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Espin Nesta Review: Overview
The Espin Nesta is a foldable all-terrain Class 3 electric bike from Espin that feels very stable and well put together, especially for having the ability to fold. I couldn’t tell this was a foldable bike with how sturdy and stable it felt below me and it left me without question Espin did a good job designing the Nesta.
The Espin Nesta review reminded us how not all foldable bikes are created equally. While we kind of knew that, being the electric bike experts we are, it was good to be reassured by its high speeds, comfortable positioning and hydraulic disc brakes. With its unique frame shape and ample rack space, the Espin Nesta is a member of the utility category of e-bikes — a class that’s growing in popularity among those who want a solid do-it-all electric bike.
We found a lot of things we liked about the Nesta right away — out of the box it comes 95% assembled and once we were riding we couldn’t help but notice the motor’s quick acceleration and 100mm of front suspension doing its thing.
By the end of this e-bike review you should have a good understanding of how the Espin Nesta performs out in the real world. From its battery range to its hill climbing ability we put “the Nesta to the test…a”. Let’s dive in.
Bike Category: Folding/Step-Thru Style E-Bike Folding/Step-Thru Style E-Bike
Bike Class: Class 3Class 3: PAS up to 28 mph /Throttle assist up to 20 mph
Espin Nesta Video Review
The Espin Nesta is a very good value. You get quality components and performance for what you pay.
The Nesta has a solid battery life. If you stay on top of charging the bike you shouldn’t run into any unexpected issues of running out.
The Nesta has all-terrain capabilities. It can be your camping exploration bike or your commuter to and from work.
The Espin Nesta has an easy to learn riding style. It’s easy to balance and handle this folding fat tire e-bike.
All of the contact points on this bike are comfortable.
The 750W rear hub motor is powerful enough that you don’t have to do much to make it to the top of steep hills.
The LCD display is a little bit dim and can be hard to see when it’s bright outside.
The storage racks don’t have very high weight ratings — just 11 lbs on the front and shy of 40 lbs in the rear.
ELECTRICAL SPECS & FEATURES
Battery: 48V, 10.5Ah
Display: Espin color LCD
Motor: Espin 750W rear hub motor, 85Nm of torque.
Headlight: LED headlight
Taillights: LED tail light
Peal Assist: Levels 1-5
Range: 25-70 miles
Throttle: Left side paddle throttle
Weight & Dimensions
Weight: 65 lbs
Maximum rider weight: 275 lbs
Folded dimensions: 35” x 20” x 33”
Components & Accessories
Brakes: Zoom hydraulic disc brakes, 160mm rotors front and rear
Fenders: Front and rear, standard
Fork: Espin 100mm fork with lockout
Frame: Aluminum, aerospace grade
Gearing: S-Ride 8-speed, 11-32T
Grips: Ergonomic rubber grips
Saddle: Velo standard
Handlebar: aluminum alloy handlebar
Kickstand: Standard, left side
Pedals: Wellgo aluminium alloy
Tires: 20” x 4.0”
Espin Nesta Performance Review
Acceleration / Speed
The Espin Nesta has quick acceleration in the higher pedal assist settings and when using the throttle. The Nesta’s acceleration characteristics showed off its Class 3 speed and power at a rate that still felt controlled.
I usually was hovering around 24 mph when pedaling around on the Nesta in the higher assist levels and I held a surprising amount of speed when climbing up hills. The 750W motor can produce up to 85Nm of torque which I definitely noticed when accelerating from a stand still and when climbing up steep grades.
Here at Electric Bike Report, one of the tests we conduct is a battery range test. We ride the respective bike in the highest pedal assist level and the lowest pedal assist level to get a better understanding of the true real-world range of the bike. The Espin Nesta comes with a 48V, 10.5Ah battery. Prior to conducting the test I was expecting around 20-25 miles out of the battery in the highest assistance level.
When I did the maximum pedal assist range test I reached 29.56 miles with an average speed of 19.2 mph. The Nesta’s range and average speed were both very impressive — I didn’t think that I was going to reach nearly 30 miles.
When our reviewer conducted the minimum pedal assist range test he reached 69.81 miles before the battery died. He rode at an average speed of 9.6 mph. Our results exceeded Espin’s estimated ranges by quite a bit.
We conduct a circuit test which is a 1-mile loop that we ride in each pedal assist setting and with the bike turned completely off. This gives us a better understanding of what each assistance level gives as far as power and average speed goes. It also shows us what the respective bikes power curve is like and what the relationship is like between each assistance level.
The Espin Nesta jumps consistently from one pedal assist level to the next. Each time you increase a pedal assist setting it’s easy to know what to expect as far as additional power and speed goes.
The lowest pedal assist setting and the highest both feel as they should. The lowest level gives a hint of assistance here and there but won’t make you ride much faster than you would with the bike turned completely off. The highest pedal assist setting is the opposite; the assistance is very apparent and the Nesta does everything it can to keep you at Class 3 speeds.
Our circuit test graph should give you a ballpark figure of how the pedal assist levels perform, and how big of changes are made from one level to the next.
Logging some miles on the Espin Nesta.
The Espin Nesta has a 750W rear hub motor.
The Espin Nesta has a 48V, 10.5Ah battery.
To get a better understanding of the bike’s hill climbing ability we conduct two separate climbs on Hell Hole, one of the steepest hills in St. George, Utah. This hill is a 12% to 15% grade and is a quarter mile long. We climb the hill once using throttle only, and once using the highest pedal assist setting. This gives us a good understanding of how the respective bike can climb on its own power and with rider assistance.
When I climbed our test hill in throttle only I was very impressed with how quickly the Nesta reached 20 mph at the base of the hill, it carried this speed very well and the lowest speed I dropped to was 12.1 mph. The motor’s 85Nm of torque was very apparent during the climb. The Nesta didn’t seem to be phased by the hill at all and I reached the top at 1:08.00 with an average speed of 16.0 mph.
The max assist test was equally as impressive. I reached the top of our test hill in 1:02.00 with an average speed of 17.5 mph. The lowest speed I dropped to was 14.1 mph. For how small the wheels are and how wide the tires are, the average speeds and times I clocked up the test hill were very impressive to me. We learned that the Nesta is going to get you up just about any hill without you having to put down a lot of physical effort.
The Nesta handling characteristics are very stable and nimble mainly due to the small and wide tires. These tires are easy to balance on and the smaller wheels give the Nesta a tight turn radius that is easy to corner. The 100mm suspension fork allowed the front tire to move over obstacles and helped increase handling in off-road scenarios in general.
The Espin Nesta puts the rider in a very upright riding position, this makes commutes, joyrides and riding in general easier on the back and neck. The ergonomic rubber grips were very comfortable and their softer rubber compound was easy to hold onto for long periods of time.
I was also able to adjust the level of the handlebars exactly where I wanted them. The adjustable handlebar height allows a wide range of riders to ride the Nesta comfortably. Riders ranging from 5’2” up to 6’4” should be able to ride the Nesta without feeling like they’re on the wrong size e-bike.
The 4-inch fat tires combined with the 100mm suspension fork made for a soft and plush riding experience. Bumps in the road and off-road stretches felt smoother than I was expecting them to.
We spent lots of time riding the Nesta and would deem it comfortable.
The Nesta comes with a water bottle cage mount on the downtube of the low step frame.
If you decide to get the front rack the headlight can mount to the rack itself.
Espin Nesta Specs/Features Review: Electric Components
The Nesta’s 750W rear hub motor can produce up to 85Nm of torque. In simpler terms, this motor is plenty strong for quick acceleration and boosting up steep hills. When I conducted our maximum pedal assist range test I was impressed with how the motor was able to keep me at Class 3 speeds despite the small wheels and wide tires.
I took the Nesta through some sandy pits near the EBR headquarters to get a better idea of how this bike performs in off-road scenarios, the mentioned 85Nm of torque played a huge role in the Nesta’s capabilities. The motor allowed the rear wheel to dig in enough that I continued to prowl forward.
The Espin Nesta comes with a 48V, 10.5Ah battery that’s mounted in front of the seat tube.This battery is removable with the included key and has an on and off switch next to the charging port. The shape and edges of the battery pack align with the frames visuals too.
For only being a 10.5Ah battery I was very impressed with the range we were able to get out of it. We typically use a battery’s specs to estimate how long a range test will last, but the Nesta held onto a charge for a lot longer than we were expecting.
The battery life of this bike is definitely a plus, it makes the Nesta that much better of an option for commuters, recreational riders and those who want a foldable electric bike. The less you have to charge the battery the more you can ride.
Pedal Assist / Throttle
Each pedal assist setting is unique and has a purpose. Espin did a good job keeping the lower pedal assist levels conservative while keeping the higher pedal assist levels quick and powerful.
The 5 settings allowed our reviewers to ride with the exact amount of assistance they were looking for. I personally spent a lot of time in levels 4 and 5 as they boost the rider to Class 3 speeds and have a very apparent fun factor.
When I used the throttle to engage the motor I was able to actuate the amount of power the motor was giving me very easily. Even from a stand still the throttle didn’t take long to get me up to 20 mph. The acceleration characteristics of the throttle are great for getting back up to speed at a stop light, or simply riding at high speeds without having to pedal.
The Espin Nesta comes with a colored LCD display that sits in the center of the handlebars above the adjustable stem. This display’s colorway is visually appealing and the display reads out all the information you’ll want to know when riding.
The display shows the time, speed, battery, PAS level, odometer and has a watt meter. While the information that is shown is fairly common the layout and interface of the display is more eye-catching than average. Especially when you consider the price point the Espin Nesta is listed at. The only complaint we have about the display is that it isn’t the brightest. On sunny days it can be difficult to see.
The Nesta has an LCD color display.
The full cockpit on the Espin Nesta
Folding clamp for the stem on the Espin Nesta.
The suspension fork comes with a lockout dial for fine tuned suspension adjustments.
Espin Nesta Review: Components and Accessories
Especially when the price point is considered, the Espin Nesta is stocked with great componentry. Take the Zoom hydraulic disc brakes for example, this is the cheapest bike I’ve seen these brakes on. Other components like the S-Ride groupset have proved their worth throughout our review process. In the following sections we’ll dive into how each individual component performed.
The Zoom hydraulic disc brakes come with 160mm brake rotors front and rear. I have only had good experiences with these brakes. They’re powerful, quick to engage and they provide a lot of stopping power modulation
When I was range testing the Nesta I reached speeds of over 30 mph a couple of times going down steep hills. I felt comfortable with these speeds because the brakes do such a good job of slowing the bike down when needed.
In our brake test we wanted to see how far it would take the Nesta to stop from around 20 mph. We did this test 5 times and took the average stopping distance. It took 13-feet-8-inches for the Espin Nesta to stop.
The Espin Nesta is constructed of aerospace grade aluminum 6061 alloy. This frame feels stiff and stable enough that if I were blindfolded I wouldn’t know that it was a foldable frame. The folding clamp on the Nesta feels just as strong as the frame itself.
Espin did a good job with this frame, there are mounts for a water bottle cage, a front rack and a rear rack. The welds are clean and the smoke grey color scheme is low profile but appealing.
The Espin Nesta comes with a 100mm suspension fork that’s great for softening rougher surfaces and allowing the Nestas’ front end to roll over objects easier. This fork also comes with a lockout which is great for maximizing pedal efficiency. Espin made the right choice giving the Nesta 100mm of travel, it gives the bike additional comfort and all terrain capabilities.
Drivetrain / Shifting
The Nesta comes with an 8-speed S-Ride drivetrain. S-Ride wasn’t a brand I was all too familiar with until recently and so far their parts have been solid on the bikes I have reviewed. It’s no different on the Nesta — the 8-gear range gives riders good gearing for maintaining speed on flat ground and for climbing up hills. When combined with the 5 pedal assist settings riders should be able to find the perfect balance of rider and bike output.
Giving the Zoom hydraulic disc brakes a good pull.
The brake caliper grabs 160mm rotors in the front and rear of the bike.
The Zoom brake lever and hydraulic fluid reservoir.
Contact Points / Comfortability
The Espin Nesta has very comfortable grips and a decently comfortable saddle. The handlebars and pedals feel very standard and I had no issue with them.
The upright positioning combined with a seat that you can sit on for a while and grips you can hold onto for a while left me with no complaints about the comfort of this bike.
20” x 4.0’ fat tires give the Nesta fun and nimble handling characteristics. These tires also hold a lot of air which means there is quite a bit of adjustment as far as how the tires feel.
You can run lower pressures to float over looser surfaces such as sand on the beach, and higher pressures for fast rolling speeds on paved surfaces. These tires also smooth out surfaces really well. Rough roads don’t feel so rough on the Nesta.
Regardless of how you decide to run these tires, their performance benefits are apparent. We haven’t experienced any flats despite over 80 miles of testing the Nesta on-road and off-road.
Extras / Accessories
The Espin Nesta comes with an optional front and rear rack which can be included if you select the “premium” bundle at checkout. You can always purchase these at a later time if you decide you need them. Espin also offers spare chargers, pannier bags and replacement batteries on their website.
The rear storage rack on the Espin Nesta.
The front storage rack is easy to instal.
The Nesta is definitely one of the more capable folding fat tire electric bikes we have reviewed.
Espin Nesta Review: Summary / Where to Buy
The Espin Nesta proved to be quite the jack of all trades. Throughout the Espin Nesta review we were impressed with its performance in our tests. The range test and hill climb test results were very impressive and the Nesta out performed all of the older folding fat tire electric bikes that we have reviewed.
Bikes like the Nesta didn’t exist before electric bikes existed, and models like it fully take advantage of having a motor and battery in their design. This bike can really dabble in all sorts of riding, from an exploration bike to a daily commuter the Nesta has proved itself equally capable of both.
We are very impressed with the performance and componentry the Espin Nesta has when you take its price point into account. Espin has done a great job of including sense worthy components and not inhibiting performance aspects to save money. This bike is truly a good value and I believe just about anybody who can find use out of a bike can find use in the Espin Nesta.
The Espin Nesta is sold online through Espin’s website and shipped directly to your door, though there are a small handful of dealerships across the U.S. where you can find their bikes for test rides and in-person purchases.
‘Happy Riding, make sure to let us know if you have any questions down in our comments section or if you think we left anything out in this review of the Espin Nesta.