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eBike Review - Meet The Espin 21 Nesta - It's Fast, It Folds, And It's Burly!

Looking for a bike that can fold up to fit in your space, get you to work, and handle some trails? This model from Espin bikes checks all the boxes.
Espin 21 Nesta

Espin 21 Nesta

Learn More about the 21 Nesta and purchase it HERE to get a $50 discount from Magnetic. 

Let's start with a general overview of the Espin 21 Nesta and define who this e-bike is for exactly. There are many e-bikes out there, from hardcore off-roaders to casual cruisers to commuters - but the 21 Nesta is unique. This model is a true purpose-built e-bike for people who are tight on space, looking for both commuter and recreational functionality, and want more of a true e-bike than a hybrid.

The first thing you will notice is the nontraditional design; this thing unapologetically screams e-bike. The function that will appeal to many city dwellers or those simply without a lot of space is the ability to fold this bike down to a smaller footprint so it will fit in a closet as opposed to needing a garage or having it sit in your living room. It will also easily work on trains, buses, or in cars/SUVs without racks.

Now for a bit of a reality check, this bike is not light, and folding it takes a bit of strength and patience at first. The 21 Nesta comes in at around 65 pounds; it's manageable to pick up and move but not easy by any means. For someone who might not have much physical strength, this probably would be a deal-breaker. We can't imagine carrying it very far, so if you were riding a train or bus, chances are you would break the bike down right before boarding so you could easily roll it around.

Espin 21 Nesta

Espin 21 Nesta

The step-through frame makes it easy to get on and off, although the high handlebars take a little getting used to. Despite the handlebars being a little high up, the bike is relatively easy to control and maneuver. Overall the ride is comfortable, and pedaling on all human power is easy with the eight gears available to you. So if you run out of battery power, you will be fine unless you tackle big hills.

The e-bike features both a throttle and five levels of pedal assist, although the throttle will not work unless you are at least in level one of assist mode. We found even the first level of pedal-assist to be pretty aggressive, and once you get to level five, you are barely using human power unless you are seriously cranking. 

Speaking of cranking... this bike is FAST, which you will notice right after hitting the throttle. Out of all the bikes we have tested, this is by far the fastest we have ever ridden and, with full human power and battery power, can easily hit 25+ mph.

Pro tip: Make sure your 21 Nesta is not in assist mode when you first get on it, as the bike tends to accelerate as soon as you initiate the pedals quickly. It's easier and safer to engage the first assist level once you are on the bike and in motion. The power of the assist modes can also be adjusted in the menu if you want to customize how much power you get in each mode. 

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Espin 21 Nesta

Espin 21 Nesta

The 21 Nesta may have a funky-looking design, part moped, part BMX bike, but it efficiently manages various terrain. From city streets to bike paths and even gravel paths - you will have a smooth and comfortable ride thanks to the padded saddle and adjustable front shock system. However, this bike is NOT a mountain bike and will not handle technical terrain very well. It would be best if you also rode it with caution on loose gravel due to the engine's power, which makes it easier to slide out.

The bike also has some cool accessories like an optional front rack (max 22 lbs) and a rear rack (max 66 lbs) for carrying your stuff. There is room for a water bottle cage on the handlebar stem, which is essential in our opinion, especially for longer rides. Like most e-bikes these days, you get decent components, disc brakes, and a headlight (no rear light) for riding at night. We don't love S-Ride components and would have preferred to see Shimano on this bike for the cost, but they work fine.

Pro Tip: If you are riding a lot at night, get a third-party rear red light so drivers can see you more easily.

The 21 Nesta model that we tested. 

The 21 Nesta model that we tested. 

Summary: If you are looking for more e in your e-bike, the 21 Nesta is an excellent choice. This bike delivers on speed, functionality, and portability where many e-bikes can't compete. It's the perfect design for people living in cities or small spaces that want to stow it away out of sight. The 40-mile range is excellent for both commuters and recreational riding, and the bike is easy and comfortable to ride with its step-through design and taller handlebars, so you don't have to hunch over as much.

Pros:

  • Fast with a solid range
  • Foldable
  • Handles a variety of terrain
  • Comfortable to ride
  • Nice assortment of accessories and quality electronics + nice LED screen

Cons:

  • It might be too heavy for some riders to port around
  • We would rather see Shimano components than S-Ride
  • The design might be too ebikey for some people

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Electronics + Stats:

Motor Brand -Espin
Motor Type - Rear Mounted Geared Hub
Motor Nominal Output - 750 watt nominal/1000 peak output
Motor Torque - 85 Nm
Battery Brand - Samsung Cells
Battery Voltage - 48 volts
Battery Amp Hours - 10.5 ah
Battery Watt Hours - 504 wh
Battery Chemistry - Lithium-ion
Battery Charge Time - 6 hours
Riding Range Estimated Min - 20 miles
Riding Range Estimated Max - 40 miles
Display Type - ESPIN color LCD
Readouts - Time, Speed, Battery, Assist Level (1-5), Odometer, Watt output
Drive Mode - Cadence Sensing Pedal Assit & Trigger Throttle
Top Speed - Class 3 / 25 mph+
Attachment Points - Rear Rack, Front Rack, Fender, Water bottle
Brakes - Zoom Hydraulic Disc Brake 180mm Zoom levers with integrated Motor Cutoff
Cranks - Alloy Cranks 170mm, 46T Chainring
Fork - 100mm Travel Hydraulic Lockout
Frame Size - 17"
Frame Type - Step-thru
Gearing - S-Ride (8 Speed) 11-32T
Handlebar - 31.8mm
Headlight - LED
Pedals - Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform
Rack Capacity - Rear Rack 66 lbs (30kg) 20" x 6.5" / Front Rack: 22 lbs (10kg) 13" x 10"
Saddle - Velo
Seatpost - Zoom 30.4mm
Shifter - S-Ride triggers
Tires - 20 x 4.0
Weight - 65 lbs

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