Aventon manufactures two ebikes in our top-rated Pace line, the 500 and 350. One of the most common questions we receive from customers is “How do I choose between the Pace 500 and 350?”
Each model has some distinct advantages. Here’s how to choose between them:
How fast do you want to go, and what's the law in your state?
The key difference between the Pace 500 and 350 models is speed. Pace 500 is a Class III ebike that can go 28 MPH on pedal assist, while Pace 350 is a Class II ebike that tops out at 20 MPH on pedal assist. Both have a throttle capable of 20 MPH without pedaling. The Pace 500 uses a 48 volt system with 500 watt motor, compared with the 36 volt / 350 watt system on the Pace 350, so the Pace 500 produces more torque and accelerates faster.
Riders who want to go as fast as possible will appreciate the Pace 500 extra power, riders who don’t want to go that fast can save some dollars with the more economical Pace 350.
Some states restrict the use of certain classes of ebikes. For example, Class II ebikes might be allowed in your location, but not Class III ebikes, so check your local laws to decide.
Is it hilly in your area?
In flat terrain, Pace 350 will easily get most riders up to 20 MPH on pedal assist without difficulty. Ebike performance on hilly terrain varies based on rider weight, steepness of the grade, and how much the rider contributes with their pedaling power. Bigger, heavier riders who often ride on steep, hilly terrain may appreciate the extra power and torque of the Pace 500, which can maintain top speed on steep hills for longer than the Pace 350.
What's your skill level?
Pace 500 has a more powerful motor that produces more torque than the Pace 350. That means it accelerates faster and reaches top speed sooner. More skilled riders who want to ride as fast as possible will appreciate the extra power of the Pace 500. Casual riders who aren’t comfortable with higher top speeds and faster acceleration may be better served by the Pace 350 - it still has plenty of power, but takes a little longer to reach top speed, so it’s easier for new riders, lapsed riders, those with injuries or poor flexibility, or balance issues.
Do you ride in traffic?
Ebikes can help many riders feel more comfortable when riding near automobile traffic. If you often ride with cars, you might appreciate the higher top speed of the Pace 500 (28 MPH) vs. the Pace 350 (20 MPH), because the additional speed can help you keep up with car traffic. Keeping up with car traffic can allow you to “take the lane”, preventing unsafe passing when the road is too narrow to accommodate both a bike and a car at the same time. If you often ride where you share space with other cyclists and pedestrians, Pace 500 might be too fast, the slower Pace 350 might be a better match for casual bike paths, downtown sidewalks, or beach boardwalks
Big braking power?
Bigger, heavier riders may appreciate the extra stopping power that comes with the hydraulic disc brakes used on the Pace 500. The Pace 350 still has plenty of braking power (it uses mechanical disc brakes) for most riders, but the Pace 500 is a better bet for bigger riders and those who ride at higher speeds.
What do the Pace 500 and 350 have in common?
While there are some differences between the Pace 500 and 350 model, they also have many key parts that are identical. The most important is the frame and fork, which are identical. This means that bike fit and handling isn’t a factor when choosing between these two bikes, it’s the same across both models. They also use the same tires, handlebar, and comfortable saddle, and both models are equipped with a throttle that can go up to 20 MPH for circumstances where the rider doesn’t want to pedal at all.