REI unveils e1.1 and e1.2 generations as affordable cargo e-bikes

REI has just launched two new e-bike models as part of its new “Generation e” line of e-bikes. The new e-bikes were unveiled as part of REI’s Co-op Cycles range of bikes and are known as the Co-op Generation e1.1 and Generation e1.2 electric bikes.

Unlike REI’s last big e-bike unveil, the CTY e2.1 and CTY e2.2 Urban Co-ops, the new Generation e line is designed for utility riders.

That means smaller-diameter 20-inch wheels in a larger, motorcycle-inspired 2.4-inch tire, an easy-to-ride low frame, and unique sizing doctrine.

The bikes also feature memory foam saddles, dual Y-style kickstands, and front and rear LED lights.

As REI’s general manager for the cycle, Nate Nielsen, explained:

This line of e-bikes has been designed to help people get on and off more easily. The frames and features give them accessibility and versatility, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned rider, dressed in training gear or jeans.

The bikes are equipped with Shimano 7-speed drivetrains and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. In a nod to affordability, the e-bikes are powered by 350W Bafang hub motors instead of mid-drive motors like REI’s latest big e-bike.

The two models both reach a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h), but have other important differences.

The e1.1 generation uses a 36V 11.6 Ah battery with a range of 30-40 miles (51-64 km), has a Suntour suspension fork and includes an integrated rear rack.

The e1.2 generation uses a 48V 14Ah battery with a range of 40 to 50 miles (64 to 80 km), has a rigid fork optimized for loading and includes both a front and rear rack. Both models weigh 54 lbs (24.5 kg).

Both models are classified as Class 1 e-bikes, meaning they have no throttle and instead use pedal assist to provide motor support when the rider is pedaling. Motor assistance stops at 32 km/h (20 mph), meaning riders can pedal faster but will be on their own at higher speeds without motor assistance.

The e1.1 generation is priced at $1,499 and available now, while the e1.2 generation is priced at $1,899 and will be available in September.

Electrek’s Grasp

Radrunner, anyone?

Just kidding, sort of. I mean, the bike shares some Radrunner-esque design features, and it feels like this bike had a baby with a VanMoof, but there’s some uniqueness here too.

I’m a big fan of this type of small-diameter wheeled utility e-bike, so I’m glad to see REI getting in on the game. Plus, it’s hard to complain about the lower entry price, even though being given that the entry level model has a weaker 36V battery, I might have been happier with a few hundred dollars cheaper on this model. Compared to something like a Tern, these prices are practically rock bottom. But of course, these e-bikes don’t feature the same build quality or high-end parts as an expensive Tern.

As it stands, these are nice entries into the utility e-bike space. The suspension and hydraulic brakes are both great upgrades over other similar models that lack these parts, although the 36V battery seems a bit anemic for an e-bike intended for light transport.

What do you think of REI’s Co-op Cycles Generation e1.1 and Generation e1.2 e-bikes? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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