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It was way back in the 19th century that bicycles were first introduced. It soon became a popular mode of transport and it is said that more than 1 billion bicycles were in existence by the early 21st century. Earlier, cycles were mostly used for work and agrarian duties. Over the years though, cycles have assumed more roles in our society.
Today, bicycles are used for recreation, fitness, commute, travel, racing, and even as toys for children. The basic design of bicycles hasn't really changed. However, bicycles are becoming more technologically advanced, especially in the age of electric vehicles. It is quite obvious that the future is electric and electric bicycles seem to be gaining popularity.
Nexzu is one of the most popular electric bicycle manufacturers in India with multiple products in the segment. We got our hands on the Nexzu Rompus+ and set out to see what the hype is all about. The results were surprising and by the end of our stint with the bicycle, we had fallen for it. Read on to know why.
Design & Style
We received the electric bicycle decked in Blue shade. At the outset, there's nothing extraordinary about the Nexzu Rompus+, but it all comes down to the details. Up front is a circular LED headlamp. It sports body-coloured mudguards at the front and rear.
The handlebar is a rather thick unit and the control panel for the electric drivetrain is also mounted on the same handlebar. The Nexzu Rompus+ is based on a hybrid frame. This means it is good for use on paved roads and it can also be used in off-road terrain.
The electric bicycle features an in-frame battery, and this results in a neat outer appearance. The wires are also routed inside the frame. The seat height is adjustable and the rear-end is very simple. A reflector is mounted on the rear mudguard and that pretty much sums up the rear design.
The Nexzu Rompus+ rides on 26-inch wheels shod with off-road knobbly tyres. The tyre tread adds a certain ruggedness to the design of the bicycle. The spokes are blacked out and so is the aluminium rim. However, the spoke ends get a brushed aluminium-like finish and this makes the bicycle look great.
The petal discs at the front and rear also add to the design element. The entire pedal mechanism is basic and doesn't really help in enhancing the design aspect. At the rear is the electric motor at the hub of the wheel. It isn't big enough to grab one's attention and blends in well with the rest of the bicycle.
Features & Specifications
In terms of features, the Nexzu Rompus+ doesn't really come with a long list but it has all you would need to keep the electric drivetrain going. Some of the features of the electric bicycle are:
- Telescopic Front Suspension
- Riding Modes
- Three Ride Speeds
- Dual Disc Brakes
It gets a handlebar-mounted control panel that helps the rider control the ride modes and the riding speed. There is also a switch to turn the headlamp on or off. However, this only works when the electric circuit is turned on via the same control panel.
Built into the headlamp is a small horn. The horn isn't loud enough to alert others in crowded and noisy places, but is good for all other scenarios.
Powertrain, Performance & Handling
The Nexzu Rompus+ is powered by a 250W hub motor which gets its power from a 5.2Ah battery. The battery is mounted inside the frame and takes between 2.5 hours and 3 hours to charge up fully. Nexzu claims a range of 22 kilometres in pure electric mode and about 32 kilometres in Pedelec mode.
Riding the Nexzu Rompus+ is a pretty straightforward experience. Anyone who's ridden a bicycle before will find it easy to use. It behaves exactly like any other bicycle, except that it weighs more thanks to the battery pack.
It is the presence of the electric motor that makes a world of a difference and clearly sets it apart from a regular bicycle. One can use the on/off button on the control panel to turn the electric drivetrain on or off. When it is turned on, it is in the Pedelec mode by default. In this mode, it basically functions like a hybrid and provides power assist while the rider pedals.
When you first swing your leg over and start pedaling, the Pedelec mode takes you by surprise with a sudden boost in torque. The Pedelec mode relies on a sensor near the front sprocket. When it detects that the front sprocket is spinning, it understands that the rider is pedaling and provides power assist.
At parking speeds, this power assist can catch you off-guard if you aren't used to it. Once you get pedaling on the streets though, the power assist makes it so easy to ride. The difference is especially felt on inclines and rough roads. As we mentioned earlier, the electric bicycle gets three speed settings - Low, Medium, and High.
The speed settings make a difference even in Pedelec mode. It is best left in the ‘High' setting if high-speed cycling is what you're looking for. In crowded areas though, it is best to leave it at the ‘Low' setting. The same applies to the pure electric mode as well. The throttle feels light and the torque produced by the 250W electric motor is felt immediately.
The motor is responsive to throttle inputs at low speeds and this responsiveness fades out at around 20km/h. It will touch a top speed of 25km/h. With the electric assist turned off though, we found the Rompus+ a little hard to ride. The rear sprocket is a little too small and riding up inclines is especially hard.
When it comes to handling, the Nexzu Rompus+ feels pretty light. The knobbly tyres are grippy and hold the road well even if there is some mud around. The front suspension struggles with rebound, but we can't expect a more sophisticated suspension at this price point. The seat is soft and comfortable.
If it came with rear suspension, the ride would be much better. But, at this price point, it is probably wishful thinking. On the whole, the Nexzu Rompus+ makes for a great riding experience.
Price, Competition & Warranty
The Nexzu Rompus+ is priced at Rs 32,925. With this price tag, the Rompus+ is neither at the top, nor at the bottom of the electric bicycle segment in terms of the price tag. The Rompus+ competes with the likes of the Hero Lectro C3 and BattRE Electric Newtron.
The Nexzu Rompus+ comes with varying warranty periods for different components. The controller and charger come with a warranty of 6 months while the frame and fork have a warranty of one year. The electric motor and battery have an 18-month warranty.
The Nexzu Rompus+ is more than just a bicycle. It is a fun experience. This electric bicycle has got all your needs covered. Whether you need it for commutes, fitness, or leisure, the Rompus+ can do it all with ease.