2015 Benelli Classica Review


Technical Specs & Ratings





Class 2




Mechanical Rim



324 Wh

324 Wh

49 lbs / 22.25 kgs


Internal 1-1/8" Threaded

Zoom Adjustable Angle

Aluminum City Comfort, Swept 22 mm

GYES Leather G-311

ZOOM Aluminum SP-238


GYES Classic Dual Coil Adjustable Leather Spring Saddle GS-115

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy with Molded Plastic Body, Platform

Mechanical Rim

Front: Tektro 857 AL V Brake, Rear: Shimano Roller-Brake, Tektro Aluminum Levers with Integrated Motor Cutoff

More Details


2 Year Comprehensive

United States, Europe


18, 19

18" Stand Over Frame with 26" Wheelset and 19" Stand Over Frame with 700c Wheelset (Both Have 19" / 483 mm Seat tube, 24" / 610 mm *StepThru tube, 43" / 1090 mm Wheelbase)

White, Cream, Black

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Euro C-Lock Bosses

Front: Tektro 857 AL V Brake, Rear: Shimano Roller-Brake, Tektro Aluminum Levers with Integrated Motor Cutoff

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

The Benelli Classica is a beautiful, well put together electric bike that would be perfect for neighborhood or city cruising. It offers four levels of pedal assist, a trigger throttle mode, eight gears to choose from and a bunch of extras like fenders, lights and a carry rack all at a pretty good price. I was intrigued with the double grip shift system (eight speed gear changer on the right and four level pedal assist changer on the left). The cockpit is clean and the electrical systems just sort of blend in… and that includes the front-mounted hub motor and frame-mounted battery pack. I did have some issues with the way the battery clicked into the frame (it took a bit of extra finness) and I did drop the battery pack once while removing it for the video review and that was a big bummer. I think these are minor issues but wanted to point them out so you can avoid doing the same thing. The Classica electric bike comes in two very similar frame sizes with 18 inch seat tubes, the big difference is wheel size with one offering 26″ and another offering 700c ~28″. The standover height is slightly higher at ~19″ for the 700c model and those tires are a bit narrower which improves efficiency but isn’t quite as comfortable. Both models are easy to mount and come in white, cream or black with beautiful Guyes leather grips and saddle.

The motor powering the Benelli Classica is a front-mounted 350 watt internally geared hub by 8Fun. I like that it’s painted silver to match the battery pack and that it’s relatively small and light weight (being geared). Some larger motors add too much weight when mounted in the front wheel and that can impact steering but was not the case here. Usually I’d opt for a rear-mounted motor for improved traction and reduced strain on a suspension fork but this bike has a rigid fork and an internally geared Nexus hub in the rear so the motor almost balances it out. Given the flat, smooth terrain that most riders will be encountering with a bike like this, I’m sure it will perform just fine. The motor does make a whirring noise under power but isn’t especially loud. I noticed that while accelerating, if I hit cracks or bumps, the motor would sometimes cut out momentarily. This isn’t the kind of thing you’d want to take off-road or on excessively bumpy terrain. In general, it’s not super peppy or powerful… more smooth and efficient feeling with solid range in excess of 20 mph depending on rider weight and terrain. My favorite part about the drivetrain on this ebike isn’t the electric motor, it’s the internal gearing system. You can shift at standstill and should have fewer dropped chains thanks to an integrated guide on the front sprocket and a shorter, tighter chain. Internal gearing seems to stay true longer and is just cleaner and quieter overall.

Powering this electric bike is a very standard sized 36 volt 9 amp hour Lithium-ion battery pack… that’s packaged in a very deluxe style casing. I like how clean the battery looks, the fact that it can be charged on or off the frame and the low and even way it distributes the 5.3 lbs of weight housed inside. It is a locking design (the key slot is on the right side of the bike) but you don’t have to leave the key in while riding. I made the mistake of trying to film and remove the battery simultaneously and based on the leftward lean of the bike (while stabilized with the kickstand) the battery fell right out and hit the concrete, scratching the nice casing. When trying to put the battery back on the bike I found that it didn’t always click the first time and that it took a bit of extra pressure. For something that’s so delicate and expensive, I feel like the battery mounting design might have room for improvement. On the left side of the pack you can see a five LED level indicator which comes in handy if you store it inside and want to know whether it has been charged or not. You also have a charging slot and an on/off toggle switch concealed under a plastic flip cover. This is the first time I’ve seen a design like this and I like how professional it feels.

Once the pack is charged and mounted and the toggle switch is flicked to on you can activate the display LCD at the left grip. This is another unique and intelligently designed interface. First, you hold the magnetic key fob near the display to get it to activate, then you use a half-grip twister to select from four levels of assist. There is also a level zero here which keeps the display active like a cycle computer and lets you use the headlight (the rear light runs on its own batteries). You can enter walk mode by holding the twister forward and activate the lights by holding it down for a few seconds. While I like how clean the grip system is (and that it matches the right half-twist gear shifter), I found that it didn’t always respond on the first “twist”. Several times I flicked up or down but the assist level didn’t change and I had to try again and sort of look down at the tiny display to confirm my level. I found that it worked best when twisting more purposefully and holding for a half second. If this was more of a performance ebike intended for off-road or high speed use I’d make a bigger deal of this but on a neighborhood style electric bike it’s almost nice that the display is minimal and the systems blend in. This bike is actually very stealthy and would likely go undetected as an ebike in many situations.

I feel like the Benelli Classica is a refined and upgraded version of the generic mid-level ebikes I test so often. Many of those electric bikes sell for just a few hundred dollars less and come no where near the same level of comfort, balance and style seen here. The matching fenders and chain guard are awesome for rainy or wet days and while the rear rack uses slightly larger tubing (which may not work with all clip-on panniers) it feels sturdy and doesn’t have to support any battery weight. The bike is balanced and the cadence sensor is very responsive and well integrated. The reflective sidewall stripes on the tires contribute to an improved visual footprint along with the traditional reflectors on the wheels and pedals and LED lights. It’s comfortable to ride, comes with a generous two year warranty and utilizes proven components. I’m not a huge fan of roller brakes (as used on the rear wheel here) but for the application it’s just fine and the front v-brake is solid. This is the type of product you can get and not have to mess with or upgrade. It’s very capable and utilitarian but also visually pleasing… and I like that.


  • Internally geared hub protects shifting mechanisms and allows the chain to be shorter, lighter and tighter for fewer drops while riding (the front chainring even has a built in guide to keep the chain on track), you can also shift at standstill thanks to the Nexus hub
  • The unique patented TWISTSHIFT selector lets you keep your hands on the bars while riding and contributes to an overall clean cockpit
  • Beautiful overall aesthetic with three classic colors (white, cream and black), Guyes leather grips and saddle, matching aluminum alloy fenders and chain guard and LED lights (the rear light requires its own batteries which is a con)
  • Comfortable upright riding position, adjustable angle stem, swept back “gull wing” style handle bars and a nice sprung saddle to reduce bumps
  • Internally geared hub s
  • The LCD panel is sleek and small, you can change assist levels using the twist mechanism on the left without compromising your grip and I like the integrated bell and motor inhibitor brake levers, clean cockpit
  • The battery pack didn’t always click in securely when mounting to the frame, when un-mounting it I noticed that if you don’t hold the pack it can sometimes flop out and fall off of the bike


  • The tubing diameter on the rear carry rack is a bit larger than average which might not work with some clip-on panniers
  • The rear band brake or “drum brake” doesn’t offer as much stopping power as the front v-brake but it will stay cleaner and perform better in wet conditions
  • The grip twist for changing assist levels (and using walk mode) doesn’t always respond, I had to be more intentional to get it to change modes and often had to try twice
  • There is a low-speed walk mode on the bike (if you hold the twister on the left up) but there isn’t really a throttle only mode using the trigger throttle on the right, you have to be in one of the four pedal assist modes
  • I noticed that while under power, the motor would sometimes cut in and out as I traversed cracks and jolting bumps, in general it felt less powerful and fluid than some ebikes I’ve tested

Comments for 2015 Benelli Classica (38)

Post a Comment for 2015 Benelli Classica

Name and email are optional. Your email address will not be published.