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Co-op Cycles CTY e1.1

by Dejan 

August 15, 2023

Recreational Equipment Incorporated - or REI for short - is one of those massive corporations that started out in the early 20th century. If you’re even marginally interested in camping or just about any other outdoor activity, you might already own a couple of REI products.

But why am I talking about REI? Well, this company has its fingers in a lot of pies, one being the e-bike market. You see, Co-op Cycles is a subsidiary of REI. 

Although Co-op has been around for just a couple of years, it has made a big splash on the e-bike market thanks to its high-quality, affordable e-bikes.

CTY e1.1 is one of Co-op Cycle's first bikes, and I have to admit it’s a real value train. Sure, the engineers had to make quite a few compromises, but the bike does exactly what it’s designed for - getting you around town without burning a hole in your wallet.

Co-op Cycles CTY e1.1

I love how simple this bike’s frame is. There are no accessories or embellishments. In fact, if this bike looks kind of familiar to you, it is because the CTY e1.1 is nothing more than an electrified version of CTY 1.1 - a regular city commuter.

The only difference between these two bikes is that the e1.1 comes with a semi-integrated battery and a rear-hub motor.

Because this is a budget bike, you don’t get any suspension. But that’s more than okay. Sure, you will have to be a bit more careful when riding, but at least the bike doesn’t weigh as much as a ton of bricks.

The frame is built out of lightweight 6061 aluminum alloy, and the entire bike weighs just a sliver under 48 lbs. Although you’ll still have a bit of trouble lugging this thing upstairs, I’m pretty sure Co-op Cycles couldn’t make it any lighter.

At least the frame comes in three sizes, so no matter whether you’re 5-foot or 6-foot 6-inches, you can get a bike that’ll perfectly fit you.

With all that said, there are a couple of things that irk me the wrong way. For starters, the bike doesn’t come with any fenders. I know they did that to keep the price low, but I think fenders should be mandatory for commuters. 

And then there’s a complete lack of a rear cargo rack. To make things even worse, you can’t even buy one. This means you won’t be able to take this bike on grocery runs, so that’s one thing you should keep in mind.


Co-op Cycles CTY e1.1 Motor

The word that best describes e.1.1’s motor is adequate. The rear-hum Bafang motor can only churn out 250 watts, so don’t expect to be reaching breakneck speeds with this bike.

Since the motor is that underpowered, e.1.1 is classified as a Class 1 bike. This means its max speed is just 20 MPH. On top of that, the motor can only produce 45 Nm of torque. This means you won’t accelerate that fast.

With all that said, the motor is just fine. At least it comes from a reputable manufacturer. And if you’re looking for a bike that’s more snappy, you’re not e 1.1’s target demographic. This bike is meant for short trips around town and nothing more.

With that tangent out of the way, I can talk about controls. As you can imagine, the controls on this bike are as simple as they get.

You have your standard e-bike control cluster on the right-hand side of the handlebars that consists of a simple LCD display and buttons for choosing the PAS level. The display is pretty basic. It will feed you the most basic info, such as the PAS level, current speed, battery charge, and distance traveled.


Co-op Cycles CTY e1.1 Battery

CTY e1.1 comes with a pretty beefy 46V 11Ah battery from Bafang.

Co-op claims you can squeeze out anywhere from 40 to 60 miles of range on a single charge

That seems to be the case with some users reporting  that they are getting 45-60 miles depending on the PAS Level.

The most I could personally squeeze out from this bike is around 45 miles. 

You have to consider that most other bikes in this price range provide around 20 miles of range on average.

Since the battery is semi-integrated, there’s no charging port on the frame. Instead, it's integrated into the battery mount.

Of course, you don’t have to charge the battery while it’s on the bike. You can also take it out. It’s secured with a simple lock mechanism. Taking it out is as simple as turning the key and sliding it out.

The battery features a charge meter, so you can always know how much juice you have left. 

When it comes to recharge time, it’s pretty long - 6 hours. So, if you’re going to use e.1.1 as your daily driver, I recommend you get a spare.


CTY e1.1 comes with some pretty high-end brakes, all things considered. To be more precise, this bike comes with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes with 180-millimeter rotors.

Trust me when I say this, these brakes will outlast you. On top of that, they provide more than enough stopping power. The second you press those brake levers, you’ll feel the bike slowing down pretty rapidly.

Co-op Cycles CTY e1.1 Brakes

I’m pretty sure Co-op could’ve gotten away with 160-millimeter rotors, but I guess they wanted higher-quality brakes. Anyways, who am I to complain - you rarely see budget bikes featuring competent brakes. 

Wheels And Tires

CTY e1.1 comes with commuter 27.5 x 1.95 Schwalbe Big Ben Tires. The tires are flat-proof and provide ample grip on the pavement.

I wouldn’t take this bike on an off-road trail, but then again, it’s not designed for that.

I wish Co-op slapped a bit fatter tires so you at least get some suspension, but that would just balloon the price of this bike.

Pros And Cons After Testing

As is the case with all budget e-bikes, e.1.1 comes with quite a few compromises.

With that said, I’m pretty happy with those compromises.

Sure, e.1.1 doesn’t come with the beefiest motor or the juiciest battery, but the build quality is insanely good, and all components on the bike are as tough as they get.

The 250-watt motor is more than capable of getting you around town relatively fast, and you get more than enough range to last you for a week. Sure, you won’t be zooming around at 28 MPH, but then again, you won’t be spending upwards of $2000 for that privilege.

The only thing that irks me to no end is the lack of any cargo rack. You need a cargo rack on a commuter, how else am I going to go grocery shopping? 


CTY e1.1 is one the best budget commuter e-bikes I’ve had the pleasure of riding. Sure it doesn’t come with the most powerful motor or cargo accessories, but you get a pretty sturdy reliable bike for getting around town quickly.

Co-op Cycles CTY e1.1
Our Rating - 80/100

Co-op CTY e1.1 is a pretty decent budget commuter. It doesn’t come with the most powerful motor, but all components on the bike are pretty high-quality. If you’re new to the world of e-bikes, you should give e1.1 a try.

About the author

Dejan is a tech enthusiast and a big bike lover. Since college days when he was constantly on the move, everything was done with one thing in mind - get an e-bike. Now with the dream finally realized, he's reviewing e-bikes and providing advice to all fellow e-bikers out there.

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  1. Best Ebike for $1299!

    As an owner of this bike with over 1000 miles, I was a bit put off by inaccuracies and omissions. The bike has a torque sensor and has 45 nm (not 30 nm!) of torque. The range is excellent and varies from 47 -60 miles ridden in lower assist levels. A rack and fenders are easily installed.

    This is a much better bike than the review suggests. It might be the best Ebike around for $1299.

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