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Review: Serial 1 Mosh CTY e-bike is an urban commuter dream

Serial 1 provided a Mosh CTY review bike to me so I could commute from my hotel in downtown Los Angeles a mile or so south to the Los Angeles Auto Show this week.

But I used it to attend the USC Football game a few miles to the south, dinners/events in various parts of the city, and just generally get around instead of Uber or renting a car.

So, how’d it perform?

Note: Harley/Serial 1 is having a $1000 off Black Friday sale on all of its ebikes

Serial 1 Mosh CTY specs

The Mosh is a Class 1 electric bike powered by a specially-tuned Brose motor and 529Wh battery that is connected to the rear wheel with Gates belt drive. There are no gears on this bike or gear shifters, which make the bike look extremely clean. There’s also no throttle, meaning when the bike gets near 20mph your leg cadence is getting blurry.

The CTY Mosh looks like a heavy throwback to the original Harley Serial 1 line with its huge wheels, battery/motor combo, and oversized everything. But at 48lbs, the aluminum frame keeps it light while maintaining the 280lb(128kg) rider weight limit.

Serial 1 says that the e-bike will give you between 35 and 115 miles of range, which means just about anything. For what it’s worth, I drove the whole week without needing to charge and had no issues, so that 35 mile low end seems very plausible. There’s no speedometer or odometer, so all my measurements are here estimates but I rode around 45 city miles for the week and had a solid one bar out of four left.

Serial 1’s overwhelming goal here is simplicity. There’s no display or gears to think about. All the wiring is internally routed. The only controls are an LED-lit power gauge up and down arrows and light switch on the left handlebar. You’ll likely stay at max assist, but there are four levels starting with no assist, which is actually nice when cruising through crowded areas like near the LA Coliseum on game day below:


I’m a huge fan of internal belt-driven Brose motors because they are quiet, vibration-free, and the power curve is subtle yet torquey. My daily e-bike driver is still a Brose-driven 2017 Raleigh Redux IE, which is so smooth I often forget that I’m using an e-bike (never mind that I’m cruising 20mph up a hill). The Mosh CTY is somehow even better with an upgraded battery and a smooth, maintenance-free Gates belt drive. The lightweight, mid-mounted Brose S MAG motor features a brushless internal rotor and produces 90Nm/66 ft. lb. torque, perfect for beating cars off the line or getting up serious hills without a granny gear. From a start and at the low end, there is nothing this bike can’t do.

The motor and battery are both located at the bottom of the bike, which gives this thing a much lower center of gravity than a typical e-bike, and that’s noticeable in maneuverability and high-speed turns. It handles like a much svelter commuter.

Instead of watching me ride through city streets, have a look at this guy with more skills:

Lights, wheels, rims, and brakes

You’ve got huge Schwalbe Super Moto-X 27.5 x 2.8-inch road wheels combined with 27.5 x 35mm alloy rims and Sapim stainless steel spokes. Those big boy wheels are the only suspension you’ll get since this is a rigid fork/hardtail configuration. SimpliCTY!

Stopping power is provided by hydraulic two-piston disc brakes front and rear and 203mm x 1.8mm rotors. Everything here is a little over spec. 180mm brakes are the standard on this sized bike, and those wheels are significantly beefier than your typical commuter.

Maybe most impressive is the lighting, which isn’t just a beacon but a Roxim high beam that actually illuminates the road in front of you. If that wasn’t enough, there is an illuminated Serial 1 signature headtube light that looks dope and lets everyone know you are on something special. On the rear, you have two illuminated red lights (better than one) though they don’t act as turn signals. They do brighten when decelerating, not just when braking, and will turn into hazard lighting when the bike is on its side.

Pedals? Have a look at these metal beasts. No shoes, no service hippy:

Charging the Serial 1 Mosh CTY

Charging the 529Wh battery is very straightforward. You can charge it through the downtube on the bike or directly to the battery if you take it out and into your home or office. Charge times are 0-100% in 4.75 hours, or 0-75% in 2.6 hours. There’s the typical red charging indicator on the charger, which turns green when it is done or no longer charging. The charger is pretty big but fits into a backpack if you want to bring it along for big rides. I do wish there was a more standard charging plug option so that you could hook up a solar charger or car charger to this without an inverter. USB-C PD?

Electrek’s take

I’ll get the worst part out of the way first: This e-bike isn’t for me.

The Class 1, 20mph speed limit is a non-starter for me – which is a shame because I love love LOVE just about everything else about this bike. It is super easy to jump on and off of, riding is a dream, components are top shelf, and what’s not to love about accelerating as fast as cars off the line? Braking is strong and controlled (though my fresh brakes did make a little too much noise) and bright lighting makes it super safe. The huge wheels take bumps like a champ and hills are easy peasy.

Other nitpicks: The lights are great but I would like to see some more reflective and bright colors here – reflective wheel sidewalls for instance would go a long way. This thing is basically a matte black stealth bike that avoids detection which is great for sneaking around but also cars can’t see you. Also the brakes and the coasting clicks are quite loud. The price at $3800 is kinda steep but at the $1000 off Black Friday price is easily justifiable with this quality of build and components.

And of course, right when the ride is about to get interesting, I’d start jonesing for more speed and more power. There’s no gear to move you beyond 20mph, and even if you can get the pedaling up that high, the motor stops assisting you.

I’m fully aware that my suburban drives and need for 28mph speed aren’t every use case. For city dwellers or those content below 20mph, this is going to be an incredible bike option. This bike is so much fun, and I felt like a man among men until 20mph.

In a perfect world, I would absolutely upgrade to the Class 3 Rush CTY Speed with an upgraded 706Wh battery and Enviolo AUTOMATiQ intelligent auto-shifting CVT hub. I can’t imagine what I’d have to complain about with that bike.

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Avatar for Seth Weintraub Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites. Tesla Model 3, X and Chevy Bolt owner…5 ebikes and counting