These days, the city e-bike market has become so well-established and defined we can very safely talk about different product segments and expectations that come with it.
With this in mind, it’s very easy to say Izip Vibe 2 is a firmly mid-range e-bike that aims to offer good performance, solid speed, and reliable battery while still staying within reach of an average middle-class customer.
This is by no means a bad thing since this market segment is most lacking with units that are able to marry reliable e-bike specs with core biking experience.
Izip Vibe 2 is definitely one of those rare vehicles.
Izip Vibe 2 at a Glance
Now that we had an opportunity to take a look at some of the most important specs of Izip Vibe 2, let's break them down one by one and see how they perform in real life.
The frame is one of the essential components of an electric bike since it has a tremendous impact on its handling, integrity, speed, and battery performance. The weight of the frame also influences the riders’ experience when switching to pedal propulsion.
Fortunately, the lightweight custom-formed aluminum frame built into the core of Izip Vibe 2 manages to avoid the above-mentioned problems without compromising any of its durability. This shouldn't be too big of a surprise since, historically, aluminum has always been great at leveraging these requirements.
But, even if we take into consideration these inherent properties of aluminum alloy, the general impression is that Izip Vibe 2 manages to push this story a notch further.
Some of this positive impression can be attributed to excellent weight distribution. The Izip Vibe 2 is very light (at least for its class), but you never feel the bike is too loose on its wheels and hard to control. No matter how fast you ride, the bike stays firmly on the ground, rarely feels flimsy, and is able to produce excellent momentum.
The size of the frame is suited for all riders from 5-foot-3 to 6-feet tall, which is ok but leaves a lot of the intended customers out of the game.
Finally, it should be mentioned that Vibe 2 doesn't come with built-in lights, integrated locks, and fenders but features enough mounting options for aftermarket parts, so bike enthusiasts will have something to sink their teeth into.
Still, the bike is not entirely stripped-down – you do get an integrated rear rack as well as an aluminum chain guard, which has an effect on the overall value of this package.
Although it is far more famous for its automotive equipment, the German powerhouse manufacturer Bosch made quite a splash when it entered the e-bike market in 2009. These days, Bosch Active Line 40Nm Torque makes one of the most popular motors in the affordable e-bike segment.
What am I talking about here?
Well, Bosch Active Line 40Nm Torque is your standard-fare mid-range unit capable of climbing up to a rock-solid assisted speed of 20 miles per hour. These numbers may not be the best on the market, but they are more than enough for daily street cruising.
Also, the motor is more than capable of climbing reasonable inclines, which is a great plus for people living in hilly cities like San Francisco.
One of the great things about this specific unit is that the motor allows the rider to choose between the four modes of assistance – Eco, Tour, Sport, and Turbo. Once you select your preferred setting, the motor will electronically measure the torque you deliver to the pedals, crank cadence, and speed and then provide the power assistance you have selected.
All this works like a charm and easily makes Bosch Active Line 40Nm Torque one of the best motors in the mid-range class.
Much like the Vibe 2's motor, the battery also comes from Bosch, which is, by all means, a good thing. Different components produced by the same manufacturer traditionally work better together, and Bosch is a brand with enough clout to inspire a great deal of confidence.
The unit we can find in Izip Vibe 2 packs a solid 400 watt-hours, which is more than enough for up to 35 miles (56 kilometers) of covered range at 100% capacity. Of course, these numbers can only be achieved in the ideal conditions, but even if you cut these numbers in half, you still get a bike well-suited even for short intercity travels.
Still, a charging time of 4.5 hours might prove to be too much for some potential buyers.
In terms of the braking system, Izip Vibe 2 once again utilizes a popular mid-range pick in the form of Tektro Mechanical Disc w/160mm Rotors.
This time the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” strategy more than pays off since Tekto’s popular product does provide good stopping power even at higher speeds. Fortunately, Izip Vibe 2 is not exactly a speeding bullet, so it's safe to say that the hardware is well-matched.
The unit was tested on all sorts of terrains, from hot city streets to windy hill descents and the brakes never failed to bring the bike to a halt within some reasonable braking distance.
When it comes to the rims, the people from Izip have decided to use Weinmann XM26 Plus, which is a perfect pick for this price segment. The double-wall alloy used for this pair of rims is durable, not entirely heavy, and provides great structural integrity.
The bike was tested on different kinds of terrain and under various circumstances and came out intact. In urban driving conditions, the rims should offer years of reliable performance.
Last but not least, let us quickly cover the tires that do a great deal of heavy lifting to elevate the behavior of Izip Vibe 2 well above what we can call a mid-range average.
And truly, the Kenda Smooth Rolling City tires we can find in the package have a lot of good things going for them. First and foremost, they are very wide and feature detailed thread patterns, both of which translate into excellent traction even in rainy conditions.
Second, the materials used for production are very durable and look like they can withstand a lot of beating before finally wearing out.
Packed together with the rims I have mentioned above, and Shimano seven-speed drivetrain with thumb shifters allow the bike to safely venture outside its intended street-bound comfort zone.
Post-Test Summary: Izip Vibe 2 Pros and Cons
Now that we know what Izip Vibe 2 is made from, let us quickly sum up some general impressions. As we have mentioned several times, this bike was never intended to compete with the premium e-bike models.
Keeping that in mind, what we have here is a neat little city cruiser (probably too little for some bigger riders) able to easily cover the distances between your home and work and even allow you short intercity travels.
All these things are nothing new, and, taking into consideration the booming mid-range e-bike segment, Izip Vibe 2 will undoubtedly face a very serious competition. Although, the general impression is that the package packs more than enough goodies to carve itself a piece of the market pie.
What Do I Like About Izip Vibe 2?
So, what are some of the highlights of Izip Vibe 2?
Well, for a start, the bike is put together very well and utilizes excellent aluminum alloy that strikes the perfect weight that is light enough for the average user and hefty enough for stable high-speed performance.
All the critical internal components are made in the Bosch kitchen, which is always good to hear since the German manufacturer has pretty much become the industry standard in the mid-range e-bike market segment.
Because of these very components, Izip Vibe 2 feels very snappy, works almost silently, and climbs extended inclines without noticeable struggling. Also, even if you push the bike to its limits, you will be able to squeeze out very good battery autonomy of 16 to 35 miles which is more than enough for casual city cruising.
The rest of the components are not exactly stellar but still very adequate. Kenda Smooth Rolling City tires provide great traction even in rainy conditions, Shimano seven-speed drivetrain offer enough variety even for most picky riders, and Weinmann XM26 Plus rims are simply hard as nails.
All these things translate into one delightful performance.
What I Don’t Like About Izip Vibe 2?
Still, in spite of all the good things I have mentioned above, Izip Vibe 2 is not a perfect unit. One of the most obvious drawbacks of this neat bike is probably the curious absence of some important components like lights and fenders.
Driving the bike in rainy conditions means you will pick up a great deal of road grime, so keep this in mind if you are living in a rainy area. I am sure the manufacturer wanted to keep the price competitive but packing the fenders wouldn't inflate the price that much.
Also, driving the bike on rocky terrain can be a pain in the neck due to a high level of chain noise and poor shock absorption. Granted, Izip Vibe 2 is a city cruiser, but these things could’ve been handled better.
Izip E-Bike Family
Now, it is a good time to mention that Vibe 2 is not the only e-bike coming from the Izip kitchen. If you are concerned with the bike’s off-road performance, I recommend that you check out Izip Sumo that is made primarily for people who like to bring their riding skills into nature.
People who need to cover the greater distance on a daily basis will find a lot of value in Izip Vida (up to 53 miles/85 kilometers of range), while riders who are transporting some small baggage will definitely want to take a look at Tristar and Tristar Plus.
Advice to Buyers
So, what are the things you should take into consideration before finally opting for Izip Vibe 2? Well, the most important thing you should take from everything you have said above is that Izip Vibe 2 is primarily a mid-range offer, so all of its specs should be observed from this perspective.
Also, the manufacturer is nowhere near established as some of its direct competitors, so we can't safely talk about some general brand characteristics, parts accessibility, and level of nationwide customer support.
Now, when all is said and done, let me conclude that Izip Vibe 2 was a very pleasant surprise for me. The bike packs all the components that promise excellent mid-range performance, while the list of drawbacks mostly boils down to some questionable choices (e.g., absence of fenders) and minor design flaws. If you need a decent city cruiser to get you from point A to point B with as little hassle as possible, you will find many things to like in this package.
Our Rating - 87/100
Izip Vibe 2 is a very handsome and easy-to-use street cruiser with only a couple of features and specs short of being the ultimate day-to-day commuter.
Still, its rock-solid specs and core bike performance make it a very lucrative purchase.