Author Scott Alexander
November 2, 2021
|Weight||92 lbs / 42 kg|
|Motor||750W 80Nm hub-drive|
|Battery||672Wh Samsung/LG lithium|
Highs Powerful and affordable e-bike with off-road finishes that will have you searching for more adventurous options on your urban commute.
Lows Limited pedalability due to non-adjustable saddle.
The Himiway Escape is a class 2 moped style e-bike. In other words, it looks closer to a Vespa scooter than a bicycle and has a half twist throttle that will propel you without any pedaling. I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for scooters since college when I commuted on a 50cc Honda Spree. The speed, ease, and maneuverability makes it a powerful option for short distance urban commuting. I’ve been noticing similar style bikes popping up all over town lately and when Himiway reached out I was happy to give the Escape a run for its money.
Himiway is a consumer direct brand so the Escape was delivered directly to my house, much to the dismay of my Fedex driver. The box is really heavy. The bike itself weighs in at 92 pounds but when you add in the weight and awkwardness of the heavy duty cardboard box it’s pretty difficult to manage by yourself. Once I got it out of the box things started to improve. It was well packed and easy to assemble; took me about 15 minutes. Himiway has a video to guide you through the assembly process here — https://youtu.be/RBSh8KJjmgA.
Once the Escape is… a bike, it’s much easier to move around. I don’t have a garage so I’m constantly lugging my bikes up and down a short set of stairs into a covered porch so I’m pretty sensitive to this issue. The Escape has a relatively high bottom bracket (310mm), making it easy to roll down stairs without bottoming out. In fact, with the fat tires and suspension I’ve just been riding out the door and down the stairs. Getting up the stairs is easy as well using the Walk feature. If you hold down the minus button on the controller the bike enters Walk mode which causes the rear hub is activated at a uniform speed of about 3mph, enough to simply nudge the bike up the steps with little effort.
The Escape comes in a single size with a recommended rider height range of 5’2”-6’4”. Both my wife and I, 6’1” and 5’3” respectively, spent time on the bike and despite the large size difference were happy with the fit. The steerer tube is very long, enabling 50mm of adjustment in handlebar height. The moped style seat is comfortable and allows the rider to scoot fore and aft to achieve the desired fit. The biggest issue with this design is pedalibility. The seat is not adjustable up and down so for me it’s a bit like pedaling my mountain bike with the dropper post down. This wasn’t a big drawback for my intended use but I wouldn’t recommend it to someone looking for a more fitness oriented bike. The pedals are nice in a parking lot but on the road I’m all about the throttle 😎.
The Escape is spec’d with common entry level components from trusted manufacturers like Shimano, KMC, Wellgo, and Kenda.
Brakes — The hydraulic brakes with 180mm rotors are powerful and provide good stopping power for the heavy bike. As a safety feature the brakes are integrated with the motor — when applied, power to the motor cuts out.
The Escape page on Himiway’s site is currently showing mechanical disc brakes. I expect this is a temporary supply chain hiccup but something to be aware of.
Gearing — The seven speed Shimano drivetrain shifts reliably and provides a reasonable gearing range. Coupled with the motor you should be able to tackle some pretty steep grades without any issues. In my testing I was able to keep speed up all my regular climbs without pedaling at all.
The Escape utilizes a 750 watt brushless gear rear hub motor with 80 newton meters of torque. This is a massive motor compared to most other urban e-bikes in this category. The LCD display allows you to select a pedal assist level from 0-5, 0 being no assist and 5 being max assist. When the pedal assist level is 1 or higher the half twist throttle will also activate the motor.
The battery is a Samsung/LG with a mighty 672 watt hours of capacity, boasting over 45 miles of range on a single charge. I wasn’t able to verify the entire 45 mile range but I can say that with all my riding around town I never saw the battery level dip down more than a single notch on the display. The battery can be charged in the frame or removed with the supplied key. I’m not sure how much of a security feature this is but it should be useful for those parking their bike in a shared location without easy access to an outlet for charging — simply bring the battery pack inside with you.
The Escape is incredibly fun to ride. The high volume knobby tires really set the tone and instill confidence on terrain ranging from asphalt to gravel. The motor feels powerful and responds predictably whether engaged via pedal assist or by using the throttle. The front and rear suspension may not be as sophisticated as what you might expect on a high end mountain bike but they’re more than adequate for around town use and serve to make the ride more comfortable. The Escape is so capable that I found myself pushing the limits wherever I saw an option — down stairs, off curbs, and choosing off-road detours wherever possible.
The LCD display has a surprising amount of configurability. All the usual things like units, wheel size, backlight intensity, etc., but also major functional things like number of pedal assist speeds and max assist speed. If you want to dig deeper a copy the manual can be found here — https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1270512/Key-Disp-Kd51c-U.html
I couldn’t resist experimenting with raising the max assist speed. This YouTube video provides succinct instructions for modifying the setting — https://youtu.be/EyZumdPSySs . The setting on the Escape tops out at 45kmh (28mph) and I can confirm, it does indeed go 28mph. Proceed at your own risk and remember, the class 2 e-bike speed limit is 20mph in the US 😬.
I’d like to see a separation of the pedal assist level and the throttle. Currently when the pedal assist is set to level 0 (no pedal assist) the throttle also doesn’t have any effect. In other words, in order to enable the throttle you have to have at least some pedal assist. Even at level 1 the sensation of pedal assist can be pretty surprising for new riders, especially when they’re just cruising around a parking lot getting the feel of the bike. I think it would be better to let people get used to the power by using the throttle exclusively, and then add the pedal assist variable when they’re more comfortable with the bike.
The bench seat is large enough to accommodate another rider. I took my kids on several rides around the neighborhood which they loved. It would be great to see some foot pegs to make the ride a bit more safe and comfortable on the back.
I’d love to see the front rack come standard. I currently have one on backorder and I can’t wait to get it. It’s a sturdy and aesthetically pleasing design, and where else does the six pack go?
Himiway is planning to launch four new bikes on November 24th and I’m told that the new model names are inspired by animals. I have only one question — will there be a goat?
We’d like to thank Himiway for sending the Escape for review.
Powerful integrated LED light system.
The sturdy kickstand has no problem supporting the Escape.