Best electric bikes for commuting 2023: Get to work faster and with less effort
The best electric bikes for commuting help you get to and from work faster and with less effort. That means that you’ll arrive less hot and also gives you a boost away from traffic lights and other stops on your ride.
You’ll become fitter and your commute may well take less time than by car or public transport as you’ll probably find quicker routes that you can only take by bike. It’s likely to be cheaper too, once the up-front cost of the electric bike has been discounted.
Depending on how far you’re planning to ride, your needs will differ. Our pick of the best electric bikes for commuting below covers everything from a folder for a short hop to and from the station to drop bar bikes for a long distance commute that maybe includes some off-road riding.
Cyclingnews has a huge amount of advice on electric bikes if you want to know more.
Our guide to the best electric bikes gives you a more comprehensive range of options, while our pick of the best folding electric bikes offers options that make a compact package for storage or to carry on public transport.
If you’ve got a budget in mind we have guides to the best electric bikes under £1,000/1,000 and the best electric bikes under 2,000/£2,000. You can even convert a non-electric bike to an e-bike with the best electric bike conversion kits.
Alternatively scroll down for our pick of the best electric bikes for commuting, or head to the bottom for a guide on how to choose and an explainer of the laws on electric bikes worldwide.
Best electric bikes for commuting
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Reasons to avoid
The Orbea Gain has such subtle integration of the battery and motor that, at first glance, you’d be hard-pushed to know it was an e-bike. It has an attractive, lightweight, aluminium frame and carbon fork with an 11-speed Shimano 105 drivetrain which should see you over any terrain. Well-disguised within that frame is a 248 Wh battery which should be plenty to get you to work and back.
If, however, you’d like more range, you can simply attach the external water-bottle-style battery and that’ll boost the battery capacity up to 456 Wh. Pedalling assistance is provided by a rear hub motor, which works in a concept Orbea are calling Enough Power and Enough Energy. The idea is that the bike intuitively offers enough power to keep you pedalling smoothly and efficiently to enhance your rider, rather than overwhelming you with big surges in power.
The bike comes with an app that allows you to change the bike’s functionality, including how power is applied as well as ride tracking your rides. The mode button on the top tube has coloured LEDs that show you how much battery is remaining, and which power mode you are in. There’s now an additional bar-mounted controller/computer which gives you more info and which sits on an out-front mount with a built-in LED light.
As a full size e-bike, the Gain isn’t going to be easy to take on public transport though, unlike a small wheeled folder like the Brompton Electric.
Reasons to avoid
If you’ve ever been on the market for a commuter bike you will have almost certainly cast your eyes upon a Brompton. The British company has sustained a great reputation built on ingenuity and build quality for so long that you know you’ll be riding a high-quality machine.
If you need a bike that packs up into a small space, on a train or in the office, for example, a Brompton is likely the best electric commuter bike for you. The C Line Electric bike comes with front and rear lights fitted, as well as mudguards, and the 6-speed gears give you loads of range. Helped by the motor, you’ll get to work easily however hilly your city is.
The company has fitted a 250 W motor to the bike, with a large-enough 300 Wh battery. The battery sits in a pack that conveniently unclips from the front of the bike and can be carried over your shoulder to your office or home to be charged. A full charge should be achieved within four hours. The quoted range for the battery is up to 70 km if you have it on its most energy-efficient setting. There is an LED indicator on the top of the bag which shows you how much of the battery you have remaining, which power mode you are in, and what setting your lights are on.
The bag-plus-bike set-up does make carrying the bike that bit more difficult though, although it does make charging a lot easier than an integrated battery like that on the VanMoof and the Orbea Gain and lowers the weight of the bike when you need to carry it.
There’s a P Line Brompton Electric available as well as the classic C Line Electric. Lighter components and fewer gears drop the weight quoted by Brompton from the C Line’s 17.4kg to 15.6kg.
You can read more in our full review of the Brompton C-Line Electric bike.
Reasons to avoid
The first thing that strikes you with the VanMoof S3 is just how modern it looks. The bike has very clean lines, classic geometry and most of the cables are hidden. The company sells five bikes, with either a standard crossbar or a more step-through frame design, including the VanMoof V which is rated to 31mph (although this model needs to be registered and insured to ride in the UK and Europe).
As well as automatic gearing, VanMoof’s anti-theft package means that if your bike gets stolen, they will personally track it down and if they can’t find it, they’ll replace it with a new one.
A feature that is still quite rare on bikes at the moment is the automatic gearbox. The Sturmey Archer gearbox will react to your accelerations and speed and make sure you’re always in the best gear. Should you wish, you can alter the timing of the gear changes with the VanMoof app. The 250 W motor is powered by a 504 Wh battery, with a range of between 60 to 150 km depending on the mode you have the bike in and the terrain you’re riding over.
There’s lots of integration, like the LED array built into the top tube, built-in lights, lock and alarm and location tracking from the VanMoof app, although the built-in battery and high weight mean that charging is not as easy as with a separate battery like that on the Brompton Electric.
Reasons to avoid
Ribble is at the forefront of value-for-money, high-specification, well-integrated e-road bikes. Many of the hallmarks of this capability are evident in this hybrid bike, which should handle both your commute and leisure rides with ease.
The basis of the bike is a strikingly good-looking lightweight aluminium frame within which there is a battery so well hidden that you barely notice it’s there. A subtle button and LED light on the top tube allow you to see how much battery is left and let you choose how much assistance you want. If you want even more control of the settings, you can change the settings in Ribble’s app.
The bike is impressively kitted out too, with a Mavic wheelset, a rear pannier rack, a bell, front and rear lights and full-length mudguards. As with all bikes where you can’t remove the battery, including the Orbea and the VanMoof, you will have to take this bike within touching distance of mains power to charge it up.
Reasons to avoid
While Tern claims the GSD isn’t intended to be a car killer, it may well be just that. The company is best known for its folding bikes, and while the GSD isn’t a fully foldable bike, the seat post and handlebars do collapse to make storage of this bike a little more compact. The reason it can’t fold down much smaller is this is not your average folding bike. This is a heavy-duty cargo bike, capable of carrying up to 200 kg, be that luggage, or should you attach the right seat, two passengers on the back.
The bike employs a dual battery system, which is 400Wh and 500Wh in size. Should you have both of them attached you’ll have a whopping 900Wh of capacity. This will be enough to assist your cycling for between 110 and 250 km depending on which of the 4 modes you have it in. The 10-speed Shimano hub gears and impressive 85Nm of torque mean you’ll be able to get up any hill, even when fully laden. It comes complete with wide, grippy tyres, a rear luggage mount, a kickstand, front and rear lights, and mudguards.
It’s a heavy duty cargo carrying option, but not as practical as a folder like the Brompton C Line Electric or a bike with less luggage capacity like the Ribble if you have less need of carrying capacity.
Reasons to avoid
Built for comfortable as well as speedy commutes, the Trek Domane LT electric bike gets Trek’s IsoSpeed seatpost decoupler built in to increase the isolation of your rear end from road vibrations. There’s front IsoSpeed too to add comfort at the handlebars. Wide 32mm tyres help add comfort and grip as well and you can either fit mudguards or even wider rubber for rougher routes into the office.
The Fazua motor’s phone app lets you fine-tune the motor’s output levels to match your power needs, so you can upscale the power delivery if you need more support for faster getaways or tone it down if you want to preserve battery life.
The Fazua drivetrain is removable from the bike, so you can ride without assistance, save weight and use the space that held the motor for storage, while Trek’s endurance geometry makes the Domane LT a comfortable ride for the long haul commute.
The Domane LT is still available for now, but the new (and even more expensive) Domane SLR that replaces it is lighter and (for US riders) faster.
Reasons to avoid
You might initially mistake this bike for a mountain bike, rather than one cut out for commuting. In reality, the 2.3-inch tyres and 80 mm travel suspension fork are perfect not for the trails but smoothing out bumps and road buzz on your commute. If you live in slightly more remote areas, the bike should also deal with gravel or hard-pack dirt trails with ease.
The bike comes with a large 710 Wh battery which powers a trusty Specialized motor and a SRAM NX groupset with a wide enough range to get you over any terrain. To keep you safe, it also comes with hydraulic disc brakes which will provide dependable braking in any weather conditions. It comes with front and rear mudguards, and a rear pannier rack to carry any work stuff from A to B without having to wear a backpack. It’s available as a step-through as well as the version with a top tube shown above.
You get extra comfort, range and a more powerful motor, but the Turbo Vado isn’t as sprightly as the Orbea Gain or the Cannondale Synapse.
Reasons to avoid
If you want to speed up your e-bike commute, a drop bar racer will give you a more aerodynamic ride position that should be faster than a flat bar hybrid like the Ribble, the Specialized or the Orbea. The Cannondale Synapse Neo comes with a powerful Bosch motor that’s mid-mounted for stability and a high capacity battery for plenty of range. The EQ version also gets mudguards, a rear rack (not shown in the image above) and lights so it’s all-weather ready and easy to load up.
There’s a 10-speed Shimano Tiagra drivetrain with plenty of gear range, that along with the motor should make a breeze of hills on your ride into town. The hydraulic disc brakes mean assured stopping and the 35mm wide Schwalbe tyres should provide comfort over broken roads or even if your commute takes in a towpath or gravel track. There’s plenty of range from the large 500Wh battery too.
Reasons to avoid
Hummingbird has engineered its folding electric bike to be as light as possible. A carbon fibre main frame paired to a cantilevered truss rear section and lightweight components bring the overall weight down to a claimed 10.3kg.
The Hummingbird bike doesn’t fold down quite as small as a Brompton Electric, it’s only singlespeed so might not work for hillier cities and the range is quite limited at around 50km, but Hummingbird has upped the torque from the 250 watt motor so there’s more pulling power to help get you moving. All that engineering means that the Hummingbird bike is expensive though.
Best electric bike for commuting: everything you need to know
There’s a lot to think about when selecting an electric bike for your commute, so we’ve provided a breakdown of the key points here. There’s more information in our guide to the best electric bikes as well.
Why is an electric bike good for commuting?
An electric bike can make your commute a lot more comfortable. It can make stops and starts a lot easier, provide assistance on uphills and increase your overall average speed, while lowering the effort you need to put in, so you should arrive less hot and tired than on a non-electric bike. You may feel more comfortable riding a longer distance too.
It’s also likely to be a lot more comfortable than a ride on public transport and you can choose your own time to travel, while you’re less prone to delays due to congestion than in a motor vehicle.
Many towns and cities now have dedicated cycling routes, so you may not need to compete with motorised traffic and might be able to skip queues and even get a jump at traffic lights due to cyclist priority signalling. There are also often quietway routes for cyclists that bypass main roads and take you away from traffic and may route you around bottlenecks.
On the flip side, most electric bikes are quite heavy, so moving them around at the beginning and end of a ride will be harder work than with a non-powered bike. If your commute involves public transport it will be harder to get your electric bike on and off than with a non-powered bike and you may not be able to take a non-folding bike at peak times. The best folding electric bikes will help here.
You also need to make sure that you can keep your electric bike charged up so you don’t run out of juice halfway home in the rain (although electric bikes are designed so that you can pedal them without assistance). That means having a handy power outlet close by where you park your bike, either at home or at work, or an e-bike with a removeable battery. You might need a second charger at work too.
What material should my frame be made of?
The three most common frame materials you’ll come across when looking for a bike are aluminium, steel and carbon, although titanium might make an occasional appearance.
Carbon is most often used in the best road bikes because of its low weight and high stiffness. However, it can be quite fragile, and innocuous bumps could cause very expensive damage, so if you’re locking your bike up in communal locations, we recommend you stay away.
Most bikes you look at for commuting are likely to be made from aluminium, and for good reason. It’s fairly cheap, very durable and not subject to corrosion.
You may find some electric bikes are made of steel. While it is tough and can take some bumps and bruises, it is relatively heavy and can be subject to corrosion.
What should I look for in an electric bike motor?
Most e-bike motors are power-limited to 250 watts, but they can provide varying amounts of torque, measured in Newton-metres (Nm). If your commute is flattish and you’re fairly fit, a motor with around 40Nm to 50Nm torque is likely to be fine, but if you’re riding somewhere more arduous or expect to be carrying a lot, then a motor with more torque will be better. Some go up to 80Nm or more, which is what an electric mountain bike puts out.
A mid-mounted motor is likely to keep your e-bike most stable, as it’s low down and central on the bike. But a rear hub motor isn’t likely to have a significant impact on handling and, as your weight is over the rear wheel, grip isn’t likely to be an issue.
Front hub motors are more tricky, as there’s less weight on the wheel and so less grip and the extra weight can affect the bike’s handling if it’s not been carefully designed.
How much battery capacity do I need?
As with all technologies, it’s easy to look back at some original e-bikes and notice how bulky they looked. Batteries were bolted onto frames wherever there was space and were often very low capacity. Fortunately, we’re beginning to see much bigger capacity batteries and sleeker integration of both batteries and motors.
Typically, the smaller the physical size of the battery, the lower its capacity, and the fewer miles you’ll get out of it. For most people, this shouldn’t be an issue, with even small batteries having enough juice to get you to work where you can charge up again or serving duty for multiple days of commuting.
Battery size is most often expressed in watt-hours (Wh), and the amount of assistance you’ll get from it depends on how much you ask of it. For example, a 300 watt-hour battery can provide 300 watts of assistance for one hour, or 100 W of assistance for 3 hours.
A battery can weigh several kilograms and make up a significant proportion of an electric bike’s weight. That’s okay in a non-folding bike, although it can make moving the bike to a storage area at the end of a ride harder. It’s more of an issue with a folding bike designed for portability, so a bike like the Brompton C Line Electric will often have a lower capacity battery to make it easier to carry.
How do I charge my electric bike?
Some bikes have removable battery packs making them simple to unclip and charge, even if your bike is left outside or in a communal bike store. Others, typically those with more integration, require you to charge the battery while it is attached to your bike, meaning you’ll have to hook it up to the mains in your house, garage, or at the office, so it’s worth checking to see how easy this might be for you.
You’re either going to have to carry your charger with you or buy a second one if you need to charge the e-bike at both ends of your commute. Some electric bikes like the Orbea can be fitted out with a range extender battery if you do need more range, but in reality most commutes are likely to be short enough for range not to be an issue even with the lowest battery capacity, unless you expect to go multiple days without recharging.
How many gears do I need?
As usual, the stock answer is that depends. If you live somewhere flat, a singlespeed electric bike may be enough for you. The extra power provided by the motor means that starting off will be a lot easier and faster than with a non-powered commuter bike.
At the other extreme, if your commute is hilly, you may need a full range of gearing, as found on the best commuter bikes which don’t include a motor. Again, the motor is a huge help here. Crank it up to maximum power output and it may pull you up steep inclines; lower the assistance level once you’ve reached the top to conserve battery life and range.
What additional features should I look for?
For commuting duties, it’s preferable to get the load you’re carrying off your back: you’ll be more comfortable and your centre of gravity will be lower. It may be easier to look around without a pack too, although the best cycling backpacks will be designed to address these issues.
If you’re planning to commute with your electric bike in all weathers, then look for mudguards or at least the option to fit mudguards to your bike. Likewise, winter commuting is likely to mean at least one journey in the dark. In-built lights are handy and they’ll often be run off the electric bike’s battery meaning that there’s less to remember to keep charged up.
You can pick up a set of the best bike lights relatively inexpensively though. It’s a good idea to use lights even during the daytime to up your visibility, particularly in town.
Take a look at our commuter bike accessories checklist for a longer list of things you might need for your commute.
How do I maintain my electric bike?
Bikes, like cars or any other mechanical device, need to be maintained. If you’re not an experienced mechanic, most things are simple enough to learn how to do yourself, but spend a little bit of money and a bike shop will have you good to go in no time. But, the fewer complicated parts, and the better you care for your bike, the less chance there is of things going wrong.
The gears on your bike, including the derailleurs, cables and shifters will require regular maintenance to keep them performing at their best. Some people are fortunate to live and work in flat areas and so they can get away with the simplicity and ease of a single-speed bike.
However, most of us live in areas with hills, and therefore gears are a necessity. Internally-geared hubs are a more robust, easier-to-maintain solution than derailleurs, but can be pricier. You’ll sometimes find a carbon fibre belt drive on bikes for commuting, which cuts down on maintenance over a chain-driven solution.
Maintaining your brakes in working order is arguably the single most important thing when looking after your bike. Jumpy gears and a loud chain might ruin your enjoyment, but poorly functional brakes could have much more dire consequences.
Classical brake systems, using a cable to join your lever and your brakes, have stuck around for so long because they’re simple and they work, but you do need to keep them properly maintained, regularly checking the cables for wear.
Higher-end bikes are often equipped with hydraulic disc brakes; not only do these work more effectively in poor weather conditions, once set up they should require less maintenance too. Disc brakes are trickling down the bike hierarchy and you might find them on quite inexpensive electric bikes.
What are the e-bike regulations where I live?
What classifies as an e-bike and what regulations apply to riding it vary by where you’re located.
At present, most e-bikes in the UK fall under EPAC (that’s the electrically assisted pedal cycle) amendment regulation mandate. This means bikes have to be moving before the motor can kick in, it can provide a maximum of 250 watts of aided power and has to stop aiding at 25 kph. You also have to be at least 14 years old to ride an e-bike.
So long as your bike meets these criteria (as all the ones in the article do), then you’ll have the same legal standing as regular bicycles and you’ll be allowed on roads and bike paths. If your bike assists you up to faster speeds it’ll be considered a two-wheel moped, and therefore you’ll require insurance, a certified helmet, and a valid driving licence.
In Australia e-bikes can assist you up to a maximum speed of 25 kph. The two legal systems in Australia are throttle-operated and pedal-assist. If you have a throttle-controlled bike it can provide up to 200 watts of power, whereas pedal-assist e-bikes can give you 250 watts of assistance. Anything above that is legally considered a motorbike and must therefore be licensed and insured.
Given the structure of the American legal system, the rules governing the use of e-bikes are predictably more complicated than those in the UK and Australia. Let’s begin.
Obviously, the laws governing the use of e-bikes vary from state to state, but these are often difficult to interpret. The all-encompassing, federal definition of an e-bike is “a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph”.
As if that isn’t complicated enough, often state laws may override federal legislation. Some 33 states have statutes that define an e-bike in some way, while the rest lack any specific definition, and often chuck them in with other classes of vehicles. At present, 13 states are adhering to a three-tiered system proposed by The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association. While the motors on all classes of bikes can produce a maximum of 750 watts, they are tiered depending on their maximum assisted speed:
- Class 1: the motor provides assistance only when the rider is pedalling, and cuts out at 20 mph
- Class 2: the motor can contribute even if the rider is not pedalling, but cuts out at 20 mph
- Class 3: the motor provides assistance when the rider is pedalling but cuts out at 28 mph and must be equipped with a speedometer
While class 1 and 2 bikes are allowed anywhere bikes are allowed, class 3 bikes can only be ridden on roads and bike lanes, but not multi-use paths. In the states that regard e-bikes as vehicles, licensing and registration may be required to operate an e-bike.
Yes, this is a lot to get your head around, but thankfully the kind folk at People for Bikes have put together a state-by-state guide.
REI Electric Bike Return Policy (What´s Covered )
If you buy an electric bike from REI and don’t find it to your liking, can you return it, and what does returning it entail?
REI allows returns of new bikes within one year of purchase and used cycling products within 30 days. You can ride a bike before returning it, but you’ll need to provide the original receipt.
Let’s discover what the REI return policy says about electric bikes, what condition the bike needs to be in for it to be returnable, and the different methods you can use for the return.
REI Electric Bike Return Policy
New bikes can be returned to REI within a year after purchase with the original receipt. Used bicycles and cycling accessories (such as seats, tires, and mounts) may be returned within 30 days, but bike trainers must be returned within 90 days.
Holidays and REI Co-op members do not qualify for more extended return policies. Also, remember that anything you buy at a garage sale is “as is” and a final sale, so you cannot exchange it.
As mentioned earlier, the original receipt is necessary for bike returns to REI. The shop might be able to search up your purchase if you don’t have the receipt but are an REI member or bought the bike online (as previously reported).
Along with all the accessories that came with the bike, you should include any original packaging and/or tags, if any are still present.
REI accepts used and faulty returns and can resale bikes that exhibit indications of wear as used equipment.
You can ride the bike before returning it. However, remember that you cannot replace a bike just due to regular wear and tear, and REI’s Satisfaction Guarantee excludes damage to cycles resulting from misuse or accidents.
REI’s Return Process
You may return your bike to any REI shop, whether you purchased it offline or online. Anytime during regular store hours, bring the bike, any remaining packaging and tags, and your receipt to the customer service desk. There are no charges for returns.
In most cases, you’ll get a refund using the same payment method you used initially, but if you used PayPal to make your online purchase, you’ll get a cash or check refund instead.
Please note that REI may refuse your refund if you have a record of creating excessive returns. When to approve and reject returns is at the store management’s discretion.
Returning by Mail
Bikes can’t be returned by mail using REI’s online return system since they’re big and need assembly. You may return a bike by mail by contacting a shipping company directly.
However, our staff advised returning your bike to an REI shop because in-store returns are cost-free.
Returning Without a Receipt
In-store or by mail, REI will not accept a return without a receipt, according to corporate customer care employees. We got in touch with REI sites in Alabama, Kansas, Connecticut, Michigan, and Washington to confirm the application of this policy in stores.
All of the employees with whom we had conversations agreed that REI returns require receipts.
REI welcomes returns within a year of the original purchase, except electronics, which have a 90-day return window, and used products, which must be returned within 30 days.
REI will give a refund using your original form of payment if you satisfy all return criteria. Items marked “Garage Sale As Is” are final sales and not returnable at REI.
How to Look Up Your Receipt
- Order number
- Member’s name
- Member’s number
- Member’s address
- Member’s phone number
- Member’s email
- Purchasing date
- Purchase location
- Purchase price
The colleague will also inquire as to why the return was made.
You must include all the details above with your return if you are mailing it in without a receipt and a brief explanation of your decision to return the item.
REI can reject your return if you cannot provide accurate information.
- The gift recipient’s name (Remember to designate your return as a gift recipient refund if you are mailing it back.)
- The member number of the gift receiver (if applicable)
- Address of the gift receiver
- Phone number of the gift receiver
- Email of the receiver of the gift
The gift receiver will get a reimbursement for in-store returns when the item is returned. When you send presents back by mail, REI will send the gift recipient’s name and address a paper check for reimbursement. The initial buyer will be reimbursed if the gift recipient’s refund information is ambiguous or lacking.
How to Make Exchanges
Exchange procedures vary significantly depending on how you purchase the item, but they are straightforward.
You may exchange your item at any REI location by bringing it to the customer service counter. If necessary, an employee of REI can assist you in ordering a replacement product online.
New bicycles can be returned within a year of purchase and used cycling equipment can be returned within 30 days. Before returning a bike, you are permitted to ride it, but you must present the original receipt.
John is Founder and Senior Bike Editor at ProBikeCorner. John is a bike and travel addict who has cycled through 17 countries and doesn’t really have any plans of stopping. He´s passionate about helping others by creating technical resources, in-depth reviews and more…
Do you know if REI sells used bikes? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question. This question is somewhat tricky to answer because at the time of writing, REI does.
Are you interested in buying a new bike and are wondering what size bike you need? Well, we have done a lot of research and compared tons of bicycle size charts out there. Choosing the right bike.
Hey I’m John and I run this site.I have been bicycle touring for over 9 years now and it is a passion, something I want to share with the world and help as many people as I can in the process.With so much to choose from, what’re the top brands and what makes bikes actually worth buying?
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Overview of Co-op Cycles Electric Bikes
Co-op Cycles is a brand that indulges people from all walks of life to enjoy life outdoors. And that’s exactly what their bikes embody. Stability in multiple settings is a highlight feature of the bicycles made by Co-op Cycles—an ideal companion wherever you go.
Recreational Equipment Inc., or REI for short, is a business based in Kent, Washington, selling different brands of sporting goods, camping gear, clothing, and travel equipment. They also offer adventure-oriented vacations, courses, and services, and even make their own gear and apparel through REI Co-op and Co-op Cycles.
REI’s origin story is just as alluring, if not inspiring, as every great company out there. It started in 1938 when 23 people got tired of spending a large amount of money to enjoy life outdoors. With that, they decided to establish a co-op securing quality equipment for outdoor enthusiasts. And at what cost? Only a dollar each.
They started with an ice ax and 23 people. Today, the cooperative has grown to 20 million lifetime members, with nearly 15,000 employees and 168 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. That’s what I call dedication.
Overview of Co-op Cycles Electric Bikes
The Co-op bikes are owned by one of the largest outdoor equipment retailers in the world, Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI).
Co-op Cycles believes that life lived outdoors is a life well-lived. But their concept of the outside isn’t limited to untamed spaces.
It’s about being in the presence of majestic trees, gushing rivers, and breathtaking mountains, but also about taking your dog for a walk and even commuting to work.
REI, Co-op Cycles’ parent company, had previously launched a line of bicycles called Novara. Unfortunately, they needed to put it down in 2017 simply because it wasn’t selling like hotcakes. Given its unclear association with REI, many considered it as an entry-level brand which hindered its sales.
Out with Novara, the company revealed its new in-house cycling brand called Co-op Cycles. REI made the move in response to its member-consumers’ needs and sought to show that it is fully responsible for the brand.
The move worked, so now, Co-op Cycles has 48 products that range from mountain bikes, city bikes, road bikes, and kids bikes in addition to their relatively strong following. Their electric bike line, which is their newest addition, was unveiled to the public in September 2020.
What We Like About Co-op Cycles Electric Bikes
Co-op Bikes e-bikes are built with premium quality materials and components for a high-quality e-bike.
Co-op Cycles continues to deliver what its parent company has promised, which is providing affordable but good quality bikes to every individual. They even took it a step higher by adding the element of versatility to their bikes.
Even then, being affordable and versatile still wouldn’t sweeten everybody’s cup of coffee. Here is a list of the good and bad qualities of Co-op Cycles.
Reasons to buy:
- Co-op Cycles bring premium quality components without needing to bust your bank account.
- Its e-bikes also sport mid-drive motors that give it stunning stability during rides.
- Co-op Cycles gives its customers the option to choose from three sizes. which includes a step-through variant.
- Its rigid aluminum frame and large wheels make the bikes suitable in urban and off-road settings.
Reasons to avoid:
- As of the moment, Co-op Cycles only has two e-bike models available for purchase.
- While it can be used off-road, Co-op Cycles’ e-bikes are mainly urban bikes. They have yet to design an e-bike meant for trailing.
Popular Co-op Cycles E-Bike Models
Although the Co-op Cycles are new to the e-bike scene, their two class 1 e-bikes have gained positive results towards their customers.
While Co-op Cycles devotes itself to making bikes for adventurers, they currently only have two e-bike variants under their belt. The company is fairly new to the e-bike scene, but their track record has shown that they will not lag behind their competitors. Having said that, here are five of their best bikes.
Co-op Cycles CTY e1.1
The Co-op Cycles CTY e1.1 is an urban electric bike with a simple design, solid components, and an affordable price tag.
This Co-op Cycles bike is perfect for fast trips across town to run errands or comfortable leisure rides. It has relaxed hybrid geometry with an adjustable stem that allows you to fine-tune your ride position. In addition, the touchpoints are optimized for comfort.
Modest electronics provide enough kick for whatever you encounter in the city but will struggle on steep inclines. These include a 250W, 45Nm Bafang hub motor and a 450Wh battery that provides up to 40 miles of range.
Tektro hydraulic disc brakes are an excellent inclusion for an eBike in this price range, and the Schwalbe 1.95″ Big Ben tires with puncture protection take the hassle out of urban riding. Finally, the Shimano Altus 7-speed has plenty of gearing for an urban bike.
Consider the CTY e1.1 if you need a no-frills e-bike for short to moderate-duration rides around the city.
Co-op Cycles CTY e2.1
Co-op Cycles’ CTY 2.1 costs just 200 more than the CTY e1.1 but has several extra features that appeal to the commuter or performance-minded rider.
Firstly, this model gets a significant upgrade to a mid-drive motor. The Shimano STEPS E5000 is a lightweight yet punchy 40Nm motor that provides much more ability on hills, even with a loaded rack.
A smaller 418Wh battery supports this motor, but the system’s efficiency increases the max range by 25% to 50 miles. Support the motor with a 9-speed Shimano Alivio drivetrain with RapidFire trigger shifters.
The CTY e2.1 also changes from a rigid fork to a 75mm travel Suntour MOBIE-A32, improving comfort but adding a little extra weight. Additionally, this model gets a 59lb-capacity integrated rear rack, LED lights, and improved Shimano Altus hydraulic disc brakes.
Choose the Co-op Cycles CTY e2.1 if you want one of the best value urban e-bikes in the sub-2,000 range.
Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2
The Co-op Cycles e2.2 takes a 900 jump up from the more affordable CTY 2.1. The major differences between this and the cheaper model are the improved electronics and the addition of fenders.
Shimano’s E6100 drive system provides 60Nm of torque for more capability on steep gradients and a shorter time to reach the max speed of 20mph. In addition, a larger 504Wh battery returns similar ranges of up to 50 miles. This battery also has an integrated ABUS lock for better security.
The Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2 is fully equipped for commuter or urban riding, with fenders, a rear rack, LED lights, and a kickstand. The same Schwalbe Big Ben 1.95″ tires seen across the series provide plenty of grip on wet city roads or light gravel trails.
Overall, the extra 900 is a lot for the minimal amount of upgrades this bike has, but if you value the improved electronics, add the CTY e2.2 to your shortlist.
Co-op Cycles Generation e1.1
Co-op Cycles’ most recent electric bike series, the Generation e1.1 and e1.2 are two utility models with unique designs but plenty of functionality and reasonable prices.
The Generation e1.1 is the cheapest Co-op Cycles e-bike and comes with a Bafang rear hub motor like the CTY e1.1. This motor has 350W of power and 80Nm of torque and pairs with a 418Wh battery for 30 to 40 miles of range.
The Generation e1.1 has an integrated rear rack, LED lights, a kickstand, 20×2.4″ tires, and a low-step frame that makes riding with cargo easy and convenient.
An upright ride position, adjustable stem, high-volume tires, 70mm fork suspension, and soft touchpoints make this bike a joy to ride.
Impressively, Co-op Cycles managed to include Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and reliable Shimano Altus 7-speed gearing while keeping the price low.
All things considered, this is a solid utility bike with plenty to offer for the busy urban rider who regularly carries cargo.
Co-op Cycles Generation e1.2
The Co-op Cycles Generation e1.2 is mostly the same as the cheaper model but with a few notable changes that justify an extra 400.
Most notably, the e1.2 has a larger 672Wh battery that increases the range by roughly 25 to 33% (40-50 miles). This battery pairs with the same 350W, 80Nm motor.
Another key addition was a removable front rack which expands your carrying capacity and distributes your cargo for a more balanced ride.
To help save weight and keep the front end steady for the rack, Co-op Cycles removed the fork suspension for a rigid aluminum one. The only other notable difference is the choice of color finishes.
Add the Generation e1.2 to your shortlist if you want an affordable utility bike with lots of carrying capacity and range.
Co-op Cycles E-Bike Classes, Motors, and Batteries
Co-op Bikes e-bikes are built and equipped with aluminum frames and powerful motor for a durable and fast e-bike.
It should be noted that REI Co-op’s e-bikes are hindered by the fact that they’re in the Class 1 category. The motors will give you a push until you reach 20 mph only.
In terms of range, Co-op’s e-bikes are nothing to sneeze at as they have a 50-mile range for only a single charge.
Once the bike exceeds that speed, the motor will deactivate, and you will have to proceed with your manual labor. But you don’t necessarily need to have Hulk’s leg power, as their bikes are very easy to pedal thanks to their Shimano drivetrain.
Stability and Reliability
With Co-op Bikes e-bike’s large wheels and Suntour suspension, it can get you through bumpy, snowy, and muddy roads.
What makes Co-op’s e-bikes so interesting is that they provide a wonderfully stable commuting platform for concrete roads. One aspect that contributes to this is that their wide wheels come with multi-surface treads that allow you to cruise dry concrete while retaining traction when it rains.
Another superb feature of the e-bikes is that they come with Suntour suspension that has 75 mm of fork travel. This makes it terrific for smoothening out the ride when passing over speed bumps, potholes, and other irregularities you’ll encounter in the road.
There’s no question that Co-op Cycles also offers some of the more reliable bikes in the market today. What makes it even more appealing is that they managed to squeeze in premium components while keeping the cost down.
True to its pro-people stance, Co-op Cycles also ensures that their patrons get the most out of their bikes by allowing them to be at the center of the production and selling process. This results in stricter quality control and undercutting the of the competition.
You Might Also Ask
If you’re looking for additional information, we have prepared this list to answer any of your potential questions about Co-op Cycles.
Co-op Cycles is based in Kent, Washington, where their parent company REI Co-op is headquartered.
You may choose to have your Co-op Cycles e-bike delivered to your home, or you may purchase it directly from their store closest to you.
REI members get back a fixed amount on certain Co-op Cycles items as part of their member dividend. You can learn more about the membership benefits from their website.
Co-op Cycles’ e-bike has four modes of pedal assist —o ff, low, medium, and high.
No, Co-op Cycles’ e-bikes are not necessarily waterproof, but their LCD display and other components can resist rain and water splashes. However, to be on the safe side, avoid submerging or exposing your battery in water for long periods.
Bottom Line—Who Are Co-op Cycles E-Bikes For?
The Co-op Bike’s e-bikes are targeted to commuters and city travelers, but there’s no telling if they won’t expand their reaches.
Co-op Cycles specifically targets a demographic composed of anybody who wants to get their first e-bike on a low budget. While the e-bikes can be used for mountain trails, they are still built with urban riding in mind.
If you are looking for an affordable yet durable e-bike with plenty of premium hardware, then Co-op Cycles’ e-bikes will not disappoint you. They are perfect for your daily commute while giving you the option to go on a mountain trail during weekends.
What’s more? If you find something wrong with your bike, you’ll have free adjustments for one whole year starting the purchase date!
Weekly Deals: REI Spring Bike Sale, Meier Demo Skis, and
Find great deals on outdoor gear. That’s our goal each week. This week, save on e-bikes, midlayers, and demo skis.
REI Co-op Gen E Electric Bikes: 20% for REI Co-Op Members
During REI’s annual Spring Bike sale, Co-op members save up to 400 on Co-op Cycles Gen E Electric Bikes. Two Gen E models are available: e1.1 and e1.2. Both options come with a practical step-thru X-shaped aluminum frame, and both offer pedal assist modes that can reach an efficient 20 mph.
Of the two models, the e1.2 is slightly more capable in a variety of ways. First, the 1.2 has 672 Wh of battery capacity versus 417 Wh in the e1.1. That translates to roughly 10 extra miles of range per charge, and a slightly longer charge time. The 1.2 also comes with front suspension in case you plan to occasionally ride off the pavement or on rough roads. And the 1.2 comes with a front cargo rack, while the 1.1 does not.
Still, both models are well-equipped for hauling gym bags, yoga mats, shopping bags, and baskets.
Whichever model you choose, these REI Co-op e-bikes are all about utility. They’re sturdy, simple, and affordably priced.
Meier Skis Demo Clearance Ski Sale: Up to 75% Off Per Pair
Ski demos allow prospective buyers to get a feel for a variety of models before taking the leap on a major investment. At every on-mountain demo, stoked skiers make an inevitable joke: “These are great, I think I’ll just take them home with me!” All jokes aside, Meier’s entire 2023 demo fleet is now for sale at a heavy discount. You really can take a pair home — bindings included!
The ongoing sale includes nearly 80 pairs of skis, with marked down up to 75% off retail. From lightly used demos to factory seconds with cosmetic blemishes, now is the best time to save on Meier’s made-in-Colorado skis.
Mammut Wall Rider Climbing Helmet: 48 (60% Off)
As sure as the sun rises in the morning, parents of rock climbers text their children to WEAR A HELMET! Fortunately, this request is easy to comply with in 2023. Modern climbing helmets are lightweight, comfortable, and broadly protective. The Mammut Wall Rider is no exception — and it’s on sale for a killer price.
With a low-profile dome and simple adjustment system, the Wall Rider is a great example of how climbing helmets have improved since the construction-style behemoths ruled the ’90s. The EPP foam core and plastic hard shell are standard these days, but Mammut has perfected the recipe with a secure fit and plentiful ventilation.
Currently, the blue version of the Wall Rider is on sale at Backcountry for a generous 60% off.
Patagonia Pack In Pullover Hoodie: 119 (40% Off)
Lightweight midlayers are essential in temperamental spring weather. When it’s sunny one moment and frigid the next, packable pullovers are like solid gold in your backpack.
Patagonia’s Pack In Pullover is the quintessential throw-on synthetic insulator. With a DWR-treated shell and a half-zip in the front, it’s a sensible layer in all sorts of weather.
The men’s version is now available for 80 off.