Class 1 e-bikes are some of the most popular because they have very few, if any limitations to their usage both in the United States and around the world, unlike Classes 2 and 3 which are limited in their use.
In this article, you will find class 1 eBike reviews of road, commuter, and mountain bikes from various price ranges and brands so you can make the perfect choice the next time you’re in the market.
What is a Class 1 eBike?
The Class 1 category is the least restricted one of all the e-bikes. Class 1 eBikes do not have throttles and the motors are limited to 20mph, when this speed is reached the motor stops providing assistance.
This limitation usually means that these bikes are more efficient so they have higher ranges from the same size or smaller batteries, but are limited to pedal assistance.
- Speed limited to 20mph
- Motor power limited to 20mph
Best Class 1 E-Bikes in 2023
1. Buzz Cerana
Range: 40 mi | Charge time: 2-6h | Motor: 350W, Mid-drive
- 7-speed drivetrain
- 24″ x 2.8″ tires
- Weight: 57 lb
- Mechanical disc brakes
Buzz Cerana is one of the most versatile hybrid commuter e-bikes in this price range, packed with everything you need to make everyday commutes easy.
Firstly, you’ve got a silent and punchy 350W mid-drive motor to make hills feel like riding on the flat. This is backed up by a 36V battery which, along with the 7-speed drivetrain, gives max speeds of 20 mph and a range of up to 40 miles.
- Related post: Mid-Drive Ebike Picks for 2023
Along with solid electronics, the Buzz Cerana has the commuter setup of a front basket, fenders, LED lights, and a kickstand.
Finally, this bike is easy to control and super comfortable due to its low standover height, upright geometry, all-terrain 2.8″ tires, and excellent mechanical disc brakes.
2. Trek FX+ 2
Range: 35 mi | Weight: 40 lb | Motor: 40 Nm rear hub
- 9-speed Shimano Altus
- 700c x 40 mm Bontrager H2 Comp
- Max payload: 300 lb
- Hydraulic disc brakes
Class 1 ebikes are supposed to be lightweight, nimble, and fun to ride, which is all applicable to Trek FX+ 2.
This modern and well-equipped class 1 ebike weighs just 40 lb, has a 40 Nm rear hub motor, and a 35-mile range provided by a 250 Wh battery. Optionally, you can attach another 250 Wh range extender and boost the range to 70 miles.
Other components include a 9-speed Shimano Altus rear derailleur and Shimano’s MT200 hydraulic disc brakes, both of which are expected from a big-name brand in this price range. They are entry-level but perform reliably and are quite durable.
Trek FX+ 2 also comes fully equipped for commuting and urban riding with fenders, a rear rack, a kickstand, and even front and rear lights.
All things considered, we can’t really find much fault with the FX+ 2. It’s a solid class 1 ebike with reliable components and excellent accessories.
3. Gazelle Ultimate T10 HMB
Range: Up to 70 mi | Battery: 500 Wh | Motor: Bosch Performance Line motor 65 Nm
- 10-speed Shimano Deore
- 28″ x 47mm tires
- Weight: 50.7 lb
- Hydraulic disc brakes
Gazelle Ultimate T10 HMB is a long-range electric bike optimized for comfort, ease of use, and smooth power on big rides.
To deliver unbeatable comfort, Gazelle designed this bike with upright riding geometry, a plush saddle, ergonomic grips, and wide tires to take that comfort and convenience to the next level.
- Full brand review: Gazelle Electric Bikes Review
The electronics on this bike are premium Bosch, starting with a 65 Nm mid-drive motor. This pairs with a 500Wh battery, delivering a high range of up to 70 miles and using a pedal force sensor, rotation sensor, and speed sensor.
Finally, this bike is fully equipped with LED lights, fenders, and a rear rack, as well as powerful hydraulic disc brakes, but also front suspension with 30 mm of travel.
4. Electra Townie Go! series
Price: from $1,550
- Range: up to 70mi
- Charge time: 3.5-5.5h
- Motor: 250W mid-drive
The Electro Townie GO! Series are class 1 electric cruiser bikes with affordable prices designed to be the perfect beach cruisers.
Both the 7D and the 5i come with a choice of step-over or step-through depending on your preference. No matter which you choose, the bike will be very comfortable as the upright, relaxed geometry, shock-absorbent 2.35″ balloon tires, and soft touchpoints smooth out any ride.
The 5i has a slight edge in the electronics, with a 250W mid-drive motor, Shimano Nexus internally geared hub, and 400Wh battery combination providing 70 smooth miles of range. The 7D relies on a less efficient 250W direct drive motor and 309Wh battery for up to 50 miles of range.
Notably, both models have Flat Foot technology which allows you to keep a foot flat on the ground while sitting and pedal in an optimal position. Finally, the 5i has improved hydraulic disc brakes as well as fenders and integrated lights, unlike the 7D.
Best Class 1 E-Mountain Bikes
5. Cannondale Moterra Neo 4
Travel: 150 mm | Battery: 630 Wh | Motor: 250W 85Nm
- 12-speed SRAM SX Eagle, 11-50T
- RockShox Recon RL Silver fork
- RockShox Deluxe Select R shock
- Maxxis Rekon 29 x 2.6″ tires
- TRP Slate G4 4-Piston hydraulic disc brakes
The Cannondale Moterra Neo 4 is a full-suspension Class 1 mountain e-bike built for extreme performance up and down the mountain.
The electronics on this bike are Shimano’s STEPS EP8. The premium mid-drive motor has smooth, torque-sensing output with 250W of power. This is supported by a huge 630Wh battery which provides plenty of range when used with the wide gearing of a 12-speed SX Eagle drivetrain.
- Featured in: Best Electric Mountain Bikes in 2023
The frame material is Cannondale’s SmartForm C2 aluminum, built with modern trail geometry for better handling. The suspension used is exceptionally smooth-rolling over rocky trails with plush 150mm front and rear travel from RockShox’s Recon RL Silver fork and Deluxe Select R shock.
Additionally, you also have wide 2.6″ Maxxis Rekon tires to boost handling, as well as confidence-inspiring 4-piston hydraulic brakes.
All of this makes Cannondale Moterra Neo 4 one of the best electric off-road bikes you can buy.
6. Marin Alpine Trail E
Battery: 504Wh | Motor: Shimano EP6 | Max speed: 20 mph
- 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain
- X-Fusion Trace 36 RC, 160mm fork
- X-Fusion 02 Pro RXC, 150mm rear shock
- 29″ x 2.5″ and 27.5″ x 2.8″ tires
- TRP Slate Evo 4-Piston hydraulic disc brakes, 203mm rotors
The Marin Alpine Trail E is one of the best enduro e-MTBs on the market, with solid individual components packed onto a high-end aluminum frame with refined MultiTrac suspension.
This Marin Class 1 e-bike is a trail-ready full-suspension model which delivers all-around performance up and downhill.
It’s powered by a Shimano EP6 motor and Deore 10-speed drivetrain combined with a large 504Wh battery. Together, they offer precise shifting and immediate power output on the trails.
Finally, the rims are tubeless-ready and wrapped in Vee Tire Co Attack and Crown Gem tires. Also, let’s not forget about the 160mm/150mm of travel provided by reliable X-Fusion suspension front and rear.
7. Norco Sight VLT A1
Battery: 450Wh – 900Wh | Groupset: Shimano SLX M7100 12-Speed | Motor: Shimano STEPS EP8
- 12-speed Shimano SLX drivetrain
- Fox Rhythm Float 36, 160mm Travel fork
- Fox Float X2 Performance Elite shock
- Maxxis Assegai 29×2.5″ tires
- Shimano MT520 4-Piston Hydraulic Disc brakes, 203mm rotor
The Norco Sight VLT A1 is another full-suspension trail e-bike with premium quality throughout and great trail performance.
The power on this bike comes from a smooth Shimano STEPS EP8 mid-drive motor and a choice between a 450 Wh, 720 Wh, or 900 Wh battery that’s sold separately. To maximize the range, you have a Shimano SLX 12-speed drivetrain with reliably precise shifting.
The modern aluminum frame comes with a FOX suspension in the front (160mm) and back (150mm). This combines with slack, low geometry to suit an aggressive trail riding style.
Finally, powerful Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, tubeless-ready 2.5″ tires, and a TranzX dropper post ensure you feel confident and in control at all times.
Best Class 1 Electric Road Bikes
8. BMC Roadmachine AMP Two
Range: 87 mi | Charge time: N/A | Motor: Mahle X20, 55 nm of Torque
- SRAM RIVAL eTap AXS
- Premium Carbon frame
- Vittoria Rubino Pro 30 mm tires
- SRAM Rival eTap AXS Hydraulic disc brakes
Feel like a pro with the BMC Roadmachine electric road bike. This high-level model is made for passionate cyclists who want the backup of premium electronics.
The frame used is made from carbon fiber which maximizes stiffness and reduces vibration fatigue. The electronics include a punchy Mahle X20, 55 Nm motor and a 350 Wh battery.
The stock battery provides up to 87 miles of range when combined with the efficient 12-speed SRAM RIVAL eTap AXS drivetrain and 30 mm tires.
Additionally, you have tubeless-ready XRD-522 wheels and SRAM Rival eTap AXS hydraulic disc brakes.
9. Cannondale Topstone Neo SL 2
Battery: 250 Wh | Motor: Mahle ebikemotion X35 250W
- Shimano GRX 400, Shadow RD+ 10-speed
- Shimano GRX hydraulic disc
- Aluminum frame and carbon fork
- WTB Resolute Comp, 700c x 42 mm, tubeless-ready tires
The Cannondale Topstone Neo SL 2 is a stylish and versatile e-gravel bike with great components and a powerful yet lightweight drive system.
For this bike, Cannondale has chosen an Ebikemotion X35 motor and battery. The motor is a 250W rear hub-drive model which is just powerful enough in terms of performance and keeps the weight down. The battery has 250 Wh and provides large ranges. Finally, you have Shimano’s ever-reliable GRX 400 groupset.
The Topstone Neo SL 2 has an aluminum frame with a seamlessly integrated battery and motor, high tire clearance for 42+ mm tires, and tubeless-ready rims all combining to make this bike smooth and comfortable with great traction to match.
Other notable components of the Cannondale Topstone Neo SL 2 are the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and plenty of mounts for bags and accessories.
10. State Bicycle Co. 6061 Ebike Commuter
Battery: 360 Wh li-ion | Motor: 250W rear hub-drive
- Single-speed drivetrain
- 160 mm mechanical disc brakes
- Aluminum frame and fork
- 700c x 40 mm Kenda tires
The State Bicycle Co. 6061 eBike is a class 1 model that combines a sleek all-black design and modern technology to deliver a high-end commuter road bike that helps you make short work of city rides.
The 6061 ebike is decently light for an e-bike in this price range, with a total weight of just 38 lb. This is due to the combination of a lightweight brushless rear hub motor and a minimalistic approach to the design and accessories.
A single-speed drivetrain pairs perfectly with the rear-hub 250W motor and 360Wh battery. On top of that, mechanical disc brakes and 40 mm Kenda tires ensure speed and traction at max assisted speeds of 20 mph.
Class 1 vs Class 2 vs Class 3 eBikes
Class 1, 2, and 3 electric bikes differ slightly in their build and limitations.
- Class 1 bikes are not fully electric, don’t have a throttle, and rely on pedaling in order to activate the motor. The motor stops assisting at 20mph, meaning these bikes have greater ranges than classes 2 and 3
- Class 2 models have a throttle, this means they can be used as fully electric bikes without pedaling. They also have a top speed of 20mph at which the motor stops assisting the rider
- Class 3 e-bikes may or may not have a throttle, have max speeds of 28mph and have the most legal restrictions such as age limit and helmet requirements
The restrictions on the three Ebike classes differ depending on where you live. For more information on your state’s laws, see PeopleForBikes.org.
How fast are Class 1 e-Bikes?
Class 1 electric bikes are limited to 20mph when using the pedal-assist mode. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t go faster than that. You absolutely can.
However, you will have to do so using the power of your legs, as the motor shuts down after you reach 20 mph.
Is 20 mph enough speed for an e-Bike?
Yes. An assisted speed of 20mph is plenty for any rider to get maximum enjoyment from their bike. Remember, this is just the assisted speed, so you can reach higher speeds by using the pedals once the motor stops giving assistance.
What is the typical range of Class 1 e-Bikes?
There are many factors that contribute to this including the level of components, bike weight, rider weight, and riding conditions. However, from our reviews of dozens of Class 1 bikes, the average range is about 50 miles.
What is the age limit for Class 1 e-Bike?
In most states, there is no age limit for class 1 e-bikes. Although, there are 10 states where there is some kind of age limit for e-bikes.
|State||E-Bike Age Limit|
Do you need a helmet to ride Class 1 e-Bike?
Although it is strongly recommended to wear an electric bicycle helmet, only in 2 states it is mandatory for everyone.
Next, here are the states where people under the specific age must wear a helmet when riding class 1 eBike:
|Louisiana||New York||Rhode Island||Alabama||New Jersey||California||South Carolina|
In the rest of the states wearing a helmet is not required, although you should still do it.