The charge city review | Best Electric Bikes 2021
To take with: The Charge City is a well-equipped Class 2 electric bike that can get you where you need to go with the help of a Bafang Hub Drive motor or you can just hit the throttle and skip the pedaling.
- Fenders, headlights and a rear rack are all pre-installed.
- Large 700 x 40 tires and an upright riding position ensure a very smooth ride.
- The price is hard to beat.
Charge City E-Bike
Style: Electric commuter bike class 2
Equipment: 6061 aluminum frame
Wheel size: 700c
Fork: 1-1 / 8 steel fork
Transmission: Shimano Altus 7 speed
Cranks: Square alloy cone
Plateau : 38 teeth
Rear cassette: 14-34 teeth, 7 speed
Brakes: Promax cable actuated disc brakes, 160mm F&R rotors
Wheels: (F) Loose ball bearing hub, quick release, 32 hole / (R) Loose ball bearing hub, quick release, 36 hole
Tires: Goodyear Transit Tour 700 x 40
Saddle: Load Comfort Tour, 180mm wide
Saddle stem : 6061 aluminum seat post
Handlebar: Aluminum 6061, width 680mm, rise 60mm, clamp 31.8
Stem: 90 mm +7 degrees of elevation
Weight: 45 pounds
One of the cheapest e-bikes we tested, the City de Charge is a cleverly equipped commuter. This Class 2 electric bike has a hub motor, five levels of pedaling assistance and a throttle. The City also comes with fenders, rear rack, and running lights; which are all nice additions at this price. Anyone with space issues will appreciate the folding pedals and space-saving handlebar function (a flip of a lever at the stem rotates the bars 90 degrees for a compact profile). The Charge City is available with low pitch or standard frame variants and comes in three pleasant colors: red, blue and silver (the low pitch model is also available in turquoise.
The City is surprisingly dynamic on the road compared to many other city-style e-bikes I’ve ridden recently. This is likely due to the fact that, weighing around 45 pounds, the City is 10 to 25 pounds lighter than many other e-bikes in its class. The City drastically reduces weight (and price) by forgoing any type of suspension. But, thanks to Goodyear 700 x 40c tires, a plush saddle, and ergonomic grips, there was still plenty of built-in comfort. It is not as comprehensive as some of its much more expensive competitors in the urban e-bike arena (which typically use larger capacity batteries and more powerful motors). However, the City still manages to be a practical and easy-going city bike.
The Charge City is similar to many other commuter, city, and hybrid bikes on the market. When I think of those categories, the City is more or less the bike I imagine in my head. It has an upright riding position, raised handlebars with comfortable grips, lights, fenders and a rear rack, all essential and practical accessories for any utility city bike. Combining this formula with a Bafang hub drive motor – which delivers 45Nm of torque – and a 418 watt-hour battery expands the city’s appeal for all types of riders.
Charge chose to make the City a Class 2 electric bike, which means that its motor assistance is still limited to 20 mph, like a Class 1 electric bike. Unlike a Class 1 electric bike, which is assisted only. by pedal, the Charge City class 2 has an accelerator switch. This means all you have to do is roll the City down the street, hit the gas, and go pedaling as little as you want. Typically, I’m not a big fan of throttle controls on e-bikes. Butterflies can often be overpowered and poorly designed; this is not a problem with the City. You can’t, for example, accidentally activate the throttle while standing still, which in your personal experience can quickly send a very heavy bike off your hands and into a bad situation.
On other throttle e-bikes, I often find the throttle a bit redundant. With the combination of pedal assist and the wide gear range, I never had a problem getting the bike to its pedal assisted speed limit. This is not the case with the Charge City.
The Charge City is one of the only e-bikes I’ve ridden that’s genuinely under-equipped. I would go so far as to say that this is the City’s main flaw. The speed range on the City reaches 38×14 teeth. On a traditional unassisted bike this might not be a big deal, but it’s just too low for an e-bike. I struggled to level the bike using only pedal assist and was completely twisted even on the smoothest descents.
Due to the limited speed range, the throttle became the only way to fully utilize the city’s 20 mph speed limit.
Gear aside, the City was a fun bike to ride. At 45 pounds, it’s not exactly light, but it seemed a lot easier to maneuver the City compared to other bikes in the same class (which sometimes weigh 20 pounds heavier). With most of the City’s weight concentrated around the hub motor at the rear of the bike, the front was quite crisp, with a quick turn that gave the City a sporty driving feel.
Other highlights of the City include the long list of accessories preinstalled on the bike, including full fenders, front and rear lights, and a rear rack. The ability to turn the bars and fold the pedals to maximize storage space is a pretty cool feature. I found the fenders particularly clever as they included a way to adjust their height without tools. This is probably not a feature that will be used a lot in the long run, but I still appreciate it because there is nothing more annoying than a mudguard that rubs when you don’t have the tools under it. hand to fix it.
Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of the Charge City is its price tag: $ 1,699. But, Charge didn’t get there without some aggressive cost-cutting measures on the bike’s specs. The 7-speed transmission, while inconvenient for its limited range, triggered gear changes easily and efficiently.
However, I was disappointed with Charge’s choice of cable-actuated disc brakes. On a 45-pound bike with a throttle, strong, fade-resistant brakes are a must. While Promax disc calipers performed reasonably well, they fell far short of the stopping power offered even by entry-level fully hydraulic disc brake systems. This is a corner that I would have liked not to cut, even if it increased the price a bit. If you regularly descend long, steep hills or carry heavier loads on your bike, you may want to consider modernize the city with hydraulic brakes.
Charge offers the City with either a standard frame or a low pitch frame. The standard frame comes in two sizes, a small (recommended by Charge for riders 5’1 “to 5’9”) or a large (recommended for riders 5’10 “to 6’3”), while that the low frame only exists in one size (recommended from 5’1 “to 6 ‘). With upright city bikes like this, the limited size range is usually not an issue. But , I urge riders at either end of the height spectrum to look for a test ride. While Charge is a direct-to-consumer brand, they do offer test at some retailers.
The Charge City offers an attractive combination of price, features and functions. While there are better city e-bikes out there, many cost over $ 1,000 more than the city. While Charge has cut a few corners to offer a cheaper bike, it still has all the right ingredients for everyday use. Many people will appreciate the ability to propel themselves at the touch of an accelerator. Whether or not this is something you want from a bike is an individual decision, but we all benefit from the fact that more people are choosing to ride a bike.
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