I’ve had some experience with the Super73-ZX. My son’s grandfather bought one of their bikes a few months ago. While I’ve ridden it a couple of times through our neighborhood, I never expected to be floored by how good it is in an urban setting.
Full Disclosure: SUPER73 invited me out to LA to test out their newest version of their 73-ZX electric bike at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Aside from having free rein with the bikes on the upper two levels of the parking structure and in the city, they also fed me excellent Mexican food and ice cream. Shout out to one of the founders of the company, Legrand Crewse, for inviting me and being an all-around cool guy.
SUPER73 was founded in 2016 in Irvine, California. The company’s goal was to make electric bikes with designs inspired by motorcycles from the 1970s, and things have been going in the right direction for it over the last four to five years. E-bike demand has taken off here in the U.S. in general, and Super73 in specific has managed to snag popular collaborations with companies like Hot Wheels, Will Smith bought one, and Post Malone had a custom 24K gold-plated version of their original model. At the beginning of the year, the company completed another funding round, securing $20 million in investment.
Because of the pandemic, there’s been an increased demand for e-bikes, which has been a bit of a blessing and a curse, boosting sales but also causing some of Super73's models to have backorders.
As for this particular bike, the SUPER73-7X represents the middle of the company’s product lineup. There’s an entry-level 73-S1/Z1 below it, and 73-S2/RX above.
The 73-ZX is what the company calls a reimagining of its original product, the 73-Z1. Make no mistake though, this is a new model. You get an all-new aluminum frame that is both lighter and larger for more battery range and better rider accommodation. The bike weighs just over 62 pounds, so you can actually use it as a bike if you decide to pedal. The real news is in its tech and features. It’s an electric bike after all.
The battery of the 73-ZX is rated at 615 watt-hours. With three pedal assist modes, SUPER73 says the range is between 25 to 50 miles. Of course, that depends on environmental parameters, street incline, and everything that comes with riding in real life not a spec sheet. The bikes I rode on all had ranges of 30 to 36 miles which was more than enough. Charging time with the standard 2A charger is six to seven hours. An optional 5A charger can do it in two to three hours.
Compared to some of its competitors, the 73-ZX’s specs line up right in the middle. A Luna Banana BBSHD has a 52v battery and advertises a maximum of 4,000 watts of power from its battery. That’s impressive, but you’d be hard-pressed to find out its actual range, and its price is nearly $900 more than the 73-ZX. Juiced Bikes and its Scrambler comes in $200 less than the 73-ZX, and offers just about the same performance. Its battery is rated at 676 watt-hours and it’s rated for 22 to 67 miles of range.
The overall quality of the bike is fantastic. This doesn’t feel like something that’s cheap or thrown together. From the smoothness of its aluminum frame to what is probably one of the most comfortable bike seats I’ve ever sat on, the build quality is fantastic. The overall design really does evoke motorcycles from the 1970s, also. I see everything from a Triumph Bonneville to a Honda CB750 in the design.
The company took us on a nearly hour-long ride through West Hollywood so we could experience the bike in an environment it was made for: urban city streets. I’ve experienced the bike by riding it briefly around my quiet neighborhood street. It’s good there but in the city, it’s in its element. The power from the electric motor is there when you need it, especially when getting out of the way of traffic. The company says the top speed is 28 mph but it feels faster. You’ll even find yourself keeping up with traffic in some 20 to 30 mph zones. Some bumps can be pretty rough to go over without a suspension to soak them up. But if you wanted to just go through them you could as the seat is just that comfortable.
The pedal assist works better than advertised. It comes in handy on inclines, with the motor having no trouble moving you and the weight of the bike at good speeds.
One of the neatest features of the bike is its removable battery pack. With its location under the seat, you can easily take it out and charge it while you work or get ready. A few of the company’s workers told me that they charge their batteries at their desk while they’re working.
Three pedal assist modes contribute to its efficiency and range. Levels one and two assist up to 20 mph and level three is 28 mph and above. With those three pedal assist modes come four riding modes: eco, tour, sport, and super which is where you can reach that 28 mph top speed. While the super mode is sort of a sport mode, the range will suffer as you’ll likely see just 25 miles.
The overall integration of tech is its best feature though. A circular transflective monochrome LCD screen on the handlebar shows everything from range to pedal-assist level. The best part though is the smartphone app integration. Utilizing an Android or IOS app, you can access and customize the four different riding modes. This tech even allows for OTA updates to ensure that the battery maintains its efficiency.
Honestly, there isn’t much to not like about this bike. There were two things I didn’t care for, though, and the first would be the brakes. They’re mechanical 180 mmm discs both front and rear. Don’t get me wrong, they bring you down from speed well, but with the speeds this thing can get up to I’m worried that the brakes can get worn out fast. I took one of the bikes on a second ride after we came back from our city ride and the brakes were squealing and making noises as if the bike was a few years old. I also didn’t care for the lightning cutouts in the wheels, which … I didn’t exactly understand what their purpose was. Style? Whatever it is, they come in different colors and I didn’t care for them.
The SUPER 73-ZX is an excellent entry into the booming electric bike market. With its motorcycle-inspired styling, it doesn’t look quite like anything else on the market. Its price won’t break your wallet either. While similar E-bikes are either less powerful or cost as much as a beater off Craigslist, the 73-ZX starts at just $1,995. It’s a no-brainer. At that price, I’ll take two.