by Rob Potts April 22, 2022

E-Bike models - which one is best for you? We get daily questions about the key differences between models and their respective prices. Here is a comparison between two of Aventon's best selling models:

AVENTURE ($1,999): Step-Through Version | Step-Over Version 

LEVEL ($1,799): Step-Through Version | Step-Over Version  

I picked these two bikes as they’re two of our most popular models and are designed for similar riders in mind, with one key difference. (We have demos of each model available to test out at our Springdale location).

As with all Lewis & Clark bikes, these models come with professional assembly, Free Lifetime Tune-Ups, and our 30 Day Test Ride. So if you order a bike and decide it’s not the right one for you, we’ll give you what you paid and swap out for a different model. Plus, if you’re a rebate member, you’ll get 5% back on E-bikes in store credit (10% on everything else). Warranty issues – let us handle those. Since we buy so many bikes from both, it’s a lot easier for us to handle these issues when they arise. If you bring an E-bike for us to build, we charge $150. So the difference between buying a direct to consumer bike and one from us, is about $150 cost to build, then another $100 to $150 you’ll save in tune ups each year. Plus, you can come try out E-bikes at our store before you buy.

SIMILARITIES

First, let’s look at the similarities. Both bikes are designed for riders who want to ride on pavement or gravel/dirt. Both bikes have a step over model and step through model. Both come with quality parts and components, the shifting is Shimano, and all the other parts are of a good quality. The shocks on both also include a lockout, so you can disengage the shock when riding pavement. This is a great feature as you really don’t want the shock moving on pavement – it just causes you to lose pedaling energy. The mechanical components are basically identical. Both bikes give you pedal assist up to 28MPH and throttle only assist up to 20MPH. While the Level Commuter goes 28MPH out of the box, you have to unlock that feature with the Aventure, once you download the App. Both bikes have the same E-bike controls/throttle. Overall, they’re both great bikes and anyone getting one will be happy.

PERFORMANCE COMPARISON

SPEED: Each gives you pedal assist up to 28MPH (Class III). Again, with the Aventure, it comes out of the box at 20MPH and you unlock the 28MPH feature by downloading the app. Each gives you a throttle only option that will get you up to 20MPH without pedaling. With the smaller tires and wheels, the Level Commuter is a little zippier upon accelerating.

PAVED VERSUS GRAVEL/DIRT: Here’s the big difference between the two. The Aventure comes with beefy 4” wide tires (basically motorcycle tires) while the Level Commuter has tires half that width. With respect to performance, that means if you’re riding a lot of gravel/dirt or even off road, the Aventure is the more capable of the two bikes, as it really feels like you’re riding a motorcycle, with the Level Commuter feels like a bike. You can blast down gravel roads and feel quite comfortable on the Aventure. The Level Commuter is zippier on pavement and accelerates faster. Both perform well on paved surfaces, but for gravel/dirt, the Aventure is the winner. If you’re wanting to ride mostly on pavement but sometimes want to ride gravel/dirt, the Level Commuter is the winner.

Now, the big tires for off-roading don’t come without a price. The Level weighs around 60 lbs and the Aventure 73 lbs – that’s a substantial difference. It’s all in the wheels/tires and bigger battery. So that just means more bike to lift on and off the rack. Now, as to the rack, most racks won’t hold a bike with 4” tires, so you have to be aware of that fact. We’d recommend the new Saris MHS series of racks, which can accommodate bikes with tires this wide. You can view that rack on our site.

As to changing flats, well, you’re most likely not changing the 4” tubes on the Level yourself, unless you’re already experienced in changing bike flats. With the Level Commuter, you can change the tubes with a few tools and a small pump/Co2 inflator. With the Aventure, you need a full sized pump, and everything is heavier, so it’s not as easy. With both bikes, on a rear hub drive bike, it requires a few more tools and steps to replace the rear tire, compared to a mid hub driven bike.

COMFORT: I’d say the Aventure has me sitting in a slightly more upright position than the Level, but it’s slight. The two bikes have a similar geometry (shape). Both are comfortable.

STEP-THROUGH VS STEP-OVER DESIGN: Both of these bikes feature both step through and step over designs. It used to be that the step through design were female specific bikes. Now, the reason why women’s bikes traditionally had that design is because they wore dresses in the late 1800’s when bikes came out, and the design just stuck. Step through bikes are easier to get onto, especially if multiple members of a household will be using the same bike. Also, once you start adding a rack and gear on the back, since most guys swing their leg over the back of the bike, that becomes really hard to do with all the gear on the back. That’s an advantage of the step-through design.

RIDE / PEDAL-ASSIST: The two bikes are basically the same here. The same top speed when pedaling or using only the throttle. Both are rear hub driven bikes with the same controls. Both have 5 levels of pedal assist. Again, the Level Commuter accelerates a bit faster. Due to the bigger tires, the Aventure is smoother on dirt/gravel, while the Level Commuter is a bit smoother on pavement. Overall, both bikes are a blast to ride. Both have 5 different power settings from low to high, so you can adjust how much pedal assist you want.

As far as how far will the bike take me on a charge, the two bikes are really about the same. This also depends widely on what power mode, how many/how steep are the hills and the rider weight. In short, each is rated to give the average rider about 40 – 45 miles on a charge.

PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES / PRICE/PERFORMANCE: There is a $200 price difference between the two bikes. While the level Commuter has a built in rear rack, the Aventure has a built in front and rear light, which really is offsetting in price. The main difference is really just the bigger tires, wheels, battery and motor on the Aventure. It needs a bigger battery and motor because it’s heavier (the Aventure weighs approx. 13 lbs more than the Level Commuter). It will also accommodate rider/gear up to 400 lbs, while the Level will accommodate up to 300 lbs.

The Aventure has a 1130 watt (peak) / 750 watt (sustained) motor, and a 720 wh batter. The Level Commuter – has a 750w / 500w motor and 672wh battery. Basically, the Aventure needs the bigger motor and battery to propel the heavier wheels/tires. Acceleration is pretty similar, with the Level taking off a bit faster. With either, you can remove the battery when lifting and save yourself about 10 lbs, which does make a difference. You can also get a rack with a ramp or even one with a power lift. The Saris Door County Rack, at $1,299 has a power lift, which lowers the rack down to the ground for loading/unloading, then back up for driving. It even has turn signals and brake lights. It does require a 7 pin tow wiring system, for the power. This rack will work with the Level Commuter, but not the Aventure (due to the wider tires).

DISPLAYS/CONTROLS: Both have an identical display.

QUALITY/WARRANTY: The design, finish and quality of both bikes is great. Both bikes have a 1 year warranty on the frames, components, and electrical components.

WHAT’S THE VERDICT?

Both are great bikes that will get you riding more often, more miles and having more fun. In effect – more smiles per hour. If you’re going to ride a lot more off road, then the Aventure is a better bike, if you’re riding mostly pavement, the Level is a better bike, especially considering the lighter weight. The Aventure has built in lights, but lights are easy to add.

Whatever you get, if you decide to swap out, we’ll always have the 30 day test ride and the lifetime tune ups/adjustments! We do not want you on the wrong bike and we always want your bike to be in great working order. We can also finance it for 24 months at 0% interest when you sign up with our partner, Unify Federal Credit Union, or 18 months 0% interest with Synchrony. You can try out bikes at our Springdale location and order in-store or online. More questions on e-bikes? Feel free to email me at robmp2@gmail.com.

SHOP ALL E-BIKES

 



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