Velec CITI Review

Velec Citi Electric Bike Review
Velec Citi
Velec Citi Completely Internal Downtube Battery Pack
Velec Citi 350 Watt Planetary Geared Hub Motor Velec Branded
Velec Citi Low Rise Handlebar Adjustable Stem Trigger Throttle
Velec Citi Trigger Throttle Led Display Buttons
Velec Citi Velo Locking Ergonomic Grips Velec Branded Hydraulic Brake Levers
Velec Citi Kenda Kwest Tires With K Shield Puncture Resistance
Velec Citi 180mm Hydraulic Disc Brake Front Wheel Quick Release
Velec Citi 8 Speed 11 32 Tooth Cassette Shimano Acera Derailleur
Velec Citi 42 Tooth Chainring Plastic Wellgo Pedals Rust Resistant Chain
Velec Citi Battery Connectors Bottom Bracket View Cadence Sensor
Velec Citi Rear Mount Adjustable Length Kickstand
Velec Citi Battery Pack Removed 36v 7ah
Velec Citi Aluminum 5 Amp Charger With Replaceable Fuse
Velec Citi High Step Black
Velec Citi Electric Bike Review
Velec Citi
Velec Citi Completely Internal Downtube Battery Pack
Velec Citi 350 Watt Planetary Geared Hub Motor Velec Branded
Velec Citi Low Rise Handlebar Adjustable Stem Trigger Throttle
Velec Citi Trigger Throttle Led Display Buttons
Velec Citi Velo Locking Ergonomic Grips Velec Branded Hydraulic Brake Levers
Velec Citi Kenda Kwest Tires With K Shield Puncture Resistance
Velec Citi 180mm Hydraulic Disc Brake Front Wheel Quick Release
Velec Citi 8 Speed 11 32 Tooth Cassette Shimano Acera Derailleur
Velec Citi 42 Tooth Chainring Plastic Wellgo Pedals Rust Resistant Chain
Velec Citi Battery Connectors Bottom Bracket View Cadence Sensor
Velec Citi Rear Mount Adjustable Length Kickstand
Velec Citi Battery Pack Removed 36v 7ah
Velec Citi Aluminum 5 Amp Charger With Replaceable Fuse
Velec Citi High Step Black

Summary

  • A lightweight, highly efficient, city style electric bicycle with hidden battery and compact quiet motor, comes with plastic fenders, a sturdy custom rack, and rear light for safety
  • Custom battery pack uses high quality Samsung cells that are energy dense, 3500 milliamp hours, so you get more capacity with lighter weight... the pack isn't easily removable, but the display has a password so people can't tamper with the bike
  • Available at a large number of bicycle dealers in Canada and the US, the bike comes in four frame styles and sizes... including an extra small with deep step-thru frame, small mid-step, and two high-steps for great fit, it also comes in two colors (black and red)
  • Those who do not wish to bring their bike inside will have to park somewhere that is close to a charging outlet, it's just a little less convenient than a removable battery, there's no slap guard sticker, no bottle cage bosses, and the optional front light costs more to add (along with the suspension fork, suspension seat post, and higher capacity battery options)

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Velec

Model:

CITI

Price:

$2,099 ($2,399 CAD)

Body Position:

Forward, Upright

Suggested Use:

Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1), Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive, 3 Year Frame

Availability:

United States, Canada

Model Year:

20192020

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

42.8 lbs (19.41 kg)

Battery Weight:

2.14 lbs (0.97 kg)

Motor Weight:

4.4 lbs (1.99 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

14 in (35.56 cm)16 in (40.64 cm)17.5 in (44.45 cm)19.5 in (49.53 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Medium 17.5" Measurements: 17.5" Seat Tube Length, 22" Reach, 27.5" Stand Over Height, 31.25" Minimum Saddle Height, 27.25" Width, 71.5" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step, Mid-Step

Frame Colors:

Satin Black with Silver and Red Accents, Gloss Red with Silver and Black Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Hydroformed Aluminum Alloy, 100mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

135mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Slotted Axle with 19mm Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack, Fenders

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Acera Derailleur, 11-32 Tooth Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano Acera Triggers on Right (One-Way High Lever, Three-Shift Low Lever)

Cranks:

Prowheel Cold Forged Alloy, 170mm Length Crank Arms, 42 Tooth Chainring with Plastic Guard, Square Tapered Spindle

Pedals:

Wellgo K20410 Plastic Platform

Headset:

Integrated, Sealed Cartridge, Straight 1-1/8"

Stem:

Promax, Aluminum Alloy, Adjustable Angle, 130mm Length, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter, Three 10mm Spacers, 10mm Stack Height, Uncut Steer Tube

Handlebar:

Promax, Aluminum Alloy, Low-Rise, 680mm Length

Brake Details:

Velec Branded Hydraulic Disc with 180mm Front Rotor and 160mm Back Rotor, Dual Piston Calipers, Velec Branded Three-Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach and Motor Inhibitors

Grips:

Velo, Ergonomic Rubber, Locking

Saddle:

Velo Hybrid

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy, 25mm Offset, Single Bolt Clamp

Seat Post Length:

330 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.4 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 36 Hole, 25mm Outer Width

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge, Black with Brass Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda Kwest, 18"x1-5/8"x1-3/8" 700x35 (37-622)

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

50 to 85 PSI, 3.6 to 6.0 BAR, K-Shield (3mm Puncture Protection)

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Rear-Mount Adjustable Kickstand (40mm Interface), Custom Aluminum Alloy Rear Rack (20kg 45lb Max Weight), Plastic Fenders (45mm Width), Blaze-Lite RL1800 Independent Rear Light (Two AAA Batteries), Optional Integrated Headlight (110 lumens, 1 Square LED, $65 CAD), Optional KS Suspension Seatpost ($249 CAD), Optional RST Suspension Fork ($325 CAD), Replacement Internal Battery Pack ($800 CAD), Optional Rear Rack Batteries (7 Amp $600 CAD or 10.5 Amp $1,000 CAD Adds ~9.6lbs)

Other:

Fixed Downtube-Integrated Battery Pack (Can Be Removed with 3 Phillips Screws), 1.8lb 5 Amp Velec Charger, 155mm Q-Factor, KMC Z Chain (Rust Resistant)

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Aikema

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Peak Output:

500 watts

Motor Torque:

40 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung, 18650 Format, 3500Ma Cells

Battery Voltage:

36 volts (Optional 36v)

Battery Amp Hours:

7 ah (Optional 7ah and 10.5ah)

Battery Watt Hours:

252 wh (Optional 504wh or 630wh)

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

2.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Estimated Max Range:

105 miles (169 km)

Display Type:

Fixed, Black and White LED, Backlit, Buttons: Power, Mode, Up, Down, Settings: Hold Mode Button Immediately After Powering Up (Units, Automatic Off Timing, Wheel Size, Speed, Password, Battery Info and Percentage, Info, P-Setting)

Readouts:

Assist Level (0-5), Speed (MPH or KMH), Trip Distance, Trip Time, Avg Speed, Max Speed, Battery Level (5 Bars)

Display Accessories:

Uses Bluetooth for Updates

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (6 Magnet Sealed Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This in-depth review was sponsored by Velec electric bikes. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Velec products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below and the Velec electric bike forums.

Observations:

  • One of the lightest, nearly fully featured, stealthiest ebikes I’ve seen in a while… it reminds me of the Faraday Porteur and Vanmoof models, but doesn’t cost as much and comes in more styles and sizes
  • Velec isn’t a fly by night company, they have been in business for years and I’ve even covered their older models. I’m very impressed with this new Citi design and feel like I can trust the company and their vast network of dealers, especially in Canada
  • Very few electric bikes provide battery upgrade options, let alone two steps! The Velec CITI let’s you optimize for low price and low weight, or get an add-on rear rack with a 7 amp hour or 10.5 amp hour battery that automatically balances with the main pack and can double your range. It’s a great option for heavier riders, or those who need to go further. The rear rack looks nice and the battery there is thin and sleek, but you could always take it off again for short errands… it’s a unique feature

Pros:

  • I was really impressed to learn that the bike comes in four frame style/size combinations. The smallest is a step-thru design, the next size up is a mid-step, and the medium and large are both high step, this ensures a great fit and approach for a broad range of riders… and the bike comes in two colorways, black and red!
  • Great hydraulic disc brakes, they opted for a larger 180mm rotor up front when really… two 160mm rotors probably would have been enough for the lightweight hybrid/city style of the bike. Hydraulic brakes are easy to actuate, tend to be very reliable (no cable stretch), and offer adjustable reach
  • It’s great to see both brake levers have motor inhibitor switches built in, this provides an extra layer of control to override the throttle and cadence sensing pedal assist
  • The network of dealers and longstanding reputation of Velec gives me confidence that the battery will last and you’ll get warranty support ongoing, the two-year comprehensive warranty is pretty great
  • Excellent battery charger, it’s actually overkill in my opinion! You get a tough aluminum alloy casing, it has a replaceable fuse, and provides five amps of charge vs. just two amps on traditional chargers, all while being compact and relatively lightweight at just 1.8lbs vs. 1.5lbs on the slower chargers… which have plastic casing
  • I love that the tires have puncture protective shields (K-Shield) built in, this means fewer flat tires and more fun riding, though it would also be nice to see reflective stripes on the tires for safety!
  • The hubs, spokes, and rims are all painted black, which looks really nice. The front wheel offers quick release for easy servicing, and I feel that the integrated wires and overall attention to detail is good (nice pedals, great locking grips, good single bolt seat post, rust resistant KMC Z-Chain, battery charging port up high on the frame vs. low so it’s easy to reach)
  • I understand how rigid forks can be lighter, more aerodynamic, and more responsive for city riding… and they keep the cost of the bike down, but I like suspension! So, Velec strikes the perfect balance here by offering a suspension fork as optional upgrade, and optional suspension seat post too
  • Even though this bike frame has a mounting point for a center kickstand, Velec spent extra money to add a 40mm tab near the rear of the bike to put an adjustable stand there… which helps support the weight of a fully loaded rack and reduce pedal lock when moving the bike! This is a wonderful attention to detail in my opinion
  • I love how Velec includes a trigger throttle, so this can be a Class 1 or Class 2 ebike, and their cockpit is very clean and organized, the display is small, but bright and fully featured
  • The mid-rise handlebar, ergonomic grips, upgraded Velo saddle all add comfort to this ebike… and Velec includes an uncut steer tube so you can be very upright, like a cruiser, if you want. That’s pretty unique! But, they also include an adjustable angle stem for even greater fit… just keep it tight, because the stem seemed like a more basic part that could rattle loose and strip if you do a lot of off-road riding
  • The motor on this ebike is extremely quiet, and small, it’s well disguised behind the disc brake rotor and cassette at the rear… while it doesn’t start out super strong, it’s definitely capable of the 32km/hr (20mph/hr) top speed with pedal assist or throttle mode
  • The fenders didn’t rattle and offered good coverage, I like the little rubber mud flaps at the ends, the custom rack offered lots of space and had mounting tabs and bungee loops as well as pannier stabilizer rods (so the pannier won’t slide around)
  • The main battery pack is removable, but requires a phillips screwdriver, the upside is that it looks great and that you can protect the display with a password, but the downside is that you need to park the bike near a charging outlet vs. bringing a battery inside to a more convenient location
  • Velec made a solid choice with the drivetrain here, the chain is an upgrade and the 8-speed 11-32 tooth Nickel plated cassette provides a good range of pedal speed options for zero to 32km/h+ but I would like the trigger shifters to be a bit more upgraded with the two-way high lever from Shimano… minor gripe
  • I asked Sean Lee at the Rocky Cycles shop and he said that the headset uses sealed cartridge bearings, which are better for wet environments, less rust and noise over time
  • I like how the trigger throttle overrides all five levels of pedal assist with full power, even though it’s not active at zero. I asked about this and Alex said it’s a safety feature from them, but they do give you full power once you are in an assist level… and I must say, the bike pedals efficiently and easily without any power, more like a traditional analog bicycle
  • By default, the rear light is mounted on the seat post with a rubber clasp. It would be visible if your rear rack is not supporting a bag, but otherwise you might want to move the light onto the back of the bag… so it’s nice that the light is so easy to relocate ;)

Cons:

  • The default configuration of this ebike looks nice and is lightweight, but the battery capacity is about half that of current generation competitors… upgrading to current standards costs an additional $600 CAD, so factor that into the price if you want to compare apples to apples
  • I would have liked to see bottle cage bosses on both the downtube and seat tube, but understand their reasoning behind vulnerability of the battery pack and stopping the seat post from sliding down as far as it might otherwise… but other companies have used braze-ons to make it work, and it’s just a nice option to have so you don’t need to buy an aftermarket adapter like this, consider an aftermarket frame bag for storage and trunk bag for rear bottle holster ;)
  • No slap guard on the right chainstay… this means you will probably end up with little silver chips in the paint over time if you ride on rough terrain, consider using a piece of masking tape or buying an aftermarket sticker slap guard chain protector like this
  • I appreciate that the bike comes with a tail light, but wish that it was integrated to run off of the main battery pack vs. disposable AAA cells, it would also be nice to have the integrated headlight stock, and have reflective tires for safety, but that would add to the cost
  • The six-magnet cadense sensor for pedal assist (combined with their motor controller) definitely has some lag when you start and stop pedaling to when the motor activates and de-activates, but I do appreciate the smaller sealed sensor design (mounted behind the chainring) and addition of brake lever motor inhibitors for instant cutoff
  • The rear rack offers 20kg vs. 25kg and uses fatter tubing that might not work with every pannier bag, it’s not the end of the world given the extra loops and mounts there, but worth mentioning
  • The battery pack is more permanently mounted inside the bike frame, this means you cannot take it off to reduce weight (though it’s only 2.14lbs), and can’t store the battery away from extreme heat or cold which can cause damage over time… unless you bring the whole bike inside
  • Very minor feedback here, they could have gone with tougher aluminum alloy wellgo pedals like these, but that would have added weight, I also would have liked a full chain guide vs. the plastic guard, the guide would reduce chain drops on rough terrain
  • Another very minor thing I noticed during the review and test ride is that the display doesn’t seem to offer walk mode? To activate lights, hold the up arrow… and to get into settings, hold the M button right after you power the bike up. One final thought here is that some people might feel that the display size is a bit small and difficult to read… the positive angle is that it’s stealthy and doesn’t attract a lot of attention, I actually like it, even though the power button is a little small and wasn’t as easy to use to turn the bike on (you have to press precisely and hold it for a couple of seconds)
  • I didn’t see any USB or Micro-USB charging ports built into the battery pack, bike, or display console, this is something we are starting to see with other ebikes that allow riders to charge phones and other portable electronics as they ride. Given the relatively small default battery capacity, it’s not a huge drawback, but it would be nice to have with the additional rear rack battery upgrades

Useful Resources:

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