Best Class 1 Electric Bikes – Top Picks Perfect For Your Daily Commute

by Nikola 

May 17, 2023

The table below our top results for:
Top 10 Class 1 Electric Bikes 
Image
Name
Price range
Score
Cannondale-Topstone-Neo-SL-2-Review
$2000 to $3000
95/100
0 user reviews
Unbiased Cannondale Topstone Neo Review (Updated 2020)
$3000 & Above
95/100
0 user reviews
Cannondale Habit Neo Bike
$3000 & Above
93/100
0 user reviews
The best electric bikes for 2020
$1500 to $2000
92/100
0 user reviews
Unbiased Cannondale SuperSix Neo Review (Updated 2020)
$3000 & Above
92/100
0 user reviews
Gen3 The Outcross
92/100
0 user reviews
REI Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2 Frame
$2000 to $3000
91/100
0 user reviews
Unbiased Trek Powerfly Review (Updated 2020)
$3000 & Above
91/100
0 user reviews
Vvolt Centauri
$2000 to $3000
91/100
0 user reviews
Vvolt Sirius Electric Bike Review
$2000 to $3000
91/100
0 user reviews

You can use the filter on the left (or above if you're on mobile) to narrow down the results even further.

Each score is calculated by combining our professional review rating with user reviews, for a final score out of 100. You can read more about how we calculate our scores here.

If you own any of the e-bikes in this review, feel free to leave a user rating by following the link to the bike's in depth review. 


This review will focus on class 1 electric bikes, a popular choice for those seeking a convenient and efficient mode of transportation.

In this article, I'll highlight the features and benefits of class 1 e-bikes, as well as any potential drawbacks you need to be aware of before making a purchase. Some of the bikes in this review will have the option to have either a class 1 or a class 2or 3 controller, so be aware of then when making your purchasing decision. 

I have found class 1 e-bikes to be a great choice for those looking for a balance of power and speed without the added complexity of higher-class e-bikes. 

You'll also find information on some of the best class 1 e-bikes available and important features to consider before you make a purchase.

In addition, I'll share my personal experience and recommend the best option in this category. 

1. REI Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2


Key Specs

Motor

Shimano 250W Mid-drive

Battery

36V/418Wh

Bike Weight

50.5 lbs

Max Speed

20mph

Tire Size

27.5” x 1.95”

This e-bike is specifically designed for commuting and carrying heavy loads, and it is built to handle tough city streets with ease.

The 6061 aluminum frame is lightweight and durable, and it was designed to handle heavy loads and abuse. The same can be said for the rear rack, which can withstand 59 lbs of load.

The bike comes with a 250-watt Shimano motor with 60Nm of torque. While the 250W may seem low, the motor offers enough power for carrying you and any cargo you might load onto the bike.

REI-CITY-e2.2

Addmotor Motan M-150 P7

What I really like about this motor is that it is very quiet and smooth, which adds to the overall comfort.

The setup integrates the motor with the 9-speed Shimano drivetrain, Acera Rapidfire shifters, and an Alivio rear derailleur. I feel like the manufacturer cut some corners by going with Acera and Alivio as their part manufacturers.

One thing that is easily noticeable is the lack of a chainguard on this e-bike. Usually, the electric bike company that makes commuter e-bikes includes a chainguard to prevent grease stains.

I was very pleased with the bike's battery, though. The 504W Shimano battery provided around 40 miles on a full charge.

I also liked that this e-bike's battery was easy to remove and install, making it simple to charge or replace. It takes around 4 hours to completely charge, which is quite good.

The battery features an ABUS lock for added security when leaving the bike parked. This is an amazing feature for those who are looking to add an extra layer of protection to their e-bikes.

As for the braking system, this bike comes with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes that offer strong stopping power, even when the bike is fully loaded.

The brakes were very responsive and provided a smooth stopping power during my test rides. Levers were also easy to reach and use, enabling me to stop without thinking about finding the levers under stress.

Lastly, the Schwalbe Big Ben tires have a thick tread that provides good traction on wet and icy roads and is durable enough to withstand dirt and gravel if you want to take the CTY e2.2 on an off-road adventure.

The kickstand and adjustable handlebars add to the bike's overall functionality and ease of use, which can't be said for lights - it was hard to use them as intended. The mudguards are a great feature that helps to keep the rider dry on rainy days, which is a plus if you live in damp conditions.

Check out our in-depth review for the REI Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2 if you want to learn more!

PROS

  • The bike has a range of around 40 miles (advertised 50 miles)

  • The kickstand is centrally located and easy for riders to use
  • Very reasonable price

Cons

  • Lacks a chainguard
  • Lights aren't user-friendly


Key Specs

Motor

750W

Battery

550W Bafang motor

Bike Weight

39 lbs

Max Speed

20mph motor only, 24mph with pedal support

Tire Size

26” x 1.75”

The first thing you'll notice about the Freedom X's frame is the unusual-looking frame design.

The straight lines and minimalistic look not only appear sleek and modern, but they also provide stability and comfort. 

Besides that, the frame houses an amazing info-packed LCD screen that displays: Speed and distance tracking, assist level, light activation, battery level, and horn control.

If you lower your view below the screen, you'll realize that the frame also has integrated headlights and rear lights as well. This may be a money-saver but also a potential concern when it comes to replacing them.

The 6061 aluminum used is tough and durable - the industry standard. Additionally, the smooth welding adds to the bike's overall aesthetic and durability.

The approximate 39 pounds of weight make it one of the lighter electric bikes available in the market, which is amazing if you need to carry it up a flight of stairs.

I was very pleased with the bike's motor. The Freedom X is equipped with a strong 36V/550W Bafang motor with 45Nm of torque. This allows for a maximum speed of 20mph which is a class 1 road bike standard. You can also reach higher speeds if you provide some pedal assist of course. 

Bafang motors are known for their reliability and durability, and I can confirm this. The motor ran smoothly and efficiently during my test rides. 

I liked the bike's battery for two reasons. Firstly, the customizable battery options are a great feature that allows riders to tailor the riding experience to their specific needs.

You can choose between an 8.8Ah, 10.4Ah, or 14Ah battery, each of which offers a different maximum range and balance of torque to personal strength.

Personally, I tested out the 14Ah battery, and it held its charge well. I didn't have to worry about running out of power during my rides, which isn't the case with many bikes in class 1.

Safety is one of the most important priorities when it comes to electric bikes. The Freedom X is equipped with reliable mechanical disc brakes with 180mm stainless steel rotors.

Don't expect stellar performance from the levers since there is no hydraulics involved.

Lastly, the bike I tested is fitted with Kenda puncture-resistant tires, but there’s also an option of having Innova tires. Both brands provide durable and long-lasting pneumatics that can withstand regular wear and tear. These tires are 26 x 1.75 inches in size and provide added security by being puncture resistant.

Check out our in-depth review for the Wing Bikes Freedom X if you want to learn more!

PROS

  • The bike has a range of around 40 miles (advertised 50 miles)

  • The kickstand is centrally located and easy for riders to use
  • Very reasonable price

Cons

  • Lacks a chainguard
  • Lights aren't user-friendly


Key Specs

Motor

750W or 1000W rear hub motor

Battery

48V, 14Ah Lithium-ion battery

Bike Weight

65 pounds

Max Speed

20 mph (with 750W motor)

Tire Size

26" x 4.5"

The QuietKat Ranger is an electric fat tire cargo bike, and its design and capabilities are geared more toward off-road adventures and rugged terrain.

The frame is made out of 6061 aluminum, and the integrated cargo rack adds to the bike's versatility, allowing riders to carry additional gear or supplies on their off-road adventures. The bike's load is marked at up to 325 lbs.

During my test rides, I noticed that the weight distribution is well thought out and balanced to optimize handling, making the Ranger a great choice for those who enjoy off-road riding.

The front fork contributes to a more enjoyable ride when off-roading due to the coil suspension fork with 100mm of travel.

QuietKat's new Ranger model offers riders the option of two motor choices. The 750W motor provides ample power to reach speeds of up to 20mph quickly and handle steep inclines. Note that thee 750W option falls into the class 1 ebike category, however, the 1000W motor offers additional assistance, which is geared toward heavier riders or those looking to carry heavier loads. 

If you spec the Ranger with a 1000W motor, it becomes a class 3 e-bike with 28mph max speed.


The latest iteration of the Ranger features an integrated battery located within the down tube, providing improved protection in the event of a crash or accidental fall. This 11.6Ah removable battery offered me a range of around 35 miles.

Interestingly enough, QuietKat offers an optional battery upgrade for around $500 at checkout. It takes around 7 hours to charge the battery fully takes with the standard or solar charger.

One amazing feature of this bike is the included Pathfinder Rapid Charger, which can charge the battery fully in about 4.5 hours.

The Ranger is equipped with a 7-speed SRAM drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes by Tektro. Another feature I liked is that the motor is synced with the brakes. So whenever I applied the brakes, the motor would automatically shut off, which improved stopping power further.

The Kenda Juggernaut 26” x 4.5” fat tires are a top choice for off-road enthusiasts. Their 4.5-inch width offered exceptional grip and cushioning on any terrain, whether we're talking smooth or rugged.

Check out our in-depth review for the QuietKat Ranger if you want to learn more!

PROS

  • Rides well on rough dirt and logging roads

  • The motor is strong and quiet
  • Heavy-duty weight capacity

Cons

  • Pricey

4. Cannondale Topstone Neo


Key Specs

Motor

250W Bosch motor

Battery

500Wh battery

Bike Weight

45.8 lbs

Max Speed

28 mph for the US market and 20mph for international markets

Tire Size

27.5” x 1.5”

Unlike most electric bikes, the Topstone Neo’s frame is built from SmartForm C1 alloy. The construction of this bike's frame utilizes innovative techniques to precisely distribute the thickness of the frame.

It focuses on adding strength and stiffness where it's needed and removing any unnecessary weight.

Speaking about the weight, the bike weighs in at an incredibly light 45.8 lbs. That's half the weight of some of the bikes in this review!


One of the standout features of this e-bike is the advanced Bosch mid-drive motor that provides powerful pedal assistance with 75Nm of torque. The motor is also conveniently located within the frame for optimal space utilization and improved handling. 

One thing I have to note is that this e-bike has a 28mph pedal assist limit for the US market and 20mph for international markets. During my testing, the motor made it easy to reach those speeds and tackle even the steepest hills.

I found out that the Shimano GRX's powerful hydraulic disc brakes on this e-bike are dependable, regardless of weather conditions or riding speed. These brakes ensured me a quick stop during my rides.

The bike features the Powertube 500Wh battery, offering an additional 150-watt hours of energy compared to previous versions.

Although the battery isn't removable, the charging point is conveniently located within the seat tube, which allows for easy charging. It takes 3.5 hours to charge fully, which is amazing!

The WTB Riddler TCS tires that come equipped on the Topstone Neo offered me exceptional traction and stability during my testing, enabling a super smooth ride. One thing to keep in mind is that threads are practically non-existent on these tires, so I highly advise against going over any rural terrain.

Lastly, the new Bosch Kiox display offers a sleek and modern design upgrade compared to the previous Purion display.

One advantage of the Kiox display is the ability to save ride logs and upload them to a phone via Bluetooth connection. This way, you can monitor your biking experience and adjust to the data available.

Check out our in-depth review for the Cannondale Topstone Neo if you want to learn more!

PROS

  • Powerful Bosch Performance CX motor - 75N of torque.

  • Short recharge time (3.5 hours to full charge)
  • Durable tires
  • Incredibly light weight

Cons

  • Pricey


Key Specs

Motor

Truckrun 500W motor

Battery

Dual 500Wh electric batteries with a range of over 100 miles

Bike Weight

75 lbs

Max Speed

28 mph

Tire Size

20”x 4” fat tires (Chaoyang or CST)

In order to tackle the folding bike market, Lectric has released its own electric folding bike - the XPremium. The frame does look sleek, and it can be easily folded in half for storage.

Besides the fact that it can be stored easily, this e-bike is mounted easily due to the lack of a horizontal bar often seen on e-bikes. A feature such as this one is easily overlooked, but when you do start using an e-bike with this kind of frame, you quickly learn about the benefits.

Another thing I noticed (and you will for sure) once you sit on the XPremium is the soft and comfortable wide seat that comes on it. It might not be for everyone since it is on the softer side, but for those who enjoy comfort over sturdiness, this is the seat for you to rest on.

However, the XPremium is on the heavier side of the spectrum, weighing in at 75 lbs. This makes it difficult to move around when folded unless you're physically fit.

Despite its weight, the XPremium is built for all-road riding, with a payload capacity of 330 lbs and a rear rack capable of carrying 55 lbs, making it ideal for hauling luggage, tackling steep inclines, and city riding.

One of the standout features of the XPremium is its powerful mid-drive motor. These motors are rarely found in folding e-bikes at this price point. During my test rides, this motor enabled me to reach a maximum speed of 28 mph.

The torque sensor automatically adjusted the amount of power based on my pedaling speed. A wide range of settings and options were also available due to the 5 levels of pedal assist and half-twist throttle for full electric mode.

All electrical components of the XPremium are IP-65 rated, meaning they are protected from water, dirt, and road grime. Also, the bike comes with integrated front and rear lights, making your night rides safer and cutting additional costs.

Another amazing feature is the battery pack. It features not one but two 500Wh electric batteries that will keep you rolling for around 70 miles, which is quite impressive.

A Shimano Tourney 7-speed drivetrain does its job perfectly and gives you almost perfect control over your gears when riding on your XPremium.

The battery management system ensures that both batteries are drained at the same rate, providing the rider with stable power output and extended duration.

The charger for the XPremium comes with the bike, and it took me around 5 hours to fully charge it to full capacity.

I also appreciated the Zoom hydraulic brakes and 4-inch fat tires that provide reliable stopping power and comfort on various terrains. 

Check out our in-depth review for the Lectric eBikes XPremium if you want to learn more!

PROS

  • IP-65 Rated

  • Easy transport and storage
  • Powerful 500W motor with a top speed of 28mph
  • Dual 500Wh electric batteries with a 70-mile range

Cons

  • Hard to transport due to its weight (75lbs)
  • Fat tires make it non-commuting friendly

6. Vvolt Sirius


Key Specs

Motor

250W MPF motor

Battery

375Wh, 10.4Ah 36V Celxpert battery

Bike Weight

54 pounds

Max Speed

26 mph

Tire Size

27.5 x 2.2 inches

To some, this e-bike might look like a regular bike you'd see on bike lanes, but that's the point of the design - it's an e-bike that looks just like a regular bicycle.

The mid-drive motor that powers the Sirius is cleverly concealed within the frame, while the built-in battery seamlessly blends into the down tube.

Constructed with 6061 aluminum, this electric bike weighs 54 lbs, making it easy to transport.

The Sirius boasts a 250W MPF motor that delivers 80Nm of torque. Though 250W may seem like not enough, it should offer you plenty of power for your daily commuting and urban riding.

It was able to conquer any road - I was able to climb steep hills and reach speeds of up to 26 mph (while pedaling, though). 

The Sirius is equipped with a 375Wh, 10.4Ah 36V Celxpert battery made of LG lithium-ion 18650 cells. Vvolt claims that this battery provides up to 40 miles of riding per charge.

However, in practice, I was able to achieve half of that. Also, it took me around 5.5 hours to fully charge the battery.

The Sirius comes with hydraulic disc brakes, which offer significantly more stopping power than mechanical disc brakes. These brakes are considered an industry standard, and anyone that uses them knows why.

The bike is equipped with a front suspension fork with 100mm of travel, which is a standard feature for e-bikes with dual-sport capabilities like this one. The suspension provides smooth and stable rides on rough and uneven terrain.

While I would personally prefer that the bike featured 180mm rotors instead of the 160mm ones included, the brakes on the Sirius still provided me with adequate and smooth stopping ability during my testing.

The Vvolt Sirius is fitted with Kenda 27.5 x 2.2-inch tires, which are well-suited for trail riding. Although the size of the tires may not seem like much, I was able to take the bike for a ride on moderate trails and bike paths without any evident issues.

Check out our in-depth review for the Vvolt Sirius if you want to learn more!

PROS

  • A reliable motor with plenty of torque

  • An amazing design
  • Has hydraulic disc brakes

Cons

  • The range is half of what the manufacturer claims
  • Generic design

Advice To Buyers

When looking to purchase a class 1 electric bike, it is important to consider your intended usage and specific needs. Here are a few tips to help you make an informed decision:

Purpose: Determine what you will primarily be using the bike for, whether it be commuting, recreation, or off-road adventures.

Motor: Look for a motor that's powerful enough to handle your intended usage.

Battery: Consider the range of the bike's battery and how it fits your needs. Charging time is also an important factor.

Price: Electric bikes can be quite expensive, so it's important to set a budget and stick to it. Keep in mind that the more features and components a bike has, the higher the price will be.

Safety Features: Look for a bike with features such as integrated lights, reflective sidewalls, and disc brakes. These features will improve your visibility and safety on the road.


After 77 hours of research and testing, the overall winner is:

Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon 3
Our Rating - 4.5/5
logo

 The brand-new remake of the famous Topstone Carbon model, the Topstone Neo, is there in its full shine, climbing to the peak (sorry, I had to do it) of the mountain bikes. Read the full review to see what it is all about and what exciting features you can expect to find!

After considering all the features and specifications, I have determined that the overall winner for the best class 1 electric bike is the Cannondale Topstone Neo.

This e-bike offers a perfect balance of power and speed, as well as advanced smart features such as the Bosch Kiox display and Shimano GRX brakes.

Additionally, the integrated battery system and powerful Shimano hydraulic disc brakes make it a reliable and safe choice for daily commuting. The Topstone Neo is a great bike that is suitable for riders of all levels and is worth the investment.


FAQ

Q: How far can a class 1 electric bike travel on a single charge?

A: The range of class 1 electric bicycles can vary depending on factors such as rider weight, terrain, and usage of the pedal assist system. However, most of these bikes can travel between 20-50 miles on a single charge.

Q: How long does it take to charge a class 1 electric bike?

A: The charging time for a class 1 electric bike can vary depending on the battery size and the charging system. On average, it takes between 4-8 hours to fully charge an e-bike battery.

Q: Is 20 mph enough speed for an electric bike?

A: The assisted speed of 20mph is sufficient for riders to experience the full benefits of the bike. Keep in mind that you can also go faster by pedaling once the motor's assistance stops.

About the author

Hi, I'm Nikola, your typical adrenaline junkie. Columnist and publisher by day, passionate mountain biker, and downhill skateboarder by night (or I guess weekends). I love electric bikes and own a Rad Power Rover 6 myself!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}