s3nki by September 2022, 23 | 0
Xiaomi HIMO Z20 - urban e-bike test
Such is the case when Xiaomi gives its name to an electric bicycle.
For me, this year was spent in micromobility. Last year, distributors pushed robotic vacuum cleaners, this year everyone wanted to test bicycles, scooters, and even skateboards. I note that I don't mind, I really enjoy these tests. I also liked the HIMO Z20 test, although the experience was not cloudless, even if there are no storm clouds to speak of.
Even before we get into the test, it's worth knowing that HIMO is a manufacturer loosely connected to Xiaomi, so I had pretty high expectations for the Z20 in advance. After all, it's Xiaomi, it has to be flawless. Well, as a bike it was essentially that, but there were 1-2 interesting details.
Let's get down to writing (reading), as usual, unpacking, assembly, then the paper form, and finally our own experiences.
The HIMO Z20 came in a package smaller than average and lighter than the bikes I've owned recently. Of course, take lighter to mean that it wasn't the packaging that was lighter, but the bike inside.
But it was not only the size and weight that surprised me, as the Z20 was the bike that required the least amount of assembly. Basically, everything was in place. We only need to screw on the pedal and the fender, that's all. It's interesting to say that I found a tool for the pedal in the package, but not for the fender, so a wrench won't hurt.
Actually, most of the time is not taken up by the assembly, but rather by removing the packaging materials that have been glued on for protection. You don't need any tools for this, but it doesn't hurt to get a pair of scissors ready before you start.
After reading it online, quite a few people complained that the paintwork was damaged during transport, which probably shows the imperfection of the packaging. I was lucky, I didn't find any faults after the first, but not even after the second visual inspection.
So that's the bottom line. In connection with the installation, you will need even less technical expertise than usual, essentially, we have nothing to do, just the pedals and fenders, and then we can hop on our new bike!
Of course, before the first trip, the usual inspection cannot be missed. Checking the operation of brakes, transmission, tires and more can even save a life!
In terms of size, the HIMO Z20 is an average, or slightly smaller than average, city bike with 20-inch wheels. It can be ordered in two colors, gray and white, I currently have the gray one, which suits me better.
There is nothing extra in the electrical system, it is also average in terms of capabilities. The battery has a capacity of 10 Ah and 36 volts. The motor is located in the rear wheel, according to the factory data, it is 250 watts, and its maximum rotation is 326 per minute. It takes 5 hours to fully charge the battery from zero.
The electric assistance of the bicycle works up to a speed of 25 km/h.
The HIMO Z20 is therefore slightly smaller than average. The exact dimensions when unfolded are 1470 x 550 x 1090 millimeters, while folded 860 x 740 x 400 millimeters. What is very important is that its weight is only 27 kilograms instead of the usual 28-21,6 kilograms for its competitors. This will be of even less importance later on, but we will talk about this in the experience.
The bike is protected against splashing water, it has an IPX7 rating to be exact.
Interestingly, the manufacturer does not specify the maximum climb angle that can be overcome, but at least we get data on the range that can be covered with one charge. According to this, 80 kilometers can be covered on a single charge with pedal assistance. The maximum load capacity is 100 kilograms.
As can be seen from the data, we cannot expect too many interesting things. Perhaps the only thing worth mentioning here is that HIMO already sells bicycles with CE certification in the EU, which do not have a throttle. With the throttle, this would no longer be a bicycle, but a moped, which is subject to completely different rules.
The HIMO Z20 is a creation that pleases the eyes. Right out of the box, you can feel the difference compared to a product from a smaller manufacturer. The frame is unique, you won't find this from any other manufacturer. The cables are basically hidden everywhere, so it looks like the Z20 could be placed in a much higher price range, it wouldn't stand out from the more serious bikes either.
I really like (although it doesn't have much practical use) that the manufacturer put two sets of fenders in the box. Smaller manufacturers usually don't have such an accessory at all (you can buy it afterwards for good money), but here there are two types. One is the conservative metal solution, the other is a sportier plastic solution suitable for off-road bikes. Both are quality pieces.
The Z20 is therefore 20 inches, and the factory tires show right away that it was intended for the city, not the off-road. One of the disadvantages of this is that there is no damping either in the front or in the back, which is a bit strange these days. Of course, on a normal bike path or on high-quality asphalt, this is not a particular disadvantage, and in the city there is a good chance that we mostly drive on these.
The assembly is flawless, the weldings are mostly beautiful. I'm not saying that I haven't seen prettier ones, but it's not messed up, that's the point. I like the polish, but if you don't like it, you can still buy the white one.
We have front and rear lights. The front one is not unusual, it is common for all manufacturers, but the rear one is usually not standard equipment. I don't understand the reason for this, because even in the case of the Z20, it seems that nothing extra is needed here, a usable battery-powered rear light is now a penny item. In the case of the Z20, in addition to the fender, the manufacturer did not want to skimp on this either.
I have two more things to mention. One is a real curiosity, the pump hidden in the seat tube, and the other is the seat itself.
Well, in the tests, they try to present this pump as a sensation. I admit, it's not a problem if we always have a pump, it can come in handy. However, I have several problems with this pump.
The first is that if I lower the seat too much, the pump sticks out at the bottom, and if I fold the bike, I can only rest it on the plastic end of the pump. According to the dream book, this does not mean anything good either. The other is that you have to pull out the seat tube to pump. I don't even want to know how scratchy the tube will be after the fourth or fifth use.
So the bottom line is, in an emergency, it's not bad to have a pump in the pipe, but it's far from the dizzying innovation that you can read about in some articles.
The second is the seat. It didn't appear to be uncomfortable in the short term, but after covering a longer distance, it certainly didn't suit my rear. I note that the 20-watt bike I had this year, which cost twice the price of the Z1000, was not perfect in this respect either, and it is not an exaggeration to say that in almost every case, with every manufacturer, it is worth replacing the seat with a softer, more comfortable, gel one. In vain Xiaomi, this is also the case here.
It belongs to this chapter that the bicycle is very much missing a support. I'm not talking about what you take out when you park, but what is usually underneath the pedals and where the bike rests when folded. As I wrote above, the Z20 relies on the pump, or if not the pump, then the front sprocket. Not very lucky.
It also lacks a handle or lugs or whatever, so it's an opportunity to lift the bike when it's open or closed. Of course, you can lift it now, you can reach under the frame, but it's not very convenient.
I have to insert here what you mentioned above, that is, the weight of the Z20, which is not 22 kilos. The handle by which we can carry it is missing, but the relatively small weight compensates to some extent my sorrow due to its lack. I'm not saying that I wouldn't like to carry it onto a train (if it's not a low-floor one), but putting it away and lifting it into the trunk of the car is not a mission impossible either.
Regarding the exterior, the bottom line is the following: The frame is beautiful, shapely, and pleasing to the eye. The assembly is perfect and I really like that most of the cable whips are hidden. The presence of two sets of fenders and the rear light is a positive. So far I have been convinced by the Xiaomi quality!
During my first electric bike test, a reader asked me why I was so keen on the Shimano derailleur, when it is the worst Tourney type. Well, the HIMO Z20 also has this, namely a six-speed version (the rear sprocket is exactly six links, not the six-speed Tourney gearbox).
As everything has worked for me so far, and with the binga equipped with the Shimano Tourney derailleur, I can also say with the Z20 that this derailleur is perfect. In some cases, it happened that it had to be adjusted a bit at the end of the installation, but if that was the case, it really does its job flawlessly. Precise, quiet, does not switch between the two sprockets, does not click, does not crackle.
The brakes are, of course, disc brakes and surprisingly biting. The master cylinder itself is not a very branded piece, but still, the braking effect seems to be much better than on bicycles of emerging brands. I don't really understand the reason for this, maybe the discs are better. The point is that the brake is perfect.
I can't write too much about the lights, the front light is adequate, but nothing extra, almost any random bicycle light knows what it is. The point is that it can be used.
As I wrote above, the complete lack of shock absorption is a bit strange. Let's shade the picture! On the one hand, in the past, no bicycle had shock absorption, and there was nothing terrible about that, tube tires were invented to absorb shocks and vibrations.
On the other hand, as it turned out during the test of this bike, there is no need for shock absorption if the road is of adequate quality. Obviously, it is much better to have shock absorbers on a frozen, broken, potholed road.
So, overall, we are doing well if we think about the environment in which we want to use the Z20 and make a decision about its purchase accordingly.
Everyone is interested in what it's like to ride a bike with the HIMO Z20. Well, in short, it's good. The 250 watt motor is not a power machine, but if there are no more than moderate climbs on the road, it moves the bike nicely when you turn the pedal. We only need to add really perceptible power to progress when we reach an uphill. In such cases, the help of the engine will be enough to not break, or in the case of a tougher climb, we will wind up (though not easily) to places where we would not even try with a bike without assistance.
The six-speed gearbox does not allow us to go faster than the 25 kilometers per hour speed that can be reached with the electric assistance, even when switched to the highest gear. You have to spin the pedal too fast, it's not comfortable. Realistically, 27-28 Km/hour is still achievable. Anyway, the role of the gearbox here is exactly the same as on a bike without a motor, that is to be able to switch back when going uphill.
The range is also worth talking about! The specified range of 80 kilometers (with pedal assistance) is not true here, as we have become accustomed to. First of all, we should not be more than 70 kilos, because the measurement is done with this body weight. On the other hand, the range is measured on a test bench, there are no uphill, downhill, headwinds or tailwinds, no red lights, no need to brake, stop and go. So the factory data is just a number on a folder or in a PDF.
Fortunately, what usually comes into play here too, that is, to halve the range given by the factory, subtract a little from it, and this will be the reality. In other words, in the case of the HIMO Z20 (depending on terrain and body weight) 25-35 kilometers. In practice, at least for me, this was the available range, in fact, 25 kilometers, because my body weight is exactly equal to the maximum load capacity specified for the bike. This range means that even in relation to Budapest, you can almost cross the city with one charge, and in rural towns you can cross the city twice there and back.
The range, as usual, is less than what the manufacturer says, but still plenty good for urban use.
Anyway, the Z20 is the usual pedal sensor solution, which means that if you move the pedal, the motor starts, if you don't turn it, it stops. The engine's torque does not change depending on the torque input by our legs, or there is assistance or not.
Overall, how is the Z20 to be used? Really good! At least it's good if we don't want to go crazy, slalom between cars or team up on dirt roads, because it won't be suitable for these purposes. However, walking comfortably and safely to the city and to work is absolutely good!
I'm typing the fifth page again (in Word with font size 11), so it's almost time to close the article. I'll give it a try.
The HIMO Z20 is a very good electric bike, with a better-than-average assembly quality, a much nicer-than-average (in my opinion) frame shape, great brakes, and a powerful motor that can be used on flat terrain.
Buy it if you want a bike from a reliable manufacturer, which is a bit more expensive than its noname counterparts, but it also gives you a little extra in return. Buy it if you don't want to climb mountains with it, because it's not suitable for that. Buy it if you know that the majority of your journey will be on high-quality roads.
If you take into account the above and don't set excessive expectations, you will love the HIMO Z20. As it turned out from the above, there are smaller moments that you can get involved in, but overall the situation is that this is a very good and lovable bike!
If you want to buy it, you can buy it from Geekbuying's EU warehouse. The price is a NNNHIMO20HU with coupon code, now HUF 372 instead of HUF 000, delivery is free. Of course, there is no need to clear customs (EU warehouse), and VAT is included in the purchase price. Purchase by clicking on the link below: