REI has just launched two new models of e-bikes as part of its new “Generation e” line of electric bicycles. The new e-bikes were unveiled under REI’s Co-op Cycles bicycle line and are known as the Co-op Generation e1.1 and Generation e1.2 e-bikes.
Unlike REI’s last big e-bike unveil, the urban-centric Co-op CTY e2.1 and CTY e2.2, the new Generation e line is designed for utility riders.
That means smaller diameter 20″ wheels in a wider 2.4″ motorcycle-inspired tire, a low frame that is easy to mount, and a one-size-fits-most sizing doctrine.
The bikes also feature memory foam saddles, dual Y-style kickstands, and LED lighting in both the front and rear.
As REI’s general manager for cycle Nate Nielsen explained:
This e-bike line was designed to help make it easier for people to hop on and go. The frames and features give them approachability and versatility, whether you’re a new or seasoned rider, dressed in workout gear or jeans.
The bikes are outfitted with Shimano 7-speed drivetrains and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. In a nod to affordability, the e-bikes are powered by 350W Bafang hub motors instead of mid-drive motors like REI’s last big e-bike reveal.
The two models both reach a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h), but have other important differences.
The Generation e1.1 uses a 36V 11.6Ah battery rated for 30-40 miles of range (51-64 km), has a Suntour suspension fork, and includes and integrated rear rack.
The Generation e1.2 uses a 48V 14Ah battery rated for 40-50 miles of range (64-80 km), has a more cargo-optimized rigid fork and includes both a front and rear rack. Both models weigh 54 lb. (24.5 kg).
Both models are classified as Class 1 electric bikes, meaning they do not have a throttle and instead use pedal assist to provide motor support when the rider pedals. The motor support cuts out at 20 mph (32 km/h), meaning that riders can pedal faster but will be on their own at higher speeds without the assist of the motor.
Just kidding, sort of. I mean, the bike does share some Radrunner-esque design features, and looks like that bike had a baby with a VanMoof, but there’s some definite uniqueness here, too.
I’m a big fan of this type of small diameter wheel utility e-bike, and so I’m glad to see REI getting in the game. Plus it is hard to complain about the lower entry price, though considering the more entry-level model has a weaker 36V battery, I could have been happier with a couple hundred bucks cheaper on that model. Compared to something like a Tern though, these prices are practically rock bottom. But of course, these e-bikes don’t carry the same build quality or high-end parts as an expensive Tern.
As it is though, these are some nice entries into the utility e-bike space. Suspension and hydraulic brakes are both great upgrades over some other similar models that lack those parts, even if the 36V battery feels a bit anemic for an e-bike intended for light cargo duty.
What do you think of REI’s Co-op Cycles Generation e1.1 and Generation e1.2 electric bikes? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
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