Electric bikes may be the hot new technology of the pandemic, but bikes have been around for ages. That’s why I looked forward to the idea of testing an e-bike that combines some of the best names in the bike industry with modern electric bike technology in one clean package that’s optimized for city life.
The Charge City comes from the makers of the renowned bike brands Cannondale and Schwinn and has been specially formulated to make it the ideal choice for city commuters. Right out of the box, the Charge City is efficient with the easiest installation of any electric bike I’ve seen. To assemble the bike, all you have to do is attach the front tire, twist the handlebars straight and depress the pedals. Rear tires, saddle, pedals and more are already pre-assembled in the box so that the bike can be started up in a few minutes.
Goodyear puncture-proof tires are designed to roll efficiently around town while keeping weight down with a total weight of just 45 pounds including battery.
The handlebar is mounted on a quick-release swivel system with which it can be rotated 90 degrees by simply pulling a lever and turning the handlebar. In combination with a pair of folding pedals, this allows the entire bike to be stowed flat. The collapsible design and light weight make it a great choice for city dwellers looking for something to store behind a door or on a wall.
For a city bike, we found the Charge City to perform extremely well on the flat in the city. The 250 watt motor is a compact, efficient package to add a bit more speed and range to the bike. A smaller motor means less weight in everyday life and at the same time absorbs electrons more efficiently than larger motors.
The disadvantage is that the smaller motor can only deliver 250 watts of power on average. That’s fine for cities, but don’t expect it to revolutionize hilly driving or maintain high speeds for long distances. That’s just not what it’s meant for. On our test track, the city held up well for most of the drive, but understandably had difficulty carrying my oversized masses up the steeper sections.
In our tests, we have consistently found the Charge City to provide around 20 miles of range before it is completely exhausted, which we have achieved on several occasions. I would expect this to be a bit more range on shallow rides or lighter riders, but it’s a simple feature of the smaller 418 Wh battery. It was scaled down to optimize the overall package for city driving and mobility, and that’s fine.
In city conditions and shorter distances, the bike is almost perfect for achieving top performance. Its narrow tires roll efficiently through the city and the integrated front and rear lights make it perfect for supporting the daily commute to work.
Our test device came in the bright blue color, which is simply stunning. Paired with the creative graphics, the City in blue stands out from the sea of black and white bikes on the straps. The City came with a set of tire pressure gauges that matched the Goodyear tires the bike was fitted with. This makes it easy to determine whether the tire pressure has been used up without having to pull a pump to check it. A quick look will tell you whether they are above the nominal pressure – in this case 60 psi – or not.
Overall, the Charge City is a fantastic lightweight e-bike package that is good for city riders. Its ability to fold flat and ride efficiently on its high quality, puncture-proof Goodyear tires is a unique feature set.
The smaller battery and motor are good for city driving, where shallower heights and shorter trips are common. These translate into an extremely light, high quality bike that makes it a great option for apartment residents. The included luggage rack, mudguards and integrated lighting provide commuters with useful functionality that makes it easy to simply strap the groceries onto your back, add a cute basket for the dog and get on the bike regardless of the conditions outside.
Technical data of the Charge City e-bike
- Range: Rated up to 80 miles per charge (we got 20 miles per charge on hilly terrain)
- engine: 250 watt rear hub motor with 45 Nm torque
- Help: Pedal assistance & left thumb throttle
- battery: 418 Wh battery with Samsung cells
- Weight: 45 pounds
- lighting: Integrated LED lighting at the front and rear
- Max. Driver weight: 300 pounds
- colour: Blue or silver
- price: $ 1,699