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Aventon Pace 500.3 - Early Returns

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Aventon Pace 500.3 - Early Returns

Old 10-05-23, 06:10 AM
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Aventon Pace 500.3 - Early Returns

Well, I've *almost* bought an e-bike for a couple of years now. But I finally went and did it. I am 63yo and seriously out of shape (6ft, 270lb), plus I have some joint issues in my neck and wrists that cause real pain.. So the ideal bike I was looking for was a comfort bike with an upright riding position, a high torque mid-drive motor and torque sensor, good battery life, hydraulic disk brakes, and "chubby" street tires about 2.3 - 2.5in, UL-listed powertrain and still reasonably priced - $2500 or less. I was also leaning heavily toward a step-through design and didn't want something *too* heavy.

I still haven't found that bike, but I got tired of waiting and didn't want the great to be the enemy of the good. I saw that the recently introduced Aventon Pace 500.3 had added a torque sensor, and upgraded the controller for improved performance on hills. I felt more comfortable with Aventon than pure direct-to-consumer bikes, because these are also sold in many bike shops - so I could try it before I buy and get dealer service easily enough if needed. I saw that two local shops had them and went to pay one a visit. The price was discounted a bit to $1,699, which lowered risk and would allow me to buy a guest bike later if I wanted to. I liked it on the test ride in the neighborhood and purchased!

It has many of the things I wanted - step-through design, true comfort bike geometry, torque sensor, hydraulic disk brakes, a UL-listed powertrain, and a 2-year warranty to boot. It's fairly light weight for an e-bike anyway, rated at 52lb, so not too difficult for me to load it in/out of the hitch carrier or carry it across a few stairs when needed. Minus the battery it's probably about 44lb.

It doesn't have the mid drive motor and high torque, but what I have found is that even at 270lb, it's powerful enough for me to ride up moderate slopes with pedal assist. I haven't taken any real long rides, but range looks like it will be somewhere between 30-60 miles even at my size, depending on the terrain, which will be plenty for anything I plan to do. I ride it at about 15mph in eco-mode typically, while supplying some leg power, as I want to get exercise. I only use the throttle for taking off and entering the roadway.

I did swap in a Specialized Body Geometry/Cup saddle and a Thudbuster ST seat post, and may add a lower tier Rock Shox fork as well. You don't need the fork on paved roads, but there is a dirt/gravel road here in the wildlife refuge with miles of nasty washboards that vibrate the crap out of your hands, wrists and forearms - so that would be the main reason for getting a basic airspring fork.

I don't ride in cold weather, so more extensive experience will have to wait until next year, but I've got about 75 miles on it over half a dozen rides, and so far, so good :-)

P.S. One demerit for this bike is that the step-through model doesn't have any water bottle bosses on it. My typical ride is half an hour to an hour, so it's not a dealbreaker.

Last edited by YankeeRider; 10-05-23 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 10-05-23, 09:34 AM
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Bundle up and get out there in the cold; it's fun (well in socal where we get snow once a year if we're lucky).
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Old 10-05-23, 02:13 PM
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YankeeRider, I hope you enjoy your Aventon as much as I do my Aventon Level.2. I too have wrist pain as well as back problems. I modified my bike with more swept back handlebars, a suspension seat post and clip less pedals. I only use boost level 1 so I get a little exercise. The Level.2 came with suspension forks and with the other mods has a good ride. Not pain free but tolerable. 35 psi in the tires helps too!
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Old 10-05-23, 02:49 PM
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by 2old
Bundle up and get out there in the cold; it's fun (well in socal where we get snow once a year if we're lucky).
By the end of this month the highs might be in the 40s, but we're still having some extended "Indian summer" right now and they are in the 60s here, which is not too bad, so I should get out there while I still can, you're right, 2old - it's not going to get any warmer, until well into next April!

P.S. Thanks for the nudge - it made me think and I went out after work and it was actually warmer than the forecast and at least I got in one more ride... I'll try to keep looking for what may be other good days while they last :-)

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Old 10-05-23, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by spudston
YankeeRider, I hope you enjoy your Aventon as much as I do my Aventon Level.2. I too have wrist pain as well as back problems. I modified my bike with more swept back handlebars, a suspension seat post and clip less pedals. I only use boost level 1 so I get a little exercise. The Level.2 came with suspension forks and with the other mods has a good ride. Not pain free but tolerable. 35 psi in the tires helps too!
Nice :-) And yes, that's the same thing I've been doing - I ride in the lowest assist level and pedal the entire time except on significant downslopes, it's like riding with a tailwind :-) I like the torque sensor. At first I was worried that this wouldn't be enough bike, and on mountainous roads, it wouldn't be enough bike for my weight, but I live along the east coast in Massachusetts and there just isn't much around in the way of long or steep slopes, and it's totally fine here.
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Old 10-18-23, 12:33 PM
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I think you made a good choice, Yankee. I'm another one with a Level.2 who installed an adjustable stem to get them a bit more relaxed. However, it's not stable enough now to ride no-handed; it immediately goes into a death wobble if I try because it was designed for that aggressive "urban commuting" steering geometry. I was questioning my judgment to get this instead of the Pace 500, but it's a moot point now.

I've got about 800 miles on mine now and everything is holding up well. The hydraulic brakes and nice integrated lights are especially nice. I get respect from motorists as I'm easy to see and predictable. The latest Pace 500.3 has integrated turn signals too, which I wish I had, but I'll make do with hand signals or get a helmet with turn signals maybe.

Aventon quality is very good; it's hard to portray online, but when you see them in person and ride around the parking lot, it's immediately noticeable.

I got back into cycling via eBikes. I felt like I was too out of shape to commute on my "acoustic" bike and went all fall, winter and spring on the eBike. I love being able to take it easy and arrive at work without sweat, then I can wick up my effort a bit on the way home. Or, I can load up 50 lbs. of groceries and still be able to climb the hills.

+1 to riding all winter. I'm in Wisconsin and I do it. I just skip it on the snow days and days below about 20įF. I swap the bike helmet for a ski helmet, cycling gloves for ski gloves (warmer) and just try not to wear too much jacket. Legs are a bit cold after my two mile commute, but I can cope. You'll feel so much more energized if you keep riding all winter.

As you get into better shape, you can do more and more of the work, until you find yourself daring to not use the motor at ALL. At that point, you'll realize you can ride an acoustic bike that weighs half as much and be well on your way to decent fitness.

Got to watch the eating and drinking habits. I lost 15 lbs when I started road biking and stopped drinking, but then started drinking again and gained 3 back. If I could knock off the drinking, I'm sure I'd lose another 10 with no other changes. (I need to lose 25 lbs. more to get back into the "normal" weight range; I'm 5'8, 182#; need to be 159# max.)

Good luck and keep it up! Your bike will satisfy you, I'm sure.

Idea for your guest/2nd eBike: Lectric XP Lite. It's only $800, it's a simple single speed, but it folds and is light enough to reasonably load into your car and take with you. My 11 year old daughter rides mine.
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Old 10-23-23, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
I think you made a good choice, Yankee. I'm another one with a Level.2 who installed an adjustable stem to get them a bit more relaxed. However, it's not stable enough now to ride no-handed; it immediately goes into a death wobble if I try because it was designed for that aggressive "urban commuting" steering geometry. I was questioning my judgment to get this instead of the Pace 500, but it's a moot point now.

I've got about 800 miles on mine now and everything is holding up well. The hydraulic brakes and nice integrated lights are especially nice. I get respect from motorists as I'm easy to see and predictable. The latest Pace 500.3 has integrated turn signals too, which I wish I had, but I'll make do with hand signals or get a helmet with turn signals maybe.

Aventon quality is very good; it's hard to portray online, but when you see them in person and ride around the parking lot, it's immediately noticeable.

I got back into cycling via eBikes. I felt like I was too out of shape to commute on my "acoustic" bike and went all fall, winter and spring on the eBike. I love being able to take it easy and arrive at work without sweat, then I can wick up my effort a bit on the way home. Or, I can load up 50 lbs. of groceries and still be able to climb the hills.

+1 to riding all winter. I'm in Wisconsin and I do it. I just skip it on the snow days and days below about 20įF. I swap the bike helmet for a ski helmet, cycling gloves for ski gloves (warmer) and just try not to wear too much jacket. Legs are a bit cold after my two mile commute, but I can cope. You'll feel so much more energized if you keep riding all winter.

As you get into better shape, you can do more and more of the work, until you find yourself daring to not use the motor at ALL. At that point, you'll realize you can ride an acoustic bike that weighs half as much and be well on your way to decent fitness.

Got to watch the eating and drinking habits. I lost 15 lbs when I started road biking and stopped drinking, but then started drinking again and gained 3 back. If I could knock off the drinking, I'm sure I'd lose another 10 with no other changes. (I need to lose 25 lbs. more to get back into the "normal" weight range; I'm 5'8, 182#; need to be 159# max.)

Good luck and keep it up! Your bike will satisfy you, I'm sure.

Idea for your guest/2nd eBike: Lectric XP Lite. It's only $800, it's a simple single speed, but it folds and is light enough to reasonably load into your car and take with you. My 11 year old daughter rides mine.
20 degrees? You're a better man than I . Regarding the quality, I agree. There are dozens of new small companies selling low-er cost e-bikes than you will find at the big, traditional brands. However you can see that many of these companies are very small companies that are really trying their best to wring out every dollar of cost from their operation, and my concern is that some may be cutting some corners I don't want cut, and it's not just the component choices that are of concern. I am sure that it costs Aventon more to offer a dealer network, that's backing a 2-year warranty, and offering pre-sales test rides on a fully assembled bike, to have gone through the UL safety certification process with the powertrains on the their bikes, so as to verify for customers that the likelihood of electrical fires is low. But these things reassured me and that was what made me finally pull the trigger. Aventon is probably still not that large a company, but they do things like the big boys do, and still manage to keep their prices very reasonable.

And thanks for your encouragement - we are all on our own unique fitness journey! So long as we don't give up, we are moving forward.

Last edited by YankeeRider; 10-23-23 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 11-15-23, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by YankeeRider
20 degrees? You're a better man than I . Regarding the quality, I agree. There are dozens of new small companies selling low-er cost e-bikes than you will find at the big, traditional brands. However you can see that many of these companies are very small companies that are really trying their best to wring out every dollar of cost from their operation, and my concern is that some may be cutting some corners I don't want cut, and it's not just the component choices that are of concern. I am sure that it costs Aventon more to offer a dealer network, that's backing a 2-year warranty, and offering pre-sales test rides on a fully assembled bike, to have gone through the UL safety certification process with the powertrains on the their bikes, so as to verify for customers that the likelihood of electrical fires is low. But these things reassured me and that was what made me finally pull the trigger. Aventon is probably still not that large a company, but they do things like the big boys do, and still manage to keep their prices very reasonable.

And thanks for your encouragement - we are all on our own unique fitness journey! So long as we don't give up, we are moving forward.
Re. the bolded part, I'm a regulatory engineer (electronics background). I worked for UL for 21 years and now I work for Snap-on Tools, helping them get cordless tools certified. They don't appear to be UL certified, but TUV. TUV is a UL competitor, but they don't write standards, like UL does. On the other hand, it appears they have not has the Level.2 certified; only the original Level:
https://www.certipedia.com/search/ma...ates?q=Aventon

It's better than not having been considered at all, but not as good as if they'd gotten the .2 version certified.

They seem to use SGS (another UL competitor) to have the battery pack certified.

My charger is UL Listed; that's good. I don't know why they didn't just use UL for everything; probably could've gotten a package deal. (They should've hired me when I was available, hehehe.)

I'm going to make a separate post on safety certifications on eBikes here in a minute; it might be of interest to more than just you and I.

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Old 02-09-24, 10:47 AM
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Just bought a Aventon 500.3 for the girlfriend. Only a couple of short rides so far but she is beyond happy with the bike.

Test rode the bike in a DC shop. Liked the bike so much the GF accidentally ordered on line during the drive home when comparing prices. Bike was delivered in 3 days, assembled by me in maybe 20 minutes. Impressively the bike came with everything needed to assemble. A multi tool, heavy pedal wrench, even a package of grease. Bike was packed with jute, cardboard and paper, no zip ties or plastic, so all packing material went into recycle. Nice touch I thought. Charged the battery, inflated tires and went for a ride, very easy.

Felt bad about the test ride then on line order, but the shop was listing the bike for $200 more than the on line price. Ended up getting the bike, including tax, plus fenders, rear rack and a folding lock for the list price in the shop. In the shop's defense Aventon says assembly is $180, so probably the difference there.

GF was a non-rider but wanted an ebike so we can tool around together. Started her on an old acoustic bike, which she didn't like. She fell off my oversized Cannodale/BBSHD conversion. Bounced real good, thought that was the end of riding. She was adamant about an upright riding position, step through frame and no "skinny" tires. I wanted a low weight bike to make it easier to ride. Bike pretty much checks all the boxes.

We rode the Trek FX-2, which fit her perfectly and was very light. Super nice bike but very pricy and underpowered. Smaller battery but sufficient for the type of riding we will do. Noticed a direct correlation between bike weight and power/battery capacity. I was wondering about the Trek's small, non-geared hub motor pushing the GF up hills. She needed a large frame.

Bike has integrated head light, brake light and turn signals. Head light works surprisingly well, nice beam pattern and plenty bright. I'm envious of the brake light. Turn signals seem nice but personally wonder how effective they will be. They are on the frame next to the hub, rear facing only, not very visible and obscured by the rear wheel.

Bike is very stable to ride, super easy to get on and off of. Hydro brakes modulate well, trigger shifter works. Wish the assist levels were adjustable. Bike really takes off even in the lowest assist level. I was looking forward to experiencing the torque sensor but initial ride it doesn't seem to do anything differently from the pedal assist on the BBSHD. Bike has a thumb throttle which has a nice smooth delivery with slow boost ramp up. Assist cuts out at 20 mph, but can dial this up to 28 mph via a phone app. Controls are intuitive and well placed. Battery is good sized, well integrated and easy to remove. Battery in the down tube means no water bottle bosses, but the straight upright riding position allows backpack hydration bladder. Plan on fitting a front basket at some point.

So all around a nice bike. Looking forward to a good year of riding together.
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Old 02-11-24, 11:32 PM
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My Level.2 has the battery in the down tube but has water bottle cage bosses bosses there, so thatís not the reason itís absent.

I also feel like the assistance in PAS1 was a bit much and I told them so. They said they would pass it onto the engineering team, but it has apparently been ignored.

These bikes have a good mix of quality, value and efficiency. Iím finding their range estimates are accurate for taking it easy on PAS1, which is refreshing.

Congrats to your girl!
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Old 02-13-24, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood
Just bought a Aventon 500.3 for the girlfriend. Only a couple of short rides so far but she is beyond happy with the bike.

Test rode the bike in a DC shop. Liked the bike so much the GF accidentally ordered on line during the drive home when comparing prices. Bike was delivered in 3 days, assembled by me in maybe 20 minutes. Impressively the bike came with everything needed to assemble. A multi tool, heavy pedal wrench, even a package of grease. Bike was packed with jute, cardboard and paper, no zip ties or plastic, so all packing material went into recycle. Nice touch I thought. Charged the battery, inflated tires and went for a ride, very easy.

Felt bad about the test ride then on line order, but the shop was listing the bike for $200 more than the on line price. Ended up getting the bike, including tax, plus fenders, rear rack and a folding lock for the list price in the shop. In the shop's defense Aventon says assembly is $180, so probably the difference there.

GF was a non-rider but wanted an ebike so we can tool around together. Started her on an old acoustic bike, which she didn't like. She fell off my oversized Cannodale/BBSHD conversion. Bounced real good, thought that was the end of riding. She was adamant about an upright riding position, step through frame and no "skinny" tires. I wanted a low weight bike to make it easier to ride. Bike pretty much checks all the boxes.

We rode the Trek FX-2, which fit her perfectly and was very light. Super nice bike but very pricy and underpowered. Smaller battery but sufficient for the type of riding we will do. Noticed a direct correlation between bike weight and power/battery capacity. I was wondering about the Trek's small, non-geared hub motor pushing the GF up hills. She needed a large frame.

Bike has integrated head light, brake light and turn signals. Head light works surprisingly well, nice beam pattern and plenty bright. I'm envious of the brake light. Turn signals seem nice but personally wonder how effective they will be. They are on the frame next to the hub, rear facing only, not very visible and obscured by the rear wheel.

Bike is very stable to ride, super easy to get on and off of. Hydro brakes modulate well, trigger shifter works. Wish the assist levels were adjustable. Bike really takes off even in the lowest assist level. I was looking forward to experiencing the torque sensor but initial ride it doesn't seem to do anything differently from the pedal assist on the BBSHD. Bike has a thumb throttle which has a nice smooth delivery with slow boost ramp up. Assist cuts out at 20 mph, but can dial this up to 28 mph via a phone app. Controls are intuitive and well placed. Battery is good sized, well integrated and easy to remove. Battery in the down tube means no water bottle bosses, but the straight upright riding position allows backpack hydration bladder. Plan on fitting a front basket at some point.

So all around a nice bike. Looking forward to a good year of riding together.
Glad she is really enjoying the new purchase. It's a very rider-friendly bike that costs a little more than some of the entry level bikes, but if you step back and look at the whole range of pricing, it's still quite moderate, and in my opinion the value is there. A number of features lift it above the bare bones models. I actually quite like the feel of the torque sensor response, and the fact that it encourages remaining engaged in pedaling the bike instead of relying on the throttle :-). I do use the throttle, but only for initial takeoff, so I only ride it for maybe 30-40 feet before I've transitioned over to assisted pedal power. You won't be able to feel the torque sensor work when the thumb throttle is in use of course. The upright riding position with the handlebars high is a true comfort-bike geometry, great for those with any joint issues in wrists, neck or back - which includes me.

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Old 02-14-24, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by YankeeRider
...The upright riding position with the handlebars high is a true comfort-bike geometry, great for those with any joint issues in wrists, neck or back - which includes me.
I would think that a more leaned-forward bike would be easier on the back, since the shocks from the road would be split between the spine and arms, but I guess it depends on the back problem. Some people have back pain from bending forward, others have it from sitting too much.
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Old 02-19-24, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
My Level.2 has the battery in the down tube but has water bottle cage bosses bosses there, so thatís not the reason itís absent.
Congrats to your girl!
On this model the battery detaches from the top of the downtube. Water bottle bosses would have to mount to the battery itself. Don't think there is clearance to put them on the underside of the tube.

I have a set of the SKS strap on bottle bosses, but that would strap in the battery. She got the step through so no top tube. I could put them on the seat tube, but that would be a long reach, especially for a new rider.

Been 25 degrees around here.
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Old 02-19-24, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Smaug1
I would think that a more leaned-forward bike would be easier on the back, since the shocks from the road would be split between the spine and arms, but I guess it depends on the back problem. Some people have back pain from bending forward, others have it from sitting too much.
My recumbent is the most comfortable bike I've ever ridden. Switching off to my normal bike really makes me feel the pain in my neck, which in my case radiates down to my arms and hands. Riding the bent actually relaxes my neck, it will crack and pop as I ride.

I do wonder what the bolt upright position of the ebike will do powering up hills. Guess that is where the motor comes in.
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