- A single speed city cruiser electric bike available in two color schemes and four frame sizes. Includes a premium integrated headlight offering 900 lumens, and two integrated tail lights with accelerometer based bright mode for braking. BMX inspired decals, approachable sloped top tube, reinforcement bar and gusset for added strength.
- High volume Kenda or Schwalbe tires provide improved stability, vibration dampening, and overall comfort with a lower attack angle. Wide Boost hub spacing provides sturdy spoke bracing angle, and thick axles improve overall toughness and stiffness. Sapim spokes, Praxis crank arms, Wellgo BMX platform pedals.
- Comfortable saddle has an integrated handle at the rear for easy lifting. Wires and cables are routed through the handlebar, stem, and frame to reduce snags and improve the aesthetic. Speed sensor and magnet are hidden and protected at rear wheel. Unique SIM chip integration aids with security and supports GPS with Google maps integration.
- Chunky bottom bracket design keeps weight low but isn't as aesthetically pleasing. Charging port and locking cylinder positioned very low on the left side, in the path of the crank arm. After two years, a subscription is required to continue SIM chip use for tracking and security. May require proprietary fenders and rack vs. universal fit due to mounting points.
This review was provided for free using a demo bike. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Serial 1 products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the Serial 1 electric bike forums.
- The Serial 1 brand name is a reference to the first Harley Davidson motorbike called the Serial Number One, which was a pedal start moped. The brand is actually a Spinoff from Harley Davidson, which remains a stakeholder, and they operate independently. You can find Serial 1 ebikes being sold through many physical Harley Davidson dealers, over 120 independent ebike shops, or buy them direct online.
- Serial 1 has a special partnership with Google, using their Cloud AI, SIM chip, and mapping technology. This allows for accurate GPS mapping with street and bike path data, as well as security features like bike tracking and remote disable with flashing lights. The service is free for two years, then requires a service fee. You’ll need the Serial 1 smartphone app to fully utilize these features. Note that these features were not available on the 2021 models, and I was told that those older ebikes cannot be retrofitted. The best way to tell 2022 models and beyond is that they will have a USB-C cable at the stem.
- Priced at $3,799 USD, this is the most affordable stripped down Serial 1 electric bike model. It’s a single speed and doesn’t have fenders or racks like the RUSH/CTY Step-Thru that I covered here. It’s light, simple to operate, and comes in two colors and four frame sizes!
- While the bike comes standard with a 529 watt hour battery pack, it’s also compatible with their long range 706wh battery! The packs are modular, so you and a family member or friend could share the batteries and they would work on any of the five models that the company sells.
- The bike looks amazing, very professional and refined. Notice the premium colors and checkered flag accents. Wires and cables are almost completely hidden, routed through the handlebar, stem, and frame.
- Although it does not come with fender or racks, the mounting points are all there. I believe you could get some of these accessories from Serial 1 to install aftermarket if you wish. However, the mounting points are not industry standard… so you’ll probably need their parts to make it work. The bike may include reflective tires with puncture protection, there appears to be two suppliers (Kenda and Schwalbe) based on supply chain availaibility.
- The bike isn’t very heavy at 21.1kg 46.6lbs which makes it easier to lift and handle. Motor and battery weight is positioned lower and more centrally than a lot of the other ebikes I’ve tested. It’s sturdy, stable, and compliant.
- It’s easy to miss if you don’t know bicycle brands and parts, but the Praxis crank arms, Sapim spokes, tool-free adjustable kickstand, Wellgo platform pedals, and sealed saddle with integrated handle, are all upgrades that improve durability and ride quality.
- The Gates Carbon Drive belt is quieter, cleaner, and more durable than a traditional chain. The way it’s configured, the frame tubing and right chainstay act as a chain cover, protecting pant legs or dress ends from touching and snagging. Serial 1 was smart about their frame design, they designed it with a belt drive in mind so there’s no break in the frame to get it on, instead the rear dropouts hang lower than the seat stay.
- The headset has oversteer protection, so you can’t twist it all the way around and strain or break the cables that are routed inside! This is an awesome little touch that would be easy to miss.
- Apparently the entire frame and parts like the handlebar scale up, so it feels “right sized” at each level. This is fancier than a lot of the cheaper brands that only resize the frame itself.
- The motor is extremely quiet and smooth. It uses a Gates Carbon Drive belt inside, so there’s less whirring and buzzing than some competing products. It activates and rides smoothly too, because of the multiple sensors (rear wheel speed, pedal cadence, and pedal torque). Note the rear wheel sensor and magnet are tucked in near the disc brake rotor vs. using an exposed spoke magnet.
- Great TRP brakes with larger 203mm x 1.8mm rotors and standard dual piston calipers that provide leverage and cooling benefits. The adjustable reach levers will fit a wider range of hands, which pairs nicely with the four frame sizes.
- I appreciate that they mounted the headlight high and center on the stem/handlebar area. It seems to have a top cutoff so it won’t shine up into the eyes of oncoming cyclists and automobiles. It points where you steer and won’t be cut off by an aftermarket fender the way that lower positioned lights often are.
- In addition to the headlight, there’s also a “running light” head tube badge which increases your visual footprint. This badge is more visible from the sides than the headlight itself, which does not have side cutouts like some other lights I’ve seen.
- The button pad is easy to reach and understand, you don’t get as much feedback from the LED readouts as their fancier LCD displays… but the optional smartphone app brings a lot of detail if you are interested in it.
- The Google partnership for maps on the optional smartphone app means you get some of the best routing data, including bike paths and greenways. The remote locking and tracking system should increase your chances of recovering the bike if it gets stolen… and even noticing that it is moving when you aren’t there! I believe this tracking service is included for two years, but then requires a fee.
- The battery charger is great, offering higher speed 4 amp output, and the right angle plug won’t get snagged by the left crank arm when it’s plugged in. It’s also fairly compact and light, it seems very solid for the performance level.
- Serial 1 has a great warranty with two years comprehensive, five years on the frame, and since they have a wide range of products sharing similar parts (battery, fenders, racks, displays, chargers) I suspect they will have some longevity and repairability.
- To me, the frame looks a bit chunky at the bottom bracket area. Serial 1 designed a modular battery pack that sits lower on the frame, and I think this contributes to the aesthetic. In short, this line of ebikes isn’t as stealthy as some of the competing products I see… but the upside is that more weight is positioned low.
- Both the charging port and locking cylinder to release the battery are located low on the left side of the downtube, very close to the left crank arm. In my experience, they require more energy and flexibility to bend down and reach… and it’s easy to bump your head on the left handlebar when getting back up. I noticed the rubberized cover for the charge port can be a little tricky to line up and set.
- It appears that the only Serial 1 ebike model that includes bottle cage bosses is the SWITCH/MTN. I like having these mounting points to make it easy to bring fluids or mount a folding lock. Consider a handlebar cup holder or trunk bag with bottle holder as a workaround solution.
- Being a single speed bike, it can feel slow and difficult to start off from standstill or climb a steep hill… and then the cadence can feel a bit fast and uncomfortable once higher speed are reached. The ebike motor makes starting a lot easier, and the four assist levels help you maintain a comfortable cadence, but there’s still only one pedal gear. This is part of what reduces weight, cost, and makes the bike so simple to ride.
- The Brose LED Display Remote button pad is intuitive, and easy to reach, but the LED lights can be difficult to read at times. It seems like they are pointed at an angle, or just too small and hard to see in general. I’d rather have this than super bright LED’s blinding me, but it didn’t feel very comfortable or fast to interpret during my rides.
- The rear lights are positioned very low on the frame, which could make them harder for cars to see. I have a helmet with a built in light and often attach another light on my backpack to be extra safe. At least the rear lights both have two LEDs, are visible from the sides, and go bright when the accelerometers detect that you’re stopping!
- This particular Serial 1 model does not include fenders, racks, or the Glovebox compartment like the RUSH/CTY models. There just isn’t a lot of storage. If you do purchase their fenders and racks aftermarket, note the lower weight capacity of 10kg 22lb. It also says they are not designed to support child carriers.
- Because Serial 1 is connected to Harley Davidson, they have a relatively large network of “dealers” but they also sell through 120+ independent ebike dealers, or online with direct shipping. If you go this second route, there will be some unboxing and assembly involved. Also, since the bikes are very proprietary, it might be difficult to get parts and service from traditional shops. Even if a Harley dealership is nearby, I wonder if they have the tools and support staff to handle bicycles at this stage? Everyone I’ve communicated with at Serial 1 has been super helpful and responsive.
- I love that the bike is using a fancier locking core from ABUS, and the keys can be matched to other lock accessories! However, I asked if Serial 1 sells pre-configured locks and was told “you have to do that through a 3rd-party ABUS retailer, as we are not currently set up to sell those locks” but they did provide a link with instructions here.
- It sounds like you’ll need a 2022 or later model to get the USB-C port, SIM chip, and smartphone app compatibility. Unfortunately, the 2021 models cannot be retrofitted and are not compatible with the app. I would double check for this at time of purchase if you’re buying from a dealership, make sure it has the USB-C cable at the stem, because this adds a lot of utility and resale value.
- The bike is fully rigid, there’s no suspension fork or seat post suspension here. The benefits of a rigid frame are lower cost, improved stiffness, and reduced weight. They chose high volume “plus sized” tires to dampen vibration and improve ride quality, but you’ll have to spend extra on your own to get more comfort. Consider any 27.2mm suspension seatpost if you have a sensitive back, shoulders, or neck, but note that it will raise the minimum saddle height by a few inches.