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HOVSCO HOVCity 27.5″ Step-Thru Review

Last updated 
Richard Shrubb
By
Richard Shrubb,
Contributing Author
Kristy Snyder
By
Kristy Snyder,
Professional Editor
Images from manufacturer's website

45 mi

RANGE

28 mph

TOP SPEED

4 hrs

CHARGE TIME

54 lbs

WEIGHT

Rear Hub

MOTOR TYPE

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HOVSCO HOVCity 27.5″ Step-Thru Review: Takeaway

With its color schemes and comfort, this is a great women’s bike that, as far as electric bikes go, is a big winner in the looks department. Its modern lines and proportions stand out, as looking good can be a big part of riding your e-bike.

We love the quality components that will serve you for many miles of riding, and for the technically literate, you can play with the parameters of riding it via an app.

Some weaknesses. This should have a rack as standard, and you will find yourself adding one if you don’t order it with the e-bike. Finally, take it for a ride over ten miles to assess the saddle’s comfort — a $75 aftermarket saddle might well be the cherry on the cake as this bike goes.

Ideal for...

Commuting
Visiting Friends
Shopping
Cafe Hopping
RVing
Exploring the Countryside

Product Overview

Packed with great features yet still a fair price as electric bikes go, the HovCity 27.5 Step-Thru is a great all-around city bike that can handle gravel paths too.

Starting with the electrics, this sports a 500W Bafang SUTO rear hub motor that will give as much as 45 Newton meters of torque. That amount of torque from a 500W motor isn’t near the top end of such motors, and if faced with regular, big climbs, you may find yourself struggling on the pedals toward the top of the hills. However, Bafang is one of the biggest global e-bike motor brands, and with a two-year warranty, you can expect many years of riding.

The battery has Samsung cells capable of 1,000 charging cycles over its two-year warranty. Doing the 40 miles per charge would allow you to ride over 1.7 times around the world! As with Bafang, Samsung is another big name in its field, and again with a two-year warranty, expect a lot of riding out of it. Sat in the downtube, it puts weight nice and low for a similar riding feel to that of a traditional bike.

The e-bike has a 3A charger, allowing for a full four-hour charge. That’s quick as e-bikes in this price range go and could let you do a longer ride with it plugged in and ride home a good 30 miles. If unlocked to 28 mph full speed via the app, this would be a quality, lower-cost commuter.

The big names don’t end there with a Shimano drivetrain too. Though this is only warranted for six months of use, derailleurs take a lot of abuse from riding, especially when putting electric power through them on an e-bike. Still, with seven gears and a range of great ratios, cycling should be a breeze with this gear system. The 28-tooth cassette will limit you in a very hilly city, like the 45 Nm of torque from the motor. We recommend you choose a more powerful e-bike if you live in Portland, OR, or San Francisco, CA.

Comfort is core to riding the HovCity thanks to the upright riding position and 2.2” wide tires. Though similar in thickness to mountain bike tires, this is no trail monster – the thickness adds to the comfort of absorbing the bumps and inconsistencies of the road or track. A couple of drawbacks here — ride the bike on a long first ride to see how comfortable the saddle is and consider an aftermarket one as required, as the saddle might be a little uncomfortable after ten or so miles. Your derriere will thank you! Finally, the suspension fork lacks a lockout, which could mean a bit of a dipping sensation when braking hard.

The color LCD display shows a variety of parameters with just a glance. The color scheme can allow you to look quickly as it breaks up the picture, allowing for a direct focus on speed, range, etc., without taking your eyes off the road.

A word on the throttle. It’s OK for shorter distances and will pull away from a complete stop, both good aspects. Don’t expect the 40-mile claimed range from HOVSCO unless you’re small and on a very flat route. Pedal assist will get you better distances per charge, but again we reckon on 40 miles at a stretch – not the 60 claimed by the manufacturers.

Thanks to a handy app, you can unlock the bike’s speed to 28 mph, look at the distance you’ve ridden, and update the firmware yourself. This is a great little aspect that you might only use a few times, but it lets you completely control your riding experience.

As a whole, a lot is going for the HovCity 27.5” Step-Thru. Light, agile, and fun to ride, it will last you many good years of riding if looked after.

Reasons to Buy

This is a quality electric bike for the list price of $1,499. In most cities across the USA, it will handle the terrain well thanks to its electronics. It is a good looker as e-bikes go, too, thanks to the proportions of the wheels and frame, combined with the fenders and the muted yet feminine color schemes.

The quality components will serve you many years, especially if you get them serviced annually and keep the gears oiled. Expect to use it for at least 4-5 years with minimal major servicing or repairs.

Things to Consider

If unlocked via the app to 28 mph, this may break the law in many state jurisdictions. Check what the e-bike laws are in your state before doing so.

We recommend you order the rear rack as an accessory. You may want a local bike shop to fit this, so expect another $100 outlay, including labor for the bike to be used to its full potential. With the rack, it means you can carry your purse and laptop without them giving you a sweaty back. You can even do the shopping too!

Specs & Components

Brand
HOVSCO
Motor
Bafang SUTO 500W, 45 Nm rear hub
Battery
Samsung cells, in-tube, 540 Wh
Display
Full-color LCD
App
Available for iOS and Google
Power Delivery
Throttle, PAS
Drivetrain
Shimano, 7 speed, 14-28t
Brakes
Mechanical disc, 180mm rotors
Fork
Suspension, 75mm travel
Wheels/Tires
27.5” x 2.2” road tires
Accessories
Lights, full fenders
Options
Rear rack, front basket

The specs above come from the manufacturer and may vary from what you’ve experienced. Notice something that needs correcting? Let us know.

Ratings

Power
4/5
4

The motor’s 45 Nm of torque will limit how steep a hill you can manage. The relatively small, 28-tooth bottom gear adds to the difficulty of riding big, steep hills. The thicker tires will limit acceleration, though these are for comfort and not flat-out sprinting.

Range
4/5
4

On average terrain with an average-sized rider, expect no more than 20 miles on the throttle alone and around 30 miles on the pedal assist. That’s pretty good for a $1,500 e-bike, but not exactly a huge distance as e-bikes go. If you unlock it to 28 mph, expect fewer miles, and weather conditions/cargo weight will further impact how far you can go.

Comfort
4.5/5
4.5

Sat in a straight backed, city bike position; you will not get too tired in your upper body riding it. Comfort comes from the thick, 2.2” road tires and front suspension. However, the fork doesn’t lock out, making for a little sponginess when you brake, and you may wish to fit an aftermarket saddle as this could be uncomfortable after 10+ miles.

Durability
4.5/5
4.5

Many of the components are big-name brands. It has a Bafang motor and a Shimano pedal drivetrain. The battery, motor, and frame are warrantied for two years, while other components like the tires and derailleur are warrantied for six months. Don’t be surprised if it is in good working order after four years, especially if given an annual service at a local bike shop.

Style
5/5
5

The style of this e-bike is a winner all around. The 27.5” wheels and 2.2” tires sit well with the frame size, and the proportions are augmented with the full fenders on the front and rear. We like the color schemes offered in green, champagne, and space gray. Add the optional rack, and this is a downright good-looking e-bike for utility riding or just being spotted by your friends.

Our Research Methodology

We personally research and test every e-bike featured in our reviews and guides to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations. Learn how we review.

About Our Editorial Team

Richard Shrubb
Written by Richard Shrubb
Contributing Author
Richard is a well-established journalist and copywriter with years of experience in the EV and e-bike world. He has worked with international sailing magazines, e-bike publications, and national newspapers.
Kristy Snyder
Edited by Kristy Snyder
Professional Editor
Kristy Snyder is a professional writer and editor living in Pittsburgh with over 10 years of content creation experience. When she's not contributing to eBikes.org, Kristy enjoys reading, practicing yoga, drinking beer, and hitting up rail trails.
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