Aventon’s Pace 350 and Pace 500 e-bikes have long been the brand’s main commuter models for budget-minded riders still looking for a quality electric bike for riding to work or running errands. Now the company has launched its third-generation models known as the Pace 350.3 and Pace 500.3. And they’re better than ever.
At least, that’s if you like added features.
But since most everyone enjoys getting more bang for their buck, the Pace 350.3 and 500.3 are sure to impress with their updated designs and components.
Perhaps the biggest of the updates is actually invisible at first but makes a big impact on the pedaling experience. The models received a new torque sensor to engage the pedal assist, meaning that when riders push on the pedals, the motor’s assist is delivered at precisely the right moment and at the right power level based on how hard the rider pedals. Cheaper cadence sensor based e-bikes typically provide a set amount of motor power when the pedals begin to move, regardless of whether the rider is cranking hard or simply trying to roll forward a few feet.
This new torque sensor setup is sure to win over riders who depend on smooth pedal assist for a workout while still enjoying the benefits of an electric motor to take the edge off startups and hill climbs.
But of course the bike still comes with a throttle for times when riders are a bit tired or just want to let the motor do all the work.
Both models are produced using 6061 aluminum frames with integrated batteries that can be locked on the bike or removed for charging off the bike.
The Pace 500.3, which is priced at $1,699, falls in the Class 3 category with its 28 mph (45 km/h) top speed on pedal assist (though the speed drops to 20 mph (32 km/h) on throttle-only riding). The 500W continuous-rated motor in the rear wheel draws its power from a 48V 12.8Ah battery with 614 Wh of capacity.
Riders who keep the bike in lower power mode can enjoy up to 60 miles (96 km) of range from that battery, though using higher power or riding with only the throttle will quickly eat into that range, reducing it to around 30 miles (48 km). For those that do make use of the pedals, an 8-speed drivetrain will help riders dial in their desired pedal cadence and will also be a welcome relief on hill climbs, though the 500W motor tends to flatten out hills as well. Nothing can quite flatten out the downhill sections but at least you’ll have some grippy hydraulic disc brakes for safe and secure stops.
The Pace 500.3 also features Aventon’s new turn signals that we first saw on the Aventure.2 earlier this year. The new turn signals are mounted along with the bike’s tail lights on the seatstays, or the parts of the frame that extend down from below the seat to the rear wheel’s axle. They keep the tail light and turn signals visible from the sides and rear of the bike, and they also spread the turn signals far enough apart to make the signaling more clear to drivers.
Aventon’s color LCD screen is also included on the bike, which gives the Pace 500.3 app integration for recording rides, making customizations to the bike’s performance and more.
Aventon’s new Pace 350.3 is a retail exclusive model that has a slightly lower power 350W motor and a slightly smaller battery, but still comes with many of the same features such as the torque sensor, app connectivity, and a 60-mile range.
Both bikes are outfitted like city bikes but actually fall somewhere in the city/cruiser spectrum thanks to their relaxed geometry and adjustable sweptback handlebars.
Both of the new Pace 500.3 and Pace 350.3 models impress me, and I love to see major additions like torque sensors and good turn signals. I usually pan turn signals that are only a couple of inches apart since they do nothing more than confusingly flash in the middle of the bike. But with a solid foot or so between these turn signals, they’re spread about as far as they can be on the bike and are much more likely to get the point across to drivers.
I would have loved to see Aventon make these models a bit more commuter-friendly out of the box with an included rack and fenders, but I understand that not everyone wants or needs that equipment, so leaving it off isn’t the end of the world (and is actually an advantage for some riders).
Seeing two options for sizes and two frame styles (step-over and step-through) is also great, since not everyone is built the same and one-size-fits-most e-bikes tend to alienate the ends of the rider height range.
It’s also interesting to see Aventon take the Pace 350.3 offline as a retail-only model. While that would seem limiting at first, Aventon has quietly expanded its dealer network across the country and you probably have a bike shop near you that carries them.
All in all, I’d say Aventon did a great job here with these updates. I’m looking forward to getting some saddle time and trying the bikes myself.
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