it might or might not be useful info the thread is from last year and hasn't been updated since then. Maybe create new more relevant threads.
He just came to a handy spot to bash Magicycle, providing no useful details at all.
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Old 04-11-24, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
He just came to a handy spot to bash Magicycle, providing no useful details at all.
Yeah it is silly provide details or something, sure they are crap but the classic attack no substance on an old thread just doesn't make sense. If you have to dig up the old thread provide useful info.
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Old 04-11-24, 09:41 PM
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Kind of harsh IMO to someone in their first post. We can glean that the individual didn't receive what was ordered and it wasn't delivered properly, then the company wasn't very responsive when contacted. Anyone who wanted more information could ask for it rather than just attacking. Great way to grow the site.
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