- A premium step-thru utility bike with extra-wide 4.25" fat tires. Sturdy chromoly steel frame and fork deliver vibration dampening and create a smooth organic feel. Support tubing at the front and middle of the frame reduce flex and allow for up to 400lbs of total weight capacity (65lbs on rear rack, 45lbs on optional front rack). Quality Shimano hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent stopping power without much hand effort.
- Large comfortable cruiser saddle, upright riser handlebar, and matching ergonomic grips with lockers feel secure and steady. Despite its smaller size, the RemiDemi can accommodate riders between 5'1" and 6'1" in height. Shimano Sora derailleur and 155mm crank arms were both chosen to increase ground clearance for the lower compact frame.
- Custom plastic fenders with extra support arms look amazing and don't rattle or buzz when riding off-road (two ribs below the fenders reduce flex). Premium Herrmans integrated lights run off of the main battery pack (headlight is aimable, rear light has two LEDs). Integrated Rear rack has swappable interface mounts for a wide range of custom accessories (works with Racktime and Yepp! Easyfit by default).
- Fat tires and chromoly frame increases the weight of this ebike (65.3lbs without any accessories). It comes with the smallest Bosch battery pack, the PowerPack 400 vs. 500, and the slower Bosch compact charger. While fairly comfortable on flats and gravel, this ebike does not come with a suspension fork or seat post.
To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I regularly charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This in-depth review was not sponsored by Benno or Cit-E-Cycles Electric Bike Shop. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Benno products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comment section below, and the Benno electric bike forums.
- Benno Beanziger is a renowned bicycle designer who founded Electra Bicycles in 1993 and created the Townie, America’s most popular cruiser bicycle. Electra was later sold to Trek Bicycle Company, where Benno stayed on for a time. He started Benno Bikes, an all-electric bike company, in 2015 because he saw how pedal assist could change the way a bike was used and thus how it was designed. He coined the term “etility” and says that his products blend riding, good looks, and cargo capability to offer something special.
- The RemiDemi was conceived in 2019 after Benno found success with the Boost, a versatile midtail cargo electric bike. Initially, this new shorter fat-tire product had no name… Benno chose RemiDemi because it means “childlike playfulness” or “ruckus” which captures the untraditional playfulness of the bike. Benno is Swiss, but he grew up in Germany and “remi-demi” is a term he grew up hearing.
- The Benno RemiDemi is available in one frame size, four premium colors with ED double-coating, and is sold through select shops throughout North America. The large 4.25″ wide fat tires and chromoly steel frame offer vibration dampening and stability. This is an incredibly approachable electric bicycle with low standover height and low minimum saddle height. The company says that it will accommodate riders 5’1″ to 6’1″ in height.
- Compared to some of the other minibike utility bikes like Super 73, the Juiced Bikes Scrambler, the RIZE Blade, or even the Rad Power Bikes RadRunner, the Benno RemiDemi uses more premium parts and the seating is much more ergonomic because it’s adjustable up and down. The saddle can even slide forward and back or be replaced with a different style to fit your body better.
- This electric bike comes in three beautiful unique colors vs. black and white only. The paint was done in two layers and includes a UV and clearcoat to protect the chromoloy steel frame from rust. I love how the fork matches the main frame and there are no raised ridges from the decals. I also appreciate that two colors are light and fun (perhaps appealing to women) and two are dark and professional or masculine (perhaps appealing to men).
- Whether you’re riding for fun or commuting daily, the bike comes with everything you need including sturdy fenders, premium integrated lights, and a rear rack that’s Yepp! Maxi Easyfit compatible right out of the box. Benno will be introducing more racks in the coming months, probably similar to the child surround and padded seat that they offer for the Benno Boost model.
- The three front basket options are very sturdy, offering up to 65lbs of carrying capacity! That’s way above average, and it’s made possible by the head tube mounting design. Notice that the headlight still works and won’t be blocked because it’s mounted far out on the fender.
- Lots of attachment points for accessories here, notice the two very reachable bottle cage bosses at the middle of the frame (on the seat tube and downtube). The rear chainstays, rear rack, and headtube also have mounting points for custom Benno-made add-ons.
- I love that Benno chose a rear light with two LEDs to keep you extra visible. The rear light sticks out a bit and can be seen from multiple angles. The headlight is similar with a top-cut beam (to avoid blinding oncoming traffic) and side windows that increase the visual footprint of the bike.
- The bike frame feels sturdy, I didn’t experience any frame flex while riding. This is impressive given the deep step-thru design. It’s rare to to have an approachable frame with fat tires that’s also snappy and responsive. Notice how motor and battery weight are kept low and centered on the frame. This improves handling, maximizes cargo space, and protects the battery pack.
- Although the tire pressure details did not provide a range, just recommended 35 PSI, they can probably be deflated a bit to add comfort, provide float for soft terrain, and they felt very stable for me when riding with no hands. Fat tires are less likely to slip into cracks or train tracks the way that traditional tires can, so they feel extra safe to many riders.
- Excellent motor choice, the 3rd generation Bosch Performance Line mid-drive is compact, lightweight at just 7.05lbs, uses a full sized chainring that cycles backwards (improving the ease of drivetrain maintenance), does not suffer from reduction gearing drag like Gen 2, and still offers shift detection and dynamic pedal assist measuring pedal speed, pedal torque, and rear wheel speed over 1,000 times per second!
- Compared to the more powerful Bosch Performance Line CX, Speed, Cargo, and Cargo Speed motor options, the standard 3rd generation Performance Line motor used here is very quiet. The older 2nd gen motor made a lot more noise, so this is a welcome improvement!
- I love that the Bosch PowerPack batteries are so lightweight compared to the newer internally-mounted Bosch PowerTube battery packs. They have a built-in handle for lifting and carrying securely, are very proven in terms of reliability, and Bosch only uses high-quality cells inside. You can take this battery off the bike easily and charge it inside near a charging port, or chart it while mounted to the bike. Keep in mind that extreme cold will stunt the range of the bike and extreme heat will actually damage the Lithium-ion cells in the battery… try to store it in a cool, dry location and keep it at 50%+ when not in use for long periods.
- Benno added an aluminum alloy chainring guard to protect pant legs and dress ends from snagging and getting dirty on the chain. He could have used a second inner plate to act as a guide, but instead chose a narrow-wide chainring that really grabs the chain instead. This reduces drops and makes the drivetrain feel very tight and responsive.
- Having a 9-speed cassette with 11-32 teeth is pretty good for a minibike like this. Many of the competing products only have seven speeds, which means fewer options for pedal speed comfort. The Shimano Sora derailleur comes from the road bike line and is one step up from basic. It was chosen because the derailleur hanger is short and won’t contact the ground as easily (since the bike frame is lower due to the 20″ wheel size).
- I really like the touch points. Benno branded extra wide Velo comfort saddle, Benno branded rubber ergonomic grips with inner lock rings so they won’t spin, extra large aluminum alloy pedals with smooth beveled rectangular nubs that balance traction with safety if you slip off (they won’t cut you as easily as sharp pins). Note also the black rims, spokes, seat post, stem, and handlebar. Nice job matching!
- Outstanding job with the kickstand here! The stock one-sided stand is positioned just far enough back that it does not cause pedal lock when backing the bike up. Furthermore, the stand offers adjustable length and feels very steady, even with the heavier bike and racks. For those who want even more support, Benno sells an optional double-leg center stand! This is perfect for people who really want to load the bike or have kids and need extra stability.
- It seems like this ebike appeals to women because it feels stable and looks fun. Karen, from the New Wheel bike shop in San Francisco seemed genuinely excited about it during an interview with Benno Beanziger. It’s neat to see a product that captures the vintage style of a Vespa scooter with the clean quiet technology of electric assist. Considering that the majority of visitors to the EBR YouTube channel are guys (according to Google Analytics), it’s cool that girls like this ebike ;)
- The bottom bracket is a bit wider here because this is a fat bike, so that pushes the cranks and pedals out a bit. Additionally, the crank arms are a bit shorter than average at 155mm vs. 170mm to increase ground clearance. This results in a different ride feel than full sized city electric bikes. Pedal rotation is a bit faster and your legs are a a bit wider, which fits well with the extra wide comfort saddle.
- The fat tires are your primary source of comfort here because there’s no suspension fork or suspension seatpost included with this ebike. Yes, the steel frame dampens vibration and the saddle and ergonomic grips are great too. The upright body position improves comfort for my back and neck, but if you really want to smooth things out, consider getting a 30.9mm suspension seatpost like one of these.
- With its steel frame, fat tires, fenders, lights, and premium touchpoints, the RemiDemi is a heavy electric bike at roughly 65.3lbs. Compared to the aluminum alloy Benno Boost, which only weighs 57lbs, this ebike can be more difficult to lift and service. Thankfully, the 5.5lb battery pack is easy to remove, which makes the bike a little bit lighter.
- I found the RemiDemi difficult to mount on my Küat Sherpa 2.0 hitch mounted bike rack because of its extra wide tires, smaller 20″ wide wheels, and low frame tubing. It did work, but I was extra careful not to crush the front fender, and I had to use two bungee cords to secure the frame. Consider using a crossbar adapter like this if you have a hang style rack or just need a better grab point for a retractable design like mine.
- Considering the price point, how heavy the bike is, and the increased drag of fat tires vs. skinny, I was surprised that the Benno RemiDemi does not come with the higher capacity Bosch PowerPack 500! That battery pack is cross compatible with the interface here, so you could always upgrade later (or borrow that pack from a friend). The bike still gets good range and has a wide 9-speed drivetrain for comfortable pedaling unassisted, I just felt like the bigger battery was justified.
- Adding to my gripes about the battery pack is a minor complaint that Benno used the smaller 2 amp portable charger vs. the standard Bosch 4 amp charger. Sure, the portable compact charger is less expensive and lighter weight. You probably don’t need it as much given the smaller PowerPack 400 battery, it’s just not as fast.
- This is a little thing, but the Shimano Acera trigger shifter uses a one-way high lever that requires your index finger to pull vs. a two-way lever that could be actuated by your thumb. I like to always use my thumbs for shifting so I can keep my index finger on the brake lever at all times for control.
- Benno is using name brand parts on this ebike, including the ABUS locking core for the Bosch PowerPack battery, but he chose the more basic key that does not come with the Plus keycode for getting locks and other keyed-alike accessories. This means you’ll likely have two keys for the bike… one for the battery and one for a lock.
- Another minor consideration, the bike is only available in one frame size. Now, it fits a wide range of riders 5’1″ to 6’1″ but taller people might feel a little squished in terms of reach. I felt great on the bike as a 5’9″ individual, and noticed the extra spacers and adjustability of the handlebar for optimizing reach.
- The Bosch Purion is my least favorite display from Bosch… but it’s still better than average. This display does not offer USB charging and does not include readouts such as avg. speed, max. speed, or trip time. The LCD is a bit smaller, it’s not compatible with Bosch Smartphone Apps, and the + and – buttons aren’t as responsive as some other designs. It’s a good choice for simplicity and space savings on a relaxed neighborhood bike like the RemiDemi, and Bosch now offers the fancier Kiox and Nyon as retrofit upgrades.
- As much as I like the 3rd generation Bosch Performance Line motor because it offers 120 RPM pedal support, has a full sized chainring, and offers up to 65nm of torque… I noticed that there’s some resistance when pedaling backwards that causes a clunk feeling when I stop pedaling. This is especially noticeable when I’m in a high level of assist, getting lots of support, then rest my legs for a moment. The pedals push into my feet for a moment vs. just stopping smoothly. perhaps this goes away as the bike is ridden more over time?
- Neither wheel offers quick release or uses fancy thru-axles. Benno opted for standard 10mm threaded axles that are built into the hubs because they could fit the custom 190mm rear hub spacing easier while keeping the price down. It’s not that big of a deal, just different and a bit less robust and versatile than a custom thru-axle design might have been.
- Benno designs amazing accessories, but not all of the rear rack options were available yet at the time of this review. I’m excited to see what they will offer but want to acknowledge that the front racks and bags all cost extra and are priced higher (like the bike) since this is a more premium build. In general, this is a more expensive premium experience all around.