Cemoto City Commuter Electric Bike Review

If you are looking for an affordable, urban commuter style electric bike then you should take a look at the Cemoto City Commuter (CCC).

It features a 300 watt geared rear hub motor, 36V 10ah lithium battery, Shimano 6 speed drivetrain, suspension fork, and a bunch of accessories for $1,199 (USD).

Make sure you check out part 1 of this review with a video, large detailed pictures and specifications of the Cemoto City Commuter to get familiar with this e-bike.

In this second part of the full review Cemoto City Commuter e-bike, you will get an idea of the ride characteristics, range test, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this e-bike.

What you can expect from the Cemoto City Commuter E-Bike:

Here is a video with an overview of the features of the Cemoto City Commuter e-bike and some riding footage:

As you can see, the Cemoto City Commuter is an electric bike designed to get you around town with it’s focus on being a comfortable ride and a healthy amount of included accesories.

The City Commuter’s aluminum frame is a little different from the rest with it’s uniquely shaped top and down tubes.  In addition the curvey seatstays add some style.  Like all aluminum frames it has thick welds.

3 levels of pedal assist (low, medium, and high) plus a throttle option are the ways you can add electric assist to your ride.  There is also an option of no assist.

To use the pedal assist, simply adjust between no assist, low, medium, or high by using the + or – buttons on the display on the left side of the handlebar.  There is a cadence sensor at the cranks that will detect when you are pedaling and add electrical assist based on the level you selected on the display.

Using the throttle option is pretty simple; just turn the throttle in any pedal assist mode (even the no pedal assist mode) and enjoy the free ride.  That’s right, you don’t have to pedal when using the throttle.  But it isn’t as much fun as pedal assist (my personal opinion) 🙂

The 300 watt geared rear hub motor is small in size and it does look rather stealth; almost hiding the fact that the CCC is an electric bike.

A 36V 10ah lithium polymer battery is positioned behind the seat tube of the frame.  The battery can be charged either on or off the bike with the included charger.

Removing the battery from the frame entails removing the seat and seatpost combination via the seatpost quick release on the frame.  The battery is then unlocked from the frame with the included key and can be removed by pulling up on the battery handle.

Turning the bike on/off is accomplished by turning the included key on the left side of the battery.

You can check the battery level by pushing a button on the top of the battery or by looking at the display on the handlebars.  In addition to the battery level info and adjusting the pedal assist setting, you can also turn the front and rear lights on/off at the display.

The  traditional bike drivetrain is a Shimano 6 speed system.  There is a Shimano Tourney rear derailleur and Shimano shifter on the right side of the handlebar that provides the shifting.

Braking is provided by a front mechanical disc brake and a rear v-brake.  The front and rear brake levers are switched in comparison to the traditional standard.  On the CCC the front brake is activated by the right brake lever and the rear brake is activated by the left brake lever.  If you prefer it the traditional way it is easy to change or you can have a bike shop take care of it.

The Top Gun suspension fork is included to take the edge off of rough roads.

The Kenda 26″ x 1.95″  street style tires have a relatively wide profile with tread that is designed for a commuter style bike.

The City Commuter is decked out with a bunch of accessories.  Aluminum fenders (front and rear), lights (front and rear), a chainguard, a bell, rear rack, and a kickstand round out the accessory mix on this commuter e-bike.

Cemoto is a relatively new company so that may be something to consider when making a purchase.  They currently have some dealers in Canada and they are working on establishing dealers in the US.  They do have a 1 year warranty and they will ship replacement parts directly to the customer if there is a warranty issue.

Riding the bike:

The CCC is an e-bike that is designed to get you around town comfortably and with enough accessories to make commuting by e-bike easy.

The 300 watt geared hub motor will get you up to around 20 mph but it is not the fastest when it comes to accelerating off the line.  It does pretty well, especially in high pedal assist or full throttle, but it is not a speed racer.  And that is okay if that is the kind of bike you would like.  I know many riders who would prefer a mellow ride over something that is accelerates too quickly for them.

With that said, there was a time when I felt the acceleration from the pedal assist was a bit much.  Since this is a cadence sensor bike it will add full assist (depending on what level you have selected) when you begin pedaling; even if you are “soft pedaling”.  I found that having full assist when I was maneuvering in a slow speed, high congestion area was too much.  That is solved by using no assist or a little bit of throttle.

The City Commuter does pretty well on hills with a moderate grade but it will need some of your pedal assistance on the steep hills.  There is a certain grade where the CCC goes from cruising up the hill well to bogging down and needing a little help.

The CCC delivers a comfortable ride because of its ability to dial in the best riding position with an adjustable height stem and take the edge off of rough roads with the suspension fork and wide seat.

Since the bike comes in only one size it would be nice to see it come with a longer seat post so that it can fit a wider range of riders.  At 5′-11″ the seatpost was not able to be raised high enough to fit me properly.

Braking is okay on the CCC.  The front mechanical disc brakes provides a decent amount of power.  The rear v-brake is not very powerful and  the discrepancy between the front & rear brake power is something to be aware of.  It would be nice to have disc brakes front and rear.

There is some noise from the geared rear hub motor and that is to be expected because almost all geared hub motors make some noise.

Speaking of noise, the battery pack does rattle a little when going over rough roads.  The connection of the battery to the frame has a little bit of “play” forward and back and that causes the rattle.  It is not like the battery is going to fall off, but it does rattle a bit when riding over rough spots in the road.

The ride test results:

Here is the real world information on how the Cemoto City Commuter electric bike performed on my typical riding circuit that includes hills, flats, traffic, wind (when available) etc.

The results below are based on a paved circuit that I use for testing other electric bikes.

 

While testing these bikes I like to put them through the toughest conditions to see where their bottom line is in regards to range and speed.

Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the Cemoto City Commuter traveled 20.6 miles and did a total elevation gain/loss of around 1,900 ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled very lightly this is good range for a 36 Volt 10 ah battery pack (360 Watt Hours) with a 300 watt motor.

Watt hours are the total energy in a battery pack and it is based on the volts x amp hours of a pack. This is a way to compare the size of the “gas tank” of electric bikes.

Please keep in mind that if you pedal more, weight less than me, ride slower and/or you use the bike in terrain that is not as hilly you will get more range. These results are from tough testing.

Speed: The Cemoto City Commuter can get up to around 20 mph on flat ground.  It is a little slower than that on the climbs and may need a little pedaling help on the really steep hills.

Weight: This bike tips the scales at 55 lbs.

The weight distribution of the Cemoto City Commuter is slightly back heavy due to the rear hub motor and battery pack behind the seat tube.  The battery location is good because it keeps that weight centered and fairly low to the ground, which is good for the overall handling of the bike.

Pros

Price: At $1,199.99 (at the time of this review) it is nice to see an e-bike at this price point.  The CCC has a decent mix of components and a healthy amount of accessories.

Comfortable Easy Rider:  The City Commuter does have a comfortable ride with it’s upright position, wide seat, and suspension fork.  It is an easy e-bike to get on and go.

Balanced Weight:  With the battery positioned in the center of the bike and a relatively small/light rear motor the overall weight is balanced well on the CCC.  That is good for bike handling and when picking up the bike to carry up stairs or when putting the bike on a car rack.

Cons

Rear Brake:  The rear v-brake is not very powerful and it would be nice to have a disc rear brake to have the same braking power front and rear.

Battery Rattles:  It seems that the battery attachment at the frame could be improved to eliminate the battery rattling when going over rough spots in the road.

Motor Noise:  This in not a con for everyone, but almost all geared hub motors make some noise.  It is something that I get used to pretty quick.  If you are noise adverse, you will probably want a bike with a direct drive motor.

Conclusion

The Cemoto City Commuter is an economical, urban/commuter style electric bike with a good feature set and a healthy mix of accessories.  It is a bike that can get you from your house to work or out running errands with some electric assist.

Of course no e-bike is perfect; it would be nice to have a rear disc brake and a battery that does not rattle when riding over rough roads.

Please keep in mind that this is a relatively short term test. This testing can’t really give you the long term review of durability and reliability. My thoughts on the quality of this bike are from previous experiences with similar bikes. If you own this bike and have some input on the long term durability, please share your comments with the Electric Bike Report community below.

The Cemoto City Commuter retails for $1,199 (USD) at the time of this review.   Cemoto is offering $100 off to EBR readers: use this coupon code at checkout: PETE100

Where to buy the Cemoto City Commuter? Check with Cemoto for a dealer near you or you can order from their website..

Do you have any questions about the Cemoto City Commuter?  Do you own the Ride?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Thanks!

-Pete

Review Note: Each company pays a fee for a review on Electric Bike Report because of the considerable amount of time that it takes to provide an in-depth review of each eBike. A lot of time is spent on the full range test with distance & elevation profile, the wide variety of detailed pictures, in-depth video, and the write up with the specifications, ride characteristics, pros, cons, and overall thoughts. The reviews on Electric Bike Report are focused on providing you with a detailed “virtual” look at each eBike to help you determine if it is the eBike for you or not.

P.S. Don’t forget to join the Electric Bike Report community for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips!

Comments

  1. says

    Great review, good looking bike, and it’s good to see some decent product available around the $1200 price. I still maintain that e-bikes, and bikes-as-car-replacements won’t take off with the $2000+ models we usually see…nice as they are!

    Finally, a bike I can recommend to people who are not made of money!

    This bike looks REMARKABLY similar to my R. Martin LX1, which was bought three years ago for the same price, however, this one has improved with the addition of lights, lower weight, and a disk in the front. I’m curious whether the similarity is a coincidence, or whether the bikes share some heritage. Any idea?

    What’s up with the weird placement of the bell, and the brake handle swap?

    “I found that having full assist when I was maneuvering in a slow speed, high congestion area was too much. That is solved by using no assist or a little bit of throttle. – See more at: http://electricbikereport.com/cemoto-city-commuter-electric-bike-review/#sthash.mMTyg2OG.dpuf

    A touch of brake is what I use in these cases. Much easier than messing with the controls, and if you activate the brake, it disables the motor.

    thanks
    Derek.

  2. Doesnt matter says

    The cemoto i received is…well…Its cool but needs some adjusting. The battery being not secure is a problem. But the main problem i have is that the back wheel locks up completely. Im going to send back if possible.

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