E-bikes aren’t just for getting to work or running errands. They can also be great tools for exploring your city and surrounding areas, and getting some exercise, too. E-road bikes, with drop bars and thinner tires, are sportier e-bike models made especially for riders who want to go farther, faster. But many are aimed at longtime road bike riders who want the absolute best equipment possible, and don’t flinch at paying $5,000 (and sometimes a whole lot more) for it.
That’s a lot of cash, enough to make anyone entertaining the idea of an e-road bike to abandon ship. Luckily, iGO has made the Aspire Camillien as an e-road bike for the rest of us. It offers a sporty package aimed at more casual riders for a more palatable price of $2,299.
Speedy, yet Comfort-Oriented Design
The Camillien is a hub-driven bike aimed squarely at riders who want to ride faster and go for bigger routes of around 30 to 50 miles, but still want a comfortable ride. To that end, the bike’s geometry features a shorter reach and taller stack, which means the handlebars are closer to the saddle and higher up, putting the rider in a more comfortable position. But it is still more aerodynamic thanks to drop handlebars. It’s a nice middle ground between the fully upright position of a beach cruiser and the aggressively bent-over position of a high-end race bike. And wider 32mm tires offer additional comfort over the narrower 28mm or 30mm tires found on other e-road bikes. There’s even clearance for up to 47mm tires if you desire.
Keeping the Price Low
With most e-road bikes costing thousands more than the Camillien, iGO had to cut costs on components in a few areas. The bike gets an entry-level nine-speed (nine gears rear, two front for a total of 18) Shimano Sora drivetrain, which offers good shifting that casual riders will be happy with. And the components favor low cost at the expense of weight. The bike totals out to 41 pounds (size large)—pretty normal for an e-bike, but a bit hefty for an e-road bike.
There are a few details in the design that will turn away seasoned road riders, but will be less of an issue for others. While there is a bottle cage mount on the seat tube, there isn’t one on the down tube where the battery is located. Instead, there is one under the top tube which is a less traditional location and one that interferes with pedaling. If you need to carry extra water, expect to fill up on the road or find a bottle cage that fits under the saddle for a two bottle solution.
Be Prepared for Roadside Fixes
Removing the rear wheel requires an 18mm wrench—a tool even the most well equipped multi-tool will not have for trailside fixes. Plan to carry the right tools on rides in the event of a flat.
What to Know About Fit
With only two frame sizes, small and large, the Camillien also takes a two-sizes fit all approach that leaves less leeway to dial in a precise fit. For someone just getting into road riding, this won’t be an issue. The experienced roadie, however, will likely want the additional fit options that come with an expanded frame size range. Some may also find the crank arms to be too wide, forcing your legs into a wide stance.
The Camillien’s display was a standout feature for us. It presents a select few important metrics you need to know in full color. Speed is front and center, displayed both numerically and with a dial that mimics a car speedometer. On the left is total power output, handily measured numerically in Watts as well as visually with 10 colored bars that go from green to yellow to red based on exertion. And battery life is on the right, displayed also with ten colored bars—green being full charge and red being close to empty. The whole system looks like a car display and very effectively provides you all the info you need at a glance. In direct sunlight, it can be hard to read, but you can still make out all the info you need. And the buttons provide haptic feedback, letting you know you pressed them.
The Camillien features a BAFANG 250W hub-driven motor, powered by a 375Wh battery located in the down tube. Using the iGO Connect app, you can configure it either as a class 1 bike (the default mode) which assists up to 20 mph, or as a class 3 bike which assists up to 28 mph.
IGO’s motor assist controls are slightly complex. There are three ride profiles—Economy, Standard and Sport—which essentially determine how much acceleration delay there is when you start pedaling. Each of these levels is customizable in the iGO Connect app and you can even do away with acceleration delay entirely. And then there are five assist levels (1 being easiest and 5 hardest) which gradually increase the level of motor assistance. That many assist levels is a bit much in our opinion, but it doesn’t hurt to have.
The Camillien’s hub-driven motor provides an impressively powerful ride. Going uphill on gradients of about five percent or less, the motor’s 45Nm of torque is able to assist you to close to 20 mph in the most powerful assist level. Up anything steeper, speed drops off pretty fast, but the bike still gets you over most climbs.
Casual road riders will enjoy the easy handling of the Camillien. It’s not built for quick movements and accelerations, or standing out of the saddle to mash out speed. Instead, it easily maintains a straight line on flat roads and doesn’t like to deviate. And it holds a predictable path when turning and descending hills.
Riding in the most powerful setting, 5 (configured as a class 1 bike), the Camillien runs for about 27 miles, and that’s with climbing 3,000 vertical feet. Riding in a mix of settings 1, 2 and 3 and climbing about 2,000 feet, the range is closer to 40 miles. Getting the claimed 56-mile range is possible, but requires riding in flatter conditions and being judicious with how much time you spend in levels 3, 4 and 5.
Though capable of being a class 3 bike, the Camillien is more in its element as a class 1 bike, as are most bikes using hub-driven motors. In class 3 mode, we ran out of gears before we could get the bike up to 28 mph on a flat section, even in level 5 power assist. Instead of ultimate top-end speed, the bike seems to reserve more power for acceleration and maintaining speeds closer to 20 mph.
Overall, casual riders who want to ride farther and faster, but maybe don’t want to join the ranks of spandex-clad weekend warriors, will find a nice choice in the iGo Aspire Camillien.
Weight: 41 lbs
Class: 1 (20mph assist) or 3 (28mph assist)—can be changed in the iGO app.
Minimum Tested Range: 27 miles (145 lb rider; hilly/mountainous conditions)
Maximum Tested Range: 38 miles (145 lb rider; hilly/mountainous conditions)
Charge Time: approximately 4 hours
Target Audience: Casual road riders seeking a more upright position
Drivetrain: Shimano Sora 9 speed (48/32T chainrings, 11-32T cassette)
What We Loved: Stable ride; good display; uphill speed
What Didn’t Hit: No downtube bottle cage mount; wider crank arms
What We Tell Our Friends: Great for casual riders who want to ride a little farther or faster on weekends