The category of compact cargo/utility e-bikes has exploded this year with a number of new designs. The Velotric Go 1 is a compact cargo, or utility e-bike. This is a category of e-bike that didn’t exist a few years ago, but is quickly rising in acceptance, and for good reason. It answers the question: How do we make a commuter more versatile? What makes a commuter more versatile is the ability to carry more—more than one person, more stuff, like groceries or work materials.
While a commuter e-bike may have a rear rack, that rack is usually bolted on—an added accessory. As a result it will have a limited weight capacity. Compact cargo e-bikes often feature a rear rack that is incorporated into the frame which is sturdy enough to hold not just a child, but even a good-sized kid, or even a smaller adult. They also include mounts on the head tube for a basket so that the presence of a passenger doesn’t eliminate the ability to carry anything else.
In our review of the Velotric Go 1 we will look at the many details it gets right. It features a step-thru frame to make managing the e-bike easier when loaded. It’s built around 20-in. wheels, which gives it a couple of advantages: Smaller wheels are stronger and can hold up under great weight; also, they help to lower the e-bike’s center of gravity, which helps to make the e-bike’s handling easier, as well as keeping the e-bike’s size smaller overall, which makes it easier to park and store.
Powering the Velotric Go 1 is a 691Wh battery, which the company says should provide riders with up to 55 mi. of range per charge. And while 7-speed drivetrains are pretty common in this price range, 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes are not, and that adds a layer of quality and performance that shows how closely the designers at Velotric are paying attention.
For the family with one child (or planning/expecting one), the Velotric Go 1 provides a compelling example of a way to get around without car keys. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this worth considering.
E-Bike Category: compact cargo/utility
Who the Velotric Go 1 Electric Bike Is for: This is an ideal e-bike for the commuter who wants to also be able to drop off and pick up a kid from school without needing to go home for the car.
Velotric Go 1 Electric Bike Review Ratings:
***All ratings are relative to e-bikes of a similar style and price point***
Velotric Go 1 E-Bike Specs
- Battery: 691Wh
- Expected Range: 55 mi.
- Charger: 3A
- Motor: 500W brushless, geared hub motor, 65Nm torque
- Pedal Assist: 5 PAS levels
- Throttle: thumb button
- Display: backlit LCD
- Headlight: 130 Lux LED
- Taillight: Integrated, with brakelight
- Frame: Hydroformed 6061 aircraft aluminum
- Fork: 60mm-travel suspension w/lockout
- Fenders: Included
- Kickstand: Included
- Handlebars: Alloy, 660mm
- Grips: Lock-on, ergonomic
- Drivetrain: 7-speed Shimano, 13-34 cassette
- Brakes: 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes, 180mm rotors
- Pedals: Plastic, with reflectors
- Saddle: Urban comfort ergonomic
- Tires: CST 20 x 3-in., puncture-resistant
In-Depth Velotric Go 1 Review
Velotric Go 1 Review: Comfort, Handling, and Ride Qualities
Whether it’s equipped with both front and rear baskets, or a front basket and a rear platform seat and handlebar for an additional rider, the Velotric Go 1 has a number of features that give it better-than-usual utility. First, it’s built with 20-in. wheels, which give it great agility and help to keep the standover height low. It’s also built with a terrific step-thru frame design that makes mounting this e-bike very easy, which adds to the rider’s ease of starting and stopping when it’s loaded.
With 20 x 3-in. tires and a 60mm-travel suspension fork, riders will enjoy a comfortable ride even on rough pavement.
Because the rear rack is integrated into the frame design, the Velotric Go 1 enjoys a few benefits. First, when loaded with a passenger or any other heavy load in the rear, the rack won’t flex as much, making for a more stable ride; the e-bike will be easier to handle as a flexing frame or rack is harder to handle due to the shifting weight.
Velotric Go 1 Review: Motor, Battery, and Drivetrain Performance
With its 500W brushless, geared hub motor, the Velotric Go 1 has plenty of power for getting up to speed and staying there. The motor produces a respectable 65Nm of torque, which will be handy both in accelerating and climbing hills.
This e-bike isn’t meant to be a speed demon, though the controller can be unlocked so that it can go even faster than 20 mph. Be advised that the heavier the load, the slower the acceleration will be and the lower the top speed will be.
With its 691Wh battery, Velotric estimates that riders may enjoy as much as 55 mi. per charge. That number depends on many things, though, including rider weight, terrain, the surface of the e-bike is being ridden on, as well as what sort of additional load the e-bike may be carrying.
Like many e-bikes in this price range, the Velotric Go 1 comes equipped with a 7-speed Shimano drivetrain. What is different about the Go 1 is that the gearing in back (the cassette) features a 13-34 cog range, rather than the more common 14-28. This wider range of gears, particularly the low 34t cog, will be helpful for climbing hills.
Velotric Go 1 Review: Braking, Safety & Warranty
Any time we encounter a compact cargo e-bike—or a full-size one, for that matter—we like to see good brakes spec’d. The heavier the load, the more powerful the brakes need to be in order to keep the stopping distance short. We’re pleased that Velotric gave the Go 1 4-piston hydraulic brake calipers front and rear.
As a compact cargo e-bike (sometimes also referred to as a utility e-bike), the Velotric Go 1 is capable of carrying a passenger, but just one, not two. So our only note of caution for shoppers is to understand that if they need to carry two kids, not one, look at Velotric’s full-size cargo e-bike, the Packer 1.
Velotric offers buyers a warranty on their e-bikes of two years, though some components only qualify for a single year of coverage. It’s a definite step up should a rider have an issue with their motor or battery.
Velotric Go 1 Review: Recommendation/Final Verdict
When it comes to compact cargo and utility e-bikes, there are a few details that we want to see in any design if we are going to take it seriously. The first, most important feature we want to see is a well-made aluminum frame with a rear rack integrated into the design. This gives the e-bike a few different benefits, including a greater weight capacity, better handling and superior flexibility in accessory choices.
When the e-bike carries a suggested retail of $1700 or more, we want to see the brakes upgraded to 4-piston calipers, unless they are using one of the 2-piston models intended for mountain bikes. We also want to see a motorcycle-style, dual-leg kickstand. Getting fancy with the kickstand may seem awfully picky, but anyone who has loaded a child and groceries onto an e-bike with a standard kickstand and then done the same with the motorcycle version (which holds the e-bike perfectly upright), they won’t want to go back to the old style after trying the motorcycle version. Kids have a much easier time getting on (or being loaded on), and there’s no risk of the bike tipping over due to a heavy load.
A 500W motor may seem a little underpowered compared to many e-bikes on the market, but massive acceleration and screaming-fast speeds aren’t really helpful when transporting a child or a full basket. In fact, accelerating too quickly or going faster than 20 mph can frighten many children.
Stability balanced against easy maneuverability can be conflicting handling characteristics, but they don’t have to be and the Veloctric Go 1 benefits from a design that does its best to honor both needs.
For shoppers looking for an e-bike that is well-suited to commuting to work but allows them to conduct other basics of adult life like swinging by school, dropping by the grocery store or stopping at the post office, the Velotric Go 1 is just the sort of e-bike that could allow someone to leave their car parked for whole weeks.
Thank you for reading through our review of the Velotric Go 1. Still have further questions? Wondering how it compares to a similar e-bike we’ve reviewed? Let us know in the comments below!