- Powerful electric motor
- Good range
- Quality wheels, tyres and brakes
- Intuitive control
- No mudguards or rack if you want the bike for commuting duties
- Squishy, unsupportive saddle
Price as reviewed:
The Electric Bike Corporation is a Warwick-based company selling only electric bikes. Alongside models from Pulse and Corratec, it sells its own brand EBCO models and this the EBCO USR75. There’s quite a range, with most being classified as Urban City and using a mix of TransX, Shimano Steps and Bosch motors. It also has four trekking machines and two mountain hardtails, all with suspension forks.
The EBCO USR75 is a Urban sport machine. It says it’s designed to be lightweight, with rigid alloy fork, alloy frame (supplied without mudguards), although there are front and rear mounting points if you want to add guards or a rack. There’s a chain guard mounted above the chain to keep chain oil off clothing. You also get a rear kick stand. At 17.8kg, the USR75 is mid-weight for an e-bike.
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The USR75’s electric drivetrain is Bosch’s Performance Centre Drive. Power comes from a Bosch Performance Line motor mounted at the bottom bracket, giving good weight distribution and a low centre of gravity. Bosch quotes a unit weight of under 4kg.
The Bosch unit has four support modes, called Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo and can also be ridden switched off. Motor and ride stats are presented via an easy to read, small centrally mounted screen unit. Called the Intuvia, it has just four buttons to control functions and an optional backlight. It also displays speed, distance, time, battery charge and available range.
There’s a three button control unit mounted within easy reach of the left grip and linked by wire to the Intuvia screen unit. It allows you to toggle through the information display and up and down through power levels without needing to take your hand off the bars.
The system can put out up to 250 Watts. It measures your power output more than 1000 times per second and supplements it by between 50% in Eco mode and 275% in Turbo mode. It will continue to provide power up to a maximum 25kph and 120rpm cadence.
The battery pack for the motor sits on the down tube and is locked in place, so that you can take it off for charging. It has a capacity of 400Wh, giving a claimed range of around 30 miles in normal use, but extendable up to 75 miles. In practice, this seems conservative; I was able to get over 40 miles of hilly riding with plenty of reserve battery indicated by the display. The battery will recharge in around three hours.
The electric motor works with a Shimano Deore 9-speed derailleur system, giving a gear range up to 32 teeth, for plenty of range to tackle different gradients. EBCO specs a strengthened, e-bike specific KMC X9e chain. Gear selection is via a two lever Shimano Alivio trigger shifter on the right side of the bars.
Aside from its motor, theEBCO USR75 spec includes an Ergotec 5 riser bar mounted on an adjustable stem. The bar position is quite high, giving an upright ride position. There are Ergon GP2 bar ends that give a comfortable, ergonomic grip with multiple hand positions.
Although not as wide as some leisure saddles, the Selle Royal Shadow saddle is quite soft. I didn’t find it comfortable unless I wore padded shorts, which could be a problem you bought this without the intention of buying the full lycra outfit. It’s easy to swap out though.
Wheels use Dutch brand Ryde’s Taurus 21 rims laced with 36 spokes to Shimano quick release hubs, so they should be durable and cope with the USR75’s extra weight and power.
The tyres are 35mm wide Schwalbe Marathon Supreme which roll well and have reflective sidewalls. Schwalbe markets them as e-bike ready, saying that they will handle electric bikes’ higher loads and speeds. Curiously, the tubes have Woods valves. Something of a rarity, not all pumps will fit them. Make sure yours does or you may be stranded.
Braking is provided by Shimano M355 hydraulic discs. Ebco has specified a 160mm rotor at the rear and a 180mm at the front – a sensible option to ensure effective stopping, given the USR75’s weight and potential for higher speeds.
As you’d expect from its geometry, the EBCO USR75 puts you in quite an upright position, with your weight over the saddle. This allows you to look around you easily, spot obstacles and traffic or just admire the scenery.
In its lowest power output mode on flat roads, the bike is easy to keep moving. It wasn’t a struggle to keep up just under 25kph even with the motor unit switched off.
Hit a hill and there’s adequate assist to get up comfortably in Tour mode. But switch to Sport or Turbo and you can fairly rocket up steep inclines. The motor’s power is most obvious if you keep your cadence high and power output low; it’s not so apparent in higher gears.
There’s a bit of a lag before the motor kicks in when you suddenly hit an uphill gradient after coasting downhill, but otherwise take-up is strong from a stop or lower speeds, even in Eco mode.
Battery range doesn’t seem to be too affected by the bursts of energy output either – there’s still plenty of juice left once you return to a lower level of assist.
At £2500, the EBCO USR75 is towards the top end of the range for e-bike prices. But it does provide a high performance Bosch motor, giving a good level of assist and intuitive control. All EBCO bikes include computer diagnostic systems, so that a dealer can easily identify any performance problems which might develop.
Its other kit is high quality too, with branded components and well thought out touches like the Ergon bar grips.
The EBCO USR75 provides a quality package for e-bike adventures, with a more sporty feel than many e-bikes. The Bosch motor works well and is very easy to use, with a simple, intuitive controller that gives you all the information you need. Wheels and tyres are a good choice for an e-bike too, while there’s enough stopping power from the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes to deal with the bike’s performance.
Frame: Roadster alloy
Fork: Sleek rigid alloy
Size range: 50cm/M
Size tested: 50cm/M
Motor: Bosch Performance Line 250W
Battery: Bosch 400Wh
Groupset: Shimano Deore 9 speed
Gear ratios: 11-32
Wheels: Ryde Taurus 21 rims, Shimano QR hubs
Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 35mm
Bars: Ergotec 5 riser
Stem: Ergotec 4, adjustable rise
Seatpost: Ergotec 2 alloy
Saddle: Selle Royal Shadow