Shared January 17, 2017
Today I received the most ridiculous box I have ever seen in my life. It would have made a refrigerator delivery look like Amazon Prime.
I’ve had bicycle deliveries before. I’ve shipped them, received them, and even unboxed fat tire bikes. They’re all shipped in similar sized boxes. If it wasn’t for this tear in the side, I would have expected a horse to jump out of this one.
Wait, is this a couch?
No… no way. It can’t be! They shipped the bike with the front wheel on? It’s quick release! Why not just take it off and use a normal bike box. Not only that, but this bike is huge!
This is the Freway Buffalo. It’s an ebike. I couldn’t say no to a free ebike to play around on, so we’re gonna have some fun with this thing for sure. It’s not a high end ebike like the Specialized Turbo Levo, but it only costs 1700 bucks whereas the Turbo Levo costs as much as a car. Although it’s marketed as a mountain bike, I’d put it in the commuter category. It’s got a big cushy seat, a really long stem, and those antler things on the handlebars. I’m not obligated to give you guys anything but the truth, so let’s put this thing together and take an objective look at it. First, let’s cruise on over to Freway’s website.
Wow. First of all, the video is great. The guy is riding in a pack of roadies, and everyone’s drafting him. Then he downshifts and BAM! He’s shredding through Montana, wheelying over rocks and splashing through streams. It’s worth mentioning that they used Maxxis tires in the video, while the bike actually comes with Kenda.
Riding the Freway Buffalo on the road, you will also be a visual beast in others’ eyes. I bet.
And these girls are freaking out too. Amazing! Have a good cycling trip! “Be careful, have a fun!”. And this guy is like, “yeah I’ll have fun if I feel like it”. Jokes aside, the photos and video are actually really good. They did put some effort into the site, so I’m surprised they didn’t get an English speaking person to do the verbiage.
Back to the bike. I’ve gotta be honest, it doesn’t look half bad. The battery fits into the downtube, which is way better than those crazy brackets you see on cheap ebikes. The welds are also smoothed over, like an old Aluminum Cannondale. The drivetrain is a mix of parts, with Shimano Altus in the rear. Altus is a mountain bike groupset, but on the very low end.
The wiring could be better, but I think I’m going to make some adjustments to that myself. It’s also worth noting that the motor is in the rear hub just like a basic commuter ebike. This will affect the way it feels, as bottom bracket motors give a more seamless “pedal assist” experience. Of course, this bike seems like it’s made as practical transportation. To me, anything that gets cars off the road is a good thing so lets take it for a ride.
I also have a friend with terrible knee problems who hasn’t been on a bike in years. When he visits, we’ll be able to go to the beach or downtown without fighting traffic in a car. I’m looking forward to that.
Is it worth $1700? I’ll let you be the judge. I don’t have a lot of experience with commuter ebikes so I don’t know how it compares. I do know that most of the ebike conversions I’ve seen look like science experiments. The Buffalo could pass for a normal bike, and look a little more accessible to a first time ebike user. So, although I’m not planning on riding this, I am planning on using it. So I’ll keep it around for a while and let you guys know what I think long term.
Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll see you next time.
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