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Best Class 1 eBikes – Our Selection of Best Models

By Mark   /  Last updated - September 14, 2022   /  Best-Of-Reviews, Electric Bikes, Reviews

Man and women laughing and riding with class 1 electric bikes

Electric bicycles (eBikes) come in three classes: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. In this article, we’ll discuss the best Class 1 eBikes, which are pedal-assist bikes that always require some form of pedaling in order to move.

The power output is restricted to 20mph (32km/h), after which you can only accelerate by pedaling.

What is a Class 1 eBike?

Class 1 eBikes are limited to 750-watt motors, 20mph max speed, with pedal assistance only (Without a throttle)

A Class 1 eBike is much like a standard push bicycle but includes a small battery and a lightweight motor, usually between 250W and 500W.

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The motor only provides mild assistance with pedaling, helping to reduce the effort required to propel the bicycle. In order to cycle, the rider must still pedal using the crank and drivetrain just as one would a normal bike.

The motors on Class 1 eBikes are limited to 20mph (32km/h) due to regulations. Once you reach this speed, the motor will no longer provide assistance.

Class 1 vs Class 2 eBikes

Class 1 and Class 2 electric bikes are very similar in design and are both limited to a maximum speed of 20mph (32km/h). However, Class 2 is an electric bike with a throttle, meaning you can accelerate from the handlebars without having to pedal. Class 2 still benefits from pedal assistance, particularly if you want to save battery, but it isn’t a necessity in order to move forward.

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Class 1 vs Class 3 eBikes

The main difference in a Class 3 eBike is the maximum speed, which is increased to 28mph (45km/h). Like a Class 1 eBike, the Class 3 has no throttle* and must be operated via pedal assistance. This means it’s actually more similar to a Class 1 eBike than a Class 2 eBike but it can just go a bit faster.

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Table of Contents

Class 1 E-City Bikes

Class 1 E-Mountain Bikes

Class 1 E-Road Bikes


Best Class 1 Electric City Bikes

1. Co-op Cycles – CTY e1.1 – $1,599
2. Gazelle – Ultimate T10 HMB- $3,800
3. Brompton – C Line Electric Explore  – $4,050
4. Cannondale – Treadwell Neo 2 EQ – $2,175
5. Electra – Townie GO! 7D Step-Through – $1,750


1. Co-op Cycles – CTY e1.1

Probably the best value class 1 electric bike for everyday commuting

co-op cycles cty e1.1

Best value class 1 electric pedal bike Co-op CTY e2.2

Price: $1,599

Weight: 48 lbs   |   Motor: 250W   |   Torque: 45Nm   |   Battery: 450Wh   |   Range: 40mi

  • Frame – Aluminum
  • Derailleur – Shimano Altus 7-speed
  • Brakes – Tektro hydraulic disc

The CTY e1.1 is an electric pedal bike from Co-op Cycles and one of the best-value eBikes on the market. Despite falling in a relatively average price range, the CTY e1.1 is packed full of reliable components and weighs a moderate 48lbs.

For the motor, Co-op Cycles chose a full Bafang system including a 250W hub motor with 45Nm of torque and a 450Wh battery. The battery can be removed for easy overnight charging. A fully charged battery will take you about 40 miles with pedal assistance, so you’ll easily have a full day of cycling.

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To support the motor, riders get a 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, providing strong braking at high speed and more than enough gear ratio for steep hills. 1.95″ Schwalbe puncture-resistant tires ensure plenty of comfort and traction on varied terrains. 

Choose the Co-op Cycles CTY 1.1 if you want an affordable Class 1 e-bike that’s perfect for urban riding. 

Buy from REI


2. Gazelle – Ultimate T10 HMB

One of the most powerful Class 1 eBikes with Monoshock spring fork

Gazelle commuter class 1 electric pedal bike

Price: $3,800

Weight: 51 lbs   |   Motor: 250W   |   Torque: 65Nm   |   Battery: 482Wh   |   Range: 30-70mi

  • Frame – Aluminum
  • Fork – 30mm, Monoshock spring suspension
  • Derailleur – 1×10 speed Shimano Deore XT
  • Brakes – Shimano BR-MT hydraulic disc

The Gazelle Ultimate T10 is one of the most powerful Class 1 eBikes available, with a 500W motor that kicks out a full 65Nm of torque. This is quite impressive for a Class 1 pedal-assist electric bike as most have 40Nm or less torque. 

The Bosch Performance motor, mounted where the bottom bracket usually sits, is one of the best mid-drive electric bike motors on the market. The aluminum frame features a 30mm Monoshock spring fork which isn’t exactly a suspension fork but it certainly helps to smooth out the road vibrations.

To keep the motor turning, Gazelle has included a removable 500W battery neatly integrated into the downtube for a sleek appearance. The 10-speed Shimano Deore XT drivetrain is one usually reserved for performance MTBs, so you’re guaranteed to have no trouble with gearing in tough conditions.

To ensure safety at all times, Gazelle has fitted the Ultimate T10 with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and eBike-specific Schwalbe Energizer tires. This excellent combination of top-quality brakes and puncture-resistant tires won’t let you down, no matter the weather conditions.

Buy from Mike's Bikes


3. Brompton – C Line Electric Explore

Class 1 electric folding bike

brompton c line electric explore

class 1 folding electric bike Tern

Price: $4,050

Weight: 38.3 lbs   |   Motor: 250W   |   Torque: N/A   |   Battery: 312Wh   |   Range: 20-45mi

  • Frame – Steel (hand-brazened)
  • Derailleur – 2×3-speed Brompton (3 internal)
  • Brakes – Brompton rim

Electric bikes are very convenient while cycling but more often than not, they’re heavy and awkward to transport or store.

Introducing the Brompton C Line Electric Explore – an e-bike that folds up for easy indoor storage or loading on public transport. The lightweight and durable build makes this one of the best folding e-bikes on the market. 

Despite its miniature size, the C Line Electric Explore packs a punch with a 250W motor fuelled by a 300Wh removable battery. When fully charged, you should be able to get up to 45 miles of pedal-assisted cycling out of the battery.

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The folding frame is built from tough hand-brazened steel and comes with a front mount for luggage accessories. Not only is it easy to transport and store but it’s practical and comfortable to ride too. 

With 16×1.35″ Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires and lightweight Brompton rim brakes, you’ll be able to stop reliably in dry conditions. At just over 38lbs, this is easy to carry when you’re jumping between public transport and riding.

It’s not the cheapest eBike on the market, but if you really need a folding Class 1 electric bike, you’ll struggle to find one better.

Buy from REI


4. Cannondale – Treadwell Neo 2 EQ

Class 1 e-bike with a fully-equipped setup

cannondale treadwell neo 2 eq

Price: $2,175
REI

Weight: N/A   |   Motor: 250W   |   Torque: 40Nm   |   Battery: 250Wh   |   Range: 47mi

  • Frame –  SmartForm C3 alloy aluminum
  • Derailleur – MicroSHIFT 8-speed
  • Brakes – Tektro HD-R280 hydraulic disc

The Cannondale Treadwell Neo 2 EQ is built for maximum convenience and comfort. The modest 250Wh battery is fully integrated and delivers up to 47 miles on a single charge.

The frame is built from Cannondale’s proprietary SmartForm C3 aluminum and features a super comfy saddle and rigid aluminum fork, providing both strength and responsiveness. Built into the crank is a Hydrive MRC-250 250W hub motor that delivers a decent 40Nm of torque.

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For pedal assistance and a bit of extra speed, you get an 8-speed MicroSHIFT drivetrain complemented by its popular Tektro HD-R280 hydraulic disc brakeset.

Maxxis DTR-1 47mm tires give this bike plenty of traction and shock absorption on bumpy terrain. Finally, fenders, a front-mounted basket, and a kickstand are also included.

Buy from REI


5. Electra – Townie Go! 7D Step-Through

One of the most affordable class 1 electric cruiser bike

electra townie go! 7d step-through

MSRP $1,750

Weight: 47 lbs   |   Motor: 250W   |   Torque: 40Nm   |   Battery: 250Wh   |   Range: 16-40mi

  • Frame – 6061-T6 aluminum
  • Fork – High tensile steel
  • Drivetrain – 1×7 speed Shimano
  • Brakes – Radius CX-7 mechanical disc

The Townie Go! 7D Step-Through is a highly affordable beach cruiser women’s electric bike with a relaxed feel and laid-back style. It features fat 2.35″ tires that absorb any bumps or vibrations on the road and Patented Flat Foot Technology that ensures a comfortable ride.

The 250Wh battery will take you up to 40 miles on a single charge if you pedal a lot, and at least 16 miles if you take it easy. It integrates conveniently into the frame for a sleek finish. With a lightweight step-through frame and steel fork, the Townie Go! 7D weighs a moderate 47 lbs, making it easy to maneuver and mount.

The 250W Hydrive rear hub motor has 3 power modes that increase as you pedal, with support from a basic 7-speed Shimano drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes. This setup is simple and not particularly powerful but perfect for lazy days cruising along the seaside. It’s a great, budget-friendly bike for those who just want to take it easy and enjoy sunny days riding in the park or along the coastline.

Buy from REI


Best Class 1 Electric Mountain Bikes

6. Santa Cruz – Bullit MX CC – $8,449
7. Norco – Fluid VLT A1 – $5,199
8. Niner – WFO E9 3-Star – $6,595
9. Devinci – EP 29″ Deore – $5,999
10. Haibike – ALLMTN 5 – $6,800

Related: Best Electric Mountain Bikes


6. Santa Cruz – Bullit MX CC

One of the best class 1 mountain eBikes

Santa Cruz Bicycles - Bullit MX CC

Price: $8,449

Weight: N/A |   Motor: 250W   |   Torque: 85Nm   |   Battery: 630Wh   |   Range: N/A

  • Frame – Carbon CC 
  • Fork – 170mm, RockShox ZEB
  • Rear Shock – RockShox Super Deluxe Select 170mm
  • Derailleur- 1×12 speed SRAM NX Eagle
  • Rear Tire – Maxxis Minion DHR II 27.5×2.4″
  • Front Tire – Maxxis Assegai 29×2.5″
  • Brakes – SRAM Guide RE Hydraulic

The Bullit CC may have a motor but that doesn’t make it any less of a professional MTB. With a superlight carbon frame, top-class suspension, and a killer SRAM drivetrain, this eBike has everything that a pro MTB rider needs – plus a little extra assistance. 

While most pedal-assist mountain bikes focus on entry-level riders, the Bullit is an aggressive trailblazing beast with 170mm of front and rear travel. On the back is a top-quality RockShox Super Deluxe Select shock complemented by a RockShox ZEB fork upfront.

In line with its original Bullit trail bike, Santa Cruz has placed a 27.5″ tire on the rear with a larger 29″ upfront, providing a mix of obstacle-hopping speed and tight cornering abilities.

While the 85Nm of torque from the 250W Shimano EP800 motor will help out on the uphills, the true pedal power comes from the 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain. This will help you go far beyond the 20mph (32km/h) Class 1 speed restriction, with confident stopping power provided by SRAM Guide RE brakes.

Yes, the price tag is hefty but so are the components, from the Maxxis Assegai/Minion tires to the Cane Creek headset. This is no simple work commuter eBike… unless your job is a high-speed bicycle courier in the Himalayan mountains!

Buy from Evo.com


7. Norco – Fluid VLT A1

A full-suspension trail eMTB 

Norco Fluid VLT A1 29 E-Bike

MSRP $5,199

Weight: N/A  |   Motor: 250W   |   Torque: 85Nm   |   Battery: 540/720/900Wh (Sold separately) 

  • Frame – Aluminum
  • Fork – RockShox 35 Silver 140mm Travel
  • Rear Shock – RockShox Select R 130mm
  • Derailleur – Shimano Deore M6100 12-speed
  • Tires – Maxxis Dessector 29×2.4″ 
  • Brakes – Shimano BR-MT420, 4-Piston, 203mm rotors

The Norco Fluid VLT A1 is a moderately-priced Class 1 eBike that more than delivers the goods. The first thing you’ll notice is the exquisitely crafted aluminum frame that gives this bike a very professional appearance. With a neatly integrated battery and a barely noticeable mid-drive motor, this doesn’t even look like an eBike at first glance

However, to keep costs down while still delivering a quality eMTB, Norco has chosen a few cheaper components. The RockShox 35 Silver fork has a decent 140mm of travel but is more commonly found on cheaper MTBs. 

Pedal-assist power comes from a Shimano EP8 motor that provides an impressive 85Nm of torque, helping to reduce fatigue on those steep climbs. Braking is supplied by powerful 4-piston, 203mm rotor Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, which are more than sufficient for trail riding, particularly when combined with thick-treaded Maxxis Dissector tires.

A single charge of the large battery will give you up to tons of range and can be easily removed to charge overnight. To keep the battery lasting longer, you get a Shimano Deore drivetrain with a 1×12-speed setup, the perfect accompaniment for this level of MTB. Overall, this Class 1 eMTB offers good value and will provide the rider with hours of weekend fun.

Buy from JensonUSA


8. Niner – WFO E9 3-Star

Downhill e-MTB with pro-level capabilities

Niner WFO E9 3-Star e-Bike

Price: $6,595
Competitive Cyclist

Weight: 55 lbs   |   Motor: 250W   |   Torque: 85Nm   |   Battery: 625Wh   |   Range: 50mi

  • Frame – 6061 Aluminum
  • Fork – RockShox Zeb R 180mm
  • Rear Shock – FOX Van Coil LSC 180mm
  • Derailleur – 1×12 speed SRAM SX Eagle
  • Tires –  Maxxis Minion DHF 29 x 2.5″ / Maxxis Aggressor 27.5×2.8″
  • Brakes – SRAM Guide RE hydraulic disc

This eMTB from Niner is a super-capable downhill bike that allows you to race to the top over and over with its powerful electronics.

With an aluminum frame, RockShox fork, and a reliable SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain, this bike delivers in all the right places. Niner has aimed this bike at downhill riders who need speed, so it uses a punchy Bosch motor and 625Wh downtube battery. This means you can save your legs on days when you just want to crush the downhills The 12-speed SRAM drivetrain is smooth and precise to use, so you’ll definitely enjoy putting it through its paces.

To keep the weight down, Niner has fitted the WFO E9 with Stan NoTubes Flow D rims. These are wrapped in two tubeless-ready Maxxis Minion DHF 29 x 2.5″ and Aggressor 27.5×2.8″ tires. With stopping power provided by SRAM Guide RE hydraulic brakes, you’ll feel confident shredding through the backcountry at high speed!

Buy from Competitive Cyclist


9. Devinci – EP 29″ 

Class 1 eMTB with a good mix of affordability and quality

Devinci - EP e-Bike

Price: $5,999

 Motor: 250W   |   Battery: 504Wh

  • Frame – Aluminum Optimum G04
  • Fork – 140mm, RockShox 35 Silver TK Solo Air
  • Rear Shock – RockShox Deluxe Select R 130mm
  • Derailleur – 1×11 speed Shimano Deore
  • Front Tires – 29×2.6″ Maxxis Minion DHF
  • Rear Tires – 29×2.6″ Maxxis Minion DHR II
  • Brakes – Magura MT30 Hydraulic 

The EP 29″ is an electric off-road bicycle from the popular Canadian brand Devinci. It offers an adequate mix of affordability and quality, using mostly mid-range components and materials. The bulky aluminum frame has 130mm of rear travel and a large downtube that houses a Shimano 504Wh battery and 250W STEPS motor.

This motor has been known to kick out up to 60Nm of torque, although Devinci hasn’t clarified the exact level of torque that the EP 29″ experiences. Still, it’s a well-trusted and popular motor that is guaranteed to deliver decent power on steep ascents. 

It’s not the lightest combination of parts but features excellent suspension, with a RockShox Silver 35 rear shock and a 140mm Deluxe Select R fork. Gearing is sufficient for a mid-range MTB, using a 12-speed Sunrace cassette and a Shimano derailleur, crankset, and chain. Magura hydraulic disc brakes provide a more than a reasonable level of stopping power for your average trail or cross country rider.

All this is held up by two 29×2.6″ Maxxis Minion tires that give you excellent grip and control when steering with solid road ground contact on the back for high speed. All-round, this is a nice bike at an acceptable price and suits a variety of All-Mountain, trail, and XC riding styles.

Buy from Backcountry


10. Haibike – ALLMTN 5

Stylish mullet eMTB

haibike allmtn 5 electric bike

Price: $6,800

Motor: 250W   |   Torque: 75Nm   |   Battery: 625Wh

  • Frame – Aluminum
  • Fork – Rockshox, Lyrik Ultimate RC2 160mm
  • Rear Shock – RockShox Deluxe Select+ RT 150mm
  • Derailleur – 1×12 speed Shimano SLX/XT
  • Tires – Maxxis Minion DHF, 29 x 2.5″ and DHR II 27.5 x 2.8″
  • Brakes – Shimano XT hydraulic discs, 203/180mm rotors

The Haibike ALLMTN 5 is a Class 1 electric-assist bike powered by a combination Bosch Gen4 Performance CX 250W motor with an integrated 625Wh battery. The motor delivers an impressive 75Nm of torque, which you will certainly be grateful for when struggling up steep ascents.

The stylish aluminum frame has a striking appearance, with a skinny top tube contrasting against the extra-thick downtube. 

The rest of the components are a mix of high quality parts mixed in with some cost-saving additions. The 12-speed Shimano SLX drivetrain is an excellent gearset often seen on competitive MTBs and includes a low-profile, slap-free Shadow derailleur.

A Rockshox, Lyrik Ultimate RC2 160mm fork and Deluxe Select+ RT 150mm rear shock provide plenty of support on enduro-style trails.

Luckily, the wheelset is killer, combining strong DT Swiss H1900 rims with two Maxxis Minion tires for a solid grip, speed, and agility under any conditions. Mixed wheel sizes of 29 x 2.5″ and 27.5 x 2.8″ deliver a balance of rolling speed and rear-end agility. 

Supported by Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes, you’ll certainly feel confident attacking rocky mountain paths or muddy backcountry lanes on the Haibike ALLMTN 5. 

Buy from REI.com


Best Class 1 Electric Road Bikes

11. Bianchi – Aria – $6,500
12. Diamondback – Current – $4,100
13. Bianchi – Impulso – $4,950

Related: Best Electric Road Bikes


11. Bianchi – Aria

An exceptionally fast and lightweight eBike

Bianchi - Aria Ultegra e-bike - Summertime dream

Price: $6,500
Backcountry

Weight: 27.2 lbs   |   Motor: 250W   |   Battery: 250Wh

  • Frame – Carbon
  • Fork – Aria E-Road Disc carbon
  • Derailleurs – Shimano Ultegra R8000
  • Brakes – Shimano Ultegra R8070 hydraulic disc

It seems odd talking about road racing in relation to a 20mph electric bike but don’t fear, you’ll hit far higher speeds on this beast. Built upon the design of Bianchi’s ever-popular Aria road bike, this is a serious contender for the best value Class 1 road bike on the market.

Crafted from premium carbon the Aria features an integrated Inner Power Drive system with a 250Wh battery and rear hub motor.

Overall, it weighs an impressive 27.2lbs which can be reduced with the removal of the battery and motor if you want a regular performance road bike. Pedal power comes from a pro-level 11-speed Shimano Ultegra drivetrain in combination with a set of hydraulic disc brakes.

To keep weight down even further, Bianchi has fitted the Aria withVision Trimax disc rims wrapped in Vittoria Rubino IV 28mm tires. 

Naturally, this degree of top-quality components makes the Aria one of the most expensive eBikes on the market in this price range. Unlike standard eBikes, it’s aimed at experienced road riders who intend to shred up the tarmac and build endurance while reducing fatigue and impact on their joints.

Buy from Backcountry


12. Diamondback – Current

High-performance gravel riding experience with a Class 3 motor

Diamondback Current e-Bike

Price: $4,100

Weight: 46.8 lbs   |   Motor: 250W   |   Torque: 40Nm   |   Battery: 250Wh   |   Range:  N/A

  • Frame – Aluminum
  • Derailleurs – Shimano GRX 810/812 11-speed
  • Brakes – Shimano GRX hydraulic disc

The Diamondback Current is a mid-range electric all-road bike built for speed. It features an aluminum frame and fork fitted with an integrated Bosch Performance Line Speed Gen 4 drive system.

Gearing is provided by a Shimano GRX 810 11-speed groupset with matching hydraulic disc brakes, an adequate set of components for an e-bike in this price range. 

The Bosch motor delivers 350W of power and 85Nm of torque into the rear hub, giving you a much-needed boost on steep ascents. It’s powered by a 500Wh battery for long days of riding. 

The wheelset is a stock standard Diamondback set, using Maxxis Rambler 40mm tires. Overall, it’s a great electric all-road bike and while the components are not top-level, you’ll struggle to find something better at this price.

Buy from Backcountry


13. Bianchi – Impulso

One of the best electric bicycles on the market

Bianchi Impulso GRX600 e-bike

Price: $4,950

Weight: N/A   |   Motor: 250W   |   Torque: 40Nm   |   Battery: 250Wh

  • Frame – Carbon
  • Fork – Carbon
  • Derailleurs – Shimano GRX 810 1×11-speed
  • Brakes – Shimano ST-RX810 hydraulic disc

The Bianchi Impulso e-bike is an electric gravel bike designed for hassle-free all-road riding with a bit of extra power. This is a lightweight eBike with a high-quality aluminum frame and a carbon fork.

Bianchi chose a neatly integrated EbikeMotion X35 Plus motor and a battery that is barely noticeable in the downtube.

The frame and fork have integrated cable routing to provide a completely smooth appearance and improve aerodynamics. The Impulso has an 11-speed Shimano SLX/GRX drivetrain, a rock-solid addition to an eBike in this price range.

You also get Shimano hydraulic disc brakes for excellent stopping power and a set of superb Kenda Flintridge 35mm tires.

There is very little to fault about the Bianchi Impulso, a bike that manages to provide excellent without the huge price tag you would expect. 

Buy from Backcountry


FAQs


What are the best electric bike brands?

In this article, there are best class 1 electric bikes from brands like Co-op, Gazelle, Tern, Trek, Electra, Santa Cruz, Cannondale, Devinci, BMC, and Orbea. See this article for the overall best electric bike brands.

Can two people ride on an electric bike?

2 person electric bike is not very common but there are some. For example, Pedego has built an electric tandem bike, which is also a class 1 electric bike.

Rad Power Bikes also have one bike model called RadRunner, where you can install a passenger package. According to electric bike classes, RadRunner is class 2 eBike.

How fast can electric bikes go?

Electric bike top speed is regulated by the law and electric bike classification. Electric bike motor can assist you up to 20mph (class 1/class 2) or 28mph (class 3). If you pedal faster than that, motor assistance will stop.

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