Momentum Cito E+ e-bike, image courtesy of Momentum

This Moped-Style Utility E-Bike Could Replace A Car For Many People

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The newest model of e-bike from Momentum promises to be a contender in the growing utility and cargo bike category due to its low stepover frame, impressive payload capacity, wide range of accessories, and grip throttle.

Although many e-bike converts make the switch from human-powered to electric-powered cycling on bicycles that look almost identical to traditional bikes, one of the recent trends in e-bikes has been to take inspiration from mopeds and mini-motorcycles. These moped-style e-bikes tend to have fatter tires, sturdier frames, and the addition of front and/or rear racks that can handle heavier loads, and while they also weigh more than most other e-bikes, they offer more utility to the rider and can be excellent candidates for replacing a car for many local trips.

The new Momentum Cito E+ e-bike, which was just launched earlier this month, features a 750W rear hub motor and 780Wh Panasonic battery, which the company says is good for up to 75 miles of range when using pedal assist, and up to 45 miles when using the throttle. Its total carrying capacity is an impressive 408 pounds, with the rear cargo rack alone capable of carrying 132 pounds, so the Cito E+ looks like it could handle many local errands, including hauling children, with ease.

According to Phoebe Liu, chief branding officer of Giant Group, “Our design team purpose-built the bike to be a total utility solution that integrates motorcycle design and best-in-class technologies. Whether heading to work, getting groceries or exploring the outdoors, the Cito E+ offers a natural riding experience.”

The Cito E+ has 3 levels of pedal assist with both a torque and a cadence sensor for attaining speeds up to 28 mph, with the grip throttle capable of boosting you to speeds of up to 20 mph. One thing that stuck out to me about the throttle is that the company says it can’t be used unless the bike is already rolling at a speed of more than 3.5 mph, so it’s not able to be used to get up to speed from a full stop, which in my opinion is a great use of the throttle, especially if you are carrying a sizeable load. The bike also includes an “auto brake cut-off” that stops power from going to the electric motor when the brakes are applied, which makes sense in terms of safety (you really don’t want your brakes to be fighting the motor, although why that would happen is beyond me).

The Cito E+ has a front suspension fork with 60 mm of travel, and it rolls on 20″ x 4″ tires, both of which will add up to a comfortable ride on most surfaces, although it’s probably meant mostly for riding on paved surfaces such aas roads and sidewalks. The Cito E+ also has hydraulic disc brakes for excellent stopping power, and features an 8-speed derailleur and what the company calls an “e-bike optimized” chain.

The Cito E+ build comes in two colors, and also includes fenders, an “E-horn,” an LED headlight, and a rear brake light with turn signals function. Buyers can choose to add on other accessories, such as mirrors, a front rack, panniers, a passenger seat, a bench seat, a center kickstand, and more, and the bike is said to be compatible with third-party baby seats. One interesting accessory that I haven’t seen before on an e-bike is a bolt-on aluminum top tube (which kind of defeats the purpose of the low-step frame) that offers easily accessible storage, kind of like a glovebox for a bike.

The Momentum Cito E+ retails for $3200, and although the company does not ship directly to consumers, it is available through select bike stores, and while I assume that you could also order it through any local bike retailer to be delivered there for you, that is not totally clear from the company website.

Update: A previous version of this article stated that Momentum is a sub-brand of Giant Cycles, which is incorrect. Giant Bicycles, Momentum, Liv, and CADEX are all brands of Giant Group, and Momentum is the lifestyle-inspired bicycle brand focused on urban transportation solutions.

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Derek Markham

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee.

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