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REI Co-op Cycles Generation E-Bikes Review

By Jordan Grimes   /  Last updated - December 29, 2023   /  Co-op Cycles, Commuter Bikes, Electric Bikes

co-op cycles generation ebikes review

The Generation e1.1 and e1.2 are the latest additions to the Co-op Cycles electric bike range. These two take the total to four, adding to the eCTY 2.1 and 2.2. 

The Generation eBike is a clear response to the growing demand for affordable urban electric bicycles with cargo carrying capacity and is strikingly similar to Rad Power Bikes’ popular RadRunner.

Co-op Cycles designed these bikes to be super approachable with comfortable touchpoints, a one-size-fits-all low-step frame, upright geometry, and plenty of power to carry heavy cargo. In addition, the Generation is versatile enough to ride on light off-road terrain when needed. 

This Co-op Cycles Generation review will provide an overview of both models and their differences, the ride feel, and discuss the pros and cons of each, finishing with our verdict on whether or not you should buy one. 

Co-op Cycles Generation Main Specs

  • Frame: 6061 Aluminum frame
  • Motor: Bafang 350W/80Nm direct-drive hub
  • Battery: Bafang 417Wh or 672Wh
  • Top Speed: 20mph (Class 1)
  • Tires: 2.4″ Schwalbe Super-Moto-X
  • Wheels: 20″ Co-op Cycles double-wall
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Altus 7-speed
  • Brakes: Tektro hydraulic discs, 180mm rotors
  • Weight: 54lbs
  • Max capacity: 300lbs
  • Riders: 5′ to 6’3″

What Kind of Bike is the Co-Op Cycles Generation?

co-op cycles generation e1.1 bike with female rider

The Generation e-bike by Co-op Cycles is a blend of a lightweight cargo bike and an urban utility bike. This type of bicycle is a solid choice for riders that commute with gear, regularly run errands around town, or take their child on leisurely weekend rides.

The modest 350W direct-drive hub motor and 300lb payload capacity mean this bike falls just outside of being in the best cargo e-bike category. Nonetheless, it is more compact and lighter than your typical cargo model. 

The careful design and component selection mean the Generation is comfortable, easy to mount and dismount, and convenient to use.

In addition, 2.4″ puncture-resistant tires reduce the risk of punctures and allow you to tackle light off-road terrain. Both models are pedal assist only, meaning you can choose between five levels of motor support. However, if you want a fully electric experience, consider a Class 2 e-bike

One important urban component missing on the Generation e-bike is fenders, although it is fender-compatible. Additionally, the rack works with kids’ bike seats as the rear rack can support up to 59lbs. Now, let’s take a closer look at each of the two new models. 

Co-Op Cycles Generation e1.1 Review

co-op cycles generation e1.1 e-bike in blue color

MSRP: $1,499

Reasons to buy:

  • Powerful hydraulic disc brakes
  • Puncture-resistant Schwalbe tires
  • Comfortable
  • Convenient to adjust and ride
  • Plenty of carrying capacity

Reasons to avoid:

  • Low-quality direct-drive motor
  • No fenders included
  • Long charge time (7 hours)

The Generation e1.1 utility e-bike is the base model of the series, with almost identical componentry and design as the e1.2. In addition, it’s available in four colors; the most Co-op Cycles has offered on one bike. 

This Generation electric bike is perfectly adequate for most urban riding. It has a Bafang e-bike system with a 30 to 40-mile average range from the 417Wh battery and 350W/80Nm from a direct-drive hub motor, perfect for casual riding around the city. But unfortunately, this won’t be strong enough if you’re looking for an e-bike to climb hills with heavy cargo. 

This version of the Generation has an SR Suntour 70mm travel fork to smooth out the lumps and bumps of the road and light gravel. The suspension fork combines nicely with Co-op Cycles’ Comfort Plus memory foam saddle, upright geometry, and shock-absorbent high-volume tires. 

A surprising inclusion for a bike of this price is the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. These high-quality brakes provide excellent stopping power and reliability in all conditions so you can stay safe while navigating the city streets. 

The carrying capacity on the Generation e1.1 is plenty for typical day-to-day use. The integrated rear rack can support up to 59lbs and combines with pannier bags, baskets, or kids’ seats. There are no mounts for a front rack, but you have a heavy-duty v-shaped kickstand and a bell. 

Buy Generation e1.1

Co-Op Cycles Generation e1.2 Review

co-op cycles generation e1.2 e-bike in green color

MSRP: $1,899

Reasons to buy:

  • Excellent cargo capacity
  • Solid average range
  • Lighter than the competition
  • Shimano drivetrain

Reasons to avoid:

  • Poor motor for the price
  • No fenders
  • Long charge time (8 hours)

The Generation e1.2 electric bike is the higher-end model of the pair, costing an extra $400 but bringing three significant upgrades and a more versatile ride.

The e1.2 is identical in most aspects of the design and componentry, just with one fewer color option. It has the same powerful disc brakes, mixed-terrain tires, and relaxed geometry that deliver a smooth and confidence-inspiring ride. 

The three upgrades we mentioned are pretty consequential for the overall abilities of the bikes. Most importantly, an upgraded 672Wh battery enhances the average range by 25 to 33%

Co-op Cycles also swapped out the fork suspension for a standard rigid aluminum fork. This change was to facilitate the addition of a front rack. This removable rack has a 22lb carrying capacity and takes the total rack capacity to 81lbs (59+22).

Finally, the rigid fork gives the Generation e1.2 e-bike a more stable front end to ensure your cargo stays in place. However, this does slightly reduce the comfort on bumpy surfaces. 

Buy Generation e1.2

Co-Op Cycles Generation Ride Feel

female cyclist riding yellow generation e.1.1 bike

The Co-op Cycles Generation electric bike is a comfortable and stable choice, designed for casual urban riders who want extra help when zipping around town. 

The wide Schwalbe tires, upright riding position, adjustable stem, and memory foam saddle contribute to the Generation’s smooth and relaxed ride feel. In addition, it’s several pounds lighter than the equivalent competition. 

This bike won’t blow you away with its power or range, but it is sufficient for the needs of the typical commuter or city e-biker. Other features that enhance the overall ride quality include the confidence-inspiring Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and the reliable Shimano Acera drivetrain.

Our Verdict: Should You Buy a Co-Op Cycles Generation E-Bike?

co-op cycles generation e1.1 ebike on paved road

We’re impressed with these new eBikes from REI’s Co-op Cycles. The Generation e-bike is a competitively-priced utility bike with plenty to offer to the casual urban rider.

This bike is enjoyable and convenient to ride. In addition, it’s capable of carrying lots of cargo and riding on light gravel and hardpacked dirt, perfect for any mixed-terrain commuters out there. 

Although the electronics aren’t especially impressive, they offer enough power and range for a full day of riding around the city. 

All things considered, we would recommend considering one of the new Generation electric bikes if you want a solid all-rounder for various urban jobs but have a limited budget.  

Buy the Generation E-Bikes

About the Author

Jordan Grimes

Jordan Grimes is an avid cyclist who loves to travel and has found his bike to be perfect company on road trips in the USA, through national parks, and in countries such as Canada, Ireland, and Spain.
His passion for travel and work in the tourism and hospitality sector has allowed him to live in incredible places like Ireland, Canada, the USA, and the Cayman Islands. He has since relocated to southern Spain, where he works as a freelance writer, practicing Spanish and cycling in the famous Sierra Nevada mountains. He specializes in writing cycling blog articles, health and performance-related topics, and other informative pieces. You can contact him on Linkedin.

2 thoughts on “REI Co-op Cycles Generation E-Bikes Review

  1. Robert Glen Houghton says:

    fenders are coming in sept or oct 2023

    1. Sam Millers says:

      Thanks for information!

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