Cannondale Rolls Out Smallest Lightest E-Bike: Compact Neo
Cannondale‘s Compact Neo offers a lightweight, family-oriented e-bike; (photo/Cannondale)
Want an e-bike that won’t break your back while you lug it upstairs? Check out Cannondale’s latest: a lightweight, foldable e-bike under 40 pounds.
The latest e-bike from Cannondale aims for convenience and flexibility.
With a hidden 250 Wh battery and a folding stem and pedals, the Compact Neo is “an ideal electric bike for busy families or shared use,” the company said in a news release.
You won’t need many add-ons with this bike, either. It already comes with metaphorical bells and whistles, including a rack, lights, fenders, and eight-speed shifting.
Cannondale Compact Neo E-Bike
The Compact Neo comes with an alloy frame and 20-inch wheels for a lightweight bike with a low standover height that anyone can comfortably handle around town.
At less than 40 pounds (18 kg), the bike allows for a maximum rider weight of 300 pounds. Yet it’s still sturdy enough to take a beating.
The seat post also adapts to accommodate different-sized riders, so it’s highly shareable while offering comfort to your backside.
Compact Neo: Battery Features
Like many modern e-bikes, Cannondale placed the e-bike’s battery inside the frame, retaining the classic bike form while still giving riders that electric boost. To that end, the battery offers three different assist levels. There’s also a convenient walk mode, which propels the bike just enough to make pushing along more manageable.
The Compact Neo’s rear-hub Hyena drive system offers “hill-taming power” and assistance up to 20 mph. Fully charged, the battery’s range gives riders up to 47 miles of supported cycling.
At 1,900, the Compact Neo won’t break the bank compared to the increasingly pricey e-bike options in the market. For example, the Turbo Vado SL from Specialized sheds some extra weight (around 33 pounds) while still carrying a 320 Wh battery. However, you pay for that upgrade, as the bike sells for nearly double the Compact Neo — 3,750.
Still interested? The Compact Neo is available in three colors, chalk with acid red, graphite and reflective silver, and smoke black with reflective silver.
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Replacement Electric Bike Batteries Guide
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A good e-bike battery should last for hundreds of cycles. With average use, this means several years. Eventually, electric bike batteries need to be replaced as their life cycle comes to an end.
You can tell when a battery is nearing the end of its life when it does not provide you with much range. Some high-quality batteries that come on the top e-bikes such as a Bosch battery have a battery management system (BMS) integrated into the battery that actually tells you the current capacity and also how many charge cycles it has gone through.
But no matter what type of battery you have you’ll sooner or later be asking yourself the all-important question: how can I replace my e-bike battery?
Down below Electric Bike Report dives into this question and more in greater detail.
Are E-bike Batteries Interchangeable?
In general, the answer is no – you should only replace a battery with one that comes from the same manufacturer and is of exactly the same spec.
The reason is that the original e-bike or kit manufacturer has the responsibility to ensure that the battery pack, charger, and e-bike all work safely together, and using a ‘non-original’ replacement pack potentially introduces all sorts of uncontrolled risks.
It’s a little more complicated than this in some situations. For example, some Bosch batteries of different capacities are explicitly made to be interchangeable and there will be many instances where an original supplier and/or manufacturer of the e-bike cannot be traced or has gone out of business – in such cases we look at your options below.
As an important side note: you should always, if possible, use a charger that comes from the original manufacturer too. The one that comes with your battery should sync up well and not overload the battery. Pairing your battery with a different charger adds in risk of malfunction during charging.
Let’s first look at the basics of getting a replacement battery for your e-bike, then we will look at some of the major manufacturers of e-bike batteries and some of the main e-bike manufacturers to see which common battery types are still replaceable. Let’s consider the options for replacement in terms of desirability.
Where Should I Go to Get a Replacement E-Bike Battery?
On this last point it may help to note that there are a couple of manufacturing standards for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in e-bikes. Although it’s not a legal requirement, it may be that one of the standards is actually marked on the battery itself.
The standards are BS EN 50604‑1 and UN38.3, the latter required for lithium-ion battery transport by air, sea or land. Just because these standards are not marked on a battery doesn’t mean it does not comply with them – but it is a reassuring sign if a battery does bear one or both of these marks.
Note that using a replacement battery that does not come from the original manufacturer (whether a dealer is involved or not) may void the warranty of your electric bike or kit. Check with the e-bike or kit company to understand what their policy is regarding the use of aftermarket replacement batteries.
Replacement Batteries from Original Manufacturers
Bosch E-Bike Batteries
Only Bosch manufactured batteries will be used on any new Bosch e-bike – this has always been the case and so it makes advice on interchangeability a little more straightforward than with the likes of Shimano and Brose who have both allowed the use of third party batteries with their mid-drive motor systems.
There have been four basic designs made by Bosch over the years (good online overview here):
- Rack mounted batteries: PowerPack in 300, 400, and 500 Wh versions which are all interchangeable with each other.
- Down tube mounted batteries: PowerPack in 300, 400, and 500 Wh versions, current versions of which are all interchangeable with each other.
- Frame integrated batteries: PowerTubes in 400, 500, and 625Wh versions, with the 400 and 500 units being interchangeable with each other. The 625Wh may be retrofittable but it needs a compatible frame with a big enough space to house it (400 and 500 units are the same physical dimensions but 625 is bigger). 500 and 625 Wh units are used on the Dual Battery system to give a capacity up to 1250Wh.
- Frame Integrated ‘Smart’ Option batteries: This is a new 750Wh option for 2022 and will be only compatible with 2022 e-bikes that feature the Bosch ‘Smart’ system and will not be compatible with other Bosch e-bikes that are ‘non-Smart’. Similarly, other types of PowerTube batteries (400, 500, and 625Wh versions) will not be compatible with e-bikes featuring Bosch’s ‘Smart’ system.
Some third-party batteries compatible with Bosch systems are available as detailed in the section below.
There are some suppliers of batteries that will fit older models, in some cases dating back to 2011 when the Bosch e-bikes first entered the market, for example, The Holland Bike Shop in Europe sells some batteries compatible with much older Bosch-powered models.
Shimano E-Bike Batteries
Shimano produces its own brand batteries for use on their systems, but you may also find new e-bikes powered by Shimano motor systems with batteries manufactured by their licensed partners Darfon and SMP. These third party batteries are not interchangeable with any Shimano batteries.
Shimano’s current range includes rack-mounted, downtube-mounted and frame-integrated batteries from 418Wh to 630Wh. You can see a brief overview with detailed links to each battery on offer here.
It’s important to note that each battery model has a limited number of specific battery mounts it will work with, so it is important to replace an old battery with one that is compatible with the mount on your e-bike. You can check out detailed compatibility info here and here.
Shimano says that ‘the oldest current battery we have is the BT-E6000 and the corresponding battery mount BM-E6000. These are compatible with all five of our current drive units (DU-EP8/E8000/E7000/E6100/E5000), but not earlier systems. For reference, DU-E8000 is the oldest in that list – it was introduced in 2016.’
Brose E-Bike Batteries
The only battery listed on Brose’s own website is a 630Wh frame-integrated option.
However, Brose systems are widely used by other manufacturers who also spec own-brand or third-party batteries. These include the likes of the widely respected battery manufacturer BMZ and well-known brands like Scott and BULLS.
For example, Specialized’s ‘full power’ range use Brose-based mid drives and a range of their own brand frame-integrated batteries. Although information on interchangeability is scarce, a Specialized FAQ page, in response to the question ‘Can I increase range by using the 604Wh aftermarket battery in any Turbo Vado/Como?’ says yes, all Vado batteries are cross-compatible as long as you are running the latest firmware (by implication so are Como and Turbo full power batteries are cross-compatible too).
The above appears only to address compatibility on current Specialized models and battery availability for older models appears a bit more complex with lots of debate online over the matter.
The fact that the latest Specialized e-bike batteries contain a Bluetooth chip to communicate with the latest Mission Control App certainly suggest both backward compatibility and availability of third party batteries will be very limited. Current e-bike batteries available from Specialized can be found here.
Yamaha E-Bike Batteries
Yamaha has integrated, rack-mounted and frame-mounted options ranging between 400Wh and 600Wh but information on backward compatibility is rather hard to find. Their systems appear on Haibike models and in the US on their own brand models too.
Giant use Yamaha motor systems but apparently have their own brand of battery – the EnergyPak range. The standard EnergyPak comes in rack-mounted and frame-integrated options whilst the Smart Compact variant allows for faster charging.
Finally, there is the Giant EnergyPak Plus, for use with the Smart Compact – a range extender style battery that fits onto the frame and effectively increases the capacity of the main Plus battery.
Giant’s Service web page states that there are EnergyPaks with 300, 360, 400, 500 and 625Wh capacities and also states ‘Giant EnergyPaks are interchangeable’.
Fazua E-Bike Batteries
This lightweight German-made system uses a frame-integrated 250Wh design and there have been two types of battery, Battery 250 and Battery 250X, the latter having the ability to be switched on and off remotely.
The latest Fazua Evation 250X battery is compatible with all Fazua electric bikes from 2019-22.
GRIN and Cytronex E-bike Kit Batteries
Canada’s GRIN is a true expert in producing a wide variety of e-bike kits. Whilst they do several designs of batteries, one of their best options from a replaceability point of view is their own brand LiGo batteries.
LiGo batteries are very unusual in being modular so that you can easily connect together as many as you like to increase or decrease battery capacity at will. They are particularly suitable for lightweight and folding bikes (I use them on a GRIN Brompton kit) and also for those who want to air travel with e-bikes as the individual battery units are only 98Wh and so are generally allowed on passenger aircraft (disconnect them from each other for travel and reconnect them on landing to make a useful e-bike battery).
The design has been around for several years and is backward compatible.
The UK’s Cytronex produces both European and US spec lightweight kits which use a unique own-design of ‘bottle battery’.
Cytronex says all their lithium bottles are compatible forwards and backward from the first version in 2017. They have different firmware for the new Bluetooth variant but both this and the non-Bluetooth version allow you to use the new 2-way – 5 level Boost Button or the previous one-way 3 level button.
In fact, if you have old and new kits on two bikes you can switch the bottle between both and it will recognize the two different button types automatically.
E-bike Manufacturers Own Brand Batteries
There are hundreds of e-bike manufacturers in the more budget space so it’s way beyond the scope of this guide to cover the options for each one; rather we’ll take a look at a couple of the market leaders.
Rad Power Bikes E-Bike Batteries
Rad Power Bikes first started producing e-bikes for the North American market in 2015 and now claims to be the US market leader. Their website lists several replacement batteries and their current lineup of bikes uses one of two battery designs.
There is the External Battery Pack (with the option for the smaller pack specific to the RadMission) which is compatible with all 2018 and newer model ebikes except the RadRover 6 Plus and RadCity 5 Plus, which use the Semi-Integrated Battery Pack.
Rad Power Bikes does offer legacy options for bikes older than that 2018 ‘cutoff’ and although some of these legacy batteries are currently out of stock Rad says they have plans to restock them.
The battery packs are consistent across their main sales areas of Canada, US and Europe.
The Rad Power website has a great filter system so you can track down the compatibility of what batteries are in stock against all current and previous models, right back to the original 2015 RadRover. All e-bike manufacturers’ websites should provide this service!
Pedego E-Bike Batteries
A longstanding US manufacturer with a clear set of battery specs for current models here. However, there doesn’t appear to be any info about legacy batteries or backward compatibility.
Interestingly, and it seems uniquely amongst the mainstream manufacturers, Pedego have recently introduced a serviceable battery (pictured above) – designed to be easily maintained at the local Pedego store. It features a rear light, brake light and indicators to boot.
Batteries for Out-Dated Motor Systems
There are a number of older motor and battery systems that are either not used or little used these days but there are still some suppliers out there who may be able to help out and if you are in this position a bit of internet research might just turn something up. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.
BionX E-Bike Batteries
BionX operated between 1998 and 2018 and were once one of the leading e-bike system manufacturers in North America, with the likes of Trek and Kalkhoff using their systems.
There are still limited stocks of spare parts available here and there, including batteries, for example on this Ohm webpage.
Heinzmann E-Bike Batteries
German company Heinzmann had a great reputation for quality and produced the now obsolete Classic system and the newer Direct Power system. At various times both were available as kits or fitted to off-the-peg e-bikes.
In the UK Electric Vehicle Solutions are the main stockist of complete Direct Power kits and of spare parts for the Classic system.
What About Non-removable Frame Integrated Batteries?
A relatively small number of e-bike batteries are incorporated into the frame and not designed to be removed by the rider – they must be charged on the bike. Whilst perhaps inconvenient for some, the system has the benefit of a sleeker and simpler design and keeps the battery cells well-protected.
The Ebikemotion X35 system is one example of the most common lightweight systems out there to feature a frame-enclosed battery.
When it comes to replacing these batteries, to be clear, our official advice is that this is a job for the dealer, or expert shops to do only.
DIY in this area can get tricky in a hurry. Looking into service options to replace batteries in an integrated system is something to consider before purchasing the bike.
Third-Party Replacement E-Bike Batteries
For some older batteries – or even some current ones – there may be manufacturers other than the so-called OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) who made the original batteries. These third-party companies are not recognized by the original e-bike manufacturers so if possible it is always best to go back to your dealer or the manufacturer directly to source an original battery.
However, third-party batteries may be a solution where no original batteries appear to be available.
There are a growing number of companies that provide third-party batteries and here we take a look at a couple of the bigger operations.
Please note that on e-bikes that are still in their warranty period, replacing the battery with one from a third-party manufacturer will most likely void the warranty.
FTH Power has a good amount of experience in the electronics business and has diagnostics and assembly capabilities. They look to have good stocks of popular far eastern battery brands such as Reention (used by the likes of Juiced and Surface 604) and Hailong. They also have this handy battery/model finder to see if they have batteries for your particular model of e-bike.
Third-party battery provision (and recelling services) appear to be bigger business in mainland northern Europe than in the U.S. It makes sense, this is where e-bikes have been around much longer and where the average value of e-bikes is higher. The need to keep older bikes going longer is greater. For example, Heskon is a major supplier of replacement batteries to dealers and Fiets Accu Revisie is the part of Heskon that sells direct to customers.
The UK’s Electric Transport Shop network offers battery diagnosis (refundable against a replacement battery or recell if required). The ETS says they also have stocks of Battery Management System chips that can be used on certain packs, usually on older e-bikes.
The ETS also says ‘There are so many shapes of e-bike batteries now that we cannot guarantee that we have cell packs to fit them all and it is usually cheaper to buy a factory-built replacement than to hand-build a replacement pack in the UK so we usually recommend buying a battery from the original supplier if the diagnosis proves that’s what is needed. If their supplier is no longer available to supply a replacement pack in this instance we will help people find a suitable replacement or as a last resort we will offer to wire in an alternative pack which may be in a different position on the bike.’
What Should I Do With My Old E-bike Battery?
If at all possible the ideal solution is to take it back to the dealer you bought it from who will send it on for recycling.
In the US the industry is in the midst of setting up its own recycling scheme. It was organized by People for Bikes and will be directly coordinated under the auspices of Call2Recycle. There will be a network of battery drop-off locations from the nation’s roughly 3,000 independent bike shops. Manufacturers and retailers can sign up here.
The batteries will be sent on to ‘processing partners’, four of which are domestic and two of which are foreign—one in South Korea and one in Belgium.
The consortium brands are funding the recycling service, which will be free to riders; of course, consumers will still have to pay for replacement batteries. There are also plans for a consumer-direct mail-in recycling option in the summer – EBR will keep you posted on its development.
There are already such ready-made recycling networks in mainland Europe and the UK is just beginning to establish such a network.
This guide to replacement electric bike batteries hopefully covered the basics of what is out there for you. It’s certainly just the tip of the iceberg though. If there is anything else that wasn’t covered here, let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below and we’ll update this guide with the info our readers are looking for!
Tested: Cannondale’s Compact Neo E-bike Blends Small Wheels and Big Practicality
The Compact Neo’s lightweight and useful folding features make it a great choice for urban use and apartment living.
Takeaway: Cannondale reimagines the budget-friendly utility e-bike using the brand’s signature design cues and an eye toward build quality. The Compact Neo works well for city commuting and around-town use. Apartment dwellers or those with limited storage space will appreciate the bike’s folding features and small footprint.
- Novel application of folding features
- Lightweight and portable
- Well-geared for use with or without motor assistance
Cannondale Compact Neo
No stranger to the urban e-bike market, Cannondale has a wide range of Neo models with varying suspension, frame styles, and accessories. Until the arrival of the Compact Neo, the Neo nomenclature often meant Bosch mid-drive motors and large-capacity, heavy-weight 400Wh batteries. These models are rather pricey but go the distance in both features and riding range.
The new Compact Neo, however, flips the script on weight and pricing. This new model uses more affordable components for the motor and drivetrain, plus a much smaller battery to save weight. The result is a giant step toward accessibility for Cannondale, an affordable e-bike able to be carried upstairs easily and folded for wall-flush storage. In keeping with the main competitors in the e-bike segment (RadPower and Aventon,) the Compact Neo is available directly to the consumer online through Cannondale’s site. It is also sold through dealers and other select online retailers.
With a clever front triangle design reminiscent of 1990s Cannondale Killer V frames, the Compact Neo has both rigidity to ensure responsive handling and maintains a low standover height. Cannondale produces the Compact Neo in one frame size with a wide range of saddle height adjustability. Available in a Smoke Black paint with a bright multicolor fork, the finish, combined with the small wheels, offers the Compact Neo plenty of style and personality.
Riding and Using the Compact Neo
Where other manufacturers in the lower-priced, urban e-bike segment prioritize throttle power and acceleration, Cannondale focused on maintaining the cycling experience. Many e-bikes in the sub-2,000 category suffer from poor ride quality when the battery is dead or riding with the motor off. Brands assume that city riders are interested in deploying power at all times.
The Compact Neo is like a utility bike, but one that just happens to have a small motor for those moments when you need a little extra boost. Even without the pedal assist engaged, the bike remains extremely capable. Riders can easily use the Compact Neo assist-free with very-limited drawbacks—this is not the case for most other e-bikes in general, but especially for e-bikes in this price range.
In addition to the 250W Hyena motor, Cannondale fitted the Compact Neo with reliable components from well-established brands. Tektro hydraulic disc brakes do their job, bringing the bike down comfortably from its 20mph maximum assisted top speed. Small and chunky Kenda K-Rad tires eat up rough roads.
The Compact Neo’s drivetrain also shines bright. Running a 48T chainring on the crank and an 11-34T cassette in the rear, shifting is responsive and allows manual power output past the bike’s top assist speed. The gearing is sufficiently wide for keeping up with other bike traffic and to get the little bike up hills.
Weighing half that of a comparable RadRunner Plus makes a big difference in the rider’s quality of life. This weight savings comes thanks to thoughtful prioritization of features (no suspension, smaller battery)
The Compact Neo has some great features to make the Compact label quite fitting. The bike features a TranzX folding stem, allowing the handlebars to rotate 90 degrees when stationary for a much flatter profile—paired with folding pedals, this bike collapses to the width of its saddle, which is extremely useful for hallway storage. I can’t overstate how practical this is, perhaps even more convenient than a traditional mid-frame folding bike.
At first glance, the Compact Neo doesn’t even look to have a battery. But there is one tucked inside the modestly sized downtube. This gesture of subtlety translates through the entire on-bike experience. Riding in busy bike lanes, I don’t feel overpowered or frustrated by the lack of a throttle.
The Neo Compact feels comfortable and confident to ride at the speed of cycling traffic. This confidence is due to how gently the Hyena motor applies power. On other e-bikes, it often feels like the extra power output translates into excess speed, whereas on the Compact Neo, the additional power simply feels lighter.
The Neo maintains its smooth handling even with a packed pair of panniers attached to the rear rack (included). Increasing the motor assist under load significantly decreases the required pedaling effort, but using the assist too liberally eats up the battery charge. To avoid draining the battery too quickly, dial back the assist level used.
Small In Size, Big On Function
If this bike requires any changes, it is to the pedal assist level management. Mode adjustments can be made via the handlebar-mounted Hyena LED controller, though—as the Neo Compact lacks a screen—it’s not as straightforward as some other brands’ e-bike controllers. The Neo requires a little more monitoring of the pedal assist settings than some other e-bikes to ensure you’ll have enough charge left for your ride. I averaged about 20 miles of use per charge using moderate-high assistance. When the battery eventually runs out, the bike (luckily) charges back up quickly.
While another e-bike would be out of commission with minimal assistance (much less without any), Cannondale designed the Compact Neo to ride well regardless of motor output. I felt comfortable turning down the assist when not using it to conserve power when riding downhill or without carrying any cargo.
The Compact Neo takes Cannondale’s accumulated knowledge of premium e-bikes and translates it to the budget-friendly utility market with resounding success. Thoughtful component choices and high-minded design ensure the Compact Neo provides all the functionality of a much heavier e-bike but with enhanced portability and ride quality that integrates seamlessly into everyday life.
Based in Brooklyn, New York, Aithne is a commuter and urban bike tester of mountain bike experience. Between rides, she produces experimental stories at The Atlantic and organizes media labor.
Fat tire electric bikes add stability and traction. Ride smooth and comfortable on a Cannondale fat tire e-bike.
Fat tire electric bikes are showing up everywhere these days. You’ve probably seen it, too. From cruising around town on streets and paths to slaying serpentine singletrack, and everywhere in-between, each day more and more people are finding a smoother, more fun way to ride.
Today, we’ll help you choose the right fat tire electric bike by answering a variety of common questions you may have as you prepare to make a purchase.
What is a fat tire electric bike?
There are a wide range of form factors that a fat tire electric bike can take, depending on the manufacturer. While some are styled to look like a 1970s era minibike, most quality fat tire electric bikes look a lot like regular bikes, but with the added benefit of an electric motor.
With wide, smooth riding tires, and a comfortable, upright riding position, fat tire electric bikes are one of the most popular e-bike categories. And while there is no single tire size that makes an electric bike a fat tire electric bike, some fat tire electric bikes feature tires of up to four inches in width. Tires this wide are made to perform best in snow or in deep sand and actually make for a slow rolling, hard to maneuver bike in all other conditions. So, unless you are looking for a bike to ride primarily on the beach or through inches of snow, you will find a tire size between 2.0 – 2.6 inches in width to have the best balance of shock absorption and nimble handling. These size tires, inflated to the proper tire pressure will provide the smoothest, most comfortable ride on nearly all surfaces.
Almost all fat tire electric bikes are equipped with upright MTB-style handlebars, which for most riders, are more comfortable than drop bar road-style handlebars. That said, if you’re looking for a drop bar electric bike, check out Cannondale’s electric road bike lineup.
Where can a fat tire electric bike be ridden?
One of the most fun things about e-bikes with bigger tires is that they can be ridden virtually anywhere. Much like other bicycle types, Cannondale offers a range of electric bikes with higher volume tires, including mountain e-bikes designed to tackle any terrain, and urban e-bikes optimized for smooth, comfortable speed around town.
For riders looking to conquer mountains, or simply venture out onto their local singletrack, Cannondale offers its Moterra Neo and Moterra Neo LT electric mountain bikes.
The Moterra Neo features 150mm (5.9-inches) of front and rear suspension, ideal for trail riders that like to rally both up and down the mountain. The Moterra Neo LT kicks it up a notch, with 170mm (6.7-inches) of travel in front and 165mm (6.5-inches) of rear wheel travel tuned for big hits and fast riding.