Class 1 eBike Guide

January 1 hits, we all have the best intentions. You’ve laid out your list, you’re going to get your life together, those dishes aren’t going to pile up in the sink, those 10 pounds are going to melt right off. Cut to January 15th, last night’s dishes are still in the sink and you’ve actually gained a pound.

It’s not your fault, you had great goals in mind, you just bit off more than you could chew at once. Starting a new habit, getting into a new passion, these things are journeys and best taken one step at a time.

Alright, so what does this have to do with electric bikes? What a great question! E-bikes are a lot like New Year’s Resolutions: starting off slowly will produce the best results. In this instance, starting off with class 1 electric bikes will help you learn the world of e-bikes and open you up to more success in your new hobby.

What are electric bike classes?

Don’t worry, there’s no syllabus to learn here.

A “class” in the e-bike world refers to the level of pedal assist ability your electric motor has. The United States breaks electric bikes into three classifications, and each motor is a bit different. Before deciding, you may want to test out our distance calculator to have a better understanding of how much power you’re looking for.

Here’s a quick rundown of the three e-bike classes:

Class 1 

These motors are most commonly known as pedal assist bikes, and they’re the most popular ebike motor in the US.  Class 2 electric bikes  have a motor that provides assistance to the rider when pedaling, and the motor has a max assisted speed of 20 MPH. Class 1 ebikes also have their power output maximized at 750 watts.

Class 2

Similar to the class 1 motor, a class 2 motor also provides assistance to a rider while pedaling. The difference, however, is a class 2 motor can also be engaged while the rider isn’t pedaling. This low speed electric bicycle can reach up to 20 MPH without pedal assist, so it’s more suited for a leisurely road ride than a challenging mountain path.

Class 3

Also known as a speed pedelec, a class 3 ebike has a speed limit of 28 MPH and its electric motor provides assistance while the rider is pedaling or without pedal assistance. The maximum power output is still 750 Wh, but class 3 electric bikes are designed for more speed and more power. Riders must wear a helmet when driving a class 3 electric bike, and there are other specific safety regulations similar to a motorcycle.

And check out our Class 4 electric bike reviews.


Advantages of Class 1 Electric Bikes

Each and every electric bike class has its own advantages. Here’s some of our top reasons to pick up a Class 1 electric bike.


Flat out, Class 1 electric bikes are probably the cheapest you’ll find on the market. And in this sense, “cheap” doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Some of my favorite electric bicycles I’ve ever ridden were considered low on the budget side (talking less than $900). It’s all about knowing what you need in an  electric bicycle and finding the right fit for your use. 


While a class 3 e-bike might be able to get you to a destination faster, I guarantee most class 1 bikes will give you a wider range of travel. The motors aren’t designed to put out buttloads of power (yes, that’s a technical term) but they are built to provide pedal assistance for longer stretches of road. That goes double when paired with an excellent battery, or even better a dual-battery system. 


An electric bike’s classification just refers to its motor, it has nothing to do with the frame. That means a class 1 electric bicycle can come in all shapes and sizes. Mountain bikes, cruisers, road bikes, even easily-portable folding bikes. You’re sure to find a class 1 e-bike that suits your specific style and needs. 


We’re not saying branding is everything. I’ve had some excellent rides on off-brand bikes, and terrible rides on some top-of-the-line options. But, in general, when you see certain brands in the components you know you’re getting a quality product. Shimano, Bosch, Bafang; high-level bike makers keep coming back to these brands because of their quality products. 

Alright, we’ve kept you waiting long enough, let’s get into the list.

GRB’s Top Class 1 Electric Bikes of 2024

1. Wing Bikes Freedom X

Weight: 39 lbs
Motor: 36V/550W Bafang or Wing custom with 55Nm of torque
Battery: Panasonic cells
Range: 60 miles
Frame: Lightweight Aluminum, Smooth Welding AL-ALLOY 6061
Max Speed: 20 MPH
Price: $1,600

The Freedom X from Wing Bikes does exactly what the name says: provides the rider freedom. This beautiful E-bike comes fastened with a bunch of bells and whistles, particularly for the price point. Built in head and tail lights, a custom theft defense system with a unique lock and alarm, and the same Panasonic battery cells they use in Tesla vehicles. The Freedom X is definitely worth a ride.

2. QuietKat Ranger

Weight: 65 lbs
Motor: 1000W hub drive motor
Battery: 48V battery with 768Wh
Range: 48 miles
Frame: Alloy frame with internal cable routing and integrated rack
Max Speed: 20 MPH
Price: $3,000

Take all notions of a class 1 e-bike not being “powerful” and throw them out the window. The QuietKat Ranger is one incredibly rugged electric bike, built to handle any obstacle put in front of it. In fact, with its 325 lb load capacity, you can just tow away any obstacles you come across then continue on your nice and smooth ride.

3. Cannondale Topstone Neo SL 2

Weight: 32 lbs
Motor: Mahle X35+ 250W
Battery: Mahle X35, 250Wh
Range: 47 miles
Frame: SmartForm C2 Alloy, 135mm bolt-on drop out, tapered headtube, flat mount disc, multiple gear/bottle mounts
Max Speed: 20 MPH
Price: $3,625

The name “Topstone” is quite literal when it comes to the Cannondale Topstone NEO SL 2. This bike thrives on gravel and over rugged, almost sandy terrain. If it could eat gravel, this bike most surely would get its fill going over a trail or roads that others might not make it through as easily. Get off the beaten path and chase some horizons with this gorgeous and versatile electric bike.

4. Lectric eBikes XPremium

Weight: 75 lbs
Motor: 500W (800W Peak) mid-drive motor with 18 amp controller
Battery: Dual 48V battery system
Range: 100 miles
Frame: Foldable frame with rear rack
Max Speed: 28 MPH
Price: $2,000

This might be the most do-it-all bike we have on the list. For starters, the XPremium from Lectric can operate as a Class 1, 2, or 3 e-bike, and its dual-battery battery system ingeniously drains from both 48V batteries at once, giving you up to 100 miles of pedal assist range. The XPremium is foldable and can be easily stored, it’s got a rear rack that can hold up to 55 pounds of cargo, and it has integrated safety lights on the front and rear. Honestly, what more could you want out of an electric bike?

5. Vvolt Sirius

Weight: 75 lbs
Motor: MPF mid-drive motor, 650W peak
Battery: 375Wh standard
Range: 40 miles
Frame: Cruiser frame with 100mm suspension fork
Max Speed: 26 MPH
Price: $2,400

The Vvolt Sirius is a very versatile bike, built to handle both a daily commute and an off-road adventure. The smooth motor-assist system can give you a boost handling potholes or a gravel path, and you can switch the mid-drive motor to a class 3 controller, allowing you to hit up to 26 MPH with motor assistance.

6. Tern Vektron S10

Weight: 48.7 lbs
Motor: Bosch Performance, 300% Assist, 65 Nm Torque
Battery: Bosch PowerPack 400 Wh
Range: 68 miles
Frame: Tern Vektron, hydroformed 7005-AL, OCL+ joint, 3 patented technologies
Max Speed: 20 MPH
Price: $3,700

A truly unique standout in the electric bike world, the Tern Vektron S10 is made to please nearly every rider. Its frame is based on incredibly strict European safety standards for pedal assist e-bikes, and it can comfortably fit riders from 4 foot-10 inches to 6-5. You can also fold it down to take on a bus or the subway, and it has an incredible Bosch Performance motor that can put out a ton of torque to get you up steep hills or across rugged terrain.

7. Orbea Rise H20

Weight: 35 lbs
Motor: Shimano EP600-RS
Battery: Orbea Internal 540Wh
Range: 65 miles
Frame: Orbea Rise Hydro 140mm travel 29″ Boost 12×148
Max Speed: 20 MPH
Price: $6,000

This beautiful bike was built for the mountainside. If the Orbea Rise H20 had a spirit animal, it’d be a mountain goat. The reactive handling comes down to a perfect balance of inertia and frame rigidity, with the SBS system giving the frame a lighter yet stiffer feel that can be tuned, just like non-electric bikes.

Go Ride Bikes

If you’re looking for versatility and great options, you’re guaranteed to find a class 1 electric bike that’s right for you. They come in all shapes and sizes, whether you need a foldable cruiser meant for a bike lane or the best electric bike capable of hauling cargo through mud and gravel. The best way to find the right one for you is to get out and try one on for size!

Go Ride Bikes is our name, but it’s also our philosophy. We want to encourage everyone to get out and, well, go ride bikes. Explore the Go Ride Bikes electric bike reviews, read more of our informative blogs, and keep up with curated lists of the best ebike advancements from our experts.