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Mokwheel Asphalt Commuter EBike – Test and Review

Updated April 9th, 2024

Mokwheel Asphalt review

Manufacturer and Model: Mokwheel Asphalt
List Price: $1499


Summary

The Mokwheel Asphalt is a commuter style ebike with cruiser swept back bars and an upright riding position. This gives it a nice comfortable relaxed ride. The torque sensor makes the bike easy to control in urban places. The 500 watt motor gives it plenty of go power for city riding or cruising around. The under $1500 price point makes it a great value commuter ebike or cruiser ebike.

What we liked:

  • Torque sensor gives the bike a smooth feel that is easy to control in congested spaces
  • Very good hill climbing performance
  • Available in step-thru, step over, and 2 frame sizes along with several colors. Lots of options
  • Comes with rack, fenders, and lights
  • 500 watts gives it enough power for most urban riding
  • Hydraulic brakes gives it good stopping power with minimal finger pressure
  • Color LCD display with easy to adjust settings without an app

What we didn’t like:

  • Shimano Tourney deraileur
  • Gearing isn’t high enough to easily peddle up to 28mph

Mokwheel Asphalt product image

Specifications

  • Max Speed – 28 mph
  • Range – 50 to 60 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 350 lbs
  • Bike Weight – 60 lbs
  • Motor Power – 500 watt rear hub
  • Battery – 48 volt 14.7 ah LG Cells
  • Speeds – 7 Speed Shimano Tourney
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc
  • Wheel Size – 27.5 inch x 2.4inch tires

Mokwheel Asphalt Review and Test

The Mokwheel Asphalt is a commuter ebike with a standard 500 watt rear hub motor and 48 volt 14.7 ah battery. This is a fairly common commuter ebike setup. The Asphalt gives you a torque sensor for more control and efficiency. Most ebikes under $1500 are almost all cadence sensors. That makes the Asphalt stand out in the budget commuter ebike crowed.

The Asphalt has a cruiser style swept back handlebar. You could call it a commuter ebike or cruiser ebike.

I’ve seen a lot of positive comments about Mokwheel bikes in the Facebook groups and other ebike forums. They seem to provide good performance and value for the price. They are one of the lowest cost bikes out there with torque sensors.

Mokwheel offered us an Asphalt to review. Our bike is a dark blue, normal size Asphalt step-over frame.

The dark blue metallic paint looks great. The overall design looks good with some white striping to complement the dark blue paint. The paint has a good depth to it. All the weld joints look smooth and polished. The fit and finish of the bike look really good. No adjustments were needed after assembly to get it running smooth.

The Mokwheel Asphalt and Asphalt ST both retail for $1499. This puts them about $200 less than the Aventon Level 2 ($1699).

Mokwheel Asphalt downtown

Video Review

1 – 500 watt rear hub motor

The Asphalt has a 500 watt rear hub motor. The motor is smooth and quiet. It’s got enough get up and go for city riding and riding hills with heavier riders.

Asphalt hub motor and brake

2 – 48 volt 14.7 ah LG removable battery

The bike has a 48 volt 14.7 ah battery made with LG cells. The battery goes into the top of the frame tube. This helps keep it from getting dirt kicked up on it like bottom mounted batteries do. No chance of dropping the battery when you turn the key since you have to lift it out.

Asphalt battery

3 – Power (9.0/10)

The Mokwheel Asphalt has a 500 watt motor and 48 volt battery which is a standard setup for a commuter ebike in the $1500-$2000 price range. The thinner 27.5″ x 2.4″ road wheels make it feel like it’s got power similar to a 750 watt fat tire bike. I’m pleased with how the bike feels and how much pick up it’s got from a standstill.

Top Speed

I took the bike to a long, flat, smooth stretch of pavement to see how fast it would go. The bike comes set from the factory with a 20mph max speed for throttle and 28mph max speed for pedal assist. You don’t have to mess with menus or settings to unlock 28mph pedal assist.

I measured the following speed while riding with throttle

  • Thottle – 19.7mph measured by GPS
  • Throttle – 20.5mph measured by the display

I set the bike to max pedal assist and took off to see how fast it would go.

  • PAS 5 – 26mph measured by GPS
  • PAS 5 – 27.5mph shown on the display

You have to pedal really hard once you go above about 23mph. The bike does not have enough gear range on the high end for riding faster speeds. You will hit a point where you are pedalling really fast and just can’t put enough force into the pedals to get the torque sensor to respond with more motor power. This is really common with ebikes in this price range with torque sensors. We experienced similar performance from our Aventon Level 2 and Pace 500.3.

Hill climbing

I took the Asphalt to my standard hill climb test. This is a 1/2 mile hill with up to 10% grades on it. I use a 250 lb rider. I do the test twice. Once with throttle and once with maximum pedal assist.

  • Throttle Only – 1 minutes and 53 seconds with an average speed of 16.63 mph
  • Pedal Assist – 1 minute and 33 seconds with an average speed of 20.45 mph

The Asphalt smoked the Aventon Level 2 we tested going up this hill. The Asphalt beat the Level 2 by 11 seconds using throttle only. The Asphalt beat the Level 2 by 22 seconds using PAS. It was only 1 second slower than the Gotrax Tundra which was the fastest Class 1, 2, 3 EBike we have tested on this hill climb.

Acceleration

The bike feels strong for a 500 watt motor. On maximum pedal assist it has a lot of oomph for powering up hills. Hitting the throttle will get you across streets and intersections fast.

4 – Range (9.5/10)

I took the Asphalt out for my standard range test. This is a loop from our town out to a nearby park with a lake, around the lake, and then back again. If it’s still got battery left we ride around local streets until it runs out. I use a 250 lb rider. I do the test rides as close to a constant 15mph as possible. I do the test once with pedal assist and a second time with throttle.

Pedal assist

The Asphalt went 46.2 miles on one charge using pedal assist. I used level 2 for PAS which gave a nice amount of assist. I used PAS level 3 for a few hills when needed and then back to level 2. This was a couple of miles better farther than our Aventon Level 2 went. The battery is a little bigger on the Asphalt so this is what I expected.

Throttle Only

I got 31.5 miles out of the Asphalt before it would go no farther on throttle. The bike had good power down to the last 5 miles where it had a noticeable drop off. This was a couple miles farther than our Aventon Level 2 went (29.6 miles)

5 – Ride and Handling (9.5/10)

The Mokwheel Asphalt has an upright seating position with a swept back cruiser style handlebar. This makes the bike feel even more upright. It is comfortable to ride and feels like it grooves around corners well. The seat has enough cushioning to be comfortable for longer rides. I like how the bike feels on the road. It’s fun to ride at higher speeds with a more relaxing feel with the cruiser handlebar.

The front shock does a good job of soaking up cracks and potholes. Heavier riders near the bikes 350 lb limit will notice that the front shock is easy to bottom out even with the sag adjustment turned all the way up. Coil spring shocks just never have stiff enough springs for over 300 lb riders. This is a common complaint with all ebikes in this price range.

6 – Braking (9/10)

The bike has Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. These come on almost every ebike in this price range. They work and have a good feel out of the box. After a bit of riding they will eventually start squealing when you stop. You can adjust the calipers to try and reduce it. I’ve found these brakes have good stopping feel and power. They are noisy.

7 – Controls (9/10)

The Mokwheel Asphalt has a color LCD display that mounts above the center of the handlebar. It has a shifter and brake on the right handlebar. It has a 5 button controller along with a throttle and brake on the left handlebar. It is a common setup that we see on many of bikes. It works well and everything is easy to access without feeling crowded.

Asphalt handlebar

LCD Display

Mokwheel put a color LCD display on the Asphalt. It has a very easy to ready speedometer. Below it are a few smaller readouts with things such as PAS level and trip meter. They show battery voltage with a set of bars that surrounds the speedometer. It has enough bars that it gives a good battery estimate. I prefer battery readouts that show a percent. This is one of the better bar solutions I have seen that gives you more than 4 or 5 bars to show how much you have left.

Mokwheel Asphalt LCD display

Control buttons

The bike uses a 5 button controller. It has a power button, up and down buttons, light button, and a horn button. The controls are intuitive. The horn sounds like a loud buzzer. It will get people’s attention. It’s a bit more obnoxious sounding than a bell.

The buttons are easy to use with bare hands. I found them a bit small to use while wearing gloves for winter cycling. I had a hard time pushing the up and down buttons with gloves on to change PAS level. This is the only area where I think the buttons could use a bit of improvement.

Asphalt control buttons

Pedal Assist and Throttle

The bike has 5 pedal assist levels. I find that level 1 and 2 provide enough assist to easily go 10-15 mph on flat ground. Level 3 gives you the little more push you need for going up hills. The torque sensor will give you a lot of power if it senses a lot of pedal push no matter what PAS level your in. If you want a really good workout on the bike you almost need to drop down to PAS 0 with no motor assistance.

The throttle control is on the left handlebar. It uses a thumb tab type throttle. I prefer these over twist grips. I think they are easier to hold down when riding with throttle for a long duration. It is less hand motion when you want a quick boost for things like crossing a busy street or intersection.

7 speed pedal driveline

The Asphalt comes with a 7 speed Shimano Tourney driveline. Shimano Tourney derailleur and shifters work. They are the standard pedal driveline on every $200-$500 big box store bike and don’t really belong on anything that costs over $1000. They are common on ebikes over this price range. The good news is they are very common and very easy to get replacement parts for cheap.

Shimano Tourney 7 speed drives lines do not have a lot of gear range. This becomes apparent when you try to pedal the Asphalt at 28mph. It makes you wish for a couple of higher gears to be able to put more force into the pedals to get more response from the toque sensor.

Asphalt right handlebar controls
Asphalt rear derailleur

9 – Accessories

The Mokwheel comes equipped with lights, fenders, and a rear rack.

Lights

The lights are easy to use by using the light button in the control button stack. The front light has a 2 LED fixture that gives enough light for night riding on streets and bike paths. I always like to supplement by handlebar light with a helmet light so I can always see where I am looking.

Asphalt front light
Asphalt rear light

Fenders

The fenders are a heavy plastic material with wire supports. They feel heavy duty enough to stand up to street and city riding. They do a good job of keeping spray and road dirt off the bike and rider.

Rack

The rear rack is metal and bolts onto the frame. It can be adjusted if you want a more forward angled rack. It does not have a published weight capacity anywhere that I can find. It looks similar to the 55 lbs (25kg) racks that most other commuter ebikes have. That is as much weight as I would comfortably put on this rack.

Asphalt rear rack

Air Pump

The bike comes with a small portable hand pump you can throw in a backpack. It will work in a pinch to get some air into the tires. I would not even think of trying to inflate the wheels all the way up to their 35-55psi recommended air pressure range. The handpump has no pressure gauge and you would be pumping forever to get there.

Asphalt air pump

10 – Size and Fit

The Mokwheel Asphalt is available in 2 frame sizes. Normal and Large. It’s also available in a step-over and step-thru frame. Ours in the normal size step-over frame. I’m just under 6′. The bike feels very comfortable to me. My wife is 5’6″ and feels it is just little large for her to stand over. She can ride it okay but it’s not what she would choose if buying a bike for herself. She would prefer the step-thru frame for this bike at her height.

8 – Assembly Ease (9.5/10)

Assembly Time – 45 minutes

The bike comes well packed using a mixture of foam blocks and cardboard. They don’t use anywhere near as much foam as other brands for packing the bike. They don’t use all recyclable packaging either. They are somewhere in the middle. More foam than I like but it could be a lot worse. The bike is well protected and had no scratches or any damage from shipping.

Mokwheel Asphalt packaging

The bike goes together very easily. There are only a few assembly steps such as mounting the handlebar, front fender, and pedals. Everything is well documented in the instructions.

One hiccup I had was with the adjustable stem. The stem comes fully rotated down. The steering tube clamping bolt covers up the stem adjustment bolt in this position. I had to use a pair of vice grip needle nose pliers to grip the stem adjustment bolt and loosen it.

Asphalt stem bolt

Extra tools required

The bike comes with a nice small tool set that includes several hex keys, a couple wrenches and a screwdriver. No additional tools are needed for assembly. The hex wrenches are high enough quality that they aren’t going to strip while tightening bolts. They are long enough to make fasteners easy to access. A mulit-tool can be too short and get caught on other bike components. I much prefer individual tools for bike assembly than a mulit-tool.

Asphalt tools and parts

Adjustments needed

No adjustments were needed to any of the pedal driveline parts. The rear derailleur worked well as delivered. It shifted through all gears smoothly. This is rare. Most bikes we have gotten need some derailleur adjustment to shift smooth. I like it anytime one shows up correctly adjusted.

If your bike doesn’t shift smooth and you need some help, check out the ParkTool guide and video. It is one of the best guides out there for how to setup and adjust a rear derailleur.

Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?

I like the Mokwheel Asphalt and think it is a very good value at $1499. It has good performance and range. The torque sensor works well at giving you a smooth ride that is easy to control. I would prefer it have Altus or Acera components. Tourney is understandable given the price point they hit with the bike. If you want a commuter or cruiser ebike and don’t want to spend over $1500. The Mokwheel Asphalt is a great pick.

Mokwheel Asphalt product image

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Doug Ryan
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

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. Visit our About Us page and learn more.

doug@adventuregearinsider.com