Updated October 25th, 2023
A great commuter and road bike that is friendly, fun to ride, and has tons of range.
Best Overall – Best Commuter EBike
Best Commuter Bike – Best EBike Under $2000
Manufacturer and Model: Aventon Level.2
List Price: $1799
Available from: Aventon
- Aventon Level.2 Review and Test
- Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?
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The Aventon Level 2 is an excellent commuter or general ride around bike. It has a torque sensor that provides almost instant motor response when you push on the pedals. It has a very comfortable and good feeling ride. If you don’t love riding the Level 2 you probably will never enjoy any bike out there. It’s my bike of choice for riding around town or going on adventures on paved trails. With its long range up to 60 miles, it will take you almost anywhere. The Aventon Level.2 is our top pick for best under $2000 e-bike and best commuter electric bike. If you are shopping for an electric bike you should have a look.
What we liked:
- Smooth power from the motor that makes it very friendly to ride
- 500 watt motor gives it a lot of power for climbing hills
- Integrated battery giving the bike a clean look
- Comfortable ride with just the right amount of cush for paved roads and paths
- Included fenders and racks
- Thumb tab throttle control
- Color LCD display
- 300 lb weight capacity
What we didn’t like:
- Gearing needs higher gears for 22-29mph pedal assist
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- Max Speed – 28 mph
- Range – up to 60 miles
- Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
- Bike Weight – 54 lbs
- Motor Power – 500 watt rear hub
- Battery – 48 volt 14 ah LG Cells
- Speeds – 8 Speed Shimano Altus
- Brakes – Hydraulic disc – 180mm rotors
- Wheel Size – 27.5 inch x 2.1inch tires
Aventon Level.2 Review and Test
The Aventon Level.2 is the latest commuter bike from Aventon. It is an update on their very popular Level bike. The biggest difference for the Level.2 versus the original Level is a change from a cadence sensor to a torque sensor. I think this is a great change Torque sensors give you more control over the bike and speed. The Level.2 still gives you a throttle when you don’t feel like pedaling.
The throttle can be disconnected and removed for places that only allow Class 1 e-bikes. The top speed with pedal assist can be adjusted with the app to turn it into a Class 3 e-bike as well. The bike is labeled as a Class 2 e-bike on a sticker on the downtube.
Our review bike is a regular size step over frame version with the blue color frame.
1 – 500 watt geared rear hub motor
The Aventon Level.2 is powered by a 500 watt geared hub motor in the rear wheel. It is quiet and smooth feeling when it activates. It has a nice softer power up that makes the bike easy to control in tight spaces or around people.
2 – 48 volt 14 ah removable battery
The battery is an LG 48 volt 14 ah. It is integrated into the frame and easily removable with a key. The battery drops out the bottom of the frame using the key. There is a secondary latch to keep you from dropping it on the ground by accident. The battery can be charged on the bike or off the bike.
See the below video for a quick demonstration of changing the battery.
3 – Power (8.5/10)
The bike has a 500 watt motor. It uses regular sized 27.5 x 2.1 hybrid wheels and tires which don’t suck up a lot of power just to get rolling. The 500 watt feels like as much power as a 750 watt bike that has 4 inch wide fat bike tires. It feels like more than enough power for this bike.
We were able to get the bike to go 20.54mph on throttle only measured by the GPS. The display showed a max speed of 21.4mph.
Under pedal assist with the default settings our max recorded speed by GPS was 19.77mph. The display showed 21.1mph. You can get up to this speed on pedal assist level 5 without too much effort pedaling.
We downloaded the iphone app and set the max speed to 28mph. There is no way to do it without using the app. The max speed we recorded by GPS was 26.49mph. The display showed 27.8mph. The way the bike is geared you have to pedal like an absolute madman to get the bike to up to its class 3 max 28mph with pedal assist set at its maximum setting. You have to pedal fast and hard to get it up to maximum speed.
We took the Aventon Level.2 out to our standard hill climbing test hill. This is a 0.5 mile hill with an elevation gain of 100 feet. It has 2 sections of 10% grade. We use a 250 lb rider to make sure the bike needs to work. We do the test once with throttle only and once with the maximum pedal assist level. We got the following results.
- Throttle Only – 2 minutes and 4 seconds with an average speed of 15.31mph
- Pedal Assist – 1 minute and 55 seconds with an average speed of 16.47mph
This is only about 10 seconds slower than the fastest 750 watt class 1.2 e-bike we have tested which isn’t bad. We didn’t expect it to be as fast with only a 500 watt motor. The Level 2 still goes up hills really well even with a heavy rider.
The power curve on this bike is smooth and doesn’t make the bike feel like it’s going to jump ahead every time the motor turns on. The torque sensor makes the motor kick in faster and smoother than a bike with a cadence sensor. The power is there as soon as you start pushing on the pedals. It has a soft enough ramp up to make the bike very pleasant and easy to control. If you push hard on the pedals you will get a lot of assistance.
4 – Range (9.5/10)
We took the Level.2 out with a full 100% charge to see how far it would go. Our standard range test is from our neighborhood, to a park about 10 miles away, we ride around the lake inside the park which is another 10 miles. Then we ride back. If there is power left we ride around a few neighborhoods nearby until the battery is completely drained.
We set the bike to level 2 pedal assist and headed out. I tried to keep the bike around 15mph while riding it. We were able to get 44.5 miles out of the bike before the battery read 0% and the bike no longer offered up any assistance. This was with an average speed of 12.86mph and 1049 feet of climbing.
The bike will still give a decent amount of assist after the battery reads 0%. We had to ride it another couple miles after it read 0% before the motor assist completely went away.
Aventon claims a range up to 60 miles for this bike which I think is entirely possible if you were riding on assist level 1, on a flat path with a lighter under 200 lb rider. 44.5 miles is really good with an over 200 lb rider with some hills.
We took the bike on the same ride using only throttle. I kept the bike to as close to 15mph as possible for the entire ride. I rode it until the battery said 50% left and turned around. There was a decent headwind on the way out so I was confident it would make it home.
I was able to get 29.6 miles out of the bike with 630 feet of hill climbing during the ride. I was pleased with this much range on battery only. I would never normally ride throttle only for that long. My left thumb was really tired from holding the lever down for that long.
5 – Ride and Handling (10/10)
The Level.2 is a really nice feeling bike to ride. It’s hard to find fault in how it handles. It’s just really nice and fun to ride whether it’s just down the street or a long battery draining distance ride.
The included seat is big and wide enough to be comfortable without being excessively large. I could live with this seat and not upgrade to an aftermarket seat if I was riding this bike more often. The 27.5 x 2.1 inch hybrid tires give the bike a smooth quiet ride. The bike has a front suspension fork that does a good job of absorbing cracks in the pavement and pot holes.
We have spent some time riding this bike on gravel roads as well as pavement. It does find on that surface too. The tires get decent traction and there is enough cush in the bike and suspension fork to make it comfortable.
The bike has a very good balanced feel on the road. It is easy to corner at low and high speeds. The geometry setup on the Level 2 is a nice balance between comfort and road performance.
6 – Braking (9.5)
The 180mm hydraulic disc brakes do a good job of stopping the bike quickly even with heavy riders on it. They take a few stops to break the pads in. After that, they have a very good feel to them. I did not have to adjust the brakes or calipers at all yet since getting the bike.
7 – Controls (9/10)
The Aventon Level 2 has a color LCD display in the center with a set of button controls and throttle on the left handlebar. It has the normal 2 brake levers with a shifter on the right handlebar.
The color LCD display is easy to see in bright daylight and at night. It shows battery remaning as a percentage which is nice. It helps you manage your battery use a lot more than just showing 4 or 5 bars. It shows how much boost you are getting in a horizontal bar. That bar could use a little more definition. The colors they chose are too close together so it’s difficult to read.
The bottom of the display has a few different options such as trip, max speed, and odometer.
The left handlebar has a 5 button controller. It has a +, -, info, power, and light button. They are easy to use even wearing full finger gloves. The buttons and menu are intuitive and easy to use without spending too much time reading the manual.
Menus and settings
The menu is easy to access by holding down the I button for a couple of seconds. The menu options are straightforward and easy to use. The trip meter is very easy to reset and the first menu option when you open the menu.
Pedal Assist and Throttle
The pedal assist has 5 levels. This is a torque sensor bike and not a cadence sensor. The 5 levels correspond to how strong the boost from the motor is and not the speed where the assist cuts out. I find that I ride on 2 all the time on flat ground and small hills. I will occasionally use 3 or 4 for steeper hills if I want more help. You will still get motor assist the whole way up to 20mph on level 2.
8 speed pedal driveline
The bike uses a standard 8 speed Shimano Altus pedal driveline. It has enough gearing range for riding up to 20mph. Above 20mph you have to pedal fast to get faster. You can get the bike to 28mph but you have to really pedal fast and hard to do it.
8 – Assembly Ease (9/10)
Assembly Time – 1.5 hours
It took me about 1.5 hours to go from in the box to set up for riding. The assembly sequence is simple and involves just a few steps. You have to mount the front fender and put the handlebars onto the stem. The rear rack and fender are already mounted on the bike.
The most challenging step is getting the handlebars mounted. The display and front light are in the way of the 4 bolts used for attaching the bar to the stem. You have to rotate them out of the way while you get the handlebar aligned and attached. Then put the display and headlights where you like them and tighten them.
Extra tools required
A multitool is included with a set of hex wrenches in it. I needed an additional small wrench to hold the nut while tightening the front fender bolt. The rest of the assembly can be done with the multitool. There are hex wrench sockets in the ends of the pedals that you can use for tightening without using a wrench.
My bike required no adjustments to the rear derailleur or brakes. Both were setup correctly and aligned out of the box. The rear derailleur almost always needs adjustment so this was a plus.
9 – Accessories
The bike has a small headlight and taillight. The headlight is bright enough for riding on the road or bike path. I had no problems seeing with it while riding after dark.
Front and rear fenders are included with the bike. They are metal and feel sturdy. They don’t rattle much while riding and feel like they will last.
A rear rack is included and comes mounted on the bike. It has a weight limit of 55 lbs. It’s not enough to put a seat and a second passenger on the bike. It’s enough capacity for work bags, carrying groceries, or other misc gear.
10 – Phone App
Aventon has an app for iPhone and Android that can control several features on the bike. The most important thing it can do that the regular settings menu can’t do is adjust the top speed. To make the bike into a Class 3 bike with a top speed of 28mph you need to download and link the app.
The pairing process is easy. Download the app and then go to the setup app option in the bike display menu.
The other functions the phone app can do are adjust the screen brightness of the LCD display, turn the headlight on and off, and adjust the pedal assist power level. All of those can be done from the bike controls as well.
10 – Size and Fit
We ordered the regular size frame that is good for riders that are 5’3″ to 5’10”. I am 5’11” and find the bike very comfortable to ride. My wife is 5’6″ and it is just about perfect size for her. The seat has plenty of range to accommodate both of us.
Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?
I give the Aventon Level.2 a big yes to buy. It is just a friendly, fun, and comfortable bike to ride. If you don’t like riding the Level.2 you probably will never find a bike you like riding. It has good range, lots of power that comes on smooth, a responsive torque sensor, and comes with fenders and a rack. It is hard to find any real fault in this bike other than maybe the price. It gives you more than most other commuter bikes at its price so you can’t hate it there either.
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Co-Founder & Chief Editor
I grew up back east in Pennsylvania and learned to ski on a family trip to Killington, Vermont when I was 6. I immediately fell in love with the mountains and outdoors and have been skiing across the US and Canada ever since. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, and have a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Reliability.
I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible.