Zeitgeist City Review

Zeitgeist City Electric Bike Review
Zeitgeist City 8fun 500 Watt Geared Hub Motor
Zeitgeist City Integrated Downtube Battery Protanium Samsung
Zeitgeist City Removable Magnetic Cycle Computer
Zeitgeist City 180 Mm Disc Brakes Qr Front Wheel
Zeitgeist City Carbon Fiber Seat Post 31 6
Zeitgeist City Front View Carbon Fork
Zeitgeist City Kickstand Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Zeitgeist City Custom Carbon Stem Integrated Display Lcd
Zeitgeist City Removable 48 Volt Battery
Zeitgeist City Torque Cadence Sensing Bottom Bracket
Zeitgeist City Tubro Ergonomic Grips Bar Ends
Zeitgeist City Electric Bike Review
Zeitgeist City 8fun 500 Watt Geared Hub Motor
Zeitgeist City Integrated Downtube Battery Protanium Samsung
Zeitgeist City Removable Magnetic Cycle Computer
Zeitgeist City 180 Mm Disc Brakes Qr Front Wheel
Zeitgeist City Carbon Fiber Seat Post 31 6
Zeitgeist City Front View Carbon Fork
Zeitgeist City Kickstand Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Zeitgeist City Custom Carbon Stem Integrated Display Lcd
Zeitgeist City Removable 48 Volt Battery
Zeitgeist City Torque Cadence Sensing Bottom Bracket
Zeitgeist City Tubro Ergonomic Grips Bar Ends

Summary

  • A Class 3 speed pedelec made entirely from Carbon fiber including the frame, fork, seat post, stem and handle bars
  • Powerful 500 watt planetary geared motor, 48 volt Lithium-ion downtube mounted battery (removable) with premium Samsung cells
  • Custom integrated LCD display panel that's removable paired with a wireless control pad, oversized hydraulic disc brakes with ebike specific levers to cut power and premium tires with Kevlar lining for durability
  • One of the more expensive electric bikes I've tested at nearly $8k, only available in one size, color and frame style, quality Shimano Deore XT ten speed drivetrain for a comfortable range of pedaling and nine levels of assist to match

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National eBike Shops

Electric Cyclery
900 N Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach,  CA  92651
Propel Bikes
134 Flushing Ave
Brooklyn,  NY  11205

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Zeitgeist

Model:

City

Price:

$7,999

Body Position:

Forward Aggressive

Suggested Use:

Road, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedalec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States, Worldwide

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

43.5 lbs ( 19.73 kg )

Battery Weight:

5 lbs ( 2.26 kg )

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Sizes:

18.9 in ( 48 cm )

Frame Material:

Carbon Fiber Nano Tubes (Kevlar Inner Lining)

Frame Colors:

White with Matte Black Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid, Carbon Fiber

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x10 Shimano Deore XT

Shifter Details:

Shimano Deore XT Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Lasco FR 660, Aluminum Alloy Bash Guard

Pedals:

VP-882 Plastic Platform, Black

Headset:

FPD

Stem:

Custom Carbon Fiber

Handlebar:

Flat, Carbon Fiber

Brake Details:

Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Tektro Dorado Levers with Motor Inhibitors

Grips:

Tubro TS420 Ergonomic, Locking with Bar Ends

Saddle:

Selle Royal, Vented Gel Active

Seat Post:

Carbon Fiber

Seat Post Length:

250 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

31.6 mm

Rims:

Brass Nipples

Spokes:

14 Gauge, Black

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Energizer Plus, 28" x 1.75"

Wheel Sizes:

28 in ( 71.12 cm )

Tire Details:

GreenGuard Puncture Protection, Reflective Sidewall Stripe

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Adjustable Length Kickstand, Front and Rear Racks from Thule, Thule Pannier Bags, Thule Front Basket, Optional LED Headlight, Aluminum Alloy Bash Guard

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, Quanta Quick Release Front Skewer

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Brand:

Samsung, Protanium

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

8.7 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

417.6 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

6 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles ( 32 km )

Estimated Max Range:

35 miles ( 56 km )

Display Type:

Integrated LCD (Removable Magnetic)

Readouts:

Pedal Assist (0-9), Battery Level, Speed, Odometer, Trip Distance

Display Accessories:

Wireless Remote Button Pad, LED Indicator on Battery

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist (Rides Like Cadence Sensing Assist)

Top Speed:

28 mph ( 45 kph )

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Written Review

The Zeitgeist City is a premium, all-Carbon fiber speed pedelec. It’s an electric bike that can high 28 mph and only weighs ~43 lbs which is impressive given the 500 watt hub motor and 48 volt battery pack. At one point, I believe this model was being called the Zeitgeist by Karma Bikes but the company may have adjusted due to confusion with the Fisker Karma electric car… My experience testing this ebike was great because I could tell they put a lot of thought into the design (which is comfortable and well balanced). I especially liked the removable magnetic LCD display and optional wireless button pad because the bike still operates without it if you want to go for a minimal look and reduced weight but using it makes navigating the nine levels of assist possible without taking your left hand off the grip. The grips are also a highlight for me with a locking ergonomic design and unique Aluminum bar ends for changing hand position. The Zeitgeist City is a cross between a city and road bike from my point of view, the addition of rear rack bosses is great for those who plan to commute and want to add a set of panniers or trunk bag.

When you look at this thing from the side it almost looks like a normal bicycle, in large part due to the two-tone paint job, the battery disappears and the white glossy highlights create a safe visual footprint. It’s definitely an active geometry and there’s no suspension but to me Carbon fiber rides nicely and absorbs more road vibration than Aluminum and is lighter than steel. It comes with large hydraulic disc brakes and e-bike specific levers that cut power to the motor… my only complaint is the higher price point. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything out there with similar specs, high speed, low weight and cool appearance so the price is founded but a bit excessive. The other limitation is that it only comes in one sort of medium frame size with a relatively straight top tube that can make mounting and standing over difficult for shorter riders. This thing would be a blast to own for road cycling with friends in hilly or mountainous regions and could make an excellent commuter, rather than going with thin narrow tires they upgraded to ebike specific Schwalbe Energizer Plus that are puncture resistant and a bit more forgiving due to larger 1.75″ radius which makes a lot of sense to me.

Pros:

  • One of the only electric bikes I’ve tested that is almost completely made from carbon fiber! That includes the seat post, stem, handlebar and of course the fork
  • Considering the large 48 volt battery pack and 500 watt motor this bike is pretty light weight and handles very well because that weight is kept low and relatively centered across the frame
  • I really like the custom stem with integrated LCD display panel… that’s removable! I’m seeing more custom panels these days but very few let you take them out (to prevent tampering and exposure to the weather), well thought out design
  • Pedal assist is very responsive, I was told it’s torque based but it responded almost like a cadence sensor for me (not requiring as much force when pedaling) maybe it’s just dialed in to be very sensitive
  • Class 3 speed pedelec capable of hitting 28 mph fairly easily due to the light weight efficient design and larger 700c wheelset, it’s satisfying to accelerate or cruise at top speed
  • Quality tires with reflective sidewalls for safety and integrated puncture protection, the quick release front wheel makes changing flats or moving the bike in vehicles easier
  • Large, powerful hydraulic disc brakes with ebike specific extended levers that cut power to the motor instantly when activated, they worked well and felt sturdy at high speed
  • Zeitgeist offers optional Thule rack accessories but the City frame also features threaded eyelets on the seat stays for adding a more traditional rack that could work with a trunk bag and panniers for commuting, I like that the bike also comes with a kickstand (which is removable if you want)
  • Almost all of the wires are run directly through the frame on this bike and it looks great, they are exposed at the bottom bracket but this might make tuneups and maintenance easier, there’s a convenient disconnect point near the motor for rear wheel maintenance
  • Quality drivetrain (shifters and derailleurs), Shimano Deore XT components are light weight, designed to stay tuned and offer high performance

Cons:

  • Currently the Zeitgeist City is only available in one frame size with high-step design so this might not be a fit for super tall or petite riders
  • Extremely expensive at nearly $8k but it does perform well, look great and is likely a very exclusive ebike, there are regular pedal powered bikes that cost this much which are also custom carbon fiber frames so I get it
  • No drop bar option for those who prefer an even more aggressive body position but it did ride more like a road bike, I like the ergonomic locking grips and bar ends for changing hand position
  • No integrated lights on this bike, considering the frame is custom designed it would have been cool to see an LED based lighting system running off the main battery vs. having to add your own
  • The wireless button pad is easy to reach (to adjust assist level or cycle through display modes) but requires its own batteries vs. being run off the main pack with one tiny extra wire, I was told the battery should last two years and is easy to change, you can completely remove the buttons if you want and use a single button below the stem as a backup which is cool
  • The included pedals are very basic, not as wide or rigid as some of the magnesium platforms I’ve seen from Wellgo but this choice might have been made because many people have their own or use clip in options at higher speed

Resources:

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Cameron Newland
1 year ago

No rating for this bike?

Court Rye
1 year ago

Hi Cameron, I've been testing the site without ratings because I feel that a single number/stars isn't deep enough to communicate the variety and year differences between bikes. I'm focusing on deeper videos with more pros/cons instead :)

Stu Berman
10 months ago

Hi Court, the more that I look at all the e-bikes out there, the more interested I am in the Zeitgeist, but the one size fits all approach does concern me. I'm 5'8" and I think you said elsewhere that you're 5'9". How well do you think the Zeitgeist fit you, especially as compared to other e-bikes?

Court Rye
10 months ago

Hi Stu! It's difficult to remember exactly as the review was done quite a while back and I test so many bikes. As average sized people I feel like both of us would fit this bike just fine, there are little adjustments you can make with the seat post height and handlebar but if you start replacing stuff it could interfere with the electronics or weight (the included Carbon fiber stem and bars are much lighter). If you like the bike I think you could make it work... it's designed to fit the highest number of people, the peak of the bell curve and I feel like you're right there.

Fencible
5 months ago

Hi Court, Thanks for a great site and awesome reviews. Did you notice if it looked possible to fit fenders to the Zeitgeist?

Court Rye
5 months ago

Hi Fencible! I bet it's possible but may require some custom work... and even then, finding parts that match and can be attached without too much rattling while still being solid (especially important at high speeds) could be difficult and expensive. I looked closely at some of the pictures and didn't see support arm bosses or the standard holes often used for bolts and mounting tabs (perhaps I was missing them). Hope this helps guide you, I think the short answer is no, it's not really optimized for adding fenders but you could use a seat post mounted rear fender like this or a carry rack to keep water off your back since it does appear to have seat stay bosses.

Robert Crivelli
3 months ago

Where can I purchase a zeitgeist city electric bike? Any information is gladly appreciated

Court Rye
3 months ago

Hey Robert! I'm not sure which shops have it but you could reach out to one of the team leads at the company. His name is Kartik and his email is kartik@zeitgeist.bike hope this helps!

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