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ENVO ST: A Very Canadian Easy Step-Thru eBike

By Ali Kazemkhani

Oct 05, 2020

ENVO ST: A Very Canadian Easy Step-Thru eBike
Reading ENVO ST: A Very Canadian Easy Step-Thru eBike 5 minutes Next Electric SnowKart First Generation

Immediately after the ENVO D35 successfully launched in late 2018, we received several comments from professional dealers and individual users asking about a step-thru version. They wanted an ebike with a similar weight and electric-assist system that delivers the same performance, style, and cost, but with the added feature of a more accessible-friendly frame. Challenge accepted!

Ebikes and other electric vehicles offer those with mobility difficulties a solution for getting exercise and fresh air they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The step-thru design fulfills this need and provides a solution to more people, allowing riders to hop on and off the bike with ease. Even people without mobility issues prefer the more elegant design of the step-thru over a more angular frame.

As a bonus, if you like to wear baggy shorts, a skirt, or a dress, the step-thru design can stop you from revealing too much when you get on or off the bicycle.

As a product design project, 75% of the product specs on the ENVO ST are pre-determined by the ENVO D35 design. Using a common platform for the main electrical and mechanical components simplifies maintenance and after sales services for partnering bike shops and do-it-yourselfers.

Who Needs An ENVO Step-Thru

Almost all age groups and abilities can use the ENVO ST. Although it would be less performance-focused than the D35, it would be more comfortable, relaxed and adaptive. The ENVO ST address the needs of a broader spectrum of riders among seniors who have hip, knee or other physical injuries or disabilities. Anyone over 16 years of age, from slightly under 5′ up to 6’5″, 250lbs, could safely use the bike.

How To Use An ENVO Step-Thru

ENVO ST is a comfortable urban electric bike with trail capabilities. It is capable of climbing and descending hilly roads and trails but wouldn’t be a candidate for downhill single-track mountain biking or road racing.

ENVO Step-Thru Key Features

  • Maximum street-legal performance of 32km/h (20mph) and average 10% grade climbing ability
  • Proudly claimed Canadian electric bike style and look
  • Stability and ease of control at high speeds for paved, dirt or gravel trails
  • Lightweight to help the user maintain balance or lift
  • Easy to hang off a bike rack
  • Safest braking performance with 180mm rotor hydraulic disk brakes
  • Enough range for a long ride tolerance in low-to-average levels of assist
  • Ergonomic adjustability
  • -20 degree Celsius temperature tolerance for the battery and electronics
  • IP65 electric component protection from dust and water

Product Market Positioning And Benchmarks

North American, European or A-grade Asian electric bike brands such as Trek, Specialized, Gazelle, Cube, Giant, Cannondale offer reasonably specked ebikes priced above CAD$3000 (USD$2200). On the other side of the spectrum, Asian products such as Radpower, Velec, Diadora, Junction, Ancheer offer low-cost ebikes at or below CAD$2000 (USD$1500) have compromised the component quality and are missing features. ENVO has a product that costs around CAD$2500 (USD$1900) MSRP, including all desired features, without sacrificing quality.

Cost Of Ownership Maintenance And Service

The ENVO ST maintains the use of standard bicycle parts that can be serviced and replaced by bike mechanics everywhere. All electric components should be modular and easy to replace for do-it-yourself repair and replacement in case of failure. ENVO’s business model should allow maintenance and repair to be simple, cheap and available for remote areas.

Frame Design And Battery Positioning

The upper tube is eliminated, and the battery is located out of the way of the step. The frame is stylish with fat but thin-walled hydroformed aluminum profiles and shouldn’t deviate from the D35 frame design features too much.

Frame Strength And Reinforcement

By eliminating the upper tube, the strength of the closed triangular frame is missed. The downtube profile is reinforced at certain spots, including welding joints at the head shell and seat tube to bear the bending moments during braking. Any reinforcements or changes in the frame’s profile should be a part of the style consistency. The step-thru is priced similarly to the D35 with a comparable weight

Frame Ergonomic Design

The seat tube angle, effective top tube length, head tube angle, wheelbase, and seat tube length are the major dimensions to be maintained, guaranteeing the rider’s comfort and healthy posture. The ENVO ST should be considered a more comfortable urban bike compared to other bikes on the market. The seating position is designed more upright with adjustability options for people of various heights and abilities. A wider comfort saddle and a quick-release adjustable handlebar stem are added for increased accessibility.

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