Last year, Aventon released the now popular Aventon Aventure, their powerful fat-tire ebike that rides like a Cadillac on pavement, and is a beast off-road. It was their first model to feature their new color display, frame integrated rear lights, and other features that made the bike stand out. Now, Aventon has released the latest version of their flagship commuter bike, the Level, called the Level.2. It is available as a step-thru or standard frame. I got a sneak peek at the new features with the notable upgrades including a torque sensor, integrated lights, updated full-color display, and accessories as standard equipment. Is the Level.2 now unbeatable in its category? We’ll take a look.[wptb id=14011]
What is New for the Level.2?
- Integrated Lights
- Torque Sensor
- Newest Display
- New Frame to Accommodate Frame Integrated Brake Lights
- New Color Choices
- Slightly Higher Price
New for the Level.2 are a torque sensor, latest model of Aventon’s full-color display with app connectivity, a USB charging port, integrated lights, a new frame to accommodate those cool frame-integrated rear lights, and new color options. The Level.2 is available in both a high-step and step-thru version in two different sizes.
Probably the most welcome new feature for the Level.2 are integrated lights, since the original Level didn’t have them, which disappointed many.
Like the Aventure, which was Aventon’s first ebike with rear integrated brake lights built into the frame, the Level.2 also has them, but on both sides of the bike, instead of just one. I love that for visibility and safety.
But as far as the riding experience goes, the most significant upgrade is the torque sensor. So, what’s so great about a torque sensor? Well, they provide a better pedaling experience in that you don’t have that sudden on/off feeling of a cadence sensor, which is what most ebikes use. Torque sensors are typically very responsive and supply power in accordance to how much pressure you put on the pedals.
Advantages of a Torque Sensor
- Natural Pedaling Experience
- More Responsive
- Better for Fitness
- Allow You to Better Control The Bike
So, if you’re going up a hill and apply more pressure on the pedals, the motor will provide more assistance. Torque sensors are great at low speeds, too, because you’ll get power commensurate with your pedaling. This is great when you’re pedaling around pedestrians or need to go around tight corners, such as onto a sidewalk ramp, or around a light pole. You’re not going to be taking off like a rocket at the worst times.
Something else that I love about torque sensors is that you can get a satisfying workout. It feels much like pedaling a regular bicycle. I don’t feel like I’m cheating on an ebike with a torque sensor. You can work your leg muscles, build-up strength, and get a great cardiovascular workout, but still have plenty of assistance for those killer hills.
While the Level.2 is also equipped with a throttle, I find that I rarely use them with bikes that have a torque sensor. One of the most useful things about a throttle is being able to take off from a dead-stop without pedaling, such as when crossing a busy street, or when stopped at the bottom of a hill. However, since there’s practically no delay in power from the motor when you begin pedaling with a torque sensor, a throttle isn’t as necessary. With a cadence sensor, you have to pedal a full rotation, sometimes more, before the motor kicks in.
Disadvantages of a Torque Sensor
- People With Knee Sensitivity Might Prefer a Cadence Sensor
- Require More Constant Pedaling
A possible disadvantage of a torque sensor is that it requires more pressure to be put on the pedals. Those with knee sensitivity or other health issues might prefer a cadence sensor for ease of use.
What is a Commuter Ebike?
Before we can answer whether the Aventon Level.2 is the best commuter ebike, I guess we should define what an electric commuter bike is. These are bikes that are ideal for the city, usually equipped with lights, fenders, and a rear rack. Commuter bikes allow you to carry a bag or other cargo on the rear rack. Some also have front racks. Commuter ebikes are usually good at handling bumpy city roads, have good range, and enough speed to either keep up with, or get out of the way of traffic. Safety is an important consideration for a commuter bike, so lights, reflective sidewalls, or other reflective surfaces, are welcome features.
They’re generally not made for off-roading, but can handle gravel and occasional treks on dirt paths and grass, with the right tires. The Level.2 is equipped with 27.5″ x 2.1″ puncture resistant tires, which is a terrific multipurpose size, for stability and efficiency.
The Level.2 checks all the boxes for what I would want to see in a commuter ebike. Hydraulic brakes, reflective sidewalls, lights, highly visible brake lights, and an upright riding position for great visibility, make the Level.2 a safe commuter ebike. But it’s also great for enjoying bike paths in scenic areas, riding gravel rail trails, and everyday family neighborhood riding. It’s a versatile bike.
I think Aventon did a terrific job selecting the various components of the Level.2. It is well-thought-out with practical features. It’s built with name brand components, such as Tektro hydraulic brakes, a Shimano Acera 12-32 8-speed derailleur, paired up with a 46 tooth chain ring, and a Shimano Rapid Fire shifter.
The step-thru version weighs 52 lbs, while the standard frame is listed at 54 lbs. That’s pretty good for a full-sized commuter ebike. Removing the battery before lifting will make it more manageable to place on a car rack, though still quite hefty to haul up a flight of stairs.
The display is intuitive and easy to use with menu systems, instead of like many ebike displays that require different button combinations and not-so-obvious settings that require a manual to figure out.
The Level.2 features Aventon’s newest display, which is a bit more compact than the original on the Aventure, but still a good size for visibility. It also has a USB port for charging your smartphone or other devices, and connects with the Aventon app, where you can track your rides and easily set preferences for your bike, such as top speed, display brightness, miles or kilometers, etc.
The Aventon Level.2 comes as a Class 2 ebike with a top speed of 20 MPH, but can be changed to Class 3 with a top speed of 28+ MPH.
So, is the Aventon Level.2 the best ebike in its class? Well, it’s going to be hard to beat. It certainly ticks all the boxes. The inclusion of a torque sensor differentiates the Level from its main competitors. Aventon also has a big advantage over many other online ebike retailers, since you can probably find an Aventon dealer near you for service and repairs. That’s huge.
Are there any drawbacks to the bike? It’s not the cheapest in its class. At nearly $2000, it’s a lot of money to spend for most people, but priced well for what you’re getting. Aventon’s frames are truly custom, and the welds are the best I’ve seen.
You can purchase the Level.2 directly from Aventon, at an Aventon dealer, or even Best Buy. No matter how or where you buy it, you will be able to take your bike to an Aventon dealer for repairs and fine-tuning.
Right now, I’d have to say that the Aventon Level.2 is the best in its class for features, and dealer support puts it ahead of its main competitors.
Level.2 Specifications[wptb id=13950]