Duotts C29 Electric Bike – Review, Features, Unlocking

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I invite you to an extensive article (and video soon) where I will show you the Duotts C29 electric bike and explain its various functions and settings. I will demonstrate how to unlock the maximum speed. I will also discuss the biggest pros and cons of this bike and share my impressions. At the end, I will summarize everything and tell you how to buy this bike cheaper. I would like to mention upfront that I bought the C29 with my own money, mainly out of curiosity. To thoroughly test this bike, I held off on recording this review until I had ridden the Duotts C29 for 600 kilometers.

Why I Bought the Duotts C29

I bought the bike for 715 euro online, and it arrived in less than three days from a Polish warehouse. The Duotts C29 is a Chinese-made bike. Before you jump to conclusions based on stereotypes, let me point out that in China, electric bikes are an extremely popular mode of transportation, with many people buying and using them daily for commuting. There are many manufacturers competing fiercely for customers. Over the years, the Chinese have dominated the EV battery segment, with several patents and control over many of the raw materials used in battery production. This allows them to compete strongly on price in the EV segment. 715 euro is only half the price of e-bikes offering similar components in the market. In direct comparison and on paper, Duotts comes out better in every aspect.

Assembling the Bike

The bike arrived by courier in a large box, somewhat resembling those used for packing tv screens. After unpacking the box, I found the bike components strapped to the frame with strong zip ties. Initially, I was confused because I had no experience in assembling bikes, and the instructions provided by the Chinese manufacturer consisted of just a few small images with captions like, “To attach the wheel, attach the wheel.”

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The Duotts C29 comes partially assembled, so after a moment of consideration, I managed to put it together without much trouble. I had to attach the front wheel, seat, tighten the pedals, install the lights, rack, fenders, and, of course, the handlebars. The set also included an air pump and a multi-tool, which turned out to be very helpful and sufficient. All the cables were already connected and secured. I only had to adjust the brakes.

Before purchasing the Duotts C29, I read that its brakes are simply terrible. The bike weighs 25 kilograms, and for some strange reason, the manufacturer equipped it with mechanical disc brakes with cables. These brakes are just too weak for the bike’s capabilities and weight. It also turned out that the front disc was warped. As I was told by a friendly bike service, this often happens with new bikes and is not unusual. The service straightened the disc, ensured that I had assembled everything correctly, and also answered a few of my pressing questions.

Simultaneously, I recorded a few videos with my impressions for my new TikTok channel, gathering the most common questions from you, which I will answer in the next part of this material. I received over 900 000 views and 1,000 comments, for which I am very grateful.

The bike is large, featuring 29-inch wheels and fairly thick tires, which makes for a higher seating position and a more confident feel on rough and loose surfaces. The display is large and readable, although it seems to be a bit far from our hand. The bike rack is made of a solid cast and is quite heavy. However, due to the large battery, it is practically the only place where we can store some of our things, like a water bottle, etc. The bike also came with a phone case that, when opened, serves as a wallet for documents as well.

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The bike is also equipped with a phone charger, although I haven’t had the need to use it. The motor is Chinese-made without any clear markings of a specific manufacturer. Its nominal power is 750W, with a peak power of 1 kilowatt. The battery has a voltage of 48 volts and a capacity of 15 Ah, which translates to approximately 720 WH, which is quite a good result. The battery weighs nearly 4 kilograms and has a lock to prevent theft.

From the moment I received the box from the courier, assembling the bike and adjusting it took me about an hour. I had some minor issues with adjusting the brakes, but a friendly bike service showed me a very interesting lifehack. You just need to loosen the brakes, squeeze them a few times, then squeeze tightly and tighten screws then. After releasing the lever, the brakes should stop rubbing. In my case, this didn’t work well because the disc was warped.

Regarding adjustments, I noticed the strange placement of the components. The module with the horn and light buttons is located on the left side right next to the levers, and to adjust it, you need to move all the elements – the brake lever, shifter, and display. It’s quite cramped here, and you need to carefully position the elements so they don’t block the shifters. It’s a bit strange because there’s very little space due to the handlebar having a thickening near the center, and the mounts can’t be moved further because they are simply too small.

I also don’t like the front shifter. We don’t have the classic 1-2-3 settings here. Instead, the manufacturer used a 9-speed shifter, which doesn’t make much sense. The shifter allows for gear changes up and down with one lever. On the other hand, the rear derailleur is a dual-module – with a button for shifting up and a lever for shifting down. The manufacturer could have provided a better and more modern solution here.

I really like the lighting on the Duotts C29. The front lamp is excellent, shining quite brightly and at a long distance. It can also be adjusted up and down. The rear lamp emits a steady light, and the brake levers have built-in brake sensors. When you press the brake, the rear light illuminates more brightly, just like in a car (the brake sensor also temporarily disables motor assistance).

The seat is very thick with a hole running through its center. It is extremely comfortable, and your backside doesn’t sweat even after longer rides in higher temperatures. I decided to remove the fenders after 100 kilometers because they would hit the tire on every major bump, which was simply annoying.

Features, Controller, and How to Unlock speed

As I mentioned in my initial impressions video on TikTok, the Duotts C29 is a somewhat peculiar electric bike. The display shows speed, mileage, operating mode, brake engagement, and other information. We have the ability to change the assist settings from 0 to 5. Zero means the assist is completely turned off. Here we encounter another strange solution. A typical e-bike supports us while pedaling in a way we choose, for example, in low assist modes, it only provides a fraction of the motor’s power. Here, each level has a maximum speed assigned to it, which the bike aims to reach as quickly as possible using the full power of the motor. For level 1, this is 20 kilometers per hour. For level 5, it’s already 55 kilometers per hour.

What does this mean in practice? If you set the controller to level 1 and start pedaling from a standstill, the motor will try to accelerate you to that speed as quickly as possible. Interestingly, if you stop pedaling, the motor will continue to propel you forward for a bit. You need to get used to this, and I say this for a reason. Without acclimation, this can be dangerous when riding on challenging forest paths, for example. I experienced this firsthand when riding on a forest road full of roots. I wanted to pedal up a slight incline and before a tight turn. The bike accelerated from 5 to 20 km/h in a few seconds right before the root-filled turn. Even when I stopped pedaling, the bike kept accelerating. However, I found a workaround for this problem: just lightly press the brake or pedal gently while slightly twisting the throttle, and the motor won’t engage in “jet mode.”

Mentioning the throttle, on the right side of the handlebar, we have a special module—a throttle that we can turn to adjust the level of assistance. This way, we can help ourselves while pedaling or move the bike completely without any pedaling. There is also an option to enable cruise control, which will maintain a set speed.

It also turned out that the motor behavior can be adjusted from the controller. There is an option to enable full assistance—both the crank and the throttle—or disable either one. It quickly became apparent that for such routes, the best setup is controlling acceleration exclusively from the handlebar throttle while turning off crank assistance. In the options, there is also the ability to set the motor engagement delay (depending on the crank rotation) and the level of assistance on a scale of 1-5. By default, the bike is set to immediate engagement (1 out of 25) and medium assistance strength (3 out of 5). In the previous controller, there was an option to set the division of maximum speed, which I miss the most in the second generation of the Duotts C29. Despite assurances from the Chinese, this option simply does not work. I also received information that the Chinese are already testing a new controller in which they have fixed several bugs, including this one. What’s it about? The ability to set any maximum speed for each gear, for example, a maximum of 10 km/h on assistance level 1 instead of 20 km/h, etc.

How to Unlock the Bike

The bike intended for the UK market is no different from those for the rest of the world, except that it is restricted to a maximum speed of 25 kilometers per hour. Such bikes can also be received when purchasing a Duotts in Europe. However, this restriction can be easily removed. You need to turn on the bike and press the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons simultaneously. Then, by pressing the middle button, navigate to setting P08 and set the value to 67. Wait a few seconds for the settings to save, and the restriction will be removed.

What the Different Options in the Menu Mean

The controller supplied with the bike is universal, which means it is not specifically made for this company but is used in various devices. You can even find more interesting solutions on sites like Aliexpress and order them for this e-bike. Duotts only describes a few settings in the manual, but there are many more in the controller. Therefore, in this part of the material, we will go through them one by one.

PXX – setting name, followed by: default value: function name: range of settings

  • P 01 – 002 / Screen Brightness: 1 – 3, where 1=min and 3=max
  • P 02 – 000 / Measurement Unit: 0=metric (km), 1=miles
  • P 03 – 036 / Battery Voltage: 24/36/48
  • P 04 – 010 / Display Sleep Time: 0=always on, 1-60 minutes
  • P 05 – 000 / PAS Levels: 0-2, 3/5/9 levels
  • P 06 – 20.0 / Wheel Size in Inches: precision to 0.1″
  • P 07 – 080 / Motor Magnetic Pole Ratio: 0-255
  • P 08 – 100 / Maximum Speed Limit: 0 – 100
  • P 09 – 000 / PAS Start (Zero Start): 0-1, 0=fast start, 1=requires wheel rotation (icon “Hon”)
  • P 10 – 002 / Assist Setting: 0=PAS, 1=throttle, 2=PAS/throttle
  • P 11 – 003 / PAS Sensitivity Setting: 1=max sensitivity, 24=min sensitivity (or EABS 1-5)
  • P 12 – 003 / PAS Power: 1-5, 1=min, 5=max (soft start)
  • P 13 – 012 / PAS Sensor Type (Number of Magnets): 5/6/8/12
  • P 14 – 020 / Controller Current Limit: 10-20A (possible range 1-100)
  • P 15 – 29.0 / Low Voltage Cutoff Threshold: (controller under-voltage)
  • P 16 – 00000 / Reset “ODO”: press for 5 seconds
  • P 17 – 000 / Cruise Control: 0=no cruise control, 1=cruise control
  • P 18 – 100 / Display Code Setting: protection against display startup
  • P 19 – 000 / With Zero PAS or Without Zero PAS
  • P 20 – 000 / Communication Protocol: (GT=000, QS-S4=004)

Frequently Asked Questions

How to enable assistance only on the throttle

You need to enter the menu by holding the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons simultaneously. Go to position P10. Here you have the option to set it in the range of 0-2. 0=PAS, 1=throttle, 2=PAS/throttle.

What about the warranty?

There is no official service center for the manufacturer in Poland, but Duotts is very responsive to emails to their customer service office and sends replacement parts if needed. There is also a Facebook group run by the manufacturer. Interestingly, when I asked about uneven throttle assistance when starting – wanting to know if some menu option was set incorrectly – Duotts simply sent me a new motor for the bike and refunded me 100 PLN for the bike so I could replace the motor. And the motor is usually the most expensive part of such a bike.

Can the brakes be changed to hydraulic ones?

The brakes on this bike are poor because they are just mechanical brakes. Considering the weight of the rider, the bike itself, and the speed at which it is ridden – it’s worth upgrading to stronger brakes, such as hydraulic ones. You can buy such a set on the manufacturer’s website or replace them with Shimano MT200. However, you need to add a brake sensor (or buy a set with a sensor) so that the assistance turns off when the brakes are used.

What about the legality of using such a bike?

According to European Union regulations, such a bike cannot be ridden on public roads. It is classified as a moped, which requires registration. However, you can limit the maximum speed to 25 km/h and disable the throttle assistance/cruise control, making it a regular e-bike that can be ridden anywhere.

Will this bike be too small for me?

The Chinese manufacturer claims the bike is suitable for people between 170-200 centimeters tall, but this is not true. I am 182 centimeters tall, and during longer rides, my wrists hurt because the handlebars are a bit too low. Either ride with a significantly lowered seat or get a handlebar lift kit for people over 185 centimeters.

Does the turned-off motor create resistance while riding?

No, but you can feel the weight of the bike. The range of the gears is also smaller than on my classic MTB, so going up the same hill without assistance is a bit harder.

What is the range?

It’s hard to speak about mixed mode; this is mainly an electric mode. Depending on the average speed and number of inclines, on level 1, you can go up to 80 km. When I was pushing it on empty roads at an average speed of 40 km/h with inclines, it was around 50-55 km.

What was the maximum speed I reached?

On a straight section of an empty bike path, I reached 53 km/h, and I ran out of gears to pedal. I was on 4 out of 5 levels of assistance.

Is this bike suitable for a child?

Definitely not. It has too much power and encourages riding too fast.

Where to Buy This Bike

You can buy the bike on Allegro and Aliexpress. However, if you do it on the manufacturer’s website using my discount code, you will get a €50 discount. Just use the discount code JOTEM when placing an order through the official manufacturer’s website. You get free courier shipping from the Polish EU warehouse and a €50 discount.

My Impressions After Riding 600 Kilometers

I decided to wait until I had ridden 600 kilometers before giving a summary. I must admit that the price-to-performance ratio of the Duotts C29 is simply excellent. I reviewed offers from many manufacturers, and it’s hard to find something with better parameters that isn’t 3-4 times more expensive. In this respect, this electric bike is great.

I am someone who loves cycling and enjoys going off the beaten path to explore the area. I also like to get tired because it makes me feel better both physically and mentally. With the Duotts C29, it is very hard to get tired. I feel that the software is the weakest part of this equipment. The Chinese didn’t put much effort into it and just took the easy way out. In the case of the Duotts, you always get 100% assistance at full motor power, which is limited only by the maximum speed assigned to each gear. This is completely unnecessary and a nonsensical solution. A much better approach would be to modify the software and assign a percentage of motor power to each assistance level from 0 to 5, e.g., 0 = 0%, 1 = 20%, and so on. Leaving the throttle always at 100% purely for fun. If this were possible, the bike would be great and almost perfect after changing the brakes and a few minor things. You definitely need to consider replacing the spokes with stronger ones because they are starting to creak. I would also change the shift levers and handlebar bolts because they are quite soft and tend to loosen.

This does not mean that the Duotts is bad. This bike simply evokes different emotions. It encourages exploration, riding to distant places, and places where you wouldn’t want to go on a regular bike. It quickly turned out that over these 600 kilometers, I explored the area, marking several new regular routes for daily recreational rides. When I wanted pure fun, I would go to more challenging places and try to complete a section as quickly as possible using only the throttle. Meanwhile, I focused on balancing properly on the bike. The Duotts C29 is addictive to speed. Initially, I rode only on the 1st level of assistance, which accelerates you to 20 kilometers per hour, and in this way, I covered my favorite route. After a month, my average speed on this varied route was already 40 km/h, with sections reaching up to 50 km/h. Interestingly, I also found a way to get tired. I set a higher level of assistance, e.g., up to 38 kilometers per hour, and tried to fight the assistance – maintaining a speed a few kilometers higher so that the motor wouldn’t turn on. And that is exhausting. Another thing I liked is the fact that when riding such a bike, you always have in the back of your mind that even if you get tired along the way, the last hill home won’t be daunting. And I’ve never gone down a hill as fast as I went up it with this bike, which is absurdly funny.

Would I buy the Duotts C29 again? If I were looking for a bike for commuting to work or longer trips, probably yes. But I would have to invest an additional 500-700 PLN to improve the things that the manufacturer didn’t get right. If I wanted to continue riding a bike as I have been doing, then no. It’s not a supporting bike but a substituting one. You also need to befriend a local bike service that can help you if needed. Ultimately, however, the final decision is up to you.

*PAS is an acronym for Pedal Assist System. This technology, used in electric bikes, assists the user’s pedaling by adding power from the electric motor. The PAS system uses a sensor that monitors pedal movement. It can be a Hall sensor, an optical sensor, or a magnetic sensor. The sensor records the speed of pedal rotation and the force applied. Signals from the pedaling sensor are sent to the controller, which manages the operation of the electric motor. The controller processes these signals and determines how much power from the motor should be added to assist the user’s pedaling. Based on the information from the controller, the electric motor provides the appropriate amount of power, making pedaling easier. The level of assistance can usually be adjusted, allowing the user to tailor the level of support to their needs and road conditions.

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Podsumowanie

Would I buy the Duotts C29 again? If I were looking for a bike for commuting to work or longer trips, probably yes. But I would have to invest an additional 500-700 PLN to improve the things that the manufacturer didn’t get right. If I wanted to continue riding a bike as I have been doing, then no. It’s not a supporting bike but a substituting one. You also need to befriend a local bike service that can help you if needed. After-sales support essentially does not exist. Yes, I received an additional motor and a refund of 100 PLN for its installation, but the manufacturer did not address my other questions and concerns. The manufacturer should make an update to the controller that would allow for a better way to set the electric motor assistance. Then it would be a great option. I was also promised a new controller, but I will comment on that if I actually receive it

Finałowy werdykt

Price
10
Functionality
9
Ease of use
9
Build quality
7
Manufacturer service support
5
Would I buy again
7
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Jakub Markiewicz
Jakub Markiewiczhttps://jotem.in
Hi, I am the author of the Jotem.in blog and series of thematic portals since 2013. I have nearly 15 years of experience in working in the media, marketing, public relations and IT. If you are interested in cooperation, you would like me to write about something or test a product - let me know.
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Would I buy the Duotts C29 again? If I were looking for a bike for commuting to work or longer trips, probably yes. But I would have to invest an additional 500-700 PLN to improve the things that the manufacturer didn’t get right. If I wanted to continue riding a bike as I have been doing, then no. It’s not a supporting bike but a substituting one. You also need to befriend a local bike service that can help you if needed. After-sales support essentially does not exist. Yes, I received an additional motor and a refund of 100 PLN for its installation, but the manufacturer did not address my other questions and concerns. The manufacturer should make an update to the controller that would allow for a better way to set the electric motor assistance. Then it would be a great option. I was also promised a new controller, but I will comment on that if I actually receive itDuotts C29 Electric Bike - Review, Features, Unlocking