With the massive rollout of electric bicycles that has witnessed dozens of new product launches each month, it’s no surprise that we’re starting to see ever more specialized designs and marketing trying to reach new niches in the industry. But the recently released ENVO Stax is a new one to me – an e-bike that is self-described as being designed for millennials and Gen Z, also known as zoomers.
If you’re scratching your head a bit, I did the math for you. That basically means anyone from age 13-42, give or take a bit.
According to the Canadian electric bicycle maker ENVO, that’s the group that it has targeted with the Stax electric bike.
As the company explained:
ENVO Stax is designed to provide riders with a natural and familiar riding experience akin to that of a traditional bicycle, which makes it an excellent option for millennials and Gen Z riders who are looking for a good-looking, sleek, electric bike that is premium yet affordable.
Unless the bike is about to co-sign my rental agreement or somehow crash the economy so I can buy a house, I’m not quite sure how it’s specifically designed for millennials. But okay, I’ll bite. Let’s dig in here and see what’s under the skin.
Basically, the ENVO Stax looks like a hub motor-powered street bike with a fairly sporty stance, a seatpost-integrated battery, and a fairly lightweight design at just 19 kg (42 lb.). I know that seems heavy compared to your beater Huffy, but that’s pretty darn lightweight by e-bike standards.
The company describes the lightweight design as essential for “making it effortless to carry up stairs or maneuver around tight spaces.” Basically, they know we live in tiny apartments and that none of us has a garage to charge in. Best-case scenario, we’ve got a locked bicycle room in the building and we can then pop the seat out to bring it upstairs to charge the battery.
Speaking of charging a battery in your apartment, there’s good safety news here too. The battery is UL-listed, which is becoming a growing trend among e-bike manufacturers focused on safe and reliable battery construction methods. That means you can sleep soundly at night when you ignore the “don’t charge this battery unattended” warning label.
The battery may not be too heavy to lug upstairs by itself because it just isn’t very big. At 36V and 12.8Ah, there’s just 461 Wh of capacity. They say that will net you 100 km (62 miles) of range, but that’s got to be the low-power pedal assist figure. Zipping around on throttle at the bike’s top speed of 32 km/h (20 mph) is surely going to get you closer to half that range.
That throttle leaves me with a few questions though. The bike is described as a Class 1 e-bike, meaning pedal assist only (no throttle). But there’s clearly a thumb throttle on the left handlebar in the product images. There’s another head scratcher for you.
[Update: It turns out the throttle is an optional add-on for those that want to make it a Class 2 e-bike.]
The ENVO Stax comes standard with 500W of power, hydraulic disc brakes, built-in LED lighting, and an 8-speed Shimano transmission.
It also comes with a fair price of CAD $2,479 (US $1,879). Sure, the frame is nicely welded with smooth joints. And there are some decently nice parts like the hydraulic brakes. But that’s a significantly more expensive entry price than a lot of other higher-performing e-bikes out there.
So the price doesn’t feel super millennial or Gen Z friendly, though apparently, it’s more about what’s inside.
According to ENVO’s CEO Ali Kazemkhani, the millennial and Gen Z focus is perhaps more related to the bike’s design and handling like an old-school pedal bike:
The ENVO Stax is aimed at millennials and Gen Z riders who want a good-looking, sleek, electric bike that is premium yet affordable. The most important thing for us when designing this ebike was to make sure that it rides and feels like a traditional bike so that user doesn’t have to compromise on ride feel for the added benefits of an ebike.
The ENVO Stax looks like a nice bike. There’s nothing wrong with it. 500W, fairly lightweight, good brakes, built-in lighting, smooth welds for an attractive design. Sounds good.
But that price is a bit high. I don’t know where the justification is coming from.
For that much, it better also come with a rear rack, included fenders, and a pamphlet explaining why a credit score is important. Then it’d be a bit more Gen Z-friendly.
For now though, this millennial is going to keep wiggling his discontinued RadMission into his apartment complex’s elevator, one wheel waving carefree in the air.
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