Boussole Evelo: Electric tricycle par excellence



Seattle-born Evelo takes to the streets in the best vertical delta electric trike I have ever ridden. After reviewing a dozen electric tricycles, the Compass emerges as the perfect example of an electric tricycle, without having a weird segment that it tries to catch. Really, when you think of an electric tricycle, your first one is the Evelo Compass.

Electric tricycles seem to bring something special to a bicycle designer. Perhaps it is the wealth of loading options, or the option to shift the driver’s weight that is so appealing. Searching for an electric tricycle can bring up an array of options that can get overwhelming at times.

But don’t be afraid! The Evelo Compass is a sturdy, easy-to-use, comfortable, “high-speed” electric trike that gives riders exactly what they want: balance. A quick note on terminology: The Evelo Compass is a vertical delta electric trike. It is straight because the rider is seated straight, instead of lying down or reclined. Having 2 wheels at the back makes it a Delta tricycle, instead of 2 wheels at the front for a tadpole tricycle. Oddly enough, Evelo makes an electric bike called the Delta, but that’s irrelevant here. On the way…

Evelo Compass Specifications:

  • Motor: 500w at mid-workout
  • Motor Engagement: cadence pedal assist, accelerator
  • Drums: 48v 10.5Ah (fully ready for the 2nd additional battery)
  • Vary: 40 miles maximum
  • Top speed: 20 mph
  • Gear: 3-speed internal hub
  • Brakes: Mechanical disc brakes 180 mm (2x)
  • Supplements: Rear basket with wooden platform, 3 complete fenders, automatic front and rear lights, brake lights, reflective tires, 2 drive wheels, complete chain guard, parking brake, ergonomic handles, comfort seat, ready for dual battery
Evelo Compass Motor

After reviewing about a dozen electric tricycles, the first thing I noticed behind the wheel of the Compass was its solid design. The frame is made of thick aluminum tubing, with smooth, even welds and supportive work around all important parts. The rear batteries are protected by an additional frame which also supports the rear basket and the axle. Sure enough, when I rode the Compass it didn’t look like a wacky merry-go-round, but it did look like a bicycle.

Evelo compass basket

Electric compass

The Compass is powered by a 500W mid-drive motor, with both cadence-based pedal assist and throttle operation as standard equipment. The motor housing looks a lot like the Bafang BBS02, and if so, Evelo chose an excellent motor for its ease of use and durability. This classic performer of an engine has been customized by hot-rodders for years, but I doubt average trike customers will go for this angle. Next to the motor is an internal 3-speed hub, which is another perfect choice for this application.

Evelo Compass Gear

Too fast too furious

Driving in a straight line, the compass can reach speeds of 20 mph. I’ve been on many trikes that limit speed to 15, 13, or even 11 mph (yes they were all odd numbers for some reason). These speed limits are actually welcome, in my eyes, as many trikes are downright scary after 3pm. I could easily take my turn on the compass at 13mph and going straight felt rock solid to me.

Evelo Compass tires

Stable steed

The compass is easily designed to be a daily driver, if that was your intention. With 3 full fenders, a sturdy wooden basket, brake lights and front and rear lights that engage automatically, this trike is no slouch in practical terms. The 180mm disc brakes felt a bit soft when I first took a look at the Compass, but they worked pretty well. I forgot about the inherent resistance of a 3 wheel machine, and also ignored the idea that trikes are generally slower than bikes.

Evelo Compass Market

Normally people look for trikes of this style because the three wheels provide better balance in low speed, easy access scenarios. There is no shame in it. Literally, we will all one day be faced with the choice of a tricycle or a sofa. With a current MSRP of $ 4,299, the Compass is definitely not in the cheap category, and at the same time not in the high speed rocket division either. The Evelo compass is right in the center of the target for what an electric tricycle should be.

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