Comparison: Stromer ST1 Platinum vs Currie Eflow Nitro
As we sell both the Stromer and the Currie Nitro Eflow bikes - bikes which share much in the way of looks and technology - we are often asked - "what's the difference between these two?"
The Stromer has long been our favorite e-bike on the market. Not a lot compares to the quality, speed and reliability of a Stromer. The Currie, however, comes close.
In our show room floor, though they are very different, customers often think they are the same bike, for a variety of visual reasons. Both feature the flag of the country in which they were designed: Switzerland. Both come in a deep monolith matte black color. Both are priced at $3999. Frame dimensions themselves are similar, featuring a hybrid/mountain bike geometry designed for comfortable commuting and recreation.
The Stromer is flat out sexy. Not only that, it's fast and most of its technical features are better than the Currie. But there are some areas where the Currie excels and makes it a worthy bike to consider when buying an e-bike.
Both have a 500W motor and a 36volt battery. The new Stromer, however, comes with a 14.5 amp battery that is also removable and charges faster than the Eflow.
Both bikes come with larger cruiser-like tires, though they differ in size and tire tread. The Eflow bike comes with the popular MAXXIS Overdrive Excel hybrid e-bike tire. The Stromer ST1 Platinum now comes with Schwalbe Big Ben tires branded with the Stromer logo. The Maxxis tire is grippier and quicker and features the very bright light reflective side strip- great for night riding. Reviews of the Big Ben tires have been astounding though. They provide great grip, they are smooth, they are comfortable and they are very visually appealing with their giant cruiser looks. Goes great with the stealthy graphics of the Stromer.
In terms of performance, both the Stromer and the Currie use a 500W motor. The Stromer ST1 Platinum motor is "un corked" to put out a top speed of 28MPH. The Currie EFLOW top speed is 22MPH. Folks looking for a very fast production e-bike have been gravitating to the Stromer Platinum for that few extra umphs.
Still, both bikes climb hills equally. On either bike, I find that, after a long day of work, climbing up a hill in throttle mod while pedaling to assist the motor and keep the speed, I'm faster on steep hills in throttle mode on the Eflow. On less steep hills the Stromer pulls away due to its miraculous top speed.
Both also feature regenerative braking. Highly desirable and useful if you live and commute down or up a larger hill.
What we tell our clients is that 20mph on a bicycle, with bicycle brakes, bicycle helmet, bicycle tires, bicycle frame and wheels- is faster than you think. 28mph is quite possibly faster than you need, if not potentially a little dangerous.
Ebikes are great. They move faster than a bicycle in a bike lane, but they don't quite hold their own in a car lane. Cars misjudge your speed regularly. Whatever speed you find yourself needing- always remember that you are traveling faster than a bicycle is normally intended to go.
For those who don't have the need for speed that the Stromer is capable of, a bike like the Eflow Nitro electric bike is fast enough. If you need to push the envelope- the Stromer Platinum could be for you. If you don't, the Eflow is an option, as is the Stromer ST1 Elite, which is $600 cheaper than the Eflow.
Where the Eflow does excel is in some of the bike's components, ergonomics and other features. The Eflow uses an FSA Omega Crankset, while the Stromer features an FSA Tempo.
Pedals are important. The pedals on the Eflow are nice comfortable platform pedals that any commuter can enjoy. The Stromer comes with the less expensive track pedals that are tough on softer shoes. We recommend swapping them out for platforms.
The seat on the Stromer is quite stiff compared to the Eflow. This is another item we find that customers often have to upgrade during or soon after purchase on the Stromer. A nice gel seat goes a long way on a good commuter bike.
Both bikes have good hydraulic brakes. The Stromer upgraded theirs to the Magura MT2. The Eflow uses the Tektro Auriga kit. The previous Stromer models had notoriously bad brakes. They squeaked constantly and their rotors warped. In an effort to keep the retail price down on most ebikes brake quality is kept at a minimum, generally speaking. Unfortunately, this doesn't account for the fact that most ebike riders buy an ebike to help them with hills and, as the saying goes, what goes up, must come down. But- when you are flying down your favorite hill and you're on a big heavy, fast ebike, believe me, you want good brakes. The new Stromer ST1 delivers with excellent Magura brakes, better than the Eflow with a radial pump.
The two bikes use different types of controllers. The new Stromers put the controller on the right side and use a proprietary design. The EFLOW mounts its controller at the center of the bike and is larger in size. A nice feature of the Eflow is that it's removable. This is very useful if you have to flip the bike on its back to fix a tire in your garage, but it's also helpful when parking your bike in public. A simple twist and the controller is removed.
The Standard version of the Stromer uses a rigid carbon front fork. It's super light and provides excellent road feel and handling. It is, however, stiff on such a heavy bike. You can get a suspension fork as an accessory that has a lock out too. The Eflow has a rigid fork with a mono shock built into it. Nice.
For the 2013 model bikes, Stromer put out some accessory options called the City Kit, which comes in a few varieties. Great kits, a little on the pricey side, but they are integrated with the bike's frame and electronics, so your light system won't need a separate battery. This is ideal. One thing we don't much care fore is the proprietary rear rack design that requires the use of the fender set in the City Kit. A lot of customers have their own rear rack systems they want to use, or just don't like or need fenders, but for the rear Stromer rack you'll have to use the fender, unless you can jerry rig a forward mount for your rack.
The Currie Eflow will take any regular aftermarket bike stuff. Good.
2 big differences between these two bikes is how the battery is positioned and integrated into the frame. The EFLOW battery is right under the seat in the frame. With no rider on the bike, it gives a look of bulk on the bike, but that same postion makes the battery almost completely hidden by the riders legs when the bike is being ridden. The battery is removed by releasing a lock pin, pulling up on the seat and removing the battery like a cartridge. The battery on the Stromer is housed in the front down tube of the frame and removed with a locked and spring loaded door that opens up the frame. The Stromer is cleaner over all. The wide battery of the Eflow can actually catch the wind a little on its side. Not great.
In terms of ride- the Eflow Nitro seems to be a better ride for comfortable commuting. The Stromer ST1 geometry feels more speed oriented for easy sit-down pedaling, but it's stiffer. The Eflow is a good tall ride and with that seat and ergo bars adds to the bike's rideability.
Our store is focused on experience, which is why we recommend a store visit where you can try out the various models and judge for your self, not some blogger.
At the end of the day, right now the Cury Eflow is a main competitor to the Stromer in the United States if you want a well-made, fast, good looking e-bike with all the bells and whistles that will last. We highly recommend looking at both models before making a purchase decision.
We keep both models in stock most days. See you at the shop.
- joe witherspoon