2015 BESV Panther PS1 Review


Technical Specs & Ratings



Panther PS1


Class 1


Full Suspension



Hydraulic Disc



237.6 Wh

237.6 Wh

37.2 lbs / 16.89 kgs




Propalm PRO-1950EP1 Ergonomic



VELO VL-1200U D2

MARWI SP-600 Aluminum Alloy Platform

Hydraulic Disc

Tektro Auriga E-Sub Hydraulic Disc with 160 mm Rotors and Integrated Motor Cutoff

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

The BESV Panther PS1 is a compact urban commuter style electric bike. It’s beautiful to look at with tight aluminum fenders, a carbon fiber body and polished white, cyber yellow or blazing red paint… Personally, I think they could have named it the Couger PS1 because young men will certainly be attracted to any ladies seen cruising this thing around ;) Sure, guys can ride it just fine but I think the finer sex will appreciate its mid-step frame design and light weight build the most. And they will likely benefit the most from the smaller, more efficient, motor size since they tend to be lighter than guys. I really appreciated the front and rear suspension when ride testing because smaller wheels (like the 20″ used here) can feel abrasive going over bumps and cracks given their low attack angle. Thankfully, in addition to the suspension the Panther also comes with premium Schwalbe Big Apple balloon tires which are extra wide for even more cushion.

Powering the BESV PS1 is a modest 250 watt geared hub motor that’s located in the rear wheel. You can hardly see it given the seven speed Shimano Altus cassette and 160 mm disc brake rotor on either side. And that’s not a bad thing… this bike is very stealth looking, and quiet. If you’re actually riding around in the Big Apple then that’s a good thing because ebikes aren’t allowed in certain areas. You could always turn the assist down to zero and pedal to comply with regulations but it’s nice to blend in anyway and avoid being hassled. That’s something this ebike does that very well. And if you are running on human power only, the upgraded six speed cassette offers a nice cadence range for climbing hills or hitting higher speeds.

The Battery pack powering the motor, LCD display and LED lights here offers 36 volts of power and 6.6 amp hours of capacity. That’s below average for most of the ebikes I’ve reviewed but this thing is much lighter so that helps to extend its range. Also, the slick tires and pedal assist only Class 1 setup help to make this more of an energy sipper. You should get 20 to 30 miles depending on which drive mode you use and since the battery is removable you can just bring it up to the office for a quick charge in under 5 hours effectively doubling your daily range. The chemistry used here is Lithium-ion which is known for being light weight, durable and long lasting. Given the two year motor and battery warranty offered by BESV you should be in good shape for hundreds of full charge cycles but the best way to make sure is to top it off whenever it gets below half (and every few months if you haven’t ridden). Also, be sure to store it in a neutral temperature environment because extreme heat and cold can be harmful to Lithium cells.

One of the big highlights on this electric bike is the extra large backlit LCD display panel mounted front and center on the handlebars. It’s extremely easy to read and shows your battery level, distance traveled, speed and assist level. I love that they designed it to swivel easily (without the use of any tools) so you can eliminate any glare as you ride along throughout the day. Part of me wishes the display could be easily removed because sometimes I feel vulnerable leaving nice looking expensive stuff on my bike (what if a thief thinks it’s a tablet and tries to steal it?) but the thing is really bolted down well and if something really does happen, there’s a modular connection point so you could easily swap in a replacement. All of the wires run through the frame which looks great. Operating the bike is super easy, once you’ve activated the electronics by putting the key into the battery pack (like a car) the display turns on and then you use a remote button pad to arrow up or down through assist levels. The pad is attached near the left grip and is easy to reach without taking your left hand off. That’s important if you’re riding through traffic and need to keep an eye on the road but also need to shut off assist. At any time, you can also cut power to the motor by pulling either one of the brake levers.

The BESV Panther PS1 is a unique bike, niche even… but it does a lot of things right. To me it signals mass adoption of electric bikes because more professionals are considering them as an alternative means of transportation. This is an electric bike that will fit into elevators, easily lift onto busses or subways, slip through traffic and blend in on roads, paths or sidewalks. It’s a bike that feels comfortable over bumps, is safe at night or in the rain and its easy to operate. The torque sensing pedal assist mechanism is smooth and predictable but it doesn’t go quite as fast as other full-sized models I’ve tested (the Panther hits 17 mph while the legal top speed for ebikes in the US is 20 mph). For me, that speed felt fine given the smaller wheels. You pay extra for the premium look, hydraulic disc brakes and custom features on this bike but it’s really easy to appreciate.


  • Unique, approachable frame that’s relatively low (easy to mount and stand over) and very light weight at ~37 pounds
  • Available in three bright colors, the large display looks amazing, the grips, button pad and fenders are all premium
  • The carbon fiber elements of the frame reduce weight but also absorb vibration better than a pure aluminum frame would
  • While the front suspension fork doesn’t have lockout, it also doesn’t have much travel so you’re not losing much efficiency to “bobbing” and when you pair the front and rear suspensions together they really smooth out the ride which is great considering smaller wheels tend to ride rougher and feel more jarring over bumps and cracks
  • Oversized tires contain more air which adds some cushion but they run with flatter tread that’s also efficient, the reflective sidewalls are great for safety
  • Modular disconnects on the display panel and button pad up front (in case you need to repair or replace) all wires are run through the frame and look great
  • The large display panel is backlit, very easy to read and has a built in swivel so you can avoid glare while commuting at dawn and dusk
  • Battery is removable for convenient charging in the office or at home without taking the entire bike inside, pack locks to frame and key activates the bike
  • Metal pedals are stiff and offer great traction even when wet, front chain ring has an aluminum bash guard to protect the chain ring, front light adjusts up and down for improved usability


  • Only available in one frame size at 18.5 inches but the seat post, seat and bars are adjustable to fit a range of riders
  • Relatively expensive considering the use of a smaller 250 watt motor but they don’t skimp on the custom carbon fiber frame, hydraulic brakes and large display panel
  • No water bottle cage or rear rack mounting points, if you use this for commuting you might have to wear a backpack or carry a purse (there are some beam-racks you could add on the seat post like this)
  • The beautiful, large display panel is not removable so it might take more damage at bike racks or in the weather

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