The Drone Aims To End Up in Your Garage With Comfort, Styling, and a Low Price

Drone 10 photos
Photo: Buzz Bicycles / United Wheels Inc.
E-bikes come in all shapes and sizes, but when a team like Buzz Bicycles - the same that's part of the group of brands such as Huffy and Vaast - spits out a new two-wheeler, you can expect a beast for as little cash as possible.
Well, that seems to be precisely the cast with Buzz's newest addition to their ever-growing lineup, the Drone, a fat-tire e-bike with a "motorcycle-inspired frame." I'm guessing the Honda Trail 50 was the inspiration. Then again, it also comes across like all those mopeds you see riding around various countries; it's an often-encountered look, especially these days; more on that later.

For now, allow me to point out that Buzz is selling the Drone for no more than $1,400 (€1,300 at current exchange rates). Since this EV was only recently unveiled, it's in the Presale stages, with the official launch set for mid-June. Yet, some people seem to have gotten theirs a tad sooner, as there are already reviews on the manufacturer's website, and all of them are 5/5 stars. It's time to find out why.

Kicking things off with the Drone, nothing other than good old aluminum brings this bike's frame to life. But it's all based on a comfortable step-through design, so it can be used by a wide range of riders. The specifications list does mention the phrase "step-over," but I'm just not seeing it.

Photo: Buzz Bicycles / United Wheels Inc.
Frankly, I have no problem with such a bike frame style as I found that you can mount one of these babies half-asleep and, if need be, easily set your feet down in case of an emergency. Since the saddle isn't an adjustable one, you'll need to have some rather decent knees when pedaling as you'll do so from a position as though you're riding a BMX. Luckily, there's throttle functionality, but if I've learned anything from a bike of this style, it's that you'll pedal as little as possible.

While that riding position may not be the most comfortable for all, Buzz ensures a pleasant ride with 4-inch cross-section tires and a suspension fork with 55 mm of travel. While it's not a whole lot, it's sure to smoothen out any bumps the road throws at you and with the right pressure, the tires will be doing some of that too.

As we move forward on this e-bike, we arrive at the all-important electronics. That said, the power behind your experience lies in nothing other than a 500 W motor strapped to the rear hub. Buzz mentions that up to 40 miles of range is possible with it. That is an estimated number, so expect fluctuations in the real world.

Photo: Buzz Bicycles / United Wheels Inc.
Now, the Drone classifies as a Class 2 e-bike, so you can pedal around, and the motor will then bring its own added strength, but that throttle is there to help you just kick back and enjoy the ride. In all, the Drone is limited to a top speed of no more than 20 mph (32 kph).

While the manufacturer's website doesn't mention anything about this number being malleable in any way, but, if you know someone who's handy with an e-bike, give them a call; maybe you can go a little faster. Just be warned that such changes not only void warranties but can and will get you in trouble with the law, if you're caught.

As for that range I mentioned, it's all made possible by a 10.4 Ah battery running under 48V and mounted neatly into the downtube. While some people may scoff at the sight of 40 miles (64 km) of range—possibly less—it is within the daily average that most Americans travel with a car.

One downside or flaw, if you will, that I could find is the riding position. While it's nice and all while you don't pedal, the fact that you'll be using your throttle most of the time means you'll be sucking power out of your battery like it's a juice box on a hot summer day. This can be beaten, however, by picking up an extra battery. The question is, where are you going to put it? There don't seem to be any cargo-carrying capabilities available to the Drone.

Photo: Buzz Bicycles / United Wheels Inc.
The rest of the Drone is equipped with a Shimano drivetrain with a 14-28T cassette and tuned to just six speeds, so don't expect it to be the fastest thing on the road, nor the easiest to get up a hill, but the electronics are sure to help, and mechanical front and rear disc brakes.

I don't approve of that last one, especially since you're riding a vehicle that weighs 66 lbs (30 kg) and is hauling it around at 20 mph; it's a trait that I urge countless manufacturers to drop, especially if you consider that a pair of hydraulic brakes are only a tad more expensive, allow you to raise the price just a bit on your product, and above all, are just safer. Throw on some bells and whistles, and the Drone is ready.

While I could spot a few setbacks, from a price perspective, it's well within the $2,000 mark that most folks are willing to spend on an e-bike, some less, so the Drone definitely has a place in someone's garage. If you want to find out if that's you, wait around until launch day, watch the videos below, and go from there. Safe riding out there.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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