The Dash has a mid-drive motor that produces good torque. There is no shift detect, so that torque might strain the drive. It’s a pedal assist model only in its base model, but can be upgraded with a “boost switch.” You’re not going to reach the bike’s top speed unless you pedal in high gear, and the bike has a relatively limited range (especially when you’re going all out).
If you’re not familiar with mid-drive electric motors, there will be a bit of a learning curve if you’re used to a hub motor or just new to electric bikes altogether. Having a mid-drive motor is great in a lot of ways, but you’ll pay extra for it upfront and you’ll find yourself working a lot more than you may want to when it comes to a relaxing ride. If you’re up for the work, a mid-drive motor is nice to have, but in our opinions may not always be worth the hassle. There can be a lot more issues like chains falling off a lot easier, broken chains, and a real kick or jolt when starting from a stop. When it comes to workload, be prepared to shift a lot like you would when driving a car with a stick-shift (manual transmission). If you start in 1st gear on your mid-drive motor iZIP and don’t upshift to a higher gear, you’ll be stuck at 8 MPH for the rest of your ride. This could be fine if you’re going uphill the entire time, but otherwise you will need to shift to a higher gear because the mid-drive motor is actually attached to the chain and front sprocket, which means when you shift gears in the rear, you will feel a change in power like you would when changing gears in a car. This can be annoying for many riders who would rather just press the throttle and go, or use pedal assist, with a rear hub motor.
The upsides of having a mid-drive motor shines when you need to go uphill, start from a stop with a lot of weight, or want to get better battery range when cruising at a higher speed. If you’re someone who likes a challenge and added workload while riding, the iZIP E3 could be the eBike for you, but it will come at a high price tag.
We found the controls of the Dash confusing and the way the battery pack operates to be a hassle. The bike doesn’t perform as well as comparable electric bicycles when it comes to its responsiveness, either. Again, the lack of shift detection feels like a liability, and long-term durability might be an issue as a result.