Pedego City Commuter Review

2015 Pedego City Commuter Electric Bike Review 1
2015 Pedego City Commuter
2015 Pedego City Commuter 500 Watt Geared Dapu Hub Motor
2015 Pedego City Commuter Locking Removable Lithium Battery Pack
2015 Pedego City Commuter Gull Wing Handlebar And Lcd Display
2015 Pedego City Commuter Twist Throttle Padded Grips
2015 Pedego City Commuter Tool Free Adjustable Angle Stem
2015 Pedego City Commuter Full Length Aluminum Fenders Mudflaps
2015 Pedego City Commuter Matching Aluminum Chain Guard
2015 Pedego City Commuter Oversized Kickstand
2015 Pedego City Commuter Oversized Padded Saddle Bumpeers Suspension Post
2015 Pedego City Commuter Battery On Off And Fuse
2015 Pedego City Commuter 7 Speed Shimano Acera
2015 Pedego City Commuter Electric Bike Review 1
2015 Pedego City Commuter
2015 Pedego City Commuter 500 Watt Geared Dapu Hub Motor
2015 Pedego City Commuter Locking Removable Lithium Battery Pack
2015 Pedego City Commuter Gull Wing Handlebar And Lcd Display
2015 Pedego City Commuter Twist Throttle Padded Grips
2015 Pedego City Commuter Tool Free Adjustable Angle Stem
2015 Pedego City Commuter Full Length Aluminum Fenders Mudflaps
2015 Pedego City Commuter Matching Aluminum Chain Guard
2015 Pedego City Commuter Oversized Kickstand
2015 Pedego City Commuter Oversized Padded Saddle Bumpeers Suspension Post
2015 Pedego City Commuter Battery On Off And Fuse
2015 Pedego City Commuter 7 Speed Shimano Acera

Summary

  • A sturdy and powerful electric bike that's a bit more active than the cruisers (more forward body position, narrower handlebars) and is available in several frame sizes for improved fit
  • Lots of great extras including full length aluminum fenders, chain guard, puncture resistant tires with reflective sidewalls, suspension seat post, integrated lights and a sleek bell
  • Responsive pedal assist with throttle override, large capable disc brakes, solid warranty, rear heavy design

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Pedego

Model:

City Commuter

Price:

$2,595 USD (Up to $3,295)

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive, 3 Year Limited

Availability:

United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Europe

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

60 lbs (27.21 kg)

Battery Weight:

7 lbs (3.17 kg) (9 Lbs for 48 V 15 Ah)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

14.5 in (36.83 cm)16 in (40.64 cm)17 in (43.18 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Small 14.5" (43.5" Axle to Axle), Medium 16" (44" Axle to Axle), Large 17" (47" Axle to Axle)

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, High-Step

Frame Colors:

Black, White, Steel Blue, Taupe

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Acera M360, 12-32T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Tourney FT55 SIS Index Shifter on Right Bar

Cranks:

175 mm 3-Piece Aluminum Alloy, 46 Tooth Chainring

Pedals:

Pedego Aluminum Alloy Platform

Stem:

Tool-Free Adjustable Angle

Handlebar:

27" Aluminum Alloy, Gull Wing Style

Brake Details:

Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Tektro Levers with Motor Inhibitor

Grips:

Padded, Stitched

Saddle:

Padded, Oversized

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy with Basic Suspension

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Spokes:

12 Gauge Stainless Steel

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Fat Frank, Balloon, 28" x 2"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewall, Puncture Protection

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve, Pre-Slimed

Accessories:

Integrated Spanninga MICRO FF LED Headlight and LED Backlight, Integrated Bell on Left Brake Lever, Matching Full-Length Aluminum Alloy Fenders with Mud Flaps, Matching Aluminum Alloy Chain Guard, Integrated Carry Rack with Spring Latch, Oversized Kickstand

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, Replaceable Fuse on Battery Pack, Tool-Free Quick Adjust on Brake Calipers (Red Twist Disc)

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Dapu

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

48 volts (Optional 36 V)

Battery Amp Hours:

15 ah (Optional 10 Ah)

Battery Watt Hours:

720 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Estimated Max Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Display Type:

Fixed, Backlit LCD on Left Bar

Readouts:

Current Speed, Ride Time, Odometer, Trip Distance, Pedal Assist Level (0-5), Battery Power

Display Accessories:

USB Charge Outlet

Drive Mode:

Twist Throttle, Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist (12 Magnet Pedelec Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The City Commuter has long been a favorite ebike model for me, especially from the Pedego lineup. It’s comfortable but more active than some of the cruisers they sell with a shorter handlebar and lighter frame. In recent years they’ve improved the way the throttle works (letting you override pedal assist) and introduced a smaller size playfully referred to as the “Mini Commuter” for petite riders. This new version has a shorter frame that also sits lower to the ground thanks to 26″ wheels vs. the standard 700c ~28″ available on both the standard high-step and step-thru models. Pedego still offers the professional black and white color schemes but now has a metallic blue (that sort of changes color when the light hits it) as well as metallic taupe that looks handsome. On the positive side, the City Commuter is feature rich with integrated LED lights, full length fenders, a chain guard, puncture resistant tires and an integrated rack but there are some trade offs. The bike is rear heavy and the saddle isn’t as comfortable to pedal on as it is to just sit on. I love the seat post suspension, padded grips and adjustable angle stem and appreciate the warranty (which is comprehensive for the first year and then pro-rates the cost of a replacement battery for two additional years). The other neat thing about this ebike is the battery choice options which let you maximize range and power or save some money and reduce the overall weight of the bike.

Driving this bike is a 500 watt planetary geared hub motor that’s made by Dapu (the same company that Easy Motion uses for many of their electric bikes). It’s one of the zippier, more powerful geared motors I’ve tested and on the City Commuter it delivers a lot of strength for overcoming wind or climbing moderate hills. It does produce some whirring noise, especially under full power, but that hasn’t bothered me as much as some other models and almost feels satisfying because the bike rides more like a moped. This is an important point… even though the bike offers seven speeds to pedal with and is one of the most active rides (ergonomically speaking) in the Pedego lineup, it is still heavier and less comfortable to pedal with than some other electric bicycles I’ve tested. For this reason, the more powerful motor, cadence sensing pedal assist, twist-type throttle and louder operation feel right. This is a great bike for cruising around the neighborhood or commuting short distances without over exerting yourself. It’s one of the best options for throttle-only operation that I’ve tested.

Powering the motor, the backlit LCD display and the front and rear LED lights is a beautiful Lithium-ion battery pack that uses high quality Lithium-ion cells from Samsung. The pack is available in four configurations with either 36 or 48 volts of power and either 10 or 15 amp hours of capacity. Basically, the larger the pack, the more you pay and the more it will weigh! A question I hear a lot about these battery sizes is “should I buy the 36 volt 15 amp hour or the 48 volt 10 amp hour?” and the answer is that it depends on the weight you intend to move. If you weigh (or plan to have a maximum load) over 180 lbs, I believe it is more efficient to go with the 48 volt system so that the motor will get full power and operate at optimal efficiency. Still, if you’re getting one of the smaller sized bikes and don’t weigh a lot then the 36 volt packs should perform just fine. Whichever configuration you choose, the pack offers some great conveniences like being able to charge on or off the frame, having an integrated replaceable fuse and offering a toggle on/off switch to reduce phantom draw while storing. The on/off switch can actually be annoying at times given that you have to click it before the display will turn on and this may require dismounting the bike after you just hopped on… basically, it’s a second step that you should really take every time you get on or off of the bike. It will help deter tampering with the display while you’re not at your bike for example. I like that the pack features an LED charge level indicator (great for checking status when it’s not on the bike) and that it locks to the frame. You are not required to leave the key in while riding which is actually a big deal because panniers may otherwise collide with the key and bend it (I recommend taking them out in this case especially). The big drawback to this battery is now it’s mounted to the frame (high and towards the back). With weight ranging from eight to nine pounds, it can create a bit of a “crack the whip” feel with aggressive riding and makes transport and parking less stable. Thankfully, the oversized kickstand works great.

Operating the e-bike systems is pretty easy on the City Commuter. Once the battery is charged, mounted and locked to the rear rack you press the toggle on/off there and then again on the display panel. I like the LCD unit that Pedego is using now because it combines the LCD unit with four interface buttons that are large and reachable while riding. It swivels up and down but is not easily removable which means that it could take more weather wear over time. Using the “Set” button you can see your trip distance, time and odometer and access a bunch of different settings if you hold “Set” for a few seconds. I was able to change from Miles to Kilometers, edit the wheel size and adjust the top speed (which defaults at 20 mph). The other two buttons are “Up” and “Down” which let you navigate through five levels of pedal assist and a zero “throttle mode”. The lowest assist level felt smooth and quite which would be perfect for navigating crowds or conserving battery while the highest felt exciting and powerful. At any time you can twist the throttle and override assist and this is handy for boosting up a hill or getting started from rest. The bike uses a cadence sensor to activate pedal assist which means that once the bike is up to speed you really don’t have to push to get the motor to help out (which is the case with torque sensors). The drawback to cadence sensors is that starting from zero requires all rider power because the motor hasn’t “woken up” yet and this can be a pain if you’re in a higher gear. Again, this is where the twist throttle override comes in super handy. I found myself riding in level two or three assist and gear level six most frequently and I did use the throttle regularly :)

At the end of the day, the City Commuter still honors the relaxed cruiser style that Pedego is known for (large saddle, powerful motor, twist throttle) but offers a slightly more aggressive body position with narrower handle bars that are responsive and easier to fit through doors. When it first launched, this was one of the only models that offered integrated lights and fenders but Pedego has since added them to all of the others as well. I like the adjustable stem, sleek integrated bell, modern diamond frame (vs. the cantilever curved style on the cruisers) and all of the sizing and color options here. I have had great success actually commuting with one of the older City Commuter models and while it can sometimes feel stiff and bouncy at speed (especially if your tires are extra full) the seat post suspension shock, padded saddle and grips really help. The spring latch on the rack isn’t incredibly useful but there are lots of ways to mount your own bag or panniers. If you like the style then this ebike could be a great choice because of the solid warranty and excellent dealer network that is now global. Pedego electric bikes are also commonly used as rentals and tend to hold up well. If you get the chance to rent one for a fun tourist ride it could help you choose between this or one of the more relaxed cruiser designs.

Pros:

  • Neat integrated USB charging port built right into the LCD display panel mounted to the left bar, charge your portable electronics while riding
  • The swept back handlebars, padded grips, oversized saddle with suspension seat post and large balloon tires help to smooth out bumps for a more comfortable ride
  • Available in four frame sizes with two wheel sizes and two frame styles for a truly comfortable fit (smaller wheels bring the frame closer to the ground, step-thru frame is easier to mount and stand over)
  • Integrated LED lights and backlit display are powered by the main battery pack so you don’t need to worry about purchasing additional cells or having them run out independently
  • Several professional and fun color schemes to choose from including the classic black and white or a metallic blue and taupe
  • Nice safety extras including the integrated bell, lights, reflectors and reflective sidewall stripe painted on the tires
  • Very zippy and powerful ride (especially with the 48 volt battery which is recommended if you plan to transport 180lbs or more in rider weight or rider+gear)
  • Variable speed twist throttle can be used in level zero as “throttle only mode” or override one of the five levels of assist offering full power
  • Rear rack surrounds and protects the battery and is useful for adding a trunk bag or panniers (I like the Elements from Basil)
  • The battery locks to the frame for security but is removable for convenient charging and to reduce the overall weight of the bike during transport
  • Integrated motor inhibitors cut power immediately when activated, oversized 180 mm disc brakes are smooth and powerful
  • Threaded eyelets are included on each model (even the smallest!) so you can mount a portable pump, folding lock or water bottle cage

Cons:

  • The battery pack must be activated independently from the LCD display, this might deter tampering but requires extra time and may be forgotten (leaving the battery pack on to drain slowly)
  • Rear heavy design with the hub motor and battery pack mounted at the back of the bike, the battery is also fairly high and the rack weighs more because it is reinforced
  • The padded saddle is a bit wide and for active riders may not feel as comfortable, on long rides my inner thighs have felt a bit tender
  • Tubing on the rear rack is wider and thicker than I see on most standardized racks which means it may not work with some clip-on panniers
  • Chain guard looks nice and is functional but may be bent easily if kicked or stepped on, be extra careful on the step-thru models

Resources:

More Pedego Reviews

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Comments (19) YouTube Comments

Luis
3 years ago

So quick question, can you remove the display? If you cant easily do it is it at least possible with a bit of work? Thanks

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hi Luis, I don’t think the display is designed to come off easily… maybe with a screw driver or hex wrench you could actually unscrew it and use the disconnect point to take it inside (which probably wouldn’t be that difficult) but it’s not like a quick slide on/off like the Easy Motion design. If you live where the weather is an issue (like lots of rain) maybe put a plastic sack over it with a rubber band to keep water out?

  Reply
Luis
3 years ago

Ok, great! Thank you Court.

  Reply
Michael Rhodes
3 years ago

Thanks for a great review. I just bought a City Commuter 28 inch 48V / 10. Will pick it up next week. I had a total knee replacement on my left knee and wanted to be able to ride again, but with the added benefit of the motor should the knee start to hit its limits – to make sure I can get back home. The added assist should be very helpful. One thing I haven’t seen in any of the reviews is how the e-bike performs if the motor is turned totally off and you must peddle full force to get back home should the battery run out or something happens. Guess I will find out next week, as I wanted to have a good feel for what its like to peddle without any assistance. Your reviews are very helpful since you cover a wide range of features, and include riding the bike. I like the hill section and the bike seemed to perform really well. Thanks again, your reviews really helped me come to a decision despite not taking an actual ride before purchase.

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hey Michael! Great suggestion… I don’t usually perform an unpowered ride test because my knees are also sensitive, it’s how I got into ebikes actually ;) one thing that is listed here for each review is the bicycle weight. Most are heavy ~50lbs and it’s not fun to pedal them unless you’re in a lower gear to make it easy. Pedal assist is a wonderful feature on bikes like the City Commuter because it almost makes the bike perform like a light weight normal bicycle and then if you need extra help for a hill just twist that throttle! Not all of the electric bikes I’ve tested have throttles but the City Commuter does and in my opinion it’s a great bike! Hope it works well for you, feel free to comment with an update once you’ve tested it out.

  Reply
Michael Rhodes
3 years ago

Court, I picked up the City Commuter today from Irvine and am very impressed with it. With power off, I could peddle it, but not without some difficulty. Didn’t appear to be any resistance from the motor, but simply the weight as you noted. But even when only at “Assist Level 1” I was able to peddle just fine, and of course moving to 2 or above was very little effort at all. Amazed at the hill climbing. Now that I have used the Throttle – I couldn’t imagine not having that feature. The bike is very well made, bigger than I was expecting, and of course heavier. About the only complaint I have, is that for $3K I would have expected a better light. I added a 320 lumens USB rechargeable light which solved the problem for $24. But still, Pedego could have included a more powerful light for very little more. The integrated taillight and fender mounted lights are nice, just not bright enough for me and lack a strobe feature. Other than that, the bike is making me smile.

Sue Smith
2 years ago

I am keen to purchase a Pedego city community since riding my friend’s city commuter in NZ. Is there a store in Sydney that sells them. I went to Sydney Electric Bikes but they do not stock Pedego

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hmm… I’m not sure Sue? I believe Pedego has been expanding globally and they have a special “dealer locator map” on their website here. Looks like there might be a Pedego dealer in Sydney according to this other map that seems to list more points. Hope this helps! Wish I could be more concrete :)

  Reply
Michael M
2 years ago

I bought my City Commuter last week and I have to say I am very impressed. It rides more like a moped than a bike, which I love as I use it to commute the 10 miles each way to work and back home. I purchased the 36V/15amp battery and have yet to see an end to its charge on an outing. I spent an entire Sunday just driving along the beaches (Siesta Key Fl) and ultimately put 25 miles on it. Great bike.

My question is at what point do I take it in to have it serviced and tweaked after the breaking in period i.e. spoke tightening and other adjustments to the components? I’m am pretty much clueless with ebikes let alone bikes in general. Also, if I were to upgrade to the 48V/10amp battery, would I really get that much increase in acceleration/torque? I’m pretty lightweight ~150lbs. Thanks Court!

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Michael! Sounds like the standard 36 volt 15 amp hour battery is working well for you… 15ah is actually above average compared to most ebikes I test. You might feel some torque improvement with a 48 volt battery but I’m not sure you can make that upgrade because it requires a different controller and even motor in some cases… can’t say for sure. Batteries are expensive so if you’re doing well with the 36v option just stick with it ;)

As for tuneups, it really depends on the riding conditions you encounter like water, mud and even how you ride like how much braking is happening and whether you shift gears a lot and know to ease off pedaling when shifting so the sprockets and chain don’t get beat up. For me, it’s usually time for a tune when I hear the bike making scratchy or clinking noises as I pedal… the chain probably needs to be lubed in that case and maybe the frame cleaned. I also pay attention to my brake levers and if they are being squeezed way down I try to tighten the cables using the twist wheel on the calipers but eventually new pads are a requirement as well. Tightening spokes isn’t something I do or hear about very often but yes, sometimes the wheel needs to be trued if the bike tips or is being transported in a car on its side. Being proactive about tuneups could make the bike last longer and honestly, the shop should be able to give you feedback about this so if you just stop by and ask (or ask the place you bought it from) about what they recommend that could be a great place to start :)

  Reply
Jennifer C.
2 years ago

Hi Court – thanks for the in-depth reviews! I’m considering buying one of these Pedego Commuters, and I actually asked the same question as Michael about upgrading to a 48V battery, and the dealer told me that the whole bike is wired for either 36V or 48V, so you can’t just switch from one to another.
Keep up the good work!

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Thanks for chiming in Jennifer! That’s my understanding as well, the bike is either setup for 36 volt or 48 volt and that’s it… so you can upgrade on capacity of amp hours but just not voltage which is more of a power thing.

  Reply
Mike
2 years ago

I weigh about 275 and am 6′ tall. Any thoughts or suggestions?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Mike! I really like the Pedego Interceptor for heavier, larger riders because it can have many of the same features as the Commuter here (lights, fenders) but provides a more upright, relaxed layout and you can even get cast rims vs. spokes which hold up better under weight. I also feel like it fits taller riders better without stretching them forward and in my experience the frame just isn’t as stiff which makes it feel smoother.

  Reply
Kirk
2 years ago

Thanks for a great and thorough review. Do you have any idea what the replacement cost is for the battery? Thanks again.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Kirk! Thanks, glad the review helped you out. I believe the replacement costs for Pedego batteries varies depending on which size you get ie. 36 volt or 48 volt and the number of amp hours but it might be in the range of $700 just based on what I’ve heard from shops and seen online. I’d love to hear back from you if you figure out a more detailed answer?

  Reply
Mark
1 year ago

Hi Court, Wondering if you might be planning to refresh this review of the City Commuter since it was first reviewed over 2 years ago. I’m currently comparing it to the Magnum Metro (and the Metro +) and have benefited greatly from your fantastically detailed recent review of the Metro). Thanks for all you do (including those YouTube videos!)
– Mark

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Court
1 year ago

Hi Mark! Yes, I try to update every model each year… but it has become a bit too much to keep up with, Pedego is an important company and I do plan on visiting their headquarters in Fountain Valley, California again later this year or early next. Thanks for the feedback and support :)

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