First Impressions of the Ness Icon, My First Electric Bike

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After researching several folding electric bicycles, I finally settled on the Ness Icon, which I already discussed.  You can read the full specs here as well.  Yesterday, I received the bike late in the day, so today was my first time riding it.

I had never ridden any electric bicycle before, or really any motorized bike before, so my first ride was quite an experience, partly because it was new but mostly because I was eager to try it out before a thunderstorm I could see and hear in the distance reached my location.

The first thing I had to do was get the bike out of the house, where I had assembled and charged it (by the way assembly was straightforward and there will be more on that in the review) and with it weighing just a little over 50 pounds, I needed a little help getting it down the front steps.  I don’t think this is a bike I’ll be able to life into the back of my car by myself unless I remove the battery which weighs around 7 pounds.

Then maybe…but we’ll see.

Anyway, I was ready to go so I put it into level one pedal assist and off I went not knowing if I should expect a herky jerky sensation or what.  I was happy to discover that the bike takes off smoothly and transitions between different pedal assist levels (there’s five) are also smooth.

I tried out the throttle in level 5 and while it was a little faster than I was used to riding a bike on my neighborhood street, the bike remained stable.  There was no wobble or a feeling like the bike could lose control.

With 20″ tires and a small frame I wasn’t sure what to expect but on smooth pavement the bike handles very well.

Well, I didn’t get to go on a long ride, as I heard lightning sizzle through the sky above me and then suddenly a loud thunderclap like a “bam!” similar to the sound a garage door that falls too quickly makes.  It was a close one.

I wanted an electric bike but not powered by lightning!

That sent me home in a hurry, so I decided to just use the throttle and motor it back home and it sure got me home quick.  My son and husband were on the front porch waiting for me and as I was maneuvering my way up the driveway, between vehicles, a boat trailer, and another large trailer, I thought I’d give the bike a little half pedal motion to make it into the garage.

Unfortunately, I forgot that I was still in level five pedal assist and well, I wasn’t expecting to go up the driveway on a rocket and nearly slammed into a trailer.

Of course, I could hear the laughter because it must have been a sight but I learned my lesson!

You have to ride an electric bike a little bit differently than a regular bike.  Ha!

Other than a sore ankle and knee, from using my foot on the ground to stop the bike, there was no harm done.

I’m happy to say that my second ride was much better.  The only thing I need to learn is how to shift the gears properly.  Even though there’s only seven, I’m not accustomed to the type of gear system the bike has but I’m figuring it out.  Also, the bike needs to be greased for a smoother transition between the gears.

There’s some squeaks that I think a little grease will take care of too.

The seat is actually decent.  I know with a lot of bikes, the seat that comes with them is usually about as comfortable as riding on a bumpy road on a wooden rail fence.

This one is fine.  The seat tilts up for easy access to the battery but I’ll still be upgrading to a wider saddle and one with good shock absorption.  While the front forks do a good job absorbing a lot of the bumps on the front of the bike, the seat would benefit from either a shock absorption seat post and/or a better saddle.

Since I’m only 5’1″, I can’t really use a seat post with shock absorption because you can only lower them so far and I have to put the seat down as low as it will go to ride safely.  As I wrote in another post, the bike does accommodate my short stature well. I can sit on the seat and balance the bike with my toes and still have good reach on the pedals.

What’s my overall first impression of the Ness Icon?  I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with it!

Well, I’ll think I’ll save the rest for the full review which will be coming in a couple weeks.  I want to ride the bike enough to learn all about it.   Until then, here are some photos of the Ness Icon.

LCD Display
LCD Display
Tilt seat for access to battery
Tilt seat for access to battery
Battery charge indicator on battery
Battery charge indicator on battery showing full charge
Front headlight, wired to the battery
Front headlight, wired to the battery
Zoom front shock forks
Zoom front shock forks
Derailleur guard
Derailleur guard
Rear carrying rack
Rear carrying rack
Rear taillight, runs of two double A's
Rear taillight, runs of two double A’s
Rear view of bike
Rear view of bike
Side view of Ness Icon, Orange Wheels
Side view of Ness Icon, Orange Wheels
Size compared to Toyota RAV4
Size compared to Toyota RAV4
Velcro cover to keep wires neatly in place
Velcro cover to keep wires neatly in place
Shimano 7-speed shifter
Shimano 7-speed shifter
Weight limit for rear rack
Weight limit for rear rack
Motor encased in back wheel
Motor encased in back wheel
Chain kept in place by chain guide
Chain kept in place by chain guide
Key for battery
Key for battery
Kickstand
Kickstand

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