The Super 73 S1 Fat Tire Electric Bike Impresses with its Motorbike Style but is it Really that Tough?
The Super 73 S1 fat tire ebike is one of the most wanted electric cargo bikes on the market in 2021.
Possibly, the reason behind to be so acclaimed is the way it looks.
I got to be honest, the first time I saw the bike it was a clear wow, what is this?
I know most of us are use to seeing electric bikes like any other standard one but, thinking that there is a model looking super similar to a motorbike is amazing.
The Californian manufacturer has a few other cool models (similar but different from each other) but from its simplicity, I think is worth reviewing the main strengths and weaknesses of this sturdy cargo and fun ebike.
Super 73 S1 Technical Specs
MOTOR & TOP SPEED
BATTERY & RANGE
CONTROLLER & RIDING MODES
|OVERALL WEIGHT & CARRYING CAPACITY
TIRES AND SUSPENSION
About the Frame
As mentioned before, the first time I saw the Super 73 S1 design, I loved it.
It is just the type of ebike with an old school, bad as style. In the following points, you will see what I think about this model’s frame and design.
Building material and weight
Bike manufacturers generally have four (4) options when choosing frame materials: aluminum, carbon fiber, titanium, and steel.
Lithium Cycles, the California-based manufacturer of Super 73 S1 electric bike, ended up deciding in favor of steel.
Steel frame allows this fat electric bike to offset road vibrations with ease.
Aside from being stronger and less dense than aluminum – the most popular frame material these days – steel is incredibly resistant to fatigue and is ultra-durable.
It is also easy to repair and has those thinner-walled tubes that provide the springy feel, which adds comfort to your ride.
Old school design
It boasts a bare-bones frame (in other words, what is needed to ride it) that is as minimalist as they come.
It contains nothing but the 768 watt-hours removable battery, whose position right between your knees, makes it impossible for you to ignore the numbers showing the remaining battery life.
Their user-intuitive placement makes the numbers telling remaining battery life easy to read.
However, the fact that the frame runs straight from the seat to the handlebar – and isn’t bent like one of the most electric bikes in the market, has provided the top tube with a ‘high-step’ design.
This might pose an issue for short riders as they’d have to lift their front leg higher to fling it over the top tube.
Even though, the design of the frame and components if very simple, it is a shame that they didn’t use aluminum for it.
Electric Bike Fat Tires and Rims
One of the main characteristics any Super 73 electric bike stands for is the quality of the tires and rims.
Of course, for such a heavy structure, that is the minimum expected to ride anywhere.
Compared to other similar ebikes, such as the RadMini Step Thru, this model has a great tire design and carving, which is a key element to ride easy on any type of terrain and condition.
The 20″ fat ebike tires are good enough?
The Super 73 S1 fat tires are perfect for paved roads and gravel. Measuring 20-inches by 4.25-inches, they have a vast surface area, which allows them to retain good traction on wet surfaces too.
Little wonder, then, that this bike’s manufacturer refers to them as ‘all-terrain’ tires.
Except for heavy off-road conditions, fat tires can handle all terrains with ease.
Not everything is hunky-dory about the tires, though. Their massive size – as well as the lack of suspension – prevents them from having a dampening effect on off-road vibrations.
That is the reason why I recommend that you limit using it to light off-road conditions. Up to you, of course.
Here’s one of the features that I liked the most about the S1 model.
Its nimble 20-inch alloy rims provide enough support to let the tires do their job properly.
They do that by subjecting the rear wheel to more torque, thereby making it perfect for weaving between traffic.
Also on offer on the rims are multiple lightening cutouts. You can count on them to place a bottom pressure on the tire’s weight and increase its power.
If you’re one of those enthusiasts that like to fill cutouts in their fat tires (for whatever reason), you can do so by running duct tape back to front.
About the Motor
Even though the motor is not branded from a well known manufacturer, it offer more than the expected.
Lets talk about the main points:
This fat tire electric bike comes with a Class 2 brushless 500-watt rear hub motor.
Class 2 ebikes (most times related to throttle ones) are strongly regulated in many countries, like the UK. I suggest you read our guide about throttle ebikes and limitations.
The main keyword here is ‘brushless’. As these motors provide high torque to weight ratio, last longer, operate at a much lower noise and suffer less erosion than their brushed counterparts.
Thanks to its brushless design, the motor operates quietly and has a long shelf-life.
Yet, another thing you may want to know about the motor is its internal gear.
This construction has reduced the number of moving parts inside it, thereby making it easy to maintain and less susceptible to wear and tear.
I suggest you read our electric bike motor guide to learn much more about the different alternatives.
Super 73 S1 top speed and torque
Due to the above mentioned features, the motor is capable of providing up to 1,000 watts of peak power.
Although, the manufacturer has indicated the Super 73 top speed is 20 mph (33 km/h), a lot of users mention that it can go faster (around 40 km/h) when using the throttle mode.
What ever the speed is, if you want to go overboard – and have the required terrain and pedal-speed to assist you – you can peg this model at its unofficial 25mph top speed.
Turning our attention to its torque, I was quite depressed to note what it can deliver.
The 35Nm is nowhere near impressive, especially when you compare it with high end e-bikes offering more than twice as much.
That’s why you may feel like the bike is gasping for power when climbing uphill.
Super 73 S1 Battery
Possibly one of the most interesting parts of this Super 73 fat tire electric bike – the battery.
To be honest, it is not about its chemistry and range; it is about how it blends and enhances the look of the ebike.
Basically it gives that motorbike style, but powered with an small electric motor.
At the cost of sounding technical, the super 73 s1 electric bike uses a 48V, 14.5Ah, 768 watt-hour Panasonic cells battery.
I don’t have any problem with this chemistry, except for the fact that the world has moved on from the time when Panasonic cells were the norm in batteries.
Nowadays, e-bike manufacturers are opting for Li-ion batteries. When compared with batteries that came before this technology, they have a lower self-discharge rate, better voltage capacity and higher energy density.
In plain words, this means that they’re more effective than Panasonic cells.
Range and Charging Times
Although, the battery’s chemistry is age-old, the range that it provides is still impressive.
Since this electric bike has two (2) riding alternatives (pedal and throttle), the range will be variable.
If you go only pedal assist, you can expect a range between 35 and 50 miles, whereas for the throttle mode, you will get an approx. 30 miles of range.
Tip: use the Eco mode to get the maximum range.
Don’t know how to charge Super 73 S1? As any other not high-end electric bike, you can either remove or leave the battery on for charging.
I recommend to remove it from the frame as some components can still drain it, even if they are not operational.
In terms of charging the battery, I really like the two (2) options offered to the user.
While you will receive the standard charger (2 amps) with the buy, you can always upgrade to the 5 amps.
The standard one will get the battery ready in 7 hrs, whereas the upgraded one will get it in 4 hrs.
How to Operate this E-bike?
Interestingly enough, these guys opted on using a simple controller with standard technology to operate the ebike’s assistant system.
From my perspective, it is not like that you need more really.
However, I see a few things that I really don’t like about is design and placement.
For now, let’s breakdown the display and the riding modes.
The remote has been placed on the right side of the handlebar, which compared to most electric bikes, it is not a common location.
This, of course, is not such an issue since the LCD screen is big enough to let you read the stats.
What I find annoying is the thumb throttle design. It is just basic and in the long run, it is exhausting to keep pushing the thumb.
What if you have small hands? or if you fingers are short?
To complete the motorbike experience, I would’ve love to have a handlebar grip throttle style, not a thumb one.
The Super 73 S1 Modes
The Super 73 Electric Bike offers three (3) support modes regardless of the feature you use:
- Eco mode: Those of you who want to get the best battery timing, would do well selecting the Eco mode. But you’d have to sacrifice performance for that, as the bike won’t travel faster than 20mph.
- Mid-level mode: It provides the best of both worlds (extended range, more speed) by providing only 50-percent power to the back wheel. This is the ideal mode for short work commuting.
- High-level mode: Getting late for a meeting? The acceleration provided by the high-level mode will get to your destination as quickly as possible.
As you can see, it is very simple to operate, regardless of the throttle placement and design.
However, the pedal assist may not be so great.
From what I can see, pedaling could be a nightmare if you are riding at top speed. This is basically for the single speed drive-train it has, which I discuss below.
Braking System and Drive-train
Here’s a glance on this E-bike’s brakes and drive-train system:
Want to know the one area where this model has massively improved over its predecessor?
In contrast to the first generation Super 73 throttle electric bike – which used mechanical disc brakes – the S1 has opted for hydraulic Tektro disc brakes.
And it isn’t only the type of brakes that is different.
Most mainstream E-bikes you see on the road, have the right lever operating the rear disk, and the left lever the front one.
The opposite is true with Super 73 S1. You’d have to press the right lever to use the front brake instead.
If you have had a bike with the standard braking configuration, this unique arrangement means you may need some time to get used to the braking system arrangement.
As for its drive-train system, it is designed to give single-speed gearing, whose only disadvantage is also a pretty glaring one.
The lack of multiple speeds means you cannot shift to a smaller cog at high speeds, nor can up-shift to a larger cog if climbing a hill.
Its single-speed drivetrain is the reason why this fat electric bike is dubbed as an urban cruiser.
This won’t be an issue as long as you have enough battery to power the throttle system.
From my perspective, it will limit the bike’s ability to perform comfortably at 40 km/hr if you want to do some pedaling.
At first glance, the S1 model looks very simple, with not many points to look at.
However, the truth is that the front light, rear rack and seating alternatives are unique accessories.
As I have mentioned in other ebike reviews, and possibly you have seen, almost 98% of them have a very simple lighting system.
But as a Super 73 signature, all their modes have this motorbike LED style headlight system. It is actually bright enough to illuminate approx 10 m distance away from you.
Now, the seating system is another feature they have played with.
The standard seat (30″ or 76 cm high) will provide comfort for people between 1.50 m and 1.80 m tall.
Even though, they also offer an extended seat alternative (for people 1.90 m tall), I think it is not as comfortable as it seems.
Lastly, the rack system. I can see it provides what is needed to carry any personal bags, nevertheless the space to place a pannier is very limited (especially if you opt for the extended seat).
Is it worth buying the Super 73 S1?
After what has been reviewed, it is time to discuss this model’s benefits and shortcomings:
Why to buy it?
- If you really like ebikes with big tires and good traction, this is the model to look at.
- Riding at night won’t be an issue with the super bright LED front light.
- The rear rack offers versatility to carry heavy or oversize items (even a surf board with the right attachments).
- The braking system is not bad at all with the use of hydraulic technology.
- The battery range is very impressive, considering how heavy this electric bike is.
- People with some physical limitations can take the most of the throttle configuration.
Why not to buy the Super 73 S1?
- The single-speed drivetrain limits the utility of this E-bike on hilly terrains because that’s where you can take advantage of the different gears.
- If you’re going to use this bike in hilly terrains, its low torque will leave this model gasping for more power.
- The low seat makes it difficult for taller riders to enjoy what this bike has to offer without buying the added extended seat.
- Need to carry upstairs? It is considered a heavy electric bike with 32 kgs, including the battery.
- It won’t fit in any standard bike rack.
- The lack of front suspension can be a bummer for people looking for a soft ride. It can be added though but also increases the overall weight.
Super 73 S1 Fat Tire Electric Bike Review Wrap Up
The S1 model manufactured by Lithium Cycles is, indeed, an interesting fat tire electric bike to think about.
Its configuration is impressive – simple, no much technology to worry about, just what is needed for good fun while riding.
For those like me that like the motorbike style are gonna love this model.
Although, it has been built with a minimal design, I can’t believe it is still so heavy. Why not to consider an aluminum frame?
I know that with its overall weight, there is little room to place more items. Simply not feasible if you want to sell this type of product.
All in all, for the market price, I think the Super 73 S1 is a strong competitor for electric bikes that have the same fat tire and throttle configuration.
Images courtesy of Ben Buckler Boards
Super 73 S1
Frame & Components Quality4.5/5
Speed & Torque (motor)4.5/5
Controller & Assistance4.3/5
Portability & Maneuverability4.0/5
What we like
- ✅ The fat tires carving is excellent for any type of terrain.
- ✅ Incredible luminus front light.
- ✅ Battery range is not bad considering this ebike's weight.
- ✅ Braking system performs well.
What we do not like
- It is super heavy so it may be a pain to carry upstairs.
- Very awkard frame design for a standard bike rack.
- Both standard and extended seats are way too low for a comfortable ride.
- A front suspension can be included but will add more weight.