iGO Electric Aspire Camillien Review – $2.5k Best Affordable Road Electric Bike

(bell ringing) – Hey guys, it's a beautiful day and we're looking at a
really special bike here. This is the iGO Electric Aspire Camillien, and it is not spelled like the lizard. At first, I thought, you know, what a cool name, chameleons change colors, they blend in. This thing has this really beautiful, integrated down to battery right there, internally routed cables. It kind of looks like a regular bicycle. You know, at first glance.

And it could look even more that way if it was all black. You know, obviously the battery
stands out a little bit. But I like the blue, it's kind of colorful and the orange fairly sporty. This bike. It offers a ton of options. Of course, it's a road bike. It has drop bars. It gives you those three hand positions up on the flats, the hoods, and then the drops for that really forward aggressive aerodynamic body position. The other things it offers is. front rack bosses, potentially right here, front fender bosses and mounting points, same thing at the rear
that's for offender. Same thing down there. We've got rack bosses there and there. And we've even got frame lock bosses for like those kind of a cafe lock that puts a bar through the rear wheel and disables the bike.

Very cool. Like most road bikes, this thing does not have a kickstand and there are no provisions for that. But I guess what I'm trying to say is, it offers a lot of utility. It balances classic
traditional road bike features like the drop bars and the really narrow tires with some utility, which to me is really cool. It makes it a lot of fun. It makes it fun to cruise around on really smooth, beautiful
streets like this. Makes hills a lot easier
to approach and climb. And one thing I really love about it is that it uses a torque sensor. It's a double-sided torque sensor at the bottom bracket versus a cadence sensor. And so a lot of other, you know, more affordable electric bikes. They'll use cadence sensors in combination with a hub motor.

And this is a 250 watt Bafang
planetary geared hub motor, but it's actually rated closer to like 450 nominal up to, 500, 550 peak. Okay. And like they say 45
Newton meters of torque. That's pretty good for
such a small, compact, lightweight hub motor. I was told that that
weighs about 6.6 pounds. I weighed the battery at about 4.7 and the entire frame as is, without any extra, you know, bottles or racks or any things. Is about 40.6 pounds. That's fantastic. And the price point is
also really impressive. This thing is 2299 USD, 2499 Canadian. Okay. So, I started out
talking about the name and saying, Oh, chameleon,
that's kind of cool. But it's not spelled like
the chameleon lizard. It's actually the name of a politician. I think a long passed away politician in kind of Montreal area. And I was talking to the
founder of this company, Gary.

And he's like, yeah, we named it after this road that goes up this volcanic mountain in Montreal, Mount Royal. That's what the city is named after. I guess this Royal mountain
that's actually a volcano. And every year they have
this race up this road and you know, for cyclists and I did the research and I was like, I think
it's a politician's name. And he was like, Oh yeah, you know, we named it after the road.

And in fact, a lot of their, their new e-bikes are named after like good rides in the Montreal area. So really cool company has a long history of creating e-bikes. I've reviewed tons of them over the years, and now they're becoming
just fancier, right? With that internal amount of battery. This is a really cool display, it's color. It's got kind of like haptic feedback. It sort of buzzes. You probably can't hear anything, but I feel a little bit of a buzz, which is really nice if you're, you know, focused on the road and kind of leaned over and maybe you're not getting
a perfect angle on this. It does swivel a little
bit to reduce glare.

The display is, it's a decent size, but one of the trade-offs here with the drop bars is always like accessing the display. Okay. So your hands
might be way over here, getting ready to break, shifting gears with those paddle shifters and you got to take them off and kinda move over here to interact with the display. We got a power button on the bottom. A mode button over there. It offers a lot of great readouts and they have a smartphone app, which I'm going to go
into a little bit later, but I do want to point out that you know, that the hand position is a bit of a compromise and it's not just this electric road bike.

One thing that I don't
love about it is that every time you power cycle the bike, it starts out at zero. So you have to start from
the very bottom again and go like plus plus plus plus all the way up to five. I am really thankful that
it doesn't have nine levels of assist, by default. which is something I've seen on some of the other iGO bikes. You know, there's a lot to consider when you're putting a bike together and everyone has a different preference. There are some pretty good settings in that display as well. So coming back to the bike, we have standard 100 millimeter
hubs spacing up front with a nine millimeter
axle, quick release skewer. So, you can service
this tire pretty easily, but it, it is, you know, silk silk shield. So, that's like puncture protection and you can see 75 maximum PSI.

So, it's like 50 to 75
something like this. Definitely check that before you ride. I usually squeeze the tires and just start to get a
feel for what full is, because it's easy to
get sort of a snake bite on these high pressure, you know, really narrow tires. They're just not as tall. And if you come into contact with like a, a sharp edge of a curb
or something like that, it can just compress the tire and pop the tube inside. And, at least you have
quick release on the front. Not so in the rear, you've just got these, these nuts basically. And kind of a slotted axle and then this nice silver, a little bit sturdier
dropout point over here.

So you can see this thicker like 12 millimeter threaded axle. So it just takes more tools. And, you know, you gotta kinda
mess with the derailleur. And maybe unplug the motor here, at that quick disconnect point. Well, I moved to a shadier spot because I'm gonna look at the display. And I was getting a little
bit of glare before. So, now we can really see that drivetrain. This is an 18 speed. So, we've got nine sprockets in the rear. 11 to 32 tooth Shimano Sora. That's like one step up in the road group
component set right there. Shimano Sora at the front edge as well. I was looking at this thinking like, Oh, compact double.

So, it's got two chain
rings instead of three. And with the electric assist, it is geared pretty well to hit and maintain that 32 kilometers per hour, 20 miles per hour. But there's actually like an off-road mode where you can unlock it and go closer to that like
45 kilometer per hour, 28 mile per hour. So, this is like a speed pedelec, which is awesome. It does not have a throttle, but it also has this like
torque sensor combination. So to me, I think they chose really well when they designed this bike.

When they chose the sensors and the motor and everything. You got to balance weight and power consumption and battery placement. And then, how it engages with you. Remember, I was talking about torque sensor versus cadence. Cadence, you just sorta,
you pedal a little bit. And as long as you're moving, the motor kicks on, it's sort of on or off, whereas this is much more dynamic. You can be in the highest level of assist, pushing very gently. And the motor is not gonna, it's not gonna kick in too hard. But then, right when you need the power, maybe you start climbing a hill, you put a little bit more effort into those cranks and pedals and you're gonna get
that boost right away. Right when you want it. So, it really feels more natural. This is a definitely more sporty bike. And you can see that from
just the body position a little bit more forward with the drop bars and everything.

So, okay. So, I had a couple more things to say about the tires as well. So Maxxis Overdrive Excel 700 by 32c. I think this works up to 42c. So, even wider, you could put, turn this into a gravel grinder. See, how there's extra space, both at the front and rear. That's kind of nice. So, that's another thing
that makes this versatile. In addition to all the bosses and stuff we talked about before. We have the puncture protection. We also have reflective sidewall stripes, which is great. When it does get a little bit darker, you want to be visible. This bike does not come
with integrated lights, like some of the other iGO models. Including the Aspire Vendome, which is a flat bar road bike. It's actually a little bit cheaper and that one has fenders
and a rack included. But the electronics are done pretty well. You can see this is
metal. It's a threaded. It's got a little washer
right there, rubber washer.

So, they're using nicer hardware that's gonna last for a while. And for me, that's part of
why I think the Camillien is, was one of the best like affordably priced
road electric bikes. And, this is a category that's
fairly new in the space. I've seen some other bikes where they just sort of
built on a battery pack and that's okay, but this really looks nice.

And they've got plenty of room here for two bottle cage bosses and two frame sizes. So I'm on the large, it's the 21 inch frame, 54, but they also have like a 19 inch frame. Which'd be perfect, if you're someone who a
little bit more petite. Cause this does only come in the high step frame style. Again, sporty, or, you need to kind of stand over that. You've got the saddle up extra high to get that full leg extension because you're actively peddling.

This is not as casual as a lot of the other
electric bikes that cover. 30.4 millimeters on that seat post just standard aluminum alloy. You could swap that out with a suspension seat post, which would be nice for comfort. I talked about the potential for wider higher volume tires. And, this is aluminum alloy, same with the frame. Okay. So, we don't have
like a carbon fiber fork that's gonna absorb shock. This is not the specialized Turbo Creo SL with like suspension, you know, headset shock thing. Okay. That was really cool. I reviewed that recently. But those bikes are, you know, five, $10,000 depending on what you get. Carbon fiber are super super nice for a more budget price bike. I think this is just, it's one of the best and I've actually really enjoyed it.

So I'm going to talk about cranks here. These are 170 millimeter
forged aluminum alloy. This is square tapered spindle. So, it's not super fancy. Just kind of standard that way. Plastic VP pedals, but extra wide, nice
nubs, very approachable. This bike is like ready to go. A lot of times for road bikes, you're gonna end up with some, you know, clip-in shoes and stuff that make it a little bit nicer. Other areas that they did compromise a bit are the breaks.

So they're using TRP.
They look pretty nice. TRP is like the upgraded
version of tech DRO. It's like their fancier line of brakes. But these are mechanical. You can see the wire right
there versus hydraulic. And over time, they sort
of set in a little bit and you might have to adjust the tension. You can get some water and debris sort of, especially in the rear, see how it's angled down like this so water can land on that wire kind of go into the tube or dust in just kind of gets gummed up a little bit.

And that distance is a little bit farther for the rear brake. And, it ends up requiring a
little bit more hand effort. And you're already in this sort of like, you know, kind of compromised position if you're in the hoods. Cause you happen to see
how my hands at an angle versus down here, I'm
getting really good pull. So for me, a lot of times I am breaking when my
hands up in the hood. So that is, that's definitely a trade-off. No hydraulic brakes, but they are disc brakes,
160 millimeter rotors. That's pretty good. I like that. Definitely compared to
like the rim brakes, it's sorta come into
fashion over the past, maybe five years or something.

I see more and more bikes that are kind of this like
urban hybrid road bike that do a lot of things. Disc brakes, elevate the braking surface off of the road. Which coming back to gravel grinders, if you swap out those tires or something, that's not gonna get as dusty as the rim. And it's just gonna break
a little bit easier. Disc brakes were originally created for like mountain bikes and stuff, right? Cause it keeps the
braking surface up high. And again, 160 millimeter, it's decent. The wheel size, again, these are like 28. That's the 700 by 32 and might just flip the bike around. Now, I feel like we've
touched on a lot of things.

Velo saddle, but I go branded, that's kind of cool. I mean, they spent some extra money. I think this is FSA foam grip tape. You know, there's the hoods that we were talking about before. Shifting is done like this,
goes to a higher gear. And then if you move the entire thing, that goes to a lower gear. That's for the rear derailleur. And then, it's kind of the opposite over here on this side. Get another shot of those brakes. Oh, and then the spokes look at these. So, these are 12 gauge
in the rear 36 hole rims, 13 gauge up front. So, a little bit lighter
on the spokes up front, not quite as thick.

But the rims have these
reinforcement islets. See that little silver
circle going into the rim, that makes them just even sturdier. It's not gonna crack the rim quite as, as easily as it might otherwise. Another shot of that bottom bracket, you can see the, what is this? Auto RQ torque sensor. And I'm gonna take the
battery off real quick here. Just give you a quick
demonstration of that. So just comes off very easily. 4.7 pounds, like I was saying. Lightweight. It's got a little, I think RGB. So red, green, blue indicator, to tell you how full it is. So blue is like full. And then, there's the charging port under this rubber cap right here.

pexels photo 6249461

You can charge the bike
on or off the frame. And there is the charger. It only weighs one pound. Super lightweight, two amp charger. Might take 3 1/2, four hours to fill this from completely empty. But this is nice. There isn't like a fan or anything. It's not gonna be allowed. It feels very durable and high quality. Being able to take the battery off is really nice for
those hot and cold days. It's just gonna help the cells
last a little bit longer. They are using LG. That is lithium ion cells, 18650. 3,200 milli amps cells, 36 volts, 10.5 amp power. So, it's not the highest capacity battery. And again, 36 volts. It's like mere, but their custom controller,
which is down here. And that's also where like
the Bluetooth connection is. It's sending higher wattage to that motor. They say up to 70, this is what the controller is rated for. And it's definitely not sending that much. It might be in the high 20s or mid 20s. But, that's how you get
the 250 watt rated motor up performing it more
of a 400, 450 nominal.

And it is very zippy. But, it does produce
a little bit of noise. That's one of my complaints aside from, you know, the comfort, it's an all aluminum frame. You know, there's a little bit of a wee when you're in that higher top speed. So, on that battery, the extreme heat is gonna degrade the cells over time. And then, the extreme cold is gonna stunt them
temporarily for the ride. So, if it's early morning, you've been storing
the bike in your garage and you hop on and it's full, it's been charging. You're gonna get like half the range. And I estimate on this bike, something like 35 to 55 miles per charge. It really depends on the
level of assist you use. But because it's a torque sensor it requires you to
engage a little bit more.

So, even though the battery is, is a little bit on the small side, this is not super high capacity. But coming back to weight 40.6 pounds, that's great. And then you take off, you know, almost five pounds on the battery that's going to make the
bike a lot easier to lift and load and maybe carry upstairs. So for me, this would be a great bike for someone who lives kind of downtown. And it's like, Oh, I got to carry this up the stairs to my condo or something like that.

I would just, you know, consider the suspension seat post and you know, look at this, we got four or 10 millimeter spacers and then a tapered 20
millimeter at the bottom. So this is fairly, this is fairly high. The stem is more upright. It's a fairly comfortable bike. It's not super, super aggressive. Okay, I'm gonna go ahead
and boot this thing up. We got the power button right down there. You do have to hold it
for a couple seconds. At first, I didn't know that. I kept pressing it and I'm like, is this thing out of batteries. But no, you just gotta hold
it for a couple of seconds. So here we go, we got watts.

We've got a number readout as well as like a little graph. It kind of looks like this, but it's dynamic depends, you know, if you're riding and shows you how hard
the motor is working. We've got a headlight indicator, which is not useful on this bike. It doesn't have integrated lights. If you hold the plus button, see it, the lights would turn on. But again, there's nothing wired in. In the middle we've got current speed. It's set into kilometers
per hour right now. But we can change that to miles per hour. That trip down here, trip distance. And if we press the M button at the bottom of the display. Cycles to ride time odometer, average speed, max speed, and then back to trip. Over on the right, we
have a little infographic showing our battery capacity. 10 bars, that's great. It's a little bit more, I think intuitive to just glance down and say, "Oh, I'm in the yellow, "I'm in the red".

And you wanna get home before you run all the way out. That's kind of hard on the cells too. And then we have a battery percentage. So, this is very good information. It's not fancy enough to give
you like a range estimate or something like we see on some of the mid-drives and fancier products. But, that's still really good. It's a little bit more refined than just like five
bars and no percentage. There's the assist level. And remember I said, it resets every time
you turn the bike off. So, we're in level zero right now and we've got five levels. And so, you have to go over here and click, click, click,
click to get the power. You know, it'd be kind
of cool if it remembered. Or if you could click down once and have it loop. But that is not the case. You have to go one,
two, three, four, five. And then there's also
this foot icon there, which means walk mode. I'm gonna see if it works
in assist level zero. So we hold minus there, there we go.

There we go. So, it does work in zero as well as the other levels of assist. Walk mode is cool if you're, you know, the bike still weighs something. That's just gonna help you carry it, maybe up a hill without having to push, the bike walks itself. Just pretty nice. And then we've got a little error, like notification service icon down there in the left as well if there's a problem with the bike. If we hold plus and minus, we should be able to get
into the display panel. Actually, I think that you hold, if we hold mode gets into the display panel. So, you can see we change from ergonometric to imperial brightness on the background. Which is really handy. Cause sometimes you're riding at night and the display could be sorta bright.

Automatic off, battery voltage, leave that at 36 for this bike. Battery indicator percentage. So, we can adjust that if we want. And then there's even more, I think we just click the M password. So, I don't know the password. You can't adjust the, the sort of off-road high-speed mode using the display. You have to use the smartphone app. So I'm gonna show you that next. Okay. So the app is called iGO Electric.

I searched for like, iGO electric bikes and did not find the app that way. So, you have to search, like iGO electric. I'm turning on Bluetooth. And then I turned up my brightness as much as I could. Miles per hour, we got a speedometer right there. They said they're doing updates for this. Like every couple of weeks. So, we might lose the
speedometer at some point. You can imagine mounting
this on your handlebar and using it as a big display. But, I think this is more designed to like update the bike briefly and then, you know, put it back in your pack. It's not something you would
really engage with too much while you're riding. I'm trying to be really close to the bike cause it felt like the Bluetooth was sort of limited in range.

So, you click this little
menu icon at the top left and yeah, Settings, it's not, it's not even seeing the bike right now. Those are great outs. So, what I'm gonna have
to do is close the app and launch it again. Okay. There we go. Let's do the, Oh, there we go. Cool. Cool. So you see, it says it's
in standard mode right here and it gives the battery readout. So, now we are connected to the bike and the Bluetooth module is down there. If you were just setting it up, you'd go here to Bluetooth Connections and then you'd find the bike.

See how it says 24% right there, that's not the battery on the bike. It's talking about the
signal of Bluetooth. It's 24%. So there we go. I clicked it. We're connected. And then, let's see Load Alternative Settings, getting device information e-bike is up to date. Great. There's a simulation that shows you what would look like if we were riding. So, see the speed is going dynamically. And then down here we've got Power Output. You can see a little graph and then also a number. So, this is kind of
what it would look like if you were actually riding. And then Settings is pretty cool. So, we can choose what ride mode economy is gonna to get you better range. And it starts a little slower. Standard or Sport mode, super sporty. So it says, keep the
bike at a complete stop. Let's retry it, retry it. We're definitely at a complete stop. We're just having some, some issues here with the connection. But what I wanted to communicate is that there are these
three default levels.

And then you can actually go in here and set your own level. You can change the acceleration profile and then save. And when you do that, then you get four different
settings for the bike. So, it's a pretty cool app. And it's fairly intuitive, big fonts, you know, it looks fairly nice. And then of course,
over here on the right, we can enable off-road mode and we've got this disclaimer so that, you know, if you're in a place
where that's not allowed, it's up to you, you know, where to use it, how to use it. So, I'm gonna decline this and keep it in standard mode for the rest of this review. And I can go ahead and just close the app or down with it.

The bike's all synced up and it's adjusted based on those settings that I just chose. Okay. So, we're starting
out at Crestwood Park. Really happy day out. Assist level five. We've got a little hill in front of us. So, I'm gonna start by riding down that. (motor running) Now, this is a planetary geared hub motor. So, you can hear it. There's a little bit of a zip.

I was told that this is
a sine wave controller, which tends to be a little
bit quieter and smoother, but the motor may be
just being kind of like amped up a little bit. There's a little bit more to it when we're especially
in assist level five. Oh, boy. Pretty easy to start getting carried away. And I'm making sure
that I have enough room to stop here and then turn around and do a little hill climb. Yeah, no problem. We're climbing this hill.

The bike's tracking really nicely. And, I'm not having to stand up or really over exert myself here. Pretty quickly get up to
that 32 kilometers per hour, 20 miles per hour. And then the motor fades out. Depending on how hard you're pushing, because it is a torque sensor, it might just kinda cut out or it might fade out smoothly.

So, I'm gonna shift gears here. Here we go. (motor running) There we go. We're up to like 33 kilometers per hour and I could definitely hear like reep and then it just cut out. And unfortunately, right
before 20 miles per hour, that's when the motor is like kind of the most annoying. So for me, that's one of the
trade-offs with this bike. It's just that it feels like you're gonna be hearing that noise a lot if you're in assist level five. I'll do it one more time. (motor running) There we go. And when you're coasting down a hill, no problem. But if you're, kind of on the flats or it's windy, I feel like you're gonna
be hearing that a lot. I'm gonna change the assist level now. This is level two, see what that sounds like. (motor running) To me, it seems about the same. So, you know, keep that in mind.

If you're trying to be stealthy and blend in with your friends on non-electric road bikes, they might notice a little bit. It's not the end of the
world, but it isn't, it isn't super silent. Try to give you a little third
person view on this bike. Fairly balanced front to rear. This is the size large. I'm about five nine 135 pounds for reference. So, we got some get up and go. Okay guys. From here you
can see the drivetrain.

We've got the 32 tooth chainring upfront, that's the smaller one. And then a 48 tooth larger. With a little plastic guard here, that's going to protect
your pants a little bit. And maybe keep the chain from falling off. But we also have this like guide. So because we have a front derailleur, which is fairly uncommon
on electric bikes, shouldn't have any problem with that. And it's a road bike, you're probably not
going off road too much. In the rear, same thing. Shimano Sora derailleur
nine speeds, 11 to 32. It's pretty good. We do have a rust resistant KMC chain. Which is kinda nice to see. And, because it's a hub motor, the drivetrain is independent. So shifting and stuff, you don't have to worry
about mashing gears the same way you might with a mid-drive. I'm gonna pedal along. Hopefully, give you a chance to hear this cycling on and off.

There's sometimes a little bit of a delay. But with a torque sensor, and I mean in terms of cutting out. Starting it's right there with you, but occasionally it just kind of, it lasts a little bit longer, even when I'm not applying
a lot of pressure. Also, I didn't see a slap
guard on the right chainstay, which would have been nice. You could just use a clear piece of tape, like box step if you want to. Otherwise, really beautiful
aesthetic on this. Really purpose-built electric bike. Of course, I'm in assist level five, cause it seems like the sound was similar in all of the different levels of assist.

And really, it comes back to how hard you apply pressure on the cranks because it is a torque sensor. (motor running) Yeah, the brakes are working great. Hopefully, you could hear
a little bit of the delay that I was talking about with the motor. How it just kinda, it takes a minute to quiet down and to stop giving you assist. There are no motor inhibitors on the brake levers on this bike either. So, it's really just listening to that torque sensor signal. Now, just for fun, I'm gonna try the first
level of assist and see, see how that sounds. (motor running ) Yeah I still hear it a little bit. Still a little bit of a delay to cut out. It's just not giving me nearly as much power when I pedal.

Really a great area to ride. Tunnel and the bumpy stuff pretty well even with these narrow tires. Cool. Guys, I think that's it. That's the iGO Electric Aspire Camillien. For the full written review on this, including all the specs,
I measure them by hand and a cool comparison tool. So you can just, you know, see what your money gets you, looking at some of the other options. Check out electricbikereview.com Also got a couple of guides that talk about my favorite
bikes for each category. Again, I've covered, iGO a lot in the past. I feel like they've done a pretty good job and it's really nice to see them going to these
purpose-built designs versus just sort of a
built-on battery pack. And do you know, two
frame sizes at this price with a torque sensors is pretty awesome.

I'd love to hear what you think. Get your feedback in the comments. I love you guys. Ride safe. We'll see you on the next one..

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