The AddMotor M-430 is a very affordable, very functional utility ebike that also manages to be a lot of fun. It has a few shortcomings that you’ll want to address right away, but given the price, they are not deal-breakers.
The vehicle in question is a 48V rear-hub motor with a 17.5 Ah battery, powered by a welded aluminum step-through chassis with an integrated rear rack that can support up to 33.1 kg. It has incredibly wide 24-inch tires that, at 4 inches wide, look more like moped tires than bicycle tires and give you the impression that you can overcome any obstacle in your way.
The AddMotor M-430’s other standard features are pretty much what you’d expect from a bicycle that falls in the middle of a round-town utility and a small cargo bike. A brake light, which is debatably unneeded on a bicycle but is so simple to add to an ebike that you might as well have one, is included into the back lighting system.
The M-430 has a strong center stand that you may use to park it while you load it, but due to the bike’s size and weight, you will need to hoist it onto the stand.
AddMotor offers the M-430 for just $1599 in part because it sells its bicycles directly to consumers. Although the main company is headquartered in Seattle, UK AddMotor M-430 bikes are shipped through a European branch in Utrecht. That does imply that you will need to put something together in order to start.
|Frame||6061 Aluminum Alloy Frame|
|Front Fork||Spring Suspension Fork with 80mm Travel|
|Motor||Addmotor 48V 750W|
|Pedal Assist||Intelligent 5 Level Padel assist|
|Recommended Rider Height||5'2"-6'|
|Front Basket||24 x4.0" Fat Tire|
|Item Weight||73 Pounds|
|Item Package Dimensions L x W x H||63 x 34 x 14 inches|
AddMotor M-430: Design and Build Quality
On the AddMotor M-430, there is no need to bother about shifting gears. With those fat tyres, you get one gear, 34 x 14 inches, which is around 63 inches. That is perfect for riding in general, but if you go faster than the assist’s top speed on a descent, your legs will start to shake if you try to keep up with the bike over roughly 28 mph.
When he saw the brakes on the AddMotor M-430, that inner bike nerd I previously described said, “hm, cable discs, bet I’m going to hanker after hydraulics pretty soon.” The nerd in me was mistaken. Because they are operating on 180mm rotors and 24-inch wheels, the Tektro Aries brakes have plenty of extra power to bring the AddMotor M-430 to a stop firmly and authoritatively. You would require rotors that are roughly 220 mm in diameter to provide the same mechanical advantage on a 700C wheel with 40 mm tires.
I thought the AddMotor M-430’s riding position to be overly high and constricting with the bar being too close to the saddle. I attached a 120 mm stem I had lying around and positioned it behind the tall spacer on the steerer to achieve a position that was slightly farther forward and more comfortable for me. However, test subjects who are more accustomed to riding in “Dutch cycle” fashion preferred the M-430’s stance.
The saddle is the AddMotor M-430’s major shortcoming; it is a disgusting piece of junk that you should throw away right away. The seatpost and saddle base are one welded component. Since the base is essentially a flat steel sheet with a roughly saddle-shaped shape, there are no saddle rails to suspend your buttocks and no conformity to the specifics of human anatomy. After using it for more than a few minutes, it becomes difficult to pedal due to its form and lack of give.
Fortunately, a broad saddle appropriate for the upright posture of the AddMotor M-430 and a suitable 27.2mm seatpost (a relatively common size) would cost you about £40; therefore, considering the M-430’s excellent base price, it is not a deal-breaker. I changed the saddle and seatpost with something much more practical after riding it long enough to be convinced that it was truly bad and that I wasn’t going to get used to it.
The fact that the pedals are made of cheap plastic and don’t seem at all robust is a much more minor complaint. After just a few rides, the bearings began to exhibit movement. Install DMR V8s or any mountain bike pedals with gripping pins that will catch your shoes when they are wet as a favor to yourself.
Anna, my partner’s 14-year-old, has been the AddMotor M-430’s main passenger, driving with either her mother or older sister. Anna claims riding the M-430 is “very enjoyable,” although she would prefer a handlebar to not having to hold on to the rider.
The AddMotor M-430 does require some assistance when carrying a passenger on steep inclines, but on flat ground and moderate road hills, it is largely unaffected. A brief ramp with a 30% gradient is part of one of the cycleways entering Cambridge that crosses over a railroad overpass. A little rider oomph there helps the M-430 get going.
The Large Platform and Small Insulated Delivery Bag are a pair of accessories I wish I’d requested. The AddMotor M-430 would be quite useful for running out for pizza with those. It would be absurd for me to drive to the Domino’s that is 10 minutes away by bike, but a sizable Vegi Volcano works much better on the passenger seat than bungee-corded to a bike rack. The M-430 would be a good option for a food delivery bike as well with a larger bag, similar to, for example, a Deliveroo rucksack.
AddMotor M-430: Motor and Battery
As soon as you climb aboard the AddMotor M-430 and crank the assist all the way up to maximum, the 48V motor’s 750W of power will start to slam you along as you move the pedals. If the initial acceleration of the M-430 doesn’t give you a large grin on your face and make you feel like you might pull a wheelie, you need a new joy gland. The AddMotor M-430’s acceleration is almost violent.
The practical result of this is that you can reach 28 mph very fast at the highest of the AddMotor M-430’s four power levels, which gives you confidence when accelerating out of intersections and away from traffic lights. The cut-out is a little sudden once you’ve reached the assist limit.
The AddMotor M-430 handles perfectly and with friendliness. When coasting down slopes at 30 mph, it is incredibly stable because of the enormous tyres’ incredible traction on both tarmac and trails. Speaking of the tires, they are the largest 24-inch tires that anyone makes, measuring 24 inches by 4 inches. One of them is Kenda’s K-Shield puncture-resistant tyre liner, which has protected us from punctures during the test.
However, a variant with a smoother tread would be good for road riding. When I look at those knobs, the bike nerd in me knows they are wasting power by making the tread squirm; smooth tires would somewhat increase the range.
The claimed range is 60-90 km, which is about correct if you use power assist only when absolutely necessary. For my partner’s eldest, who got roughly 25 miles out of the AddMotor M-430 on full assist before managing to get lost in town and call home screaming for help, it worked brilliantly as a commuter bike and runaround. Oops.
Using the aid more sparingly at settings 2, 3, and 4 resulted in a range of over 35 miles, with one of the five LEDs still glowing to show battery life. That means 55 miles is roughly possible on completely flat roads with the least amount of aid.
If you intend to drive the AddMotor M-430, you’ll need a reliable rack to support its weight (over 30 kg with extras) and, if your rack maker makes them available, extra-long straps to put around the tires. A ramp would also be useful.
One tester complained that it was a little perplexing to have two adjacent banks of LEDs to show the charge and assist levels. An LCD panel that more clearly distinguishes between the aid mode and battery level displays and also displays speed and power levels is available for €99 as an option.
Everyone who used the AddMotor M-430 wished there had been a little more chain protection than the barebones chainring guard that was included. Nobody enjoys having oil on the cuffs of their pants.
AddMotor M-430: Conclusions
There are many advantages to the AddMotor M-430. It is a wonderful commuter. It is agile, challenging as Fermat’s Last Theorem, swift away from the lights, and a lot of fun. It is also incredibly adaptable thanks to the accessory selection and the intelligent possibility for installing a front rack and platform, bags, or a passenger seat. Especially when both of our teenagers want to head into town together and their mother has more important things to do than play cabbie, it has become our family’s primary errand-runner and commuter.
This implies that purchasing a AddMotor M-430 entails more than just purchasing a bicycle; it also entails purchasing a system that allows you to customize the bicycle to suit your specific needs. Of course, adding third-party racks and other attachments to a conventional bike also works, but the incorporation of M-430’s accouterments turns the notion up to 11.
Additionally, this location offers exceptional value for the money. Most theoretically comparable cycles start at three grand; the AddMotor M-430 will cost you around £1,300 to £1,500 with a variety of reasonable accessory choices. M-430 may not provide you a luxurious mid-motor drive for your money, but you get a lot for your money.
This is a bike that I’d happily spend my own money on, despite the subpar saddle and subpar pedals.