Not long ago I was looking for a lighter weight ebike that could help me pedal up those dreaded hills, but behave more like a traditional bike. I wanted an ebike that was practical to pedal with or without the motor, but still have the assistance I needed for more challenging conditions. I found it, or, actually it found me. The Avadar C3 Sport is exactly what I was looking for, so when Avadar contacted me about reviewing their bike, I was very eager to try it out.
The Avadar C3 comes in two different packages, the Sport and the City. The City adds front and rear fenders and a rear rack for a couple of hundred dollars more. There are also two frame sizes and two color options for the City and the Sport. Featured in this review is the Sport in matte black with red accents, and a medium frame.
Motor: 250-watt, mid-drive, 80Nm of torque
Battery: 36 Volt 10 Ah, frame integrated & removable
Display: Color LCD, backlit, 5 Pedal assist levels
Ebike Classification: Class 1
Top Speed: 20 MPH using PAS
Range: 37 miles (60 km) – 75 miles (120 km)
Integrated Lights: Front LED; rear reflector
Brakes: 160mm hydraulic disc
Gearing: 2×8 Shimano Altus, 16-speed, 12-32 T in rear
Shifters: Shimano Rapid Fire
Frame Material: Aluminum
Suspension: Front, Trama brand, preload and lockout
Tires: 27.5″ x 2.1″ CST
Pedals: Welgo Platform, metal
Grips: Locking Rubber
Handlebars: Mountain bike style, 20mm rise, 31.8mm
Seat Post: 31.6 diameter x 350 mm length
Crank: 170mm forged alloy
Payload Capacity: 300 lbs
Bike Weight: Listed at 57 lbs (with battery); I weighed it at 54 pounds with battery, abt 49 lbs without
Price: $1980 for the C3-Sport
Shipping and Assembly
The bike shipped from California and took less than a week to arrive in Illinois. I have to admit the box was beat up, but the bike was protected well inside. I think it took me just as long to remove all the foam padding and zip ties as it did to assemble the bike.
Assembly was very straightforward, and Avadar has a video to walk you through the steps. It’s just a matter of attaching the handlebars, the front wheel, the headlight and pedals. I had it together in less than 30 minutes. Right out of the box, the gears and brakes have worked perfectly. The front and rear wheel have a little wobble, which means the spokes need some adjusting. I’ll be taking it to the bike shop for them to do their magic.
For some, a 250-watt 36-volt system might seem under powered when compared against many of the most popular ebikes today with 500-750 watt 48-volt motors, but there are advantages to a 36-volt system. For one, it’s much lighter. The first thing I noticed about the bike was how light it felt in comparison to most of my other ebikes.
Considering the battery weighs about 5 lbs, the bike weighs less than 50 lbs without it, so it’s practical to lift onto a car rack. The lighter weight also makes for a much better pedaling experience with and without the motor.
The C3-Sport rides much like a regular bicycle, in a good way. Since it’s lighter it doesn’t take as much effort to pedal, and it also doesn’t fall into the potholes so hard. It’s very comfortable to ride due to its lighter weight, wider tires, and front suspension.
While the bike frame looks aggressive, the geometry is on point. It has a somewhat upright riding positions, so I don’t get the normal stiffness in my wrist and shoulders like I usually do on other bikes. The mountain bike style grips don’t provide much padding, but with a good pair of padded riding gloves, they’re comfortable.
At 5’1″, I’m definitely a shorter rider, but the medium frame fits me perfectly. The reach is comfortable, and I can put both feet on the ground while on the seat. Of all the bikes I own, this one fits me the best. It makes a huge difference to have a bike that’s right for your height and reach. You’ll develop less aches and pains, and you’ll have better control of the bike. A large frame is also available for taller folks.
The standover height is about 30″ for the medium frame, so it’s not a frame that I can straddle, but since I can put both feet on the ground, and easily swing my leg over the back of the bike, it’s still very approachable for shorter riders. If I were to add a rear rack and a trunk bag, it would be more difficult to swing a leg over, so I plan to not add one.
Plus, again, one of the best features of the bike is its weight. I don’t want to add too much to it with a lot of accessories. This is a bike that I intend to ride like a regular gravel or mountain bike, not a commuter.
The hydraulic brakes are unbranded but have excellent stopping power. Overall, I’m very happy with the performance from the bike’s components.
The Shimano Altus derailleur isn’t high end by any stretch of the imagination, but it is capable, shifting smoothly, and in my expeirence, is easy to maintain. It’s also very rare to find a dual chainring transmission on an ebike. Most ebikes leave a lot to be desired when it comes to their gear ratios, but there’s good range on the C3.
The CST 27.5″ x 2.1″ tires are a good multi-purpose size for pavement and off-roading, and are designed for mountain biking. The tread is fairly aggressive and provides good grip. If you were planning to stick to pavement, switching out to a gravel or road bike tire would increase the bike’s effecincy.
The 250-watt mid-drive motor uses a torque sensor and several other built-in smart sensors to provide responsive assistance. While there’s no throttle, I don’t miss it when taking off from a dead stop on a hill. Just putting some pressure on the pedals engages the motor. With 80 Nm of torque, it has some good hill climbing ability. On the bigger hills, you’ll have to contribute with some leg power, but it provides just the right amount of assistance to help you conquer hills, without making you feel like you’re just cheating.
As someone who prefers to pedal on my own as much as I can, I appreciate the minimal but satisfying power the C3 delivers. It takes off just enough of the edge to make biking enjoyable and doable, even on hills and against headwinds.
The bike performs well as a commuter, a gravel bike, and even a mountain bike as long as you’re willing to add some of your own effort on rougher terrain and big hills.
The motor is fairly quiet. It has a higher pitched sound than the Yamaha motor on my other mid-drive ebike, but I prefer the performance of the motor on the C3 over the Yamaha. It seems to be a little more responsive.
I personally love the power the C3 delivers. It hits the sweet spot, if you’re looking for an ebike that rides much like a regular bike, but has the power you need for hills. It’s a great fitness ebike.
Yes, you can ride other ebikes without the motor or in the lowest level of pedal assist, but you’ll often feel yourself struggling against the weight of the bike and their limited gears. Many ebikes provide too much or too little assistance in lower pedal assist levels to allow you to ride at a comfortable and satisfying cadence, if you’re a pedaling purist like me.
The Avadar C3-Sport provides exactly the right amount of assistance I want for a much more natural bike riding experience. The 16-speed transmission definitely helps with that. Mid-drive motors use the chain to deliver power to the rear wheel, so they benefit greatly from the bike’s gearing.
I love feeling the burn in my legs, without feeling like I’m struggling. I love getting a great cardio workout, without getting winded or overheated.
If you’re coming from a gravel bike, or even road bike background and now need some assistance, this is a great bike to consider.
Value and Pricing
The C3-Sport is priced at $1980 dollars. It’s rare to find a mid-drive ebike priced at or below $2000. Most are above $2500, but I’m seeing more affordable ones become available in late 2021. 36-volt systems are common for mid-drive motors because they are more efficient than hub motors. Unless you’re going to be riding in mountains or on very hilly terrain, a 36-volt system is plenty.
Mid-drive motors are usually lighter and quieter. Many are equipped with several sensors that can detect whether you’re going up a hill or not, for example. They can deliver power more intelligently, so you’re not constantly changing pedal assist levels. They can also utilize the bike’s gears, as already discussed. Because they are more sophisticated than a hub motor, they typically cost more.
Considering the components of the bike, it’s priced very well. The motor’s peak power is probably considerbly more than 250 watts. Having experienced other 250-watt motors, the motor feels like it has more to give. I’m guessing 350-400 watts. I’ll try to confirm that with Avadar. The brand for the motor isn’t listed, so I’m having trouble finding information on it.
The 36-volt 10 Ah, 360 watt-hour battery will provide a range of about 30-45 miles in normal riding conditions. This can be extended if you ride without the motor a good portion of the time, and use lower levels of assist. Avadar currently sells replacement batteries for $499. If you would like to add fenders and a rear rack, they are sold as accessories for $199, but there are mounting points on the frame that will accommodate third-party racks and fenders.
Warranty and Customer Support
Avadar is a new company with limited customer feedback, so I can’t discuss how responsive their customer service is. I’ve communicated with the company for marketing purposes, and they have been responsive but I know that isn’t the same thing. The company is located in China, but the bikes ships from California.
I also can’t speak about durability, but I plan to put many miles on the C3, since I plan to keep it.
So far, I’m liking what I’m seeing from the company. The bikes seem to be designed with good sense. There is a 1-year comprehensive warranty and a 14-day trial return period. Free return shipping is offered.
The Avadar C3-Sport and C3-City fills a niche in ebikes that doesn’t have a lot of competition for the asking price. The ride is comfortable, and the motor performance is very good as a Class 1 ebike. It provides great assistance in hills, which is probably why people would choose an ebike like this.
I found it to be a great bike for cyclists who love biking as a sport. It’s rare to find an ebike that provides a satisfying cadence that delivers the right amount of power and speed. It’s exactly what I was looking for. I wanted an electric bike that was rideable without the motor, but had the power when I needed it.
If you’re looking for a moped style ebike this isn’t it, but if you want to enjoy pedaling a bike again and have the comfort of knowing you can tackle hills without struggling, this is for you.
Learn more about the Avadar C3-Sport here.