I’m sitting The Civilization Model 1 is an electric bike, and it feels like a painfully slow titter. The rear suspension starts to hisspsssssss. Under the body’s work, air escapes from the shock absorber. The rear end of the bike starts to sink, until the suspension ends and stops. The onboard air compressor kicks. The rear ends of the bike began to push again.
As glamorous as it is, the Civilization Model 1 electric bike takes just 10 seconds to set the pneumatic, self-level rear suspension. It’s elegant, but it’s still a functional bike designed to carry two people – or one and a child seat – and plenty of luggage in its expandable panier bags. Adjusting the suspension of the bike as you add or subtract passengers and cargo keeps the quality of the ride consistent because the system always uses the right amount of shock hardness for the weight it carries. It’s like Goldilocks – the suspension is always there From July Okay and it really works – not just for everyone.
Before I brought the Model 1 home, I ran an experiment in the back seat around the Brooklyn Navy Yard with Zachary Schiffelin, the founder of Civilization. I’ve noticed for every train track crossing and hole – you know, for testing. The Model 1 soaked them all, even weighing over 330 pounds mankind. With its wide tires and powerful electric motor, the Model 1 reminds me to carry passengers on my motorcycle, more than any other bike I’ve ever ridden.
However you combine it, the bike can carry a total of 400 pounds. Two adults can load a panier bag (at 25 pounds per bag) and still cruise at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. Most cargo bikes have comparable capacity – our current favorite cargo bike, the Tern GSD, can carry up to 400 pounds – but unlike other bikes, the Model 1 will adjust itself for each new resin. This brings a simple double kickstand in the center instead of a less stable single leg kickstand.
When the plastic hard-sided pannier bags are closed, each of them has a reasonable 20 liters of cargo. The battery and charger are mounted inside, and each panera has an integrated three-digit combination lock so you can store things in them, such as a car trunk. You can also open the plastic shell to extend it to a capacity of 80-liters. That’s enough to run the grocery all week, although they’re less safe from theft by exposing the fabric section.
Expect 25 to 30 miles on a full charge, depending on the power settings and the weight of the rider. It’s really low for an ebike, especially at this price, but if you’re in town and don’t try to take it for an all-day trip without charge, it will be enough for commuting, working and running coffee. The other Panier bag has space for a second battery that will double the range. You can charge a device from the USB port on the battery.