Smalo LX2 E-Bike Review 2024

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Today’s review is about the Smalo LX2 e-bike. At the end of last year Smalo reached out to me and offered to lend me an e-bike for review. Although I wasn’t familiar with the brand, the buzzword pitch “AI-driven” caught my attention and I said yes.

Smalo is a new brand under the larger conglomerate, BESV. This Asia-based company produces a variety of electronic products, demonstrating extensive knowledge in creating electronic systems.

I took the LX2 out for multiple test rides over a handful of wet wintery weather weeks here in Seattle and this review covers everything I liked about the LX2 and where it falls short. I also answer the question: is the LX2 the next-generation e-bike powered by AI?

Key e-bike details


  • Base Price: $2,980
  • Class: 1
  • Max Speed: 20 mph
  • Estimated Range: Up to 74 miles
  • Weight: 51.1 lbs

Motor & Electronics

  • Motor: 250W Bafang front motor
  • Torque: not listed
  • Motor location: Front wheel
  • Battery: 504Wh
  • PAS Sensor: Torque
  • Throttle: Boost mode
  • Display: Built-in display


  • Brakes: Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brake
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Nexus 7 speed with Smalo AI drive system
  • Belt Drive: No
  • Tires: Schwalbe Big Apple Perf, Racegurad 50-622


  • Recommended Rider Height: 5’8″ – 6’4″
  • Max Rider Weight: not listed
  • Payload Capacity: not listed
  • Safety Certification: Yes, EN 15194
Smalo LX2 e-bike in black

What we like about it

  • Design: The e-bike boasts an excellent design and aesthetic appeal. Its sleek appearance, particularly the seamlessly incorporated lights, caught my eye. Its geometrical design contributes to an incredibly comfortable ride.
  • Plush tires: The robust Schwable tires greatly enhanced the comfort of the ride. Even without suspension, the ride remained notably smooth and pleasurable, even on some patchy roads. I also road the e-bike on wet gravel trails and it handled them great!
  • Long range: It boasts a range of 70+ miles and I found this to be pretty accurate. Even with a hilly route you are probably still looking at 50 miles of range.
  • Rear lock: The rear wheel lock is a convienient feature that means you don’t need to lug around a chain everywhere when you need to run inside a coffee shop for a quick errand. But I wouldn’t advise leaving the bike unattended for too long because it could still be picked up and carried away.
  • Companion app: The Smalo app has a lot of settings for the bike as well as location tracking, anti-theft alert, and remote unlock for the rear wheel lock. I found it easy to navigate.
  • Safety certified: The e-bike is certified to a European safety standard that extends beyond the electrical system, encompassing the entire unit. This assures you of the e-bike’s reliability and adherence to certain safety protocols.

Where it falls short

  • Underpowered motor: The LX2’s 250W front hub Bafang motor was disappointing and underutilized, contributing to its good range (50+ miles). Despite Bafang motors’ solid performance on other e-bikes like the Rad Runner, this one seemed to lack a lot of power
  • Boost mode: The LX2’s boost button, described as “acceleration on demand,” was disappointingly weak. It was difficult to tell if it was engaged and it only worked while pedaling, requiring a few strokes to activate on a slope.
  • AI shifting: The LX2’s “AI driving system” was a major disappointment. It’s a confusing combination of manual and automatic shifting systems. Instead of maintaining a comfortable cadence, the automatic system would continually shift to higher gears, causing slower pedaling. On hills, despite manually shifting to an easier gear, it would auto-shift to harder ones, making pedaling difficult and forcing me to stand. Attempts to manually downshift were countered by immediate auto-upshifts. This was quite frustrating.
  • Horn: The LX2’s horn doesn’t seem suitable for multi-use trails due to its aggressive sound, nor for busy streets as it’s not loud enough. A friendlier, more unique horn sound could have been more effective.
  • Chain drive: It employs a chain drive, not a belt one, requiring removal of the guard for cleaning due to dirt accumulation. This seems like a Smalo’s oversight, as a belt drive would be more modern and easier to maintain.

Watch our Youtube review

In-depth review

Let’s begin with what I liked about the LX2. The design and aesthetic look of the e-bike is excellent. I liked its sleek look, especially the well-integrated lights. It reminded me of the Wing Freedom and VanMoof e-bikes. Additionally it’s geometry made for a very comfortable ride.

closeup of the front and rear lights of the LX2

I can see the LX2 appealing to a younger demographic. People in their 20s living in an apartment in the city and wanting a little extra boost on their morning commute or trip to the coffee shop. From an aesthetics point of view this is an ideal urban commuter e-bike.

closeup of the front light of the LX2

The LX2 comes with thick Schwable tires that added a lot of comfort on the ride. So despite it not having suspension it was relatively smooth and enjoyable to ride on the few rough roads I took it on. I also took it on some wet gravel paths and the wide tires handled them like a champ.

The 504wh battery gives it an advertised range of 70+ miles and I think this is actually pretty accurate because I rode it a fair amount and did not use much of the battery. If you are taking it on a lot of hills than my bet is that the range will be closer to 50 miles. 50 miles on an e-bike is an excellent range. But, the big caveat, I think one of the reasons it’s able to get this range is that the motor is underutilized. More on that later.

Another thing I was impressed by was their companion app that comes with the LX2. It has location tracking, along with a bunch of stats and settings for the LX2. You can also remote trigger the horn and it also comes with an anti-theft alert which gives you some piece of mind when you are away from your locked up e-bike.

The rear wheel lock is cleverly designed. You can activate it by pressing down on the top with your thumb, causing a small metal lever to spring out and prevent the spokes from turning. You can disengage it using the app by simply sliding the unlock button. I found the unlocking process to be fast and responsive, taking less than a second from sliding the button in the app to the wheel lock disengaging.

closeup of the rear wheel lock on the LX2

While the LX2 is not yet UL certified, Smalo has confirmed they are in the process of obtaining this certification, which can take some time. They do hold numerous other certifications. In particular, the Smalo representative send me the following long list of safety acronyms: CE/CB/BMSI/PSE/UN38.3/ISO13849/EN15194/JIS. These certifications include a European standard that covers not only the electrical system but the entire e-bike. Therefore, you can trust that the e-bike will be reliable and meet certain safety standards.

Now, let’s talk about some areas where the LX2 falls short. First the rain fender coverage was not great. It does come with rain fenders, which is good, but they did not go down very far. When I picked up the bike, it was raining pretty hard and my feet got soaked, luckily I had some good rain gear on just got soaked. As you can see in the following photo, the rain fender on the front wheel doesn’t come down very far.

close up of the rain fenders of the LX2

The LX2 comes with a horn, a feature I initially found cool. However, after using it on a multi-use trail and receiving angry looks, I realized that horns are typically associated with angry motorists. As a result, the LX2’s horn seems out of place on the trail. Plus it seems inadequate for car traffic navigation, because it’s not loud enough to be heard from inside a car. Essentially, the horn doesn’t hit the right note. It’s too loud and aggressive for multi-use trails, yet not loud enough for busy streets. So, what could Smalo have done differently? I believe a friendlier klaxon or clown car beep could have garnered attention from pedestrians and cyclists, but with a smile on their face.

The horn is triggered by the button on the left handlebar, below the boost button (S).

left handlebar of the LX2 which has the Boost button (S) and horn button

The built-in display located on the center of the handlebars does not show very much info and is difficult to read in bright sunny conditions. While it does look sleek and integrated, it was not that practical, only showing the battery level and current speed.

LX2 display which shows speed and battery level

Another interesting choice by Smalo was to go with a chain drive and cover rather than a belt drive. Even though there is a guard over the chain, dirt and grime are still going to get on it, resulting in you having to remove the guard to clean and oil the chain. I believe this is an oversight by Smalo since a belt drive would have had a more modern look and been easier to maintain.

closeup of the LX2 drivetrain

Now, we get to the two glaring downsides of the LX2.

The first is the 250 watt front hub Bafang motor that I found to be completely suboptimal. I mentioned earlier that the LX2 has a really good range (50+ miles). Well, I think they achieve this because the motor is underutilized. I’m surprised that the Bafang motor seemed to lack power. I’ve ridden their rear hub motors on other e-bikes, like the Rad Runner, and found them to have excellent acceleration and power.

close up of the bafang front hub motor on the LX2

The LX2 also boasts a boost button that you can press which according to their website is “acceleration on demand…outsmart traffic and conquer any slopes at your finger tips.” I found the boost mode to be woefully underwhelming. Often times when I pressed the button I couldn’t even tell if it had engaged or not.

Unlike a throttle, the boost only works when you are pedaling. Which means if you are getting started on a hill it takes a few pedal stroked before it kicks in.

The final aspect of the LX2 that was a big downside for me was their “AI driving system”. It’s supposed to the be a smart futuristic e-bike and it certainly was not.

It’s a weird mix of an electronic button shifter that you can manually change and an automatic shifting system that jumps in and also shifts. The picture below shows the manual shifting + and – buttons located on the right handlebar. It also includes a small display that shows the current gear (1 to 7).

right handlebar of the LX2 which has the bell and shifter

The automatic shifting system attempts to keep you pedaling at a comfortable cadence as you encounter varying terrain. Unfortunately instead of keeping me at a comfortable 70 or 80 rpm cadence, it continually would upshift to a higher gear causing me to pedal slower and slower. It seemed to want me to pedal at 50 or 60 rpm on flat roads. When I encountered a hill I would manually shift to 1, the easiest gear, but once I was climbing the LX2 would start to upshift to harder gears making it very difficult to pedal. This forced me to stand up and pedal to keep my momentum. Trying to downshift manually and the system would “fight” back and upshift me back moments later. It was a frustrating experience to say the least.

All in all the AI shifting issues overshadow my riding experience. I hope that Smalo spends more time improving their shifting system, because in general the e-bike is pretty good, it’s just that shifting system letting it down.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to watch my Youtube review to see the shifting issue in action.