Reviews

Delfast Top 3.0 review: Get this thing out of my apartment

One of the biggest, baddest e-bikes on the market is actually a total pain in the ass.

It’s big boi season

Electric bikes are out of stock everywhere, but the real rising star in alt-transportation right now is the electric sub-motorcycle.

🎥: Super73

E-Scramblers

Electric scramblers like the Super73 are good for commutes and a little offroading, but what if you want more power but aren’t ready to go full e-motorcycle?

For a long time your only option was the Sur Ron, but that’s changing quickly.

This is the Delfast Top 3.0 getting a little extra juice.

Background

Delfast, a Ukrainian company, has been making electric bikes since 2015. From the very beginning, these bikes have been spec-sheet monsters with huge motors, giant batteries, and a considerable price to match.

$6,649

The price of the base model Top 3.0.

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3,000 Watts

The nominal power of the hub motor.

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200 miles

The estimated range of the Top 3.0.

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Too good to be true?

On paper, the Delfast Top 3.0 competes favorably with the Sur Ron and Sondors’ gorgeous Metacycle, but how is it in real life?

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First impressions

Delfast sent me the Top 3.0 for review and it came on a big shipping truck. Two men unloaded the bike off the truck and left it and its giant charger sitting on the sidewalk in front of my house.

The first thing I did was power the bike on. I pressed the push-to-start button and was greeted with an ear-piercing screech that scared me half to death.

It’s not terribly loud in the video, but I assure you that it is ear-splitting in real life.

I hate these sounds

What I did not realize as I attempted to get this 154-pound electric bike into my apartment is that the bike is equipped with a luxury SUV-caliber car alarm and it is engaged automatically after you turn off the bike.

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No escape

So before we even talk about what it’s like to physically ride this bike, I need you to understand that whenever you finish riding it and turn it off (because walking it while powered on is dangerous), you must unlock it or else the alarm will sound. Unlocking the bike also emits an ear-splitting beep. There is no avoiding it and it can’t be disabled (I asked).

🎥: Maxell

Before I even had a chance to really test it, this bike:

- Scared the shit out of me

- Disturbed all of my neighbors

- Created an atmosphere of fear and anxiety in the area around where the bike was stored

But how's the ride?

The thing to understand about the Top 3.0 is that it’s a collection of off-the-shelf parts as opposed to the Sur Ron and Metacycle’s custom designs. That said, Delfast has chosen really high-quality stuff.

The bike I reviewed came with a DNM Volcano fork, the same that often ships with the Sur Ron. This is a very high quality part that costs around $500 by itself.

Similarly, the battery is a nearly 3,500 Wh lithium pack which is huge. This may not mean much to non-battery heads, but the company is using 3,200 mAh LG cells, which is pretty much top of the line.

While I was awkwardly moving this massive bike into and out of my apartment building, an actual motorcycle rider commented on the fact that the front wheel has two disc brakes, which is definitely something you don’t see every day and is critical for stopping such a heavy bike.

Everything from the lights to the fixtures is all top-shelf stuff, but it just doesn’t come together as a good bike.

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On the road, this manifests as a heavy, cumbersome bike that doesn’t deliver the fun of the Sur Ron or the raw sex appeal of the Metacycle.

Here’s a perfect example: The Top 3.0 uses a rear hub motor, whereas the Sur Ron has a mid-frame motor with a small gear conversion. This gearing gives the Sur Ron a ton of torque off the line, making it feel a lot more fun and performant.

What the Top 3.0 has going for it is range. The 3,500 Wh battery on a bike this (relatively...) lightweight means big, big mileage, and my testing bears that out.

I won’t get into the math, but after test riding the bike in mostly-flat Central Park, keeping track of the battery voltage, and referencing this table and extrapolating out, I think about 200 miles of range is actually possible, which is wild.

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Do you need 200 miles of range?

I certainly don’t need 200 miles of range, but there are people out there who may, and for those people I do think the Delfast is a workable bike with great parts and terrible design.

For everyone else, just order the Metacycle.

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