5 Best Class 1 E-Bikes for First-Timers and Experienced Riders (Summer 2022)

From usual city and cruiser bikes to an advanced cargo bike, we’ve selected and reviewed some of the best class 1 e-bikes on the market.
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Last updatedLast updated: August 04, 2022
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Electric bikes with a pedal assist feature dominate the electric bike market with a share of 88%. They are the perfect way to get around town without having to worry about traffic or parking. But with so many different types and brands of e-bikes available, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.

We’ve selected the best class 1 e-bikes that cover all the bases in terms of quality and riding experience. We’ve considered bikes with different frame types since those determine how easy it is to handle and how comfortable it is to get on and off. We’ve made sure that our choices can provide a decent range in a pedal assist mode. Finally, all products in our list come at different price points, so you can select the one that fits our budget.

Top 5 Best Class 1 E-Bikes Review 2022

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Consumer Engagement
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9.8
Customer Feedback
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9.3
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9.3
Features & Benefits
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9.4
9.8
Features
  • Frame: 6061 aluminum in S and M sizes
  • Motor: Shimano E6100 250W with Shimano E8010 36V/504Wh battery
  • Pedal assist range: 50 mi.
  • Gears: 9
  • Weight: 51.9 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

Other features: 27.5 in. wheels with multisurface tread profile; integrated rear rack; front and rear fenders; center kickstand; powerful motor for improved hill climbing and acceleration

The Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2 Electric Bike is our Editor’s Choice for the best class 1 electric bike, thanks to its versatility and overall riding experience. This e-bike is equipped with a powerful yet silent Shimano motor that ensures a smooth ride, whether you’re on pavement or off-road trails. The motor allows you to select from three pedal assist modes, so you can customize your ride based on how much power you need. The CTY e2.2 also has a large capacity battery that provides up to 50 miles of range, so you may not worry about running out of juice on long rides. Plus, with 27.5-inch wheels and a durable frame, this e-bike can tackle just about any terrain. The only significant downside we’ve found is the bike’s 52 lbs. weight, which is on the heavier side for electric bikes. If you’re looking for a class 1 electric bike that can do it all, the Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2 is a great option to consider.

Plain and simple, there is a lot to like about this bike. It is stylish enough to easily integrate into anyone’s lifestyle while also providing plenty of power for longer rides. In fact, this model has one of the best ranges of any that we looked at. It can easily go around 50 miles on a charge, which is much better than the range provided by the Yuba Spicy Curry V3 Electric Bike.

Why did it make our list?

  • All-around capabilities thanks to the powerful motor and sturdy frame
  • The battery lets you take long rides without any worrying
  • The riding position is comfortable

What is not ideal about it?

  • Heavy and large overall
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 8538 people in the past 30 days
9.7
Customer Feedback
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9.5
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9.5
9.7
Features
  • Frame: Quick Neo SL aluminum frame
  • Motor: MAHLE ebikemotion X35 250W
  • Pedal assist range: 40 mi.
  • Gears: 10
  • Weight: 34 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: not specified

Other features: 700c tires; SAVE micro-suspension; built-in mount for smartphone

The Cannondale Quick Neo SL 1 Remixte Electric Bike is the perfect e-bike for city riding. The frame is made of Quick Neo SL aluminum, making this bike incredibly lightweight at just 34 lbs. The motor is a MAHLE ebikemotion X35 250W, which gives you plenty of power, especially in city conditions. And the pedal assist range is an impressive 40 mi., so you can easily cover a lot of ground without running out of battery. The bike also comes with ten gears, giving you a wide variety of options for changing speed or pedaling resistance. Plus, the 700c tires provide a smooth ride, and the SAVE micro-suspension ensures that bumps in the road won’t bother you much. Additionally, the Cannondale Quick Neo SL 1 Remixte Electric Bike comes with a built-in smartphone mount, and you can also use the smartphone app to track your ride data, including speed and mileage. Unfortunately, this app is the only way to get this information since this e-bike lacks a proper display.

One of the biggest issues with an electric bike is that they weigh a whole lot more than a standard bike. With many models, like the Co-op Cycles Generation e1.1 Electric Bike weighing upwards of 50 or more pounds, they can be hard for a beginner to handle. This model from Cannondale, however, only weighs 34 pounds, making it an ideal e-bike for anyone with a slighter build.

What stands out?

  • Impressively lightweight design
  • Useful Cannondale app
  • Great driving experience

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Lacking ride information without an app
  • Suspension is rather stiff
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 4194 people in the past 30 days
9.5
Customer Feedback
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9.4
Brand Reputation
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9.3
Features & Benefits
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9.3
9.5
Features
  • Frame: 6061-T6 aluminum frame
  • Motor: Bosch Active Line Plus 250W
  • Pedal assist range: 20-70 mi.
  • Gears: 5
  • Weight: 55 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

Other features: 26-inch wheels; Bosch Purion display; fenders included; ergonomic saddle and grips; Flat Foot technology

The Electra Townie Go! 5i Step-Through Electric Bike is a great bike for cruising around town. It has a comfortable seat and ergonomic grips, making it a great choice for those who want a relaxed ride. The motor is powerful enough to get you up to speed, but not so powerful that it will be difficult to control. The pedal assist range is 20-70 miles, so you can go pretty far on a single charge. The bike also comes with fenders, so bad weather won’t be a problem. The Bosch Purion display is a clear way to see all your riding statistics and change the pedal assist mode if needed. The design of this bike is, in our opinion, the most stylish out of all products on our list. All these incredible capabilities and technologies come at a price of a heavy weight of 55 lbs. Otherwise, the Electra Townie Go! 5i Step-Through Electric Bike is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a comfortable, stylish, and sturdy cruiser.

This is a bike that is perfect for those longer rides. This is thanks to the overall ergonomic design and long-range charging capabilities. While many e-bikes, like the Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2 Electric Bike, are built to mimic the feel and look of mountain bikes, this model is made for cruising. This design makes it a great option for riding longer distances since it will allow you to ride in comfort every pedal of the way.

What stands out?

  • The riding experience is comfortable and smooth
  • The built-in display gives you quick access to all necessary information and controls
  • Sleek design that comes in multiple color options

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Heavy
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 5363 people in the past 30 days
9.2
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
9.0
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
9.1
Features & Benefits
Product Review
9.1
9.2
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Features
  • Frame: 6061-T6 aluminum with thru-axle, disc tab and chainguard
  • Motor: Bosch Cargo Line, 250W
  • Pedal assist range: 19-34 mi.
  • Gears: 10
  • Weight: 60 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 440 lbs.

Other features: frame-integrated cargo rack; equipment such as kickstand, fenders, and rear rack included; dual-battery compatibility; one-size-fits-most frame

The Yuba Spicy Curry V3 Electric Bike is a cargo option to consider if you’re looking for an e-bike that can haul a lot. The frame-integrated cargo rack is one of the biggest selling points – it’s sturdy and can handle up to 440 lbs. of weight. Plus, the one-size-fits-most frame makes it easy to find a comfortable fit. You also get other handy features with this bike, like fenders, a rear rack, and a kickstand — all included and ready to significantly improve your experience. The motor is a Bosch Cargo Line and is specifically designed for cargo bikes, so you can rely on it to get you where you need to go. This bike can only provide 19 to 34 miles of pedal assist range, which is definitely subpar. You’ll probably need more power, and this bike is dual-battery compatible, so you can extend your range.

This is, by far, one of the most durable e-bikes on the market today. Its heavy frame makes it an absolute beast that can haul you and any cargo that you might need to bring along with you. Unlike a lighter model like the Cannondale Quick Neo SL 1 Remixte Electric Bike, this unit is built for a rugged workload. Even if you need to haul a ton of stuff with you on your commute, this e-bike can easily handle it.

What do we love it for?

  • The sturdy frame is sure to carry a lot of weight
  • This bike is equipped with a number of handy accessories
  • The motor is designed for cargo bikes, so you can be confident in it

What were we disappointed with?

  • The pedal assist range is quite limiting unless you buy a second battery
  • While the frame will probably fit a lot of people, having multiple options to choose from would be nice
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Consumer Engagement
Chosen by 6243 people in the past 30 days
9.0
Customer Feedback
Customer Feedback
8.5
Brand Reputation
Based onweb analytics
8.7
Features & Benefits
Product Review
8.9
9.0
Features
  • Frame: 6061 aluminum adjustable frame
  • Motor: Bafang 350W with Bafang 36V/11.6AH removable battery
  • Pedal assist range: 30-40 mi.
  • Gears: 7
  • Weight: 54 lbs.
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.

Other features: multiple color options; kickstand; upright riding position; Double Defense tire construction; integrated rear rack

The Co-op Cycles Generation e1.1 Electric Bike is a great value for the price. It features a sturdy frame that can be easily adjusted to reach a perfect fit. This bike is equipped with a powerful Bafang motor that can power through even the toughest terrain. The removable battery makes it easy to keep this bike charged and ready to go. This battery can provide up to 40 miles of pedal assist rides. The 7-speed gear system is perfect for riders who want to take on hills or ride at a faster pace. This bike also comes with an integrated rear rack, making it easy to carry gear with you on your rides. The Co-op Cycles Generation e1.1 Electric Bike is a great choice for riders looking for an affordable and reliable electric bike. The Co-op Cycles Generation e1.1 Electric Bike also features Double Defense tire construction for added durability and versatility on all terrains.

One of the biggest drawbacks to buying an e-bike is that it usually will cost you a pretty penny. This is, thankfully, not the case with this bike. If you compare the cost to any of its competitors, you can easily see the savings. It also adds value since it has an easily adjustable frame, which many of the other e-bikes do not provide. This helps to make this bike an excellent value pick that is sure to keep you from feeling it too much in your wallet.

What are its best features?

  • Solid components and high-quality construction
  • Price is below many of its competitors
  • Adjustable frame lets you find the perfect fit

What could be improved?

  • As with many electric bikes, it's rather heavy
  • Some users report issues with gearing

Things to Consider

Choosing an electric bike can be tedious with all of the different options on the market. However, by taking into account your needs and wants, you can narrow down the field to find the best e-bike for you. When doing your research, be sure to look at factors such as range, weight, gearing, and frame type in order to find the best bike for your needs. Let’s take at all these aspects a little bit closer.

Frame

5 Best Class 1 E-Bikes for First-Timers and Experienced Riders (Summer 2022)

The choice of the frame determines in which conditions it’s recommended to ride this bike

There are multiple types of frames, including step-through, crossbar, and trapeze. These frames come in different materials, including aluminum, steel, and titanium. All these materials have different benefits. For example, steel is known for being durable, while aluminum is known for being lightweight.

The crossbar frame is the most common type of frame. It is characterized by a horizontal bar that goes across the bike just below the seat. This frame is generally considered to be the strongest type of frame, so it’s the best choice for all-around bikes that can be used for commuting, touring, and even some off-road applications.

The step-through frame is a good choice for someone who doesn’t want to have to swing their leg over the crossbar when getting on and off the bike. This type of frame is also a good choice for someone who plans on carrying cargo on their bike, as it makes it easier to load and unload.

The trapeze frame is a mix of traditional and step-through designs. The horizontal bar is still present, but it is lower to the ground. This makes it easier to get on and off the bike, so the bike will still have a sporty outlook while remaining easy to get on and off.

Pedal assist range

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing an electric bike is the pedal assist range. This is the distance that the bike can travel with the help of the electric motor. Most class 1 bikes have a pedal assist range of between 25 to 40 miles, though there are more expensive models that can go further. It’s important to choose a bike with a range that meets your needs, as you don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery.

Even within a single bike, the range can differ based on factors such as terrain, wind, and rider weight. For example, a bike that’s rated for 25 miles of range on flat terrain may only be able to go 20 miles if there are hills involved. It means that in case you’re going to use your bike in some unusual conditions, you should always have some spare juice in the battery, especially if you’re really relying on a pedal assist mode.

Gearing

5 Best Class 1 E-Bikes for First-Timers and Experienced Riders (Summer 2022)

If you want to use your bike on non-flat terrains, the more gears you get, the better

E-bikes usually also have at least multiple gears, which can be shifted in a similar way to a regular bike. The number of gears varies, but most have at least 7. Having more gears gives you the ability to regulate your speed better, which can be very useful when going up or down hills.

When choosing an e-bike, it’s important to consider the gearing and whether it will be suitable for the type of terrain that you’ll be riding on. If you’re mostly riding on flat ground, then a bike with fewer gears will likely suffice. However, if you’re planning on tackling hilly terrain, then you’ll need a bike with more gears in order to make pedaling easier.

Weight

The weight of the bike is important because you don’t want a bike that’s too heavy to carry around or push up hills. However, although a heavier bike will be more difficult to pedal, it will also be more stable and less likely to wobble when you ride it. Conversely, a lighter bike will be easier to pedal but may be less stable. Of course, the weight of the bike will also influence its mobility. If you’re not ready to do some serious lifting, then you might want to consider getting a lightweight electric bike.

Classes of E-Bikes and How They Are Regulated

There are three classes of e-bikes that are currently regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). These classes have been determined based on the top speed that the bike can achieve and the wattage of the motor. As a result, bikes that belong to different classes are regulated differently and may have different features. These bikes are also regulated differently both in federal and state laws. While we’ll give you some general information regarding those classes, we also recommend taking a look at your local laws to check if your choice complies with them.

Class 1

Class 1 e-bikes are the basic level of e-bike and are therefore the cheapest and most common type of e-bike. Class 1 e-bikes are limited to 20 mph. They have a motor that provides pedal assist, meaning that they give you a power boost when you pedal. The pedal assist feature makes pedaling much easier, especially if you are going up a hill. Class 1 e-bikes are great for people who want to get around without breaking a sweat but still want the benefits of an e-bike.

When it comes to regulation, class 1 e-bikes are the least regulated type of e-bike. This means that there are fewer restrictions on where you can ride them and how you can use them.

In general, class 1 e-bikes can be used on any bike path or trail along with regular bikes. However, some states have placed restrictions on where even class 1e-bikes can be ridden. Always check with your local laws before riding an e-bike.

Class 2

Class 2 e-bikes have a “throttle on demand” feature, which allows the rider to get power from the motor without pedaling. These e-bikes are perfect for people who want a little help getting up hills or when they need to travel a long distance and don’t want to pedal the whole way. Just like class 1 e-bikes, class 2 e-bikes are limited to 20 mph.

Generally speaking, these bikes are regulated in the same way as class 1 e-bikes. However, there are a few exceptions. In some states, class 2 e-bikes are not allowed on regular bike paths.

Class 3

Class 3 e-bikes have a top speed of 28 mph, but their other technical details a rather confusing. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) defines class 3 e-bikes as “low-speed electric bicycles with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches 28 mph”. However, they can be regulated vastly differently depending on the state. Some states may prohibit throttle feature on these bikes, while others may restrict their maximum speed in certain modes.

FAQ

E-bikes are definitely more eco-friendly than cars. They help people get around without having to use gas-powered cars, which can pollute the air. And since e-bikes are powered by electricity, they don’t produce any emissions that could hurt the environment. But they’re also not as eco-friendly as usual bikes since they do use some electricity to run.

E-bikes are a great way to get around without having to use a car, which can save you money on gas and help the environment. They’re also great for people who need a little extra boost when they’re biking since the motor can help you pedal up hills or long distances. And since they’re also pretty fun to ride, you might find yourself getting more exercise than you would with a regular bike!

It’s recommended to wear a helmet when riding any bike, including an e-bike. Even though it’s not mandatory in most states, the helmet is a proven method to protect your head in the event of a fall or accident.

Our Verdict

Our Editor’s Choice the Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2 Electric Bike because, in our opinion, it combines everything that the best class 1 e-bike should have. On this bike, you can ride up to 50 miles with a pedal assist mode on a single charge, and its quality construction and powerful motor make it truly an all-around option.

If you’re looking specifically for the city e-bike, our choice is the Cannondale Quick Neo SL 1 Remixte Electric Bike. It offers an impressive driving experience in an incredibly lightweight frame.

Finally, if you need a cruiser e-bike, there’s no better choice than Electra Townie Go! 5i Step-Through Electric Bike. With its sleek design and ultra-comfortable driving experience, this bike checks all the boxes.

References

1.
Electric Bikes | PeopleForBikes
PeopleForBikes is committed to improving biking for everyone. Learn more about our work and join our movement.
2.
State Bike Laws | League of American Bicyclists
Riding a bike is a healthy, fun and safe activity. However, it isn't without some risk. The following information highlights 13 areas of law that may minimize that risk and have the potential to reduce conflicts between bikes and cars (and other traffic).
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