Super 73 bike speed. The Super 73 S1 Modes

Super 73 ZX E-Bike Rocks Your Ride With One Gear, All Muscle, Fun — CleanTechnica Review

All dressed up and anywhere to go: ZX e-bike from Super73 makes you want to find any excuse to go somewhere.

Read a few reviews about the new ZX e-bike from the company Super73, and you can probably pick out who is new to the e-bike experience and who is not. With that in mind, here are some thoughts on a powerful personal mobility device that commands much respect and gives much pleasure.

super, bike, speed, modes

Does This E-Bike Go Up Hills?

Good question! This question seems to pop up all over the Intertubes. Can the ZX pedal-assist electric bike from Super73 go up hills? Find out for yourself by taking it on a spin.

If you’re accustomed to multiple gears, you can anticipate a different kind of ride with the standard Super73 ZX. It has just one 16-tooth rear cog gear to play around with (a 10-speed version is optional), so if this is your first time on a single-speed bike since training wheels, your best bet is to build a relationship with the bike. It’s sure going to be worth it.

My ZX arrived in a cardboard box and was easy to assemble. After a quick spin around a parking lot I took it on my regular 20-mile commute to work, which consists of a series of low, high, and steep hills followed by more of the same. Incredibly, the ZX sailed up most of them with the power mode set to zero on that one gear. Either I’m in better shape than I thought, or magic is happening.

Part of the difference could be the seat design. It humps up at the rear, which lets you put some extra muscle into your legwork.

To be clear, it was a much more vigorous workout/commute than I get with my everyday e-bike of 7 gears and 3 power modes, so if that’s the relationship you’re looking for, go for it.

For steeper hills, you can use whatever power mode is street-legal in your jurisdiction to give you a bit of an extra kick without breaking a sweat. After zero comes one, two, and three, and then there is a secret 4th mode which is really not a secret, but you have to really want it to get it.

I did find it difficult to feel the boost going up the first couple of hills, which could be where all those questions about going up hills come from. However, after a mile or so I figured out how to modulate my pedaling to get the most out of the power settings. Setting number one was enough to top off most of the hills, and I called upon two and three as needed.

Does The Super73 ZX E-Bike Throttle Obey Your Commands?

Power modes or not, the throttle definitely came in handy for some of those hills, including an actual mountain (well, that’s what they call it around here) that pops up at mile 18 of my round trip and would probably kill me on a conventional bicycle. The motor on this e-bike is ripped at 750 watt nominal/1350 watt peak, so hitting the throttle gave me more than enough juice to get up and over without having to pull off end-of-commute feats of strength and endurance.

As for why you need a throttle on an e-bike, you don’t necessarily need a throttle, especially not if you live in an area without hills. I do have hills, and I find a throttle very useful on a long urban/suburban commute, especially one with no bike lanes.

super, bike, speed, modes

Aside from topping off hills, the throttle can give you a running start on traffic after stopping at an intersection on an uphill climb, get you through an intersection on the green light before a car turns into your path, or scoot you across big, wide multi-lane intersection before things get hairy.

The throttle on this e-bike is super-responsive, which could be where some of those questions about throttle behavior come from. If the Super73 ZX is going to be your first ever e-bike, you might want to prepare by getting a few minutes of practice on an e-bike that packs a bit less punch.

Otherwise, remember the Simon Cowell rule: respect the beast. The ZX has a thumb-style throttle, which is super fun to play around with, but if you have a lead thumb (lead as in Pb, the heavy metal), you’re going to be in for a surprise. Play around with the throttle on level ground for a few minutes and go soft before going hard.

I did experience one hitch on my first commute, when the throttle wouldn’t engage at the beginning of the return ride. Not sure what happened there, but shutting off the battery for a few seconds fixed the problem and it never happened again.

super, bike, speed, modes

The opposite thing happened on the second day. I hit the throttle coming out of the driveway from the office just to make sure it would engage, and it seemed to respond with more juice than I intended. On reflection, though, that was probably just my thumb over-compensating for the previous day. I played around with the throttle for the whole 11-mile ride home and the issue never popped up again.

A Closer Look at SUPER73’s New Adventure Series Lineup

You might be thinking that SUPER73’s electric bikes are already built for adventure, and you’d be correct; we do make rugged, dependable bikes designed for the most adverse conditions, but there’s always room for improvement.

We’ve looked closely at what customers have said about our bikes and used that valuable feedback to identify the key areas we wanted to address in our 2023 models. The changes were significant enough that it quickly became clear that an entirely new series was in order: The Adventure Series.

Meet the Adventure Series

You’ve wanted a line of electric bikes that could handle all the intense and punishing trail rides you could throw at them, and now they’re here! Before we break down the specifics of each new bike, though, we’d like to provide a brief overview of the changes we’ve made and why:

We knew the Adventure Series wasn’t going to be used for pavement-based commutes, so we were more than inclined to provide all the traction a rider could want.

Standard Front Suspension

We anticipated that riders of our Adventure Series would experience trails a bit more rugged than average, so we outfitted all of our new models with front suspension that could take on a bit of impact.

While the battery for the Z-Adventure model remains in its usual place, the R and S Adventure models situate the battery lower on the frame for a lower center of gravity.

No slipping off on gnarly trails for you! We extended the seats on both the R and S Adventure series so that riders would be able to find the perfect position.

Getting the right amount of torque with the proper wheel speed is essential when you’re in deep mud, blasting up a hill, or just looking for a smooth ride. SUPER73 eight-speed cassette assures you can find the right gear for the right moment.

For superior ergonomics and control, we’ve fitted the majority of the Adventure Series with our McFly Handlebar. The only exception is the Snowshadow SE, with its low-profile Blain Handlebar.

Each Adventure Series bike is available in one of four new colors: The special-edition Corsetti and Snowshadow, alongside Sandstorm and Panthro Blue.

SUPER73-R Adventure Series

With all the significant changes out of the way, let’s get into the new models themselves!

First up is the electric bike series of choice for road and off-road warriors alike: The SUPER73-R Adventure Series. These bikes have adjustable, full-suspension fronts and rears to keep your spine intact as you blast through sand dunes, fallen-log-infested forests, and extra-rocky trails.

You can charge any R Adventure Series electric bike through any standard 110V wall outlet. The R Adventure-Series comes with a built-in headlight, taillight, and horn to let other riders know of your presence. With that said, most standard R-Series accessories still fit (with the exception of the longboard surf rack), such as the optional rear rack or 1UP USA carrying rack (with the Fat Tire Spacer).

Some more specifications and features to note with the R Adventure series include the following:

  • Classes: 1/2/3/Off-Road (Class 2 Default)
  • Class 1: 20mph, pedal assist only
  • Class 2: 20mph, pedal assist, and throttle
  • Class 3: 28 mph, pedal assist only
  • Range: 40-75 Miles
  • iOS/Android Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Smart Display with Navigation

The battery charges in only six-to-seven hours, though given that it is detachable, you could get a spare to always have one charged and waiting!

SUPER73-S Adventure Series

The S2 is the electric bike that put SUPER73 at the forefront of the scrambler-style ebike scene and set the pattern for all off-road electric bikes going forward. Now, in Adventure Series form. the S2 is more prepared than ever to get off the paved path, and just like its R Adventure Series counterpart, it has a long, grippy seat, lowered battery, eight-speed cassette, GRZLY tires, a tall McFly handlebar, and a horn to top it off!

Longtime S-Series fans know that even without rear suspension, S2s are formidable off-roaders. Still, even street riders will appreciate the improved balance and handling characteristics of the S Adventure model’s lower battery mount. Standard accessories still fit just fine, too, with the exception of the longboard surf rack.

super, bike, speed, modes

Specifications and features are as follows:

  • Classes: 1/2/3/Off-Road (Class 2 Default)
  • Class 1: 20mph, pedal assist only
  • Class 2: 20mph, pedal assist, and throttle
  • Class 3: 28 mph, pedal assist only
  • Range: 40-75 Miles
  • iOS/Android Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Smart Display with Navigation

With the SUPER73 app, you can get over-the-air updates automatically, which means you won’t have to take care of firmware updates manually anymore!

Super73 S1 vs Z1, Which is Right For You?

SUPER73-Z Adventure Series

Our Z series is what you get when you need a lower-cost, more “basic-commuter” electric bike but still want the quality, strength, and dependability that come with the SUPER73 name.

While the Z Adventure doesn’t get the relocated battery or the extended seat, it boasts all the other changes that make the Adventure Series ideal for tearing through rough terrain. It has impressive upgrades over other Z models, including front suspension, hydraulic brakes, a front fender, a headlight, a taillight, and a horn.

The Z Adventure’s specifications and features consist of the following:

  • Classes: 1/2/3/Off-Road (Class 2 Default)
  • Class 1: 20mph, pedal assist only
  • Class 2: 20mph, pedal assist, and throttle
  • Class 3: 28 mph, pedal assist only
  • Range: 30-55 Miles
  • iOS/Android Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Smart Display with Navigation

Aside from using a smaller battery than the R and S models (615W/H vs. 960W/H), the Z Adventure does more to narrow the gap with its more expensive stablemates than any previous Z model!

About the Frame

As mentioned before, the first time I saw the Super 73 S1 design, I loved it.

It is just the type of ebike with an old school, bad as style. In the following points, you will see what I think about this model’s frame and design.

Building material and weight

Bike manufacturers generally have four (4) options when choosing frame materials: aluminum, carbon fiber, titanium, and steel.

Lithium Cycles, the California-based manufacturer of Super 73 S1 electric bike, ended up deciding in favor of steel.

Steel frame allows this fat electric bike to offset road vibrations with ease.

Aside from being stronger and less dense than aluminum – the most popular frame material these days – steel is incredibly resistant to fatigue and is ultra-durable.

It is also easy to repair and has those thinner-walled tubes that provide the springy feel, which adds comfort to your ride.

Old school design

It boasts a bare-bones frame (in other words, what is needed to ride it) that is as minimalist as they come.

It contains nothing but the 768 watt-hours removable battery, whose position right between your knees, makes it impossible for you to ignore the numbers showing the remaining battery life.

Their user-intuitive placement makes the numbers telling remaining battery life easy to read.

However, the fact that the frame runs straight from the seat to the handlebar – and isn’t bent like one of the most electric bikes in the market, has provided the top tube with a ‘high-step’ design.

This might pose an issue for short riders as they’d have to lift their front leg higher to fling it over the top tube.

Even though, the design of the frame and components if very simple, it is a shame that they didn’t use aluminum for it.

Electric Bike Fat Tires and Rims

One of the main characteristics any Super 73 electric bike stands for is the quality of the tires and rims.

Of course, for such a heavy structure, that is the minimum expected to ride anywhere.

Compared to other similar ebikes, such as the RadMini Step Thru. this model has a great tire design and carving, which is a key element to ride easy on any type of terrain and condition.

The 20″ fat ebike tires are good enough?

The Super 73 S1 fat tires are perfect for paved roads and gravel. Measuring 20-inches by 4.25-inches, they have a vast surface area, which allows them to retain good traction on wet surfaces too.

Little wonder, then, that this bike’s manufacturer refers to them as ‘all-terrain’ tires.

Except for heavy off-road conditions, fat tires can handle all terrains with ease.

Not everything is hunky-dory about the tires, though. Their massive size – as well as the lack of suspension – prevents them from having a dampening effect on off-road vibrations.

That is the reason why I recommend that you limit using it to light off-road conditions. Up to you, of course.

Solid rims

Here’s one of the features that I liked the most about the S1 model.

Its nimble 20-inch alloy rims provide enough support to let the tires do their job properly.

They do that by subjecting the rear wheel to more torque, thereby making it perfect for weaving between traffic.

Also on offer on the rims are multiple lightening cutouts. You can count on them to place a bottom pressure on the tire’s weight and increase its power.

If you’re one of those enthusiasts that like to fill cutouts in their fat tires (for whatever reason), you can do so by running duct tape back to front.

About the Motor

Even though the motor is not branded from a well known manufacturer, it offer more than the expected.

Lets talk about the main points:

Motor classification

This fat tire electric bike comes with a Class 2 brushless 500-watt rear hub motor.

Class 2 ebikes (most times related to throttle ones) are strongly regulated in many countries, like the UK. I suggest you read our guide about throttle ebikes and limitations.

The main keyword here is ‘brushless’. As these motors provide high torque to weight ratio, last longer, operate at a much lower noise and suffer less erosion than their brushed counterparts.

Thanks to its brushless design, the motor operates quietly and has a long shelf-life.

Yet, another thing you may want to know about the motor is its internal gear.

This construction has reduced the number of moving parts inside it, thereby making it easy to maintain and less susceptible to wear and tear.

I suggest you read our electric bike motor guide to learn much more about the different alternatives.

Super 73 S1 top speed and torque

Due to the above mentioned features, the motor is capable of providing up to 1,000 watts of peak power.

Although, the manufacturer has indicated the Super 73 top speed is 20 mph (33 km/h), a lot of users mention that it can go faster (around 40 km/h) when using the throttle mode.

What ever the speed is, if you want to go overboard – and have the required terrain and pedal-speed to assist you – you can peg this model at its unofficial 25mph top speed.

Turning our attention to its torque, I was quite depressed to note what it can deliver.

The 35Nm is nowhere near impressive, especially when you compare it with high end e-bikes offering more than twice as much.

That’s why you may feel like the bike is gasping for power when climbing uphill.

Super 73 S1 Battery

Possibly one of the most interesting parts of this Super 73 fat tire electric bike – the battery.

To be honest, it is not about its chemistry and range; it is about how it blends and enhances the look of the ebike.

Basically it gives that motorbike style, but powered with an small electric motor.

The Chemistry

At the cost of sounding technical, the super 73 s1 electric bike uses a 48V, 14.5Ah, 768 watt-hour Panasonic cells battery.

I don’t have any problem with this chemistry, except for the fact that the world has moved on from the time when Panasonic cells were the norm in batteries.

The Ultimate Electric Bike. 2021 Super73 ZX

Nowadays, e-bike manufacturers are opting for Li-ion batteries. When compared with batteries that came before this technology, they have a lower self-discharge rate, better voltage capacity and higher energy density.

In plain words, this means that they’re more effective than Panasonic cells.

Range and Charging Times

Although, the battery’s chemistry is age-old, the range that it provides is still impressive.

Since this electric bike has two (2) riding alternatives (pedal and throttle), the range will be variable.

If you go only pedal assist, you can expect a range between 35 and 50 miles, whereas for the throttle mode, you will get an approx. 30 miles of range.

Tip: use the Eco mode to get the maximum range.

Don’t know how to charge Super 73 S1? As any other not high-end electric bike, you can either remove or leave the battery on for charging.

I recommend to remove it from the frame as some components can still drain it, even if they are not operational.

In terms of charging the battery, I really like the two (2) options offered to the user.

While you will receive the standard charger (2 amps) with the buy, you can always upgrade to the 5 amps.

The standard one will get the battery ready in 7 hrs, whereas the upgraded one will get it in 4 hrs.

The design: Urban dirt?

Super73 offers five different versions of its R series, an e-bike that offers either full electric drive, full pedaling, or electric-assisted pedaling. All five versions, however, look like miniature versions of a dirt bike. One, the Malibu, is kitted out to look like an off-road racer. I tested the Brooklyn edition, touted as a performance street racer. The key difference here seems to be the tires, which are relatively slick but still offered plenty of grip and handled a gravel trail with confidence.

Dirt bikes get their ruggedness in part from their compact form, and the Brooklyn takes that idea to the extreme, with a seat height of only about 80 cm (32 inches) off the ground—and that’s before the rider’s weight compresses the rear suspension. I’m tall but not freakishly so, yet I was easily able to plant both feet on the ground while seated. That means the pedals are awkwardly close to my hips, a problem exacerbated by the fact that the bike is compact in its horizontal dimensions.

That, plus the impressive weight of the bike (38 kg / 83 lbs), made it incredibly difficult to pedal. The seat seems to be designed for a rider and passenger, with a raised section at the rear for the passenger. But I needed to be as far back as possible to pedal, so I found myself in what should be the passenger’s seat. That stance meant my legs kept bumping into the wide part of the seat to turn the pedals. The company offers optional 10-speed gearing that may improve the pedaling experience, but it costs 235, which is a bit much for a bike that already costs 3,500. It’s also currently out of stock.

(I’ve decided that I’m limiting my definition of e-bikes to things with pedals, so I have turned down review hardware without them. But Super73 is testing that limit with this design.)

There’s not a lot to the bike beyond the obvious. The front and rear lights are excellent, and it comes with a horn that’s loud enough to induce heart attacks in those who don’t notice its near-noiseless approach. The hydraulic disk brakes are excellent—a necessity for a bike that weighs over 35 kilograms (83 lbs). In addition to making potholes and speedbumps non-issues, the suspension works to absorb the forces of hard braking so a sudden stop doesn’t send you flying over the handlebars. There’s a throttle that lets you engage the electric motor without pedaling and a simple set of controls and a display that we’ll talk about more below.

The bike’s battery is removable, allowing it to be charged without requiring the bike to be near a power outlet. It’s a high-capacity battery, though, so hauling it around without the benefit of wheels is not as convenient as it might seem.

Overall, this is a well-constructed machine, and you get a lot for its 3,500 price tag. If you’re in the neighborhood of 150 cm tall (five feet) and pay for the extra nine gears, it might make for a reasonable electric-assist pedal bike. For anyone else, it’s all going to be about the electric powertrain. And there is a lot to say about that powertrain.

Feel the power!

Because the Brooklyn looks like a motorcycle and has a powerful motor, it’s fair to ask whether it isn’t just a motorcycle that someone stuck a couple of pedals on. Answering that question is important because its non-motorcycle status relieves its owner of issues like licensing, registration, and insurance. But the answer varies from state to state, with different states allowing varying classes of e-bikes based on their top speed when pedaled and when powered purely by an electric motor. Some states haven’t even decided which classes of e-bikes they allow yet.

(REI offers a good description of the different classes of e-bikes, and Super73 has a page that lets you check what your state allows.)

Super73’s software (more on that below) lets you switch the Brooklyn between different classes, allowing you to tailor its capabilities to the laws of your state. But the bike shows up without any class selected (and it’s possible to return it to that state), meaning it will go as fast as its motor is capable of, regardless of local laws. That speed is roughly 50 kilometers an hour (32 mph). Thanks to the throttle, you don’t even have to pedal to reach those speeds.

All of that means I quickly found myself zipping around at speeds that left me a bit uncomfortable at first. Once I got comfortable, I had an absolute blast, largely because the suspension, fat tires, and strong brakes give you a good sense of control. This was especially true on poor-quality pavement. Roads that would keep me struggling for control with my road bike barely registered through the suspension on the Brooklyn.

You can also hit 50 km/hr at the bike’s top level of pedal assist. At that point, pedal assist isn’t really accurate; the motor is generating all the power, and your pedaling simply serves as a cue to keep the motor active. There are three additional settings, which tended to max out the speed at about 25, 30, and 35 km/hr, as well as assist-free pedaling. Only on the lowest setting was it possible to get the sense that your legs were doing anything significant.

This sort of power might seem ridiculous, but remember that the bike weighs 38 kg even before you put a rider on it. If you’re stopped on any sort of uphill slope, you need a lot of force just to get the bicycle moving again or to keep it moving up longer hills. I experimented with different levels of pedal assist (and even with the motor off), and it’s possible to get the bike moving under all of the options. But if there are any cars around, it’s clearly safest to just mash the throttle until you get up to speed before allowing the pedal assist to keep you cruising.

Having tried nearly every combination of assist while running errands, riding around town, and cruising along a short trail ride, I found that my size made it difficult to pedal the bike with any force, and the bike’s weight often made what force I could generate insufficient. So I was heavily reliant on the pedal assist. And if you’re using that feature, it’s difficult not to just notch it up until you’re flying around at the bike’s maximum speed. Once there, the bike’s issues—its weight and awkward pedaling—go away, and you can really enjoy the ride.

There’s software, too

On its own, the bike can be used with its onboard controls, which are simple but effective. There’s a small circular display that shows information like the battery’s charge and your current speed, and three buttons allow you to change the display or shift values like the level of assist. The controls are intuitive and effective.

But things get more interesting when you use Bluetooth to pair the Brooklyn with your phone. This requires the bike to be registered, a process that didn’t go smoothly for me because Super73 couldn’t match the bike’s Bluetooth ID with its serial number. Emailing the company’s support sorted that problem out, and I was greeted with something that was a first for me: the opportunity to upgrade the bike’s firmware.

Beyond that, the software has two main functions. One is to set the class of the bike, from one to four, in order to match its capabilities with your state laws. When set to class two, the bike wouldn’t go much above 30 km/hr (20 mph), whether using the throttle or pedal assist. This also made the two higher levels of pedal assist indistinguishable, as either would readily take me up to the bike’s new maximum speed. The full 50 km/hr glory of the Brooklyn was still only a few taps on my phone away, but it would have been breaking state rules.

The other significant offering is turn-by-turn navigation that, on the phone, behaved the same as any other mapping software would. The key feature here, however, is integration with the bicycle’s small display. Start navigating on your phone, and you can put it in your and watch the display, which updates to show your next turn. It’s a nice touch.

Who is this bike for?

Although I wasn’t able to test it, I suspect the optional 10-gear drivetrain for the Brooklyn would substantially improve the pedaling experience. It would be easier to get the bike moving and easier to generate force when the bike is moving fast. But unless you’re in the bike’s ideal height range, the size and geometry will limit how much pedaling you’ll want to do, and there’s only so much gearing can do for a bike this heavy. I stand by my declaration that this is a terrible bicycle.

But the throttle and high levels of pedal assist transform it into a great little e-bike. It’s easily able to merge into traffic in a typical suburban or urban 25 mph speed limit, and the wheels, suspension, and brakes enable you to do that with confidence. I ran simple errands without the need for a car, and the bike gave me a lot more enjoyment and fresh air while doing so. Although the tires on the Brooklyn aren’t meant for serious off-roading, they handled mixed surfaces with ease.

On some level, you’ll need to use the bike as you would an underpowered electric motorcycle. But I view that as trading a bit of power for greater safety due to lower speeds, all while avoiding the hassle and expense of licensing, registration, and insurance.

But again, the Brooklyn is not cheap. It’s possible to get e-bikes that are much better bicycles for less than the Brooklyn’s 3,500. And if you wanted to add the features to make it a complete round-the-town e-bike—10 gears, a cargo rack, maybe a phone holder—you’re looking at closer to 4,000. That’s a lot to spend on something that comes up short of an ideal e-bike, even if it’s a blast to ride around.

Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

Leave a Comment