Detailed Review of Flyer's E-Bike
The Flyer e-bike is a great option for a quality e-bike from a name we are all familiar with. Flyer e-bikes offer a great range, quality batteries and components are a great price. They offer 3 different models to meet the needs of any biker. A cargo bike, a folding bike, and my favorite the Flyer M880 e-Bike.
You are here because you are interested in buying an e-bike. There are many different kinds of eBikes how do you know if this is the right one for you? You want a good value, an e-bike that is quality built, without breaking the bank.
I have spent the last couple of months personally testing the Flyer M880 e-bike. This comprehensive review will help you determine if the Flyer e-bike is the right bike for you.
Flyer offers 3 styles of e-bikes. The Flyer™ L885, The Flyer™ L880, and The Flyer™ Folding Cargo. The L885 is a long cargo bike with a smaller rear wheel, great for hauling kids or larger loads. The L880 is a versatile bike with a smaller carrying capacity but easier to ride short-wheelbase. The Folding Cargo is a small-wheeled folding bike that still offers a similar carrying capacity as the M880 but in a portable folding bike frame.
I will be focusing on the M880 including the purchasing process, assembly, ride, charging, and features of the Flyer e-bike.
- The bike is built very well, there is attention given to the details, it’s solid, looks good, and overall performs well.
- The large capacity 720Wh battery. Some e-bikes come with a smaller batter reducing the distance and capability of the bike.
- The 500 Watt hub style motor is tried and true, it’s a great match for cruising around town.
- The 880 models can be used like the 885 models to haul loads on the back of the bike including children with the right accessories.
- A lot of other accessories like an extended range battery, different size baskets
- The kickstand is very stable and easy to use even for a heaver ebike
- Built-in front and rear lights
- Unique style and fenders make it hard to fit on some bike racks
- No app to modify assist and acceleration
- The bike is relatively heavy and can be difficult for some to move around
Flyer Bike Review
The Radio Flyer M880 is a great bike for someone new to e-bikes looking to cruise around the neighborhood, commute, or haul small loads that offer good value for quality and price. The battery and 500-watt motor offer plenty of power for most hills you might encounter in your local area. I didn’t see any significant struggle until I tried to climb hills over 8% grade. The 500-watt motor offers 50 Nm of torque. This is where you feel the assistance going uphill. It’s not the most torque and is likely selected by Flyer as a “safe” torque to use for most riders. It controls the power at which the bike takes off or can climb hills, but also balances the battery life.
The bike is slower on the acceleration with the pedal assist and a little faster with the throttle making it a great bike for beginners.
The flyer e-bike handles very well with its wind 3-inch tires and wide handlebars. The geometry of the bike with its step-through frame design makes it a bike that most can manage even with the added weight of the battery. Because most of the weight of the battery is in the down tube the bike feels stable even at top speed. The bike is designed to put the rider in an upright position that provides the most comfortable ride.
The main contact points of the bike are the handlebars, specifically the grips, pedals, and seat. The grips are a hard rubber ergonomic shape. They are comfortable for long and short rides distributing the pressure across the entire hand. The seat is an oversized foam that gives a comfortable ride. The seat paired with 3-inch oversized tires help to comfort the bike that is lacking any suspension. This makes the ride a little rough on bumpy roads. The pedals are a well-made strong grip that helps with the overall comfort of keeping feet planted on the bike.
There is one main LCD display on the rider’s left hand of the handlebar. It displays battery power, speed, distance, light status, and assistance level. The battery once removed also can indicate the battery power by pressing the button on the bottom of the battery. There are lights that illuminate to indicate the charge left in the batter.
I tested the Flyer™ M880. There are two other models currently offered by Flyer bikes, the M885 has a smaller rear wheel and longer wheelbase making it easier to haul up to 2 children on the back or more capacity
The Flyer™ M880 is the perfect bike for running around town, commuting to work, or just going for a leisurely ride. The Flyer™ L885 is less agile than the M880 but offers more hauling capacity. Both bikes deliver a lot of fun riding to work, getting groceries, or taking the kids for a ride.
Flyer bikes are a step-through style that makes it easier to mount the bike, especially for someone that has a hard time lifting their legs. It’s a great bike for anyone with knee injuries looking to do some easy pedal-assisted cruising. Further, the design follows a commuter style. They are equipt with fenders, and a solid rack built into the rear of the bike. The Flyer bikes come in 4 different colors with bold FLYER displayed on the downtube.
- Front Storage Max Weight: 25lbs
- Rear Storage Max Weight: 80lbs
- Max Rider Weight: 220lbs
- Total Payload: 300lbs
- Total BIke Weight: 67lbs
- Total BIke Weight with Front & Rear Storage: 70lbs
The bike is available in 3 sizes:
- Small (Fits 4’10 to 5’8” rider)
- Medium (Fits 5’2 to 6’3” rider)
- Large (Fits 5’8” to 6’6” rider)
The Flyer is a step-through frame design that makes it easy to get on and off the bike. This requires a rider to be able to step over about 16 inches from the ground. The frame is made from solid welded 6061 aluminum for a sturdy solid feeling bike. The aluminum frame with its high-quality paint will resist rust and corrosion. The frame feels solid and the nice design hides the battery out of site.
There are two main driving modes with the Flyer bikes. The pedal assist and throttled (like a motorcycle). The pedal assist will give you a little additional push depending on the amount you have selected. This is great for still using your legs, but getting some assistance from the bike to get up those hills. The other option is to use the twisting throttle on the right hand of the grip. The throttle doesn’t require any pedaling and works just like a motorcycle throttle. Twisting the throttle will power the bike up to 20 mph without pedaling required.
There are 5 different levels of pedal assist. This is selected using the buttons on the controller with the left hand. Level 1 will offer minimal assistance in pedaling while Level 5 offers the maximum assistance in pedaling.
With a large 720Wh lithium-ion battery at 48v, 15Ah the Flyer bike can travel approximately 30 to 50 miles depending on the cargo. With my testing, this depends a lot on the elevation change the bike is required to climb, the amount of weight of the rider, and the weight of any cargo. I have found it to travel further and use less battery than anticipated in each case.
The Flyer e-bikes are Class 2 e-bikes. This means they offer both pedal assistance, as well as a throttle to ride the bike without pedaling. Class 2 e-bikes are limited to a top speed of 20 miles per hour.
The bike can be pedaled faster than 20 mph with the assist, or when cruising downhill, however, it will only assist or throttle up to 20 mph.
Flyer M880’s retail price is $1800. The M885 retails for $2000. Some additional costs that should be taken into consideration are accessories. I love the front and rear cargo baskets, they retail for about $100 each. Another consideration is the assembly cost, although I have never used Velofix, I believe they are bout $100. I would expect the local bike shop to be a lot cheaper than that. If you are new to biking, you would also want to purchase a quality helmet, bike lock, and some other accessories like mirrors, phone holders, and water bottles.
You can get free shipping by providing an email address
Flyer also offers financing through affirm if qualified.
Overall, depending on your taxes your assembly option,s and accessories you can plan on spending from $2000 to $3000.
The motor is a 500W brushless hub motor that is powered by a 48 V 15Ah Lithium-Ion Samsung 50E 21700 Cells battery.
The battery is a 48V 15Ah (687Wh) UL Tested Lithium-Ion Samsung 50E 21700 Cells. The battery is charged by a 54.6V, 2A smart charger. It takes approximately 10 hours to completely charge a dead battery. However, during our testing, we rarely ran the battery completely out so charging times are much shorter.
The motor and pedal assist interface displays the battery life indicated by 5 bars on the right of the display. As each bar indicates a loss of ⅕ the power as it disappears from the display. Pedal assist is indicated by a number 1-5. 1 being the least amount of assistance, and 5 offering the most assistance in pedaling making it easier to pedal. The speedometer indicates how fast the bike is moving in MPH. Holding the second button it will turn the lights on and off indicated by the light icon. Also, by cycling through the menu you can display power consumption and a trip odometer.
Brakes: Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes. These are mechanical disc brakes meaning they use a cable instead of high prices hydraulic disc brakes. The stopping power isn’t instant, but they work well to slow the bike down. When cruising at the max 20 mph you can expect to comfortably come to a stop within about 15 feet. There is a lot of momentum with a heavy bike and large tires but the Tektro brakes are a great value and stopping power for the use case of the flyer electric bike.
Stem: Adjustable angle height and reach
Handlebars: Wide comfortable and stable
Grips: Rubber, ergonomic grips with twist throttle on the right side
Saddle: Selle Royale. The seat is oversized and firmly padded. It offers great support to control the bike as well as comfort on long rides.
Seat Post: Quick-release adjustable height
Adjustment and Length: The two adjustment points are on the seat and the
Wheel Size: 26inch wheels
Tires: CST 3.0 inches wide and 26 inches. These tires are larger than most standard bikes. This offers a little more comfort for a bike with no suspension. You can ride them at a little lower pressure and they add some softness to the rigid frame and fork of the bike. The bigger tires also offer some additional grip on the pavement. The downside to large tires is that there is more rolling inertia and it can be a little more work from the brakes to slow them down, but I’ll take that in favor of the comfort on the bike.
Tubes: 3.0-inch puncture-resistant tubes. As an avid cyclist, I love riding tubeless tires with sealant inside them in case of a puncture. While these tires and rims aren’t tubeless compatible, the next best thing is a puncture-resistant tube. I’ve been surprised, I’ve pulled out a few thorns from the tires and have not had a flat yet with these tubes.
Pedals: Wellgo B087 aluminum
Fenders: Front and rear multi-attach
Shifter: Shimano Tourney 7-Speed Thumb push button. The Shimano Tourney is pretty standard for sub $2000 e-bikes. It’s low-cost, durable, and reliable. If you are new to e-bikes, it can take some time to get used to using the pedal assist, throttle, and shifter to keep pedaling fluid and not get stuck in gear you can’t shift out of because you are stuck on a hill.
Derailleur: Shimano Tourney 7-Speed. The 7-speed gearing paired with the pedal assist gives a lot of range. Meaning, if a hill is very hard to pedal up, you can change the pedal assist to level 5 and shift into the easiest gear to get up it, or if you are cruising on flat ground and want to still get a little workout on the bike, you can change the pedal assist to level 1 and shift to a harder gear. There are just enough gear options to handle this. Don’t expect to climb up super steep roads, this is where I quickly jump to use the throttle. Of course, this all depends on your fitness abilities, but I’ve found that the 7-speed is great for the majority of riders.
Kickstand: Tripod-style design that can be used from either side of the bike.
Fork to Frame Spring: A spring is attached to keep the wheel straight when in the kickstand so the front tire stays straight. Additionally, there is some help with steering that comes from this spring to help stabilize the bike making it stand up easier after turning. Canyon cycle just released a similar design called the Canyon KIS (Keep it straight) which does essentially the same thing on some very expensive mountain bikes.
The Flyer bike we tested included the front and rear storage baskets. I can’t believe how much I end up using them. I always carry a heavy-duty lock with me in the back cargo basket. They install fairly easily with four bolts I stop frequently at the grocery store to pick up a few items and they fit nicely in the front basket. The baskets are a must-have for me, and something that sets Flyer bikes apart from the competition. I haven’t seen such good-made, durable and functional racks on any other e-bike I’ve rode.
In addition to the racks Flyer offers, many other accessories:
- Kid & Cargo™ Carrier – 1 Kid
- Kid Carrier
- Front Storage Basket
- Rear Storage Basket – Small
- Rear Storage Basket – Large
- Waterproof Front Storage Case & Basket Bundle
- Waterproof Rear Storage Case & Small Basket Bundle
- Front Rack
- Waterproof Frame Storage Bag
- Waterproof Front Storage Case
- Waterproof Rear Storage Case
- Bike Locks
- Handlebar Bike Mirror
- Cell Phone Mount
- Handlebar water bottle holder
- Flyer Water Bottle
Assembly The Bike
Assembling the bike can be a little intimidating for some. The included instructions are easy to follow but there is some heavy lifting involved with removing the 65 lbs bike from the box. Using two people to remove the bike from the box is recommended.
These main steps can help you to understand what is needed to assemble the bike, and it if it is something you are comfortable assembling the bike.
Main Steps Required to Assemble the Bike
- Unpack the box
- Stand the bike up using the already installed kickstand
- Remove packing material (Cut Zipties and Remove Foam)
- Adjust the handlebar mount and attach the handlebars using a 5mm Allen key
- Attach the front fender using the 5mm Allen key
- Install the quick release to the front wheel axel
- Attach the front wheel to the bike with the quick release
- Attach the spring from the frame to the fork (This prevents the front wheel from swiveling when on the kickstand)
- Attach the front light with a 6mm Allen key and attach the power plug
- Attach the pedals to the crank arms
Hire Velofix to Assemble the Bike
If assembling the bike is something you don’t have time for or is a little intimidating, Flyer offers service through Velofix Direct in some areas. They will accept delivery, assemble the bike and deliver it to you.
Local Bike Shop Assembly
You can also use a service called Beeline connect to find a local bike shop to have your bike shipped to and you can pick it up fully assembled.
My Thoughts on Bike Assembly
Assembling the bike is not difficult if you can maneuver a 65lbs bike by yourself or with the help of another. I am very familiar with building bikes and it took me about 15 minutes to assemble the bike. All the tools needed are included with the bike. If you can assemble Ikea furniture you should be able to follow the video or printed instructions and have no problem assembling the bike.
If this is intimidating to you, you can use the Velofix service if offered in your area for a white glove service and delivery of your bike for a cost. The other option is to find a local bike shop during the check-out process on the Flyer website. This allows you to select a local bike shop that your bike will be sent to for assembly.
Is the Flyer The Right Bike For You
The nostalgia from Radio Flyer can’t be ignored. I grew up with Radio Flyer red wagons and had an instant connection to the brand. The bike quickly proved itself as a well-designed and built bike that is notorious with the brand. It wasn’t simply an e-bike that Radio Flyer slapped their sticker on and called it their own. There were a lot of design details and thought that went into the bike and accessories that make the bike stand out amongst the competition.
Comparing it with other e-bikes in the $2000 USD range the bike stands up to the competition with its 300 lbs payload, accessories, and range. All the components and durability come together to make this a great value for a durable long-lasting e-bike with minimal maintenance.
I’ve been pleased with the ease of riding with the step-through frame, the battery and hub motor is great to use and provide what is expected from an e-bike. It’s a great bike for beginners or someone with a cheaper e-bike looking to upgrade. The tried and true parts of the bike, the name-brand components, lead me to believe this is a really good value at the price and will provide years of enjoyment
Other eBikes to Consider
- Aventon Pace Ebikes
- Rad Power RadRover
- Cannondale Treadwell (REI)
- Ride1Up Prodigy ST
- Specialized Turbo Vado
Do I need Shocks on an eBike?
Do I need a Rack on an eBike?
You can purchase the Radio Flyer M880, M885, or new folding e-bike from Flyer on their website and have it quickly shipped to your front door. It’s a great gift for upcoming holidays and birthdays for the experienced biker, or someone looking to get back on the bike with a little assistance that they may not have had in the past.