Compact, fun to ride, capable, good looking and UL certified — the Go1 is an impressive entry into the affordable e-cargo space by Velotric. Yet it does have one safety concern that we’d like to see addressed in future iterations.
Fun to ride
Good assist on the climbs
Decent cargo ability
Compatible with a host of accessories
Lockable, removable battery
Nice touches such as stock fenders, wheel guards, y-kickstand and LED lights
Potentially hazardous speed wobble
You can trust Cycling Weekly.
There’s a lot to like about Velotric’s first cargo e-bike, the Go 1. It’s compact, zippy, fun to ride and looks great. It’s also backed by ISO and UL safety certification and a two-year warranty, arrives in eco-friendly packaging, and is compatible with a host of accessories to make the bike uniquely yours. Best of all: it carries a sales sticker of just $1300.
With the Go 1, the young company shows itself more than capable of competing with the popular brands of Rad Power Bikes and Aventon in the U.S. market. However, the Go 1 has a significant safety concern that we’d like to see addressed in future iterations.
Founded in 2021, Velotric is a young company based in Shenzhen, China, and Carson, California, with a mission to "help more people rekindle their joy of riding."
Adam Zhang, the hardware co-founder of the e-bike and e-scooter sharing company Lime, is at the helm. He's joined by a team of industry experts from brands like Specialized, Giant and Decathlon.
"We believe how you get there is more important than where you go, which is why we build versatile and accessible e-bikes to help you discover the small adventures all around you," the company states.
"We believe e-bikes should be elegant, stylish, high performance, reliable, safe, and affordable. We have a vision of a simpler and more expressive e-bike experience for riders who want to feel the exhilaration of the open road without any stress or anxiety."
Velotric's first model, the Discover 1, hit the streets in March of 2022. Three more models soon followed, and the Go 1 reviewed here is Velotric's fifth and newest model, available since summer 2023.
Meet the Velotric Go 1
The Velotric Go 1 is a short tail cargo e-bike. This means that the rear-end is significantly shorter than a full-sized cargo bike. For the compromise of a little less cargo, say, one less passenger, you tend to get better handling, a zippier ride, and a bike that takes up less space in your garage. The small but mighty Velotric Go 1 can carry a load of up to 440 lbs in total yet handles much more like a regular hybrid bike – with the benefit of an e-assist of course!
The Velotric Go 1 comes stock with a 500w rear hub motor set to a max speed of 20 mph, a seven-speed drivetrain, a flush suspension fork, hydraulic brakes, fenders, lights, a wooden cargo platform, and a LCD display. If you're planning on carrying a passenger, the mesh wheel guard is a particularly nice touch. Additional accessories like front and rear baskets and a passenger handrail and pegs are available for purchase.
- Frame material: 6061 Aluminum
- Bike weight: 65 lbs
- Cargo capacity: 440 lbs total
- Drive system: Velotric's proprietary Velopower H50 rear-hub with 5-level assists, 500W and 65Bm torque
- Throttle and pedal-assist
- Top speed: 20 mph by default, 25 mph when unlocked
- Battery: 48V with LG21700 cells - UL recognized and lockable
- Max battery range: 55 miles pedal assist, 48 miles throttle-only
- Brakes: Unlabeled hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors
- Drivetrain: Shimano 7 speed
- Suspension: 60mm hydraulic suspension with lockout
- Tires: CST e-bike puncture resistant tires, 20 x 2.0"
- Thru axle: yes, Novatec 15 x 110
- LCD Display
- Front and rear fenders
- Front and rear LED lights
- Center kickstand
- Certifications: UL 2849 Certified (bike); UL 2271 Recognized (battery), IPX6 rated, ISO4210 compliant
- Works with Apple's Find My
- Front and rear baskets; passenger seatpad, handrail and pegs available aftermarket
- Available direct to consumer: www.velotricbike.com
- On sale for $1,299 (usually $1,799)
Assembly & ride
When the delivery person, huffing and puffing, delivers the 70-pound box to your doorstep, the bike is almost ready to ride. The cardboard box opens on the side and a QR code will pull up an unboxing video with step-by-step instructions. Velotric even provides you with the tools needed for the assembly; no prior know-how is required. All in all, it’s a very user-friendly experience.
As a consumer, you only need to mount the bars, the LCD display, front wheel and fender, and pedals. You then secure the saddle to your preferred height, charge the battery and off you go.
Of course, if you ordered any additional accessories like the font and rear basket we received, you’ll need to mount those as well. The whole assembly took less than 30 minutes and once it’s done, you’ll unlikely need to ever do it again.
Once assembled, my first impression was that I liked the bike's aesthetics. The matte forest green paint, limited branding and compactness all spoke to me. From there, features like a thru-axle (which ought to be standard on all e-bikes), UL certification, smaller 20-inch wheels and a low bottom bracket all earned instant points in favor of the bike.
For me, a cargo bike is mostly used to minimize car trips by getting groceries and running errands by bike instead. As such, stock features like fenders and lights are much appreciated. The after-market baskets add utility though some creativity may be required to make use of off-brand panniers and additional cargo-carrying devices.
After leafing through Velotric's provided quickstart guide, I was off and running in no time. The five-button control and sizable display are quite intuitive. The power button turns the bike on and off, the button with the light icon controls –you guessed it– the lights, the plus sign means more assist, minus sign less assist. The i button toggles through your ride stats such as trip distance, odometer, speed, calories burned and time. Beyond those basic functions, the user can unlock the assist's max speed from 20 mph to 25 mph and dive into more advanced settings.
For this review, I mostly rode with the default 20mph (Class 2) limit in place, which, I find, is plenty for most use cases.
My general impression of the Velotric Go 1 is that it's a very comfortable and fun ride. The Go 1's small and wide wheels paired with a low center of gravity provide stability, while the 60mm hydraulic suspension adds a little extra cush over poorly maintained roads or light gravel paths.
The bike handles nimbly, maneuvring capably around the urban cityscape and its many obstacles. The front rack, however, is bottled to the mainframe and the front wheel moves independently, meaning that while you may be pointing your wheel right, ready to turn, the rack continues to face forward, which takes a ride or two to get used to.
The performance of Velotric's proprietary Velopower motor impressed, especially on the steady uphills. It's rated at 500w continuous with a 900w peak, which, for me, was sufficient wattage to keep me pedaling along merrily on the climbs and flats alike without jerking me forward at the first pedal stroke as some high-wattage e-bikes tend to do.
At 65 pounds pre-cargo, the Go 1 is certainly no lightweight and one is likely to use the higher levels of assist. The steps in between its five levels of assistance are gradual. As with any e-bike, I suggest starting in level 1 and toggling through the ranges as you pedal up to speed. The throttle is removable but I found that it comes in handy when you've loaded up the bike and need a little extra oomph to get going at a stoplight.
The large, 691.2Wh battery gave me a stress-free riding experience in that I didn't fear running out of juice. Velotric claims the battery will keep you going for 55 miles of pedal assist and 48 miles of throttle-only but realistically, users should expect to see a range of 35-40 miles if they're relying heavily on the assist. Still, that should be plenty for most bike commutes and city-wide errands. The battery is both removable and lockable, which provides a good theft deterrent.
The 7-speed Shimano drivetrain is bottom-rung but still does the job capably. Seven speeds aren't much these days, but the motor will make up the rest.
A safety concern
This entry-level cargo e-bike checks all the right boxes except for a significant speed wobble that occurs when one removes their hands from the handlebars while going at a speed above 15 mph.
A speed wobble, or a shimmy, refers to the shaking of the handlebars when one unweights them.
Speed wobbles are not uncommon, especially in e-bikes that are rear-heavy. They occur due to unbalanced weight distributions, frame geometry, frame material or suspension issues.
I alerted Velotric about my findings and met with the brand's technician leader, Samuel Hunter, who confirmed the issue. Hunter explained that the Go 1 is equipped with sealed headset bearings for weather protection. The bearings, however, appear to have some play in them.
Hunter assured Cycling Weekly that Velotric will address this issue in future iteration of its cargo bikes. In the meantime, customers who experience the speed wobble may contact Velotric for a bearing replacement.
Most riders are unlikely ever to experience the issue. However, the speed wobble does create a potential safety hazard. One could experience the shaking while signaling to turn or attend to one's cargo. I would, therefore not recommend using the Go 1 with passengers, especially children. And, when possible, to keep both hands securely on the bars.
Value & conclusion
The e-bike market is teeming with affordable, China-made e-bikes at the moment but Velotric managed to stand out by offering some serious competition to the popular Rad Power Bikes and Aventon bikes already in the market.
There's a lot to like about the short-tail Go 1 cargo e-bike. It's compact yet capable, UL certified, aesthetically pleasing, a joy to ride and just $1799 or $1299 on sale.
With the availability of additional cargo accessories and, most importantly, the fixing of the speed wobble, I'd happily give it 5 out of 5 stars.
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