Wing Freedom 2 electric bike review
Wing Freedom 2: Specs
Battery: Panasonic 8.8/10.4/14aH
Max estimated range: 35-60 miles, depending on battery
Max assisted speed: 20 mph
Motor: 36V/550W Bafang rear hub motor
Gearing: 7-speed Shimano Tourney
Weight: 39 pounds
The Wing Freedom 2 is a great example of how the price of electric bikes is dropping, but quality isn’t suffering. While the Freedom 2 may not have all the niceties of e-bikes that cost $5,000 — or even $3,000 — it’s a great-looking ride that will get you around in style and comfort, and will do so for less than $1,500.
For this Wing Freedom 2 review, I took it for a spin around New York to see how it compared to some of the best electric bikes I’ve ridden in the past. TL;DR — it was very good for the price. There are a few minor things that could be improved, but overall it’s one of the best budget electric bikes around.
Wing Freedom 2 review: Price, availability, and configurations
The Wing Freedom 2 first went on sale in 2021, and comes in either all black or silver/white with brown leather handlebars and seat. The Freedom 2 is Wing’s least expensive bike, and has a starting price of $1,098 with an 8.8-Ah battery, which the company says will give you about 35 miles of range.
If you step up to a 10.4-ah battery, the price increases to $1,198; a 14-ah battery boosts the price to $1,298.
Other add-ons include fenders ($59.99), throttle/boost ($79.99), location tracking ($74.99), a front rack ($89.99), and a rear rack ($79.99). You can also get a bundle which includes the fenders, throttle, and location tracking, though this doesn’t save you any money. However, as of this writing (July 2022), Wing was offering all three for free with purchase.
Wing Freedom 2 review: Design
When I first saw the Wing Freedom 2, I thought I was looking at a new version of the VanMoof S3; they look nearly identical from afar, owing mainly to the horizontal tube that extends past the handlebars and the seat. I’m not sure who was first, but it’s a cool look that makes these bikes visually distinctive from most others. The long tube also serves a practical function, as one end holds the headlight, and the other the taillight.
On closer inspection, the Freedom 2 isn’t as sleek as the VanMoof, but that’s to be expected given that the former is about half the price of the latter. For instance, while most of the Freedom 2’s wires run through the body of the bike, they’re still exposed by the handlebars.
On the other hand, the Freedom 2 has a removable battery — something the VanMoof lacks — so you don’t need to wheel the entire bike near an outlet when you need to recharge it.
Wing Freedom 2 review: Performance
Being the company’s least expensive electric bike, the Freedom 2 lacks a few things found on Wing’s pricier models. For instance, the smallish monotone LCD display on the left handlebar shows your speed, pedal assist level and battery life remaining, but that’s about it; it’s perfectly clear and bright, but isn’t as large or colorful as you’ll find on more expensive bikes.
The other concession to price is the Freedom 2’s motor, which uses a cadence sensor to detect when you’re pedaling. Higher-priced bikes use a torque sensor, which is both faster and more responsive. As a result, the Freedom 2 was a bit slow to add pedal-assist power; it took roughly a turn and a half of the crank before things kicked in. Similarly, when I pressed the bike’s throttle lever, it would ramp up over the course of a few seconds, rather than kicking in instantly
Still, the Freedom 2’s rear hub-mounted 250W Bafang motor was more than powerful enough to get us around Manhattan and the hills of Central Park with ease. You can easily switch between five levels of assist, and the bike also has a 7-speed Shimano shifter to ease your ride.
Underneath the headlight is a small but powerful speaker that serves two purposes: as a horn to alert pedestrians, and as an alarm to thwart would-be thieves. That’s right, it has an alarm just like you would find in a car. The bike even comes with a little key fob which you can use to arm and disarm the alarm; a third button lets you activate the siren.
It’s shockingly loud: When I set it off in my office, my coworkers jumped a few feet. Fortunately, the alarm only activates if the bike is jostled or moved.
I wish the electronic horn were as urgent. It has a lower, non-specific tone that doesn’t scream “get out of the way!” Also, I found the button for the horn was just a bit too far out of reach of my thumb; I had to shift my hand just enough that it took an extra beat to reach it.
The Freedom 2 has mechanical, rather than hydraulic disc brakes, but I found them to be plenty responsive when stopping.
Wing Freedom 2 review: Battery life and range
Depending on the battery you choose (8.8/10.4/14Ah) when you buy the bike, you can expect between 35 to 60 miles on a charge.
Wing outfitted my test bike with its largest battery. After charging it fully, I took it on a 14-mile ride through Manhattan, which included two loops of Central Park. With the assist level set to 5 (the max), I had used between 2-3 bars (out of 6) on the battery indicator. Your mileage will vary based on the level of assist you use, as well as how often you use the throttle.
The Freedom 2’s battery locks into place, and can only be removed with a key. A small rubber flap covers its charging port.
Wing Freedom 2 review: Bottom line
Electric bikes may one day overtake regular bikes in popularity, and it will be because of models like the Wing Freedom 2. As the price comes down on e-bikes, and if the quality is just as good, then why not get a bike that can give you a bit of an assist going up hills? It’s better for you and for the environment if you bike more and drive less.
Among the best budget electric bikes, we still prefer the Aventon Soltera, which has a better, larger color display and which can sync with an app to configure your ride. Its throttle also comes standard, rather than as an option. But, the Wing Freedom 2 offers a great ride for not a lot of money.
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