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Velotric Discover 1 E-Bike Review: An Affordable, Comfortable Cruiser

Rating: 8/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $1,899
Velotric Discover 1 e-bike
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

The electric bike market is getting more crowded and expensive by the day, which can be intimidating for a first-time buyer or someone looking for a good deal. So, when Velotric debuted the Discover 1 e-bike promising a premium commuter bike that’s affordable and fun for anyone, I had to take a look.

Here's What We Like

  • Stylish and clean design
  • Affordable price point
  • Front and rear lights
  • Comfy ride position

And What We Don't

  • Heavy at over 64 lbs
  • Poor mechanical disc brakes
  • Only 3 pedal assist levels

The Velotric Discover 1 is a Class 2 e-bike with that classic cruiser look along with the benefit of commuter features. It has plenty of bells and whistles, a powerful 500W motor to zip through the streets, and a comfortable step-through design for only $1,899. And while that may sound expensive, this bike packs a solid design, front suspension, front and rear lights, and can go upwards of 60 miles on a single charge.

The Discover 1 doesn’t zoom past the competition in any single category, but for its first e-bike, the company nailed it. Velotric managed to blend a stylish design and premium features into a well-thought-out package at a price that’s hard to beat.

I’ve used the Discover 1 to whip around the streets in my neighborhood, hit some dirt trails (yes, it can do that too,) and even strapped a cooler to the rear cargo rack for a longer ride and comfortably enjoyed the wind in my face.

So, does the Discover 1 deliver on Velotric’s promise of being a premium and comfortable commuter e-bike that’s easy to use and affordable? Yes! Read on for the full review.

Specifications

  • 500W Motor (900W Peak) with 65 Nm torque
  • 3.5-inch backlit LCD display, speedometer, trip odometer, pedal assist level, and more
  • 65mm Spring front suspension fork with preload adjustment and lockout
  • 26 x 2.5″ puncture-resistant tires (tire fenders and rear cargo rack included)
  • Thumb throttle and 3-level pedal assist
  • 7-speed drivetrain with Shimano derailleur and shifter
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Integrated headlight and taillight
  • 692 Wh, 48V battery (fast 48V 3A charger included)
  • LG/Samsung certified, Tesla-grade 21700 battery cells
  • Up to 60 miles of range per charge (45 miles with throttle assist)
  • IPX6 water-resistance
  • 87-degree straight back riding position, step-through design
  • 64-lbs and 440 lb max riding load
  • Available in Mango yellow, Indigo grey, Cyan, Jet black, and Pearl white colorways

Shipping & Assembly

Velotric e-bike shipping box
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Be prepared for a large and heavy box to show up on your doorstep, but pull it into the garage, and you’ll have it assembled in no time. The Discover 1 comes safely wrapped in tons of recyclable materials and cardboard, which I appreciated.

Considering the relatively affordable price point and a slew of features, this could be many buyers’ first e-bike. Understandably, the thought of “putting it together” might sound scary. If you can assemble some IKEA furniture or use a few basic tools, you’ll have the bike ready to roll in around 30 minutes or so. You don’t need any special skills or bike knowledge, and all the tools you’ll need come in the box.

Velotric e-bike tools and instructions
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

The entire process is relatively simple. The bike comes with a set of easy-to-follow instructions and a little zipper bag for the tools. Grab a wrench, the included screwdriver, a few Allen hex keys, and a cold beverage, then get started.

You’re not putting an entire e-bike together. Instead, you’ll mount the front tire to the fork, align and tighten the handlebars, slide on the seat, and then attach the pedals (and optional headlight), and that’s it. You don’t have to install any wires, shifter cables, or components. This wasn’t my first rodeo, and aside from a hiccup with the brakes (more on that below), it didn’t take long before my maiden voyage.

Hitting the Streets & Dirt Roads

Velotric Discover 1 e-bike in the dirt
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Being a class 2 e-bike means you can use the throttle, pedal, or both. Power up the screen, select how much you want the battery to help, and start pedaling. Just be ready to feel the 500W motor kick into action and propel you forward. It only has three pedal-assist levels, with the lowest just giving you a little help as you ride. Then, at level 3, you can quickly reach the 20MPH top speed, even without pedaling.

There’s even a “push” option below level one, which will slowly turn the wheel and help you push and walk with the bike, like through a crosswalk or down the sidewalk as you leave your apartment building or driveway.

The step-through design makes the Discover 1 comfortable and accessible to almost any rider, which is a big plus. The sitting position and comfy seat make it a joy to ride, and I like being able to change gears to gain extra speed, especially while going up a steep hill. The push-throttle, display, and gear-shifter are well thought out and easy to access. It even comes with a little bell which I installed on the left handlebar. Click it for a little bing, bing.

The Discover 1 looks like a cruiser bike combined with your typical commuter, so it’ll appeal to many different users. Quickly stepping on, cruising around, or tossing a cooler or backpack on the back is great.

At this price point, I was excited to see a large, bright, vibrant display full of helpful information. The screen always shows your speed, battery life, and assist level. Then, you can use the controls on the left side of the handles to check your trip distance, odometer, average speed, max speed, calories, current power usage, or even the voltage.

Being able to see (and try to beat) my max speed record, keep track of power usage, then see how many miles I go on each ride is a nice perk that many e-bikes in this price point don’t offer. Not all e-bikes have a big screen, so this is a welcomed addition.

Velotric e-bike display

Class 2 e-bikes top out at 20mph. You can easily go faster using the throttle as you pedal, and I managed to break 30 mph going downhill and changing to a heavier gear. Don’t forget your helmet. I wish it had 4-5 pedal assist levels instead of only three, as the speed difference between them varies a lot.

The bike is a bit big and bulky, but it also rides pretty smoothly. In fact, it effortlessly cruises down the road. Plus, every aspect of the design has a purpose. All the wires are built-in and routed through the aluminum frame to keep it clean and simple. The battery also integrates into the frame, keeping the appearance minimal.

Veoltric went with tires bigger than most but not quite fat-tire style, which I prefer. It can be hard to find replacement tubes for some fat-tire bikes. The overall large size, plush seat, and, more importantly, the front suspension fork all combine for a casual ride with almost no complaints.

Many e-bikes don’t have front suspension, or any suspension for that matter, which is silly. Having 65mm of travel up front makes little bumps in the road and curbs no problem for the Discover 1. As you can see from most of my photos, I took it on a 4-mile off-road trip out behind my house, and it handled it like a champ. I was pleasantly surprised that this “cruiser” bike dealt with the dirt as well as it did, and that’s thanks to the suspension.

Obviously, this isn’t a mountain bike, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hit some gravel and enjoy casual trails around town or while out camping. Overall, the Velotric e-bike delivers a smooth, comfortable, and enjoyable ride that surprised me a bit.

About Those Disc Brakes…

Velotric e-bike disc brakes
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

I do have to mention the brakes. Velotric went with unbranded mechanical disc brakes on the Discover 1 rather than more expensive and better hydraulic brakes. The brakes are my only real complaint on this otherwise excellent bike.

For starters, the front brakes were extremely tight out of the box, so they barely worked. I had to make a few manual adjustments, which is fine, but not everyone will have the know-how to do such a task. I had to manually unscrew and realign the brake caliper, but it worked fine after that.

And that’s the best way to describe the front and the rear brakes; they’re fine. Nothing spectacular, or even solid, but not awful either. I do wish the brakes had better stopping power and didn’t feel so squishy. Hydraulic disc brakes offer a better experience, and I’d love to see Shimano brand brakes to match the derailleur. Maybe we’ll get that on the next model.

The Discover 1 has a lot to offer at this price point, and hydraulic brakes would have made it cost more, or cut into margins, so it makes sense. However, when you can easily go upwards of 20+ mph, the brakes are one of those areas that should have no compromises.

Battery Life & Charging

Velotric ebike charging port
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

Velotric claims this bike can go around 60 miles on a single charge thanks to the large 48V (692 Wh) battery, which is more range than most of the competition, especially at this price. Obviously, your mileage may vary depending on throttle usage and the driving or road conditions. At full level 3 assist, you’ll run out of battery quicker, but that’s to be expected.

On my first full charge and discharge, I did a combination of all three pedal assist levels, some regular pedaling, and managed to go nearly 41 miles before it was nearly out of battery. That’s seriously impressive. I’d expect that with the lowest setting, but considering how much I abused it, went off-road, and went over 29MPH on the highest throttle level, it’s hard to argue with those results.

Regarding the battery, Veoltric uses LG/Samsung certified, Tesla-grade 21700 battery cells and even received a UL 2849 e-bike safety standard certification. This essentially means the electrical components, battery, and charging system all meet strict standards, can handle vibrations from the road, and are of high quality. It’s nice to see, again, at this affordable price point.

Additionally, the Discover 1 comes with a fast 48V 3-amp charger that’s faster than you’d expect to get from a “budget” e-bike. The company website says it’ll fully charge in about six hours, which was precisely my experience. It reached 100% in just under six hours.

There are keys to lock the battery into the bike, or you can remove it for more effortless charging. That said, the key doesn’t “turn on” the bike like some of the competition, which is a pro and a con. You don’t have to worry about the keys, but then someone could easily ride off with your bike.

Conclusion

Velotric e-bike
Cory Gunther / Review Geek

The Discover 1 checks many boxes that make it an excellent commuter e-bike. It has incredible battery life, plenty of range, fenders and lights to keep you clean and safe during a commute, a cargo rack, and a step-through design. Anyone can hop on and hit the throttle.

More importantly, it’s an absolute blast to ride. We’ve also seen the price dip to $1,399 during the initial launch. At that price, this bike is incredibly tough to beat.

With the Discover 1, Velotric went the extra mile on looks, features, and range, and it shows. Overall, this bike is well made, comfortable, stylish with five colors to choose from, and accommodates riders from 5’1 to 6’4 tall. As the company promised, it’s an excellent and affordable commuter e-bike that anyone can enjoy.

Rating: 8/10
Price: $1,899

Here’s What We Like

  • Stylish and clean design
  • Affordable price point
  • Front and rear lights
  • Comfy ride position

And What We Don't

  • Heavy at over 64 lbs
  • Poor mechanical disc brakes
  • Only 3 pedal assist levels

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »