Aventon’s sleek new Pace e-bikes won’t break the bank

Aventon is one of the most popular e-bike companies in the United States, and its Pace cruiser bikes have long been the company’s best-selling rides. Now the company is updating its Pace 350 and 500, both of which received major redesigns this week meant to make the bikes more comfortable and easier to ride.

I was able to spend a few days with the latest version of the Pace 500 Step-Through, and it works great for not a lot of money.

First, some basic specs. Here are the numbers for the Pace 350:

  • Price: $1,399
  • Motor: 36V, 350W
  • Battery: 417 Wh with LG cells
  • Range: 39 km (24 mi) with throttle only, 39-64 km (24-40 mi) with pedal assist. Measured with a 75 kg (165 lb) rider on level ground.
  • Maximum speed: 32 km/h (20 mph)
  • Weight: 22.2 kg (49 lbs)
  • Tyres: Kenda 27.5″ X 2.2″ (650b)
  • Brakes: Mechanical disc brakes with engine cut-off

Now for the Pace 500:

  • Price: $1,699
  • Motor: 48V, 500W
  • Battery: 614 Wh with LG cells
  • Range: 48 km (30 mi) throttle only, 39-76 km (24-47 mi) pedal assist. Measured with a 75 kg (165 lb) rider on flat ground
  • Top speed: 45 km/h (28 mph) with pedal assist, 32 km/h (20 mph) with accelerator
  • Weight: 23.6 kg (52 lbs)
  • Tyres: Kenda 27.5″ X 2.2″ (650b)
  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes with engine shut-off

Aventon was known for affordable and attractive fixed-gear bikes before they entered the e-bike market, and their latest models bring back some of that stylish DNA.

As announced recently solterra, the new Pace models offer a clean design that feels much more refined than the older models. While previous models had a battery hump that protruded from the frames of the bikes, the new ones tuck the battery neatly into the downtube. It’s not quite “stealth e-bike” territory, but it’s a good compromise.

But by far the coolest design detail of the new bikes are the taillights integrated into the rear seatstays, which also light up whenever you brake. Although I’m personally drawn to more standard components for repairability, there’s no denying that they look awesome:

Aventon Pace 500 Step-through Rear E-Bike

It’s a small detail, but one that sets these bikes apart from a myriad of affordable e-bikes with similar frames and electronics.

At this point, Aventon also uses a high-resolution color screen that looks way better than almost anything else in this price range, and a headlight that’s bright enough to let you see the road ahead, not just be seen. The Brain of the Bike also lets you connect to a surprisingly well-equipped Bluetooth app where you can track your stats and the like.

Likewise, the bike’s frame itself looks and feels great, with smooth welds and high-gloss paintwork that belies its price tag. I also appreciate that the bikes are relatively light by e-bike standards; it’s not uncommon to see 500W e-bikes weigh well over 60lbs (27kg). That said, if you’re looking for something almost as light as a regular bike, you should check out the Solterra instead.

Ride quality is also excellent, thanks in large part to balanced weight distribution, an ergonomic riding position, a luxurious saddle and plush 650b tires. I much prefer these types of “balloon” tires to the cheap suspension forks found on many e-bikes in this price range. I also prefer them to big tires. 650b tires offer similar comfort and more agility than fat tires, but you’re also much more likely to find a replacement for a damaged tire, tube, or rim at your local bike shop.

Aventon Pace 500 Stepper Electric Bike

Now for my pet peeve: the Pace family uses a standard cadence sensor, rather than a more sophisticated torque sensor. I wrote a whole article about the benefits of torque sensors, but the bottom line is that cadence sensors act like an on-off switch engaged by your pedaling, while torque sensors sense exactly how far you’re pedaling to provide you with a proportional amount of power. These engage quicker and more responsively – and they simply feel a lot nicer to pedal.

At Aventon’s dump, it’s very rare to find a torque sensor under $2,000. But it’s become more common recently with bikes like the Tenways CGO600 and the Fiido-X. That said, these bikes are even more expensive and don’t offer a throttle, which at least compensates for the cadence sensor lag when going uphill or from a dead stop at high speed.

Aventon’s cadence sensor is also smoother than most, but still takes about half a turn of the crank to engage. It would be nice to see one of the more popular e-bike manufacturers come out on top by offering a torque sensor – I’d even gladly pay for an upgrade kit, as many e-bike controllers support a torque sensor torque even if the bike itself doesn’t have one – but maybe we’ll get lucky with the next redesign.

There’s a lot to like here, and the only variable I really miss in my hands-on period is an extended range test. Luckily Aventon provide more extensive range figures than most manufacturers, including the range you should get at different assist levels and speeds, so check the official Pace 350 and 500 pages for details on that. . They seem realistic based on my real-world testing with similar spec e-bikes.

Aventon Pace 500 Stepper Electric Bike

It’s hard to fault Aventon’s Pace 500 Step-Through; it’s one of the finest e-bikes I’ve tested in any price range, so the fact that it costs $1,700 makes it an easy recommendation in my book. Assuming the other models in the line hold up similarly, it should be high on your list if you’re shopping for a new e-bike.