The Stromer ST2 is a luxury electric bike for the classy commuter and in this review I will examine whether its worthy of the price tag. Eco-friendly commuting solutions are having their own renaissance in the US, with green-minded individuals as well as budget-minded and traffic-loathing folks ditching cars and public transports for these cleaner vehicles.
However, not all solutions are the most convenient or comfortable. Biking to and from work will tend to make riders sweaty, while even the best electric scooters aren’t the fastest or the kindest on your arms and feet. Luckily, there are electric bikes like the stunning Stromer ST2 that take less effort to ride and are generally comfortable, safer and faster.
Of course, the Stromer ST2 isn’t any other e-bike. Every inch luxurious and feature-rich, yet fast and incredibly robust, there’s no arguing that this Class 3 e-bike is at the top of the bicycle chain, so to speak. Not that you should expect anything less from one that will set you back a hefty sum. Is it a lot for most people? Certainly. But is it worth the steep price of entry? Every single penny.
Stromer ST2 review: Price and release date
Made available for purchase in February 2021, the Stromer ST2 won’t be for the budget-minded, unfortunately. The price of entry here is $5,699 / £5,252. That’s substantial for sure, and that’s before all the modifications and configurations you can do on the Stromer website before clicking that buy button.
There are a few configurations on hand, a few of which will add to the total cost. Opt for the Royal Blue color, for example, instead of the usual Dark Grey, and it’s $60 / £51. Add in a suspension fork, and you’ll pay $499 / £367 more. Need a more robust battery that will give you a 110-mile (180 km) range on a single charge? Then expect that final price to cost you a breathtaking $6,499 / £5,938.
The ST2 is also one of the cheapest in Stromer’s range. It’s top ST5 model feature ABS brakes and starts from $10,499/£8,853. There are definitely more affordable e-bikes out there but there are reasons why this one costs more.
Stromer ST2 review: Design and build
Still, while other e-bikes out there look more like a messy collection of parts clumsily put together, the Stromer ST2 isn’t just sleek and minimalist. It also has a smart and sophisticated design that will look just as good being ridden to work in your best suit as it does through your usual cycling trail. It kind of reminds me of a Raleigh Centros Crossbar in the UK, only much more elegant.
There are hardly any cables visible here and the removable battery is tucked away inside the down tube for that cleaner look. As is the touchscreen display, which is integrated into the head tube, the on/off button, which is set on the underside of the tube, and the rear wheel motor that’s hidden away in its own hub.
The Stromer ST2’s aluminum frame feels premium and solid, so you won’t have to worry about wobbling, even on pothole-riddled roads. Unfortunately, it also means it’s a heavy bike at 72 pounds (33 kgs). If you live on a higher floor apartment or condo unit, make sure that you have an elevator big enough to fit it as you wouldn’t want to be hauling this up and down the stairs, lest risking an accident.
There are the essentials, of course, like a horn, which is electric, a low- and high-beam headlight, which can produce up to 900 lumens of brightness, and an integrated brake light. There is also a mini rack in the back on which you can strap your bag and a small basket.
Next to the left grip are the + and - power mode buttons that will let you toggle between modes on the fly. Meanwhile, the right grip houses the 5-Speed Sturmey Archer shifter, which is incredibly easy to turn.
The touchscreen display, which again is built into the top tube so that you won’t even notice it until you’re next to the e-bike, is incredibly useful and just as feature-rich. More than just a display, it gives you access to a slew of settings, configurations and features. However, its menu of options might be too much for the average user as well as the chip that’s powering it – it takes 20 seconds to boot so forget about making a quick getaway.
Stromer ST2 review: Features
Don’t take the Stromer ST2’s minimalist look to mean there isn’t much in the way of features here. On the contrary, there’s definitely more than enough here for the average user.
The aforementioned 5-Speed Sturmey Archer shifter isn’t only easy to operate, but unlike other bikes, it can be used even when you’re not pedaling and the bike is at rest. There are also three power settings here for the motor, ranging from the lowest, which gives you up to 19mph (30 kph) to the highest that goes up to 28 mph (45 kph). This useful feature lets you control your speed without having to do it actively while you’re riding. It also helps you limit your speed when you’re in busy areas.
Much like many premium e-vehicles, the Stromer ST2 has regenerative braking technology built-in so that it recycles some of that braking and downhill energy spent, sending it back to the battery to extend its range.
Finally, it boasts 3G and Bluetooth connectivity, which make features like auto-locking/unlocking, GPS tracking, and anti-theft protection possible. The anti-theft feature, which works to scare off thieves as well as try and prevent its actual theft, is two-fold: first, it shuts the motor off then it starts blaring the electronic horn to alert passers-by that a theft is in progress
Stromer ST2 review: Performance
Although its touch display’s OS is slow to power on and boot, I guarantee that you won’t mistake the Stromer ST2 for anything sluggish. It’s got a 750-watt Stromer CYRO Drive IG motor that’s not only capable of reaching a top speed of 28 mph (45 kph), but kicks in easily and smoothly as well.
On a flat surface, you’ll find that pedal-assist kicking in before you even do any real pedaling work. In fact, it’ll go up to 15 mph with you hardly doing any work at all. However, that motor especially shines up hills, and is powerful enough to see even non-adept cyclists up a 20% grade hill – and that’s while in fifth gear. Trust me, it’s not pretty to see me try to cycle uphill on a non-electric bike, but this one makes me look less of a mess, even without gaining momentum at the bottom of the slope.
That carbon belt drive it’s fitted with is a thing of riding beauty, making your pedaling experience smooth and quiet – although the motor does have a noticeable humming. What’s more, it’s apparently built for low maintenance without sacrificing longevity.
There is no mistaking this for anything other than an urban ride, however. While it is incredibly smooth to ride on paved roads (even ones with tiny potholes) and that saddle is ergonomically shaped, so it keeps you comfortable and in place, it won’t do well on dirt paths. I learned this the hard way when I ended up in a neighborhood in Joshua Tree where the streets have yet to be paved. Those Cycl-e ST tires also don’t do well over loose dirt.
Luckily, there’s always enough juice to get you home. The basic configuration of the Stromer ST2 comes with a 618Wh battery that gives you up to 75 miles (120 km), which is already substantial for an urban community. Upgrade to a 983Wh battery, and you’ll get a whopping 112 miles (180 km).
Just bear in mind that the battery tends to also drain, albeit much slower, even when the Stromer ST2 is powered off. If you’re using this for your daily commute, just make sure that you check its battery level the night before.
Stromer ST2 review: Verdict
The Stromer ST2 is definitely a luxury investment. However, it is worthy of its price, from its build and features all the way to its performance and comfort. It’s clear that Stromer has not compromised on quality here, despite the fact that it is – believe it or not – one of its more affordable offerings.
You’ll appreciate its clean and minimalist look, rock-solid construction, and easy operation. More importantly, you’ll find that the comfort and performance it offers, even on steeper hills, are worth every penny. That’s especially because – aside from the fact that it is heavy and its on-screen menu does take time to boot – you’ll be hard-pressed to find something you won’t like about it.
The Stromer ST2 is one smooth ride with effortless handling that even cycling novices won’t find intimidating, and it’s easy to recommend. At least to those who are willing to splurge.
Stromer ST2 review: Also consider
Equally minimalist is the VanMoof S3 that boasts automatic electronic gear shifting and up to 93 miles in range for much less at $2,298 / £1,998. Unfortunately, it also only tops at 20 mph – though that really isn’t a deal-breaker if a chunk of your commute is in a pedestrian-heavy area.
Need something more versatile? The new RipCurrent S Step-Through from Juiced Bikes is fitted with fat tires so you can go from paved roads to dustier trails without fuss. Its top speed is 28 mph and range is up to 70 miles. That’s for a $2,699 price of entry, though it is only available in the US.