2022 Evelo Compass Review

It’s hard to create the perfect electric trike, but Evelo has come awfully close with the Compass. This three-wheeled green machine is expertly designed, with all the right components in all the right places, and represents the pinnacle of safety and stability for electrified three-wheelers.And the starting price accurately reflects this.We’re looking at an MSRP of $4,699 USD. And at the time of this review, Evelo is offering a $250 discount, which brings the price down to $4,449 USD. That’s still a lot of cheddar, but every bit of savings helps.

Video Review


Detailed Specs

Price: $3,200
Minimum Range: 25 Miles
Top Speed: 20 Miles Per Hour
Electronics: 504Wh Battery, 500W Mid-drive Motor
Suspension: None
Gearing: 3 Speed, Shimano Nexus
Brakes: Tektro MD-M300 Disc Brakes, 180mm Rotors

Featured Accessories

Written Review

It’s hard to create the perfect electric trike, but Evelo has come awfully close with the Compass. This three-wheeled green machine is expertly designed, with all the right components in all the right places, and represents the pinnacle of safety and stability for electrified three-wheelers. 

And the starting price accurately reflects this. 

We’re looking at an MSRP of $4,699 USD. And at the time of this review, Evelo is offering a $250 discount, which brings the price down to $4,449 USD. That’s still a lot of cheddar, but every bit of savings helps.

Speaking of savings, Evelo also offers free shipping, and a truly remarkable 4-year warranty. And just in case you’re on the fence about picking up the Compass, Evelo has a 21-day at-home trial. Very groovy.

Before we dive into the specs here, it’s worth noting that Evelo has been around the block more than a few times. They’ve been in the e-bike biz for over a decade, spanning all the way back to 2012, which leaves me feeling pretty confident they’ll be around for the next 10 years too. 

One of the absolute coolest aspects of the Compass is that it arrives completely assembled. This is a huge deal because the truth is, electric tricycles are notoriously heavy and difficult to put together. But with the Compass you can literally pull it out of the box, hop on, and ride off into the sunset. 

Right. Specs. Here we go.

The Evelo Compass has a 500 watt custom mid-drive motor that pulls harder than a Clydesdale. Seriously, this motor has some surprising oomph for just 500 watts. During testing we ended up loading the rear basket up with over 100 pounds of camera gear and I was sure the extra weight was going to bog down the motor, but the mid-drive just laughed and powered through as if that extra 100 pounds wasn’t even there.

Even when starting from a dead stop in the lowest gear, the Compass has more than enough acceleration. And it pulled a total of 260 pounds up the 9 percent grades on our trail with absolute ease. Extremely impressive. 

And this is the beauty of mid-drives. Unlike hub drives, they’re able to leverage the gearing to maximize both torque and speed. 

So, here’s how that works. The Compass is kind of like a car with multiple gears. When you start out at low speeds, you throw it in first for maximum torque. And as you pick up speed, you switch into the higher gears for cruising. 

More impressive still is that the Compass utilizes a rear differential, making it a true two-wheel drive electric trike. The power from the mid-drive motor is split evenly between both rear wheels, which provides solid traction, and prevents wheel slip during tight turns, and when accelerating on loose terrain. Ultimately, this feat of magic results in a higher degree of safety and stability, which is exactly what we like to see, especially when it comes to electric trikes.

The 500 watt Bafang mid-drive can bring the Compass up to a top speed of 20 miles per hour out of the box, which honestly is about the absolute fastest we’d want to travel on three wheels, but for those of you who feel the need, the need for speed, you can ratchet up the top speed even further in the settings. Honestly though, we don’t recommend this. The faster you go with trikes, the more susceptible they are to becoming a two wheeler if you catch my drift. 

To reach the top speed on the Compass, you can use either the thumb throttle or the cadence sensing pedal assist. 

Normally, at this point in the review, we’d mention the inherent latency with cadence sensors, but the truth is, this one feels remarkably like a torque sensor in all the ways that count. The power output from the motor precisely matches the rider’s cadence, which leaves you feeling as fit as Neil Armstrong. Wait, I mean Lance Armstrong. Not the moon guy. The Tour de France guy. 

This is another one of those components on the Compass that really makes this electric trike shine. It ensures you’re always going the exact speed that you intend, which is another excellent safety aspect.

Let’s talk about batteries. The Compass comes with one 48 volt 10.5 amp hour locking and removable battery, and when paired with Evelo’s advanced battery management software, offers a max estimated range of 40 miles when using pedal assist. 

For those that need more range, or plan to use a high pedal assist setting with a fully loaded rear rack, don’t worry. You can double your range with a second battery that sits opposite the first. Now we’re talking.

One of my favorite things about the Evelo Compass is the frame. Believe it or not, Evelo has managed to keep the Compass’ curb weight  at just 77 pounds, or 83 pounds with both batteries. This is about the average weight of most of the two wheel electric bikes we review.

The frame here is also incredibly rigid and you can really feel just how sturdy the Compass is when taking turns. This electric tricycle is solid as a rock, and has a max payload capacity of 350 pounds. If you need to carry even more weight on your Compass, Evelo has you covered. Just reach out to them for details. 

The only bummer is the lack of frame bosses for a front basket. I mean, the rear basket is plenty big — the top opening is about 23 inches by 19 inches, and it’s about 10 and a half inches deep — in fact, it’s big enough to carry two huge backpacks, a drone bag and a gargantuan tripod. Still, we’d love to see a front basket that attaches to the head tube for even more storage options.

Another great feature of the frame is the step-through design. This makes the Compass highly approachable with easy mounting of the saddle. 

One more quick thing about the frame and then I promise we’ll move on. The solid front forks are swept forward to increase the wheelbase a few inches, which further increases the Compass’ stability.

Right. Brakes. Wow. We’re looking at Tektro mechanical disc brakes with a 180 mm rotor in the front wheel, and one at the rear differential, which, just like with the motor, evenly splits the stopping power to the rear wheels. This is huge, as it allows the rider to confidently slam on the brakes without worrying about one of the rear wheels locking. Yet again, this is a wonderful safety feature. 

But let’s get picky here. With a max payload capacity of 350 pounds, it would be nice to have a hydraulic brake upgrade option on the Compass. This would offer even more stopping power, and would also require less hand pressure to bring the trike to a halt. 

When it comes to the transmission, the Compass is outfitted with an absolutely gorgeous Shimano 3-speed IGH paired with a Shimano Grip Shifter, which operates kind of like a twist throttle. Twist your hand one way and you switch up, and twist your hand the other way to switch down. Man this is a fun shifter to use! And you can even switch gears at a dead standstill. Impressive. 

With the Compass’ gearing, you can comfortably pedal at about 15 miles per hour in top gear. Much faster than that though and you may as well wash up for dinner because you’ll be beating eggs. It would be awesome if we had a 4th gear for pedaling at that 20 mph cruising speed, but honestly, 15 mph really is the sweet spot for trikes. 

The Compass is also equipped with shift detection, which cuts power to the motor when you switch gears. This helps to protect the components from being overstressed and will drastically increase the longevity of the drivetrain. 

Whew! This is a long review. But there’s a lot to cover here with the Compass.

The Evelo Compass does have an integrated headlight, but it’s not terribly bright. There is also a rear brake light, which also could stand to be brighter. However, together with the reflective sidewalls on the 24 inch by 2.4 inch CST Cyclops tires, the overall visibility is pretty good. For those that plan on doing some night riding, it would be a good idea to snag an aftermarket headlight with around 2,000 lumens of output. Light up the night, my friends! Safety first. :)

The Evelo branded display is super bright and can be easily seen in even the harshest of California sunlight. Really, this is a great display. However, because of it’s location low on the swept back handlebars you have to crane your head down a little bit in order to see the info, which means taking your eyes off the road. Just keep this in mind if you’re flying down the trails at that 20 mph top speed, or even higher in the unlocked mode. 

Overall, the Evelo Compass is nearly perfect. The Compass is a highly refined and highly functional electric three wheeler that is ready to carry a heavy load long distances, safely and stablely… is that a word? It doesn’t matter, because the Compass is awesome. 

Recommended Reviews

Join the Discussion

Login  or  Register  to comment

No comments yet…