While electric mountain bikes are one of the hottest trends among biking enthusiasts in 2022, they are not the ideal bicycle for your daily commute through the city’s cars, buses, and pedestrians.
The Ecotric Vortex is a Class II type electric bike designed for commuting on busy city streets and other dense urban areas. Despite being marketed as a budget-conscious model, the Vortex still packs a powerful motor, easy-to-operate user interface, and a smooth ride.
This e-bike offers a much better solution for avoiding traffic jams and crowded public transport while keeping your commute short and not draining your wallet. Here is our Ecotric Vortex electric city bike review.
Who Is This Bike For?
The Ecotric Vortex is marketed as an electric city bike and is an excellent choice for individuals who live or work in the city.
This bike is also reasonably priced, making it a smart choice if you are buying your first electric city bike and don’t want to commit your entire wallet to the purchase.
The Ecotric Vortex is on the smaller side, so taller riders might want to look into other electric bike options for a more comfortable ride. This bike should ride very well for riders between 5’3” and 6’0″ who weigh less than 265 lbs max.
Build Quality and Components
Unlike some budget-friendly electric bikes that sometimes feel flimsy or poorly constructed, the Vortex feels like a sturdy, high-quality bike, weighing 51 lbs with the battery attached and offering a maximum carrying capacity of 265 lbs.
The Ecotric Vortex is solidly built with a high-strength carbon steel frame for enhanced durability and 26-inch x 1.95’-inch CST tires with 26-inch x 1.90-inch inner tubes. The valves on the tires are American standard valve size.
Ecotric also added durable front and rear fenders to protect against splashes and debris. Ecotric also designed the Vortex with a metal derailleur guard for added rider protection, while the adjustable seat is well padded and made of quality materials.
This electric city bike comes with Tektro Novela Mechanical Disc 160mm Rotor brakes on both the front and rear wheels. The Shimano 7-Speed gear system with a built-in outage braking system functions well and gives you added security while pedaling through the city.
This electric bike from Ecotric also comes with a bell, reflectors, a battery charger, and an assembly kit with tools and written instructions.
Building your new Ecotrix Vortex is a straightforward project that shouldn’t pose many difficulties, even if you aren’t the most mechanically-minded individual.
The bike comes in a typical, full-size bike box with a good amount of packing material to ensure it arrives at your home intact and undamaged. After unpacking the bike, the assembly will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
While the Vortex will arrive from Ecotrix mostly assembled, it will be up to you to attach the handlebars, pedals, front fender, front wheel, and seat and seat post.
The included tool kit and written instructions are easy to understand but are not explicitly written for the Vortex model. Fortunately, most city bikes are similar enough that the instructions should be sufficient to allow you to assemble your new electric bike without much fuss.
Ergonomic Design and Ride Comfort
The ergonomics were clearly at the forefront of the build parameters when Ecotric began to design the Vortex electric bike. The company touts this bike as having a “linearness design” that contributes to rider comfort.
The 26-inch wheels offer a smooth ride that remains stable at speeds exceeding 20 mph. The bike handles well with quick accelerating and steady tracking around corners and bends. And while designed for smooth pavement, the high-carbon steel frame and quality tires make the occasional rough section of the road easy to navigate.
The lower front end and slightly narrow handlebars can create a feeling of resistance on some tight, slow-speed turns but not to a degree that causes any concern or discomfort.
Ecotric affixed the battery case to the middle of the center portion of the bike frame, where it is well-balanced and unobtrusive. Ecotric used resilient ABS plastic for the cell box housing, which provides vital protection for the battery. The cell box is also durable enough that you won’t have to worry about the occasional pebble bouncing up and damaging it or moisture seeping in and causing problems.
The padded seat is adjustable and, along with the front end design, can be situated to allow the rider to lay flat in a more aggressive, almost race-like position. Of course, you can also adjust the seat for a more upright position if that is more comfortable.
Despite the excellent adjustment range on the padded seat, taller riders (those over 6 feet) will likely experience the sensation of being constricted on the Ecotric Vortex.
The Shimano 7-speed external gear system performs well on hills, and the mechanical disc brakes are also solid performers, offering quick, reliable braking even from top speed.
Using only the motor, with the throttle fully open and no pedaling, the Ecotric Vortex has a reported range of 16.89 to 18.89 miles. This range increases to 32.8 to 35.8 miles when you utilize pedal assist. These numbers are slightly above average for an electric bike but don’t outperform other bikes in the same category and price level.
One special note about the Ecotric Vortex’s range is that it does seem to cover its maximum range faster than other electric bikes with a 350W brushless motor. The high-efficiency design of the Vortex is a definite pro when comparing it to similar electric city bikes.
For the electrical components of the Vortex, Ecotric elected to use a rear hub 36V 350W brushless geared motor.
The motor runs quietly and smoothly while adding less weight to the bike than similar motors and providing efficient power generation for better performance. Despite not being the most powerful motor we’ve seen on electric bikes, the Vortex’s motor offered rapid acceleration, and the bike has a surprisingly impressive top speed of around 20 mph.
The battery for the Vortex is a 36V 12.5Ah lithium battery that you can easily remove for recharging. Charging times for the battery are between six and eight hours.
Ecotric reports that the battery is good for anywhere from 400 to 600 recharge cycles which means it should perform for the average rider for quite a while.
The Ecotric Vortex’s pedal-assist mode can adjust power output to three levels: low, mid, and high. There is a slight delay before you notice the power (about one rotation of the pedals), but after that, you feel it very clearly.
Ecotric provides two keys when you purchase the Vortec electric bike. You can use the keys with the battery lock and power lock functions of the Vortex to shut off power from the battery as well as lock and unlock the battery cell box.
The interface on the Vortex includes a cadence sensor, and the Ecotric 810 LED display. The 810 LED display is a straightforward control display mounted on the handlebars.
The control display consists of four LED lights that alert you to the remaining battery charge and three LED lights that display the current pedal assist mode.
There are also three control buttons on the interface:
- The first button allows you to cycle to power on and off for the bike.
- The second one, labeled “6km,” engages a cruise control-like mode that provides a steady 6km/h (3.7 mph) speed. This function is particularly useful when walking next to the bike, especially when walking uphill.
- The third button is the pedal-assist mode button which allows you to cycle between the three power output levels.
Warranties and Returns
Ecotric offers customers an 18-month warranty period which covers manufacturer defects in the materials or construction of the Vortex bike. The components covered under the 18-month warranty include the frame, original lithium battery, motor assembly, controller, and user interface display.
The warranty does not cover some parts, and Ecotric also includes a list of circumstances that may void the warranty, such as user repairs or unauthorized modifications. Be sure to review the warranty policy if that is important to you.
If you purchase the Ecotric Vortex, there is also a 30-Day At-Home Trial policy that allows you to return or exchange the bike 30 days from the date of delivery receipt. For more information about the policy’s guidelines and stipulations, visit the Ecotric website.
Should You Buy an Ecotric Vortex Electric City Bike?
In this Ecotric electric bike review, we covered all the key information you need to know about this city e-bike. In sum, the Ecotric Vortex is a solid entry in the budget-friendly category for electric city bikes. This electric bike offers a high-quality build, quick acceleration, reactive handling, a comfortable ride, and enough range to ensure you make it to your destination and back home again.
If you live or work in the city and are interested in an electric bike that rides smoothly and is affordable, the Ecotric Vortex is worth considering.