The Enviolo Automatiq Hub ICE Sprint X Tour - Ride and Review
Davy and Garrett - Published on 01/01/2024
Hello everyone, welcome back to Utah Trikes! Today we’ve got an amazing new motor and gearing pair to tell you about today. This combo features a familiar 250 watt motor, with an all new smart gearing system in the rear.
Today, we will be going in depth on this combo, along with the ICE Sprint X Tour trike that it’s installed on today. And, later, I'll be taking it out for a ride to get a feel for how such a unique gearing matchup changes how it rides
Have you ever been tired of manually shifting through gears? Constantly adjusting your tempo and gear ratios to just be tired out by the end of your ride?
Well, this is where the Enviolo N380 CVP Internally Geared hub with Automatiq (that’s right with a Q) shifting comes into play. This is an internally geared hub that comes installed on the rear wheel of your trike. This replaces the rear cassette. With a smart automatically shifting transmission.
On the standard internally geared drivetrain, the hub would take the gears from your rear cassette and put them inside the wheel hub, making it a self contained system while still receiving input from the chain. It also features the many benefits that standard internally geared hubs provide such as: Low Maintenance Gearing because of its self contained and protected internal system and the ability to shift while coasting or stopped, making starting again after stopping a lot easier.
Where the Enviolo hub differs is that there are no actual gears within the hub. As you pedal you can adjust the resistance to match your cadence. It’s artificially replicating the effects of shifting gears.
Inside the Hub there are rotating balls, over its ratio range that permits an infinite number of ratios. As the input ring applies more pressure to the balls the output ring increases its perceived ratio. Thus making your wheels spin faster. This steel ball system allows for a smooth shifting feel with no jarring jumps between gears. With the electronic Automatiq shifter this becomes even smoother, without even needing to manually adjust the hub. So much so that when you come to a stop it automatically shifts down, making it so when you start again you aren't starting back up in your highest gear
Much like a CVT in a car this hub adjusts its gearing based on the speed and the input from the motor. Allowing you the rider to keep a consistent cadence, without the need to shift. The Enviolo hub features a stepless shifting system. Meaning it has no set gears, but instead smoothly transitions from its lowest ratio to its highest ratio without a hitch. With its ability to sense your cadence, it is constantly adjusting to your terrain to keep your cadence as consistent as possible.
This Internally Geared Hub and automatic shifter come paired with a Shimano Steps EP8 Electric assist motor. The Shimano Steps EP 8 utilizes a torque sensor, which measures the amount of pressure applied to the pedals and adjusts the assist accordingly. When you pedal harder it shifts into higher gears to give you the correct amount of resistance and rotations per minute.
The amount of power you need to put into pedaling is decided by which of the three assisted modes you’re in. The assist modes are Eco, Trail, and Boost. Which mode you choose will affect how much power is added to your pedal stroke, and ultimately the speed and range you’ll get. With an output of 85 Newton meters of torque and a large 630 watt hour battery the console claims that you can reach a distance of One Hundred and Ten on Eco, Fifty Five on Trail, and Thirty Six on Boost with a full charge. Being a class 1 motor this means that with this motor will match your pedaling efforts up to 20 mph. The Shimano Steps system is an OEM only setup which means that it can only be installed when you order your trike from the factory.
The Steps systems are offered by ICE,HP, and Azub on factory builds and there are no retrofit systems available from Shimano. So if you are interested in getting this combo request it specifically when you order your trike.
Today we are featuring this combo installed on an ICE Sprint X Tour, which we haven't really talked about on this channel before, but it's an awesome sporty touring trike.
ICE has four models of road riding trikes that all fall on a scale from Racing to Tour style. The VTX being at the top of the Racing scale. This is a very light and agile trike with a low swung hang that is built for speed. At the Touring End there is the ICE Adventure which is a heavier and wider trike with a higher set seat that is built for comfort and more relaxed riding. Between these two there is the Sprint X, which is closer to the VTX in design but higher off the ground and with less harsh of a position. It still features the hard shell seat and the 700 C thin rear wheel. This is a sportier trike with some tour quality of life features that make it more user friendly.
Lastly, closer to the Adventure is the Sprint X Tour which is the trike we are riding today. This is similar to the Sprint X, but it has the Schwalbe Road Cruiser wider tires and a higher set seat making a good mediator between speed oriented and comfort oriented trike.
The Sprint X Tour comes in stock with a 26 inch Road Cruiser tire in the rear and two 20 inch tires in the front. When ordering your X Tour there are a few suspension options you can include. Those being rigid, partial, or full suspension like the trike we have here today. Like the ICE Adventure it has the quality of life feature of having a folding frame.This is called the Compact Flat twist Fold System.
It stores the rear wheel in between the two front wheels to minimize volume and increase storage capability.
The Spirit X Tour also features ICE's indirect steering geometry. Providing a well controlled and natural riding experience. On top of the motor and automatic shifter, we also have a few other additions to the trike that are worth mentioning. Like the clamp on wrist rests, adjustable neck rest, and upgraded BB7 disc brakes. My first thought when using an automatic hub was that it would be great for a commuter bike, so I decided to try and simulate my commute back and forth from the shop by doing a twenty mile round trip ride.
Before that, though, there's another feature of the automatic shifter that I need to set up.
The automatic shifter comes with app pairing capability with the Enviolo Automatiq app. Trust me that's just what it's called on the app store. And it's a little important that you set it up before you ride. I'll admit when I first hopped on this trike in the parking lot. I thought the resistance was too little and the riding was too easy. So I was a little disappointed, but then I remembered that the app exists for the Enviolo hub, and after I had set it up properly, the trike felt exactly how I had imagined in my head.
I’ll teach you guys how to get yourself set up and then we can get out on my commute to and from work. So first things first you need to download the app onto your phone. The Enviolo Automatiq app is available on the Apple app store and the Google Play store. Once downloaded you will be greeted with a connection screen that should be empty. To fix this go ahead and turn on the system for your trike with the power button on the battery. After this the device may show up on your app to connect, but if not make your way to the shifter on the side of the rear wheel and find the white button on the side.
Once found, hold it down until it starts flashing and enters pair mode. It should then appear on your app to connect. When you are connected there's still some setup you need to do. So hop on your trike with your phone in hand and head to the settings on the app. Once there, hit the “Calibrate Automatic” button that should be at the bottom of the settings page. Once there make sure you have a fairly large stretch of road that you can ride on for about twenty seconds and start your calibration. All you need to do is pedal at a continuous pace until it confirms you have finished calibration. Once calibrated just head to the Preferences tab at the bottom of the screen and with this simple UI you can adjust the slider on screen to match your comfortable cadence.
I took mine out for an easy ride with phone in hand in our parking lot, adjusting as I went to find the perfect Cadence for my riding style. Now that we are all set up, let's head out and start this ride.
Now's the time where I get to tell you guys about my experience riding this trike. And my unfiltered opinions. One of the biggest things I noticed while on my ride was that I didn't need to push as hard as I normally would on another trike. And that the system itself kept my cadence consistent throughout the whole ride.
So as I was riding I wasn't necessarily pushing myself to exhaustion, but still getting the exercise out of it.
The Shimano EP8 and the Enviolo Automatiq are the reasons behind these quality of life additions. The Shimano EP8 has a very natural pedal assist that makes sure you are pedaling comfortably no matter the speed. The Enviolo goes hand in hand, by taking away the cumbersome gear shifting of a normal trike and instead slowly ramping up the output ratio to increase your speed while keeping your cadence exactly the same.
The Enviolo hub was hardly noticeable at all, except for once or twice when the hub did not shift down when I had come to a complete stop. There was maybe one instance where it didn't seem to register that I had stopped completely, but all it took was to push a little bit until it sensed some torque output for it to shift down and become easy to pedal again. With Bafang motors you can feel when the motor catches and starts assisting, but with the combination of this motor and hub it eases you into it making it feel natural. The only times it didn't feel as natural was when I would try to get up to speed by pedaling faster than my normal cadence. In these instances it didn't feel like it was matching my input and instead was speeding up at a consistent rate despite my attempt to pedal faster to increase acceleration.
It seems to have a constant rate of acceleration that stays consistent no matter how your pedaling speed may vary. When shifting manually on any other trike, you get that hit of resistance every time you shift gears. And you can kind of tell you're going faster as it gets easier to pedal in each gear. With the Enviolo Automatiq it's just smooth. There's no jump of gears and it's constantly just the same resistance.
So if you're into a more leisurely ride, and would like a smooth ramp all the way up to 18 miles per hour without really breaking a sweat this motor and shifter combo is a really good contender.
The seat was super comfy and very well padded. It was pretty breathable, I had no problems with comfort for the duration of my ride. And the mesh between the cushions on the seat kept my back from overheating.
The hub itself doesn't even feel like it's there. It's a very interesting feeling, because you pedal at a consistent rate and end up going faster. You normally get up to speed by shifting up through gears, but with the automatic shifting I just have to pedal consistently and I'd already be at my maximum speed. No hassle with shifting gears and waiting for things to change. It didn't feel like I was going faster because there wasn't that manual shift, but I was obviously going much faster at a much smoother pace. It was pretty much effortless and I kind of just forgot that it was there, besides the thought of “oh I just need to keep pedaling consistently’.
Despite one or two cases the hub was at the correct resistance depending on how fast I was going or just a half second from being in the right resistance range. It's really nice just not having to think about shifting and it really makes for a relaxing ride. For 90% of the ride I was on boost, because in a commuting scenario I figured I would be wanting to get to work in a timely and effortless manner. Going 20 miles on this riding mode only took me down one bar. Leaving me very confident that if this was to be used on a longer commute it would be completely fine even at its most energy intensive mode.
The suspension was very cushiony. There was basically little to no road vibration, and I was even hitting a couple potholes in the road with the back tire, and I didn't get absolutely crushed like I would on a regular bike.
Getting up to 18 mph is basically effortless. I was still pedaling and getting the exercise out of it, but I didn't have to push myself. Getting up to 20 mph was a bit more of a challenge because it didn’t feel like there's any support to get you there. The handling on the trike was great, the Spring X Tour has very nice indirect steering, and the input from the handle bars feels pretty direct.
It had a pretty good turning radius. With a combo of suspension and steering the trike essentially leans with you into the turns. So diving into corners was really fun and I didn't really lose any traction while doing so. It's a lot sportier than the adventure. The adventure feels like an incredibly casual trike in comparison. Although its focus IS comfort, but the sprint is both comfortable and really sporty. I compared it to a luxury sports car, instead of like something you would take on a road trip.
If I had to personally choose which I prefer, automatic or manual. It would depend on the use case. If I were doing long distance with a lot of hills, I would prefer manual. Because as I get tired I can adjust the gear I’m in. But for casual touring I can't see why an automatic hub wouldn't be a great option. However, for reference, I do daily drive a manual car. So I'm a little biased and a little old-fashioned. But every once and a while it is genuinely nice to get in an automatic drivetrain and just cruise.
Overall this trike is extremely comfortable to ride and is great for when you want to just hop on and get on the road or trail.
Now at this point in the video you may be thinking, “This trike is cool and all, but how much exactly does this whole trike cost?” Well, let me help break it down for you before I tell you how much this one costs to build. So, the ICE Sprint X Tour in its base format starts at $4502. That is with a rigid frame, meaning no suspension, and stock gearing. The Sprint X Tour that I rode is pretty decked out. And with ICE’s Trikes many of the foundational upgrades absolutely HAVE to be optioned out when purchasing the trike.
The main upgrades are going to be the Front and Rear Suspension options, the Steps EP8 motor, and the Enviolo Automatiq hub. These upgrades CANNOT be added on later so make sure if you want these options on your trike to order it with the trike.
Now, to upgrade to front suspension it’s going to cost you $965 and the rear suspension option will cost you $946. These options will slightly modify the shape of your frame and give you an incredibly soft and adjustable independent suspension system that can be set to your preference. Next we have the EP8 which is our electric motor that will go in place of our crankset. The motor will come with a custom boom, battery, console, and wiring. Everything that goes on the trike to get the motor running. That whole kit will set you back three thousand seven hundred and seventy three dollars. The final piece of this build is the Enviolo Automatiq Hub. This will come with both the wheel with the Enviolo Heavy Duty Hub built in, and the Automatiq shifter and tensioner for the chain. The whole kit will cost you fourteen hundred and sixty two dollars.
With all of these foundational upgrades, this combo will come in at a combined eleven thousand six hundred and fifty dollars. And this is the bulk of what this trike’s performance is built on. On top of the base upgrades this trike specifically that I rode had a couple extra quality of life upgrades. We upgraded the stock drum brakes to the BB7 Disc Brakes. Which is another upgrade you’ll want to order when you build the trike.
We also added a rear fender, a rear disc parking brake, the ICE cushioned wrist rests, upgraded Ergo-Luxe Seat,adjustable neck rest, and a mirror. With all of these accessories our trike came out to about twelve thousand eight hundred dollars. These upgrades aren't necessary but they really improve the experience of riding by adding more comfort and safety while still leaving room for more accessories. That's been our in-depth look at the ICE Sprint X Tour with the Enviolo Automatiq hub and Steps EP 8 motor. It's an amazing trike combo that is perfect for a commute or really any amount of riding
If you enjoyed this article make sure to leave a like and let us know in the comments down below! We hope you guys like us detailing these more custom builds, let us know what YOU would like to see us to highlight in the next video in the comments below. If you have any more questions or are curious about this trike build, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be glad to give you a hand. For those of you interested in this trike here, we will leave the link for the quote of this build in the comments below.
And in the meantime remember to Relax, Spin Fast and Ride Trikes.