The Velotric Discover 2, photo by Derek Markham / CleanTechnica

The Velotric Discover 2 Is A Great Commuter E-Bike — CleanTechnica Tested

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The new Velotric Discover 2 e-bike is a great candidate for a commuter or city bike, with a step-through frame and upright riding position, a front suspension fork and a wide comfortable seat, plus dual fenders and a rear rack.

Velotric, while not new to the e-bike business, is kind of new to CleanTechnica, as we’ve only ridden and reviewed one Velotric model to-date, so I was psyched to get a hands-on experience of the Discover 2 (and another model which will be reviewed here shortly). The company does its designing and manufacturing in-house, donates 1% of every Velotric purchase to a nonprofit of the buyer’s choice, has free shipping in the continental US, and offers a 2-year warranty on its bikes, which can add some peace of mind for potential buyers.

The Velotric Discover 2, which as the name suggests is a newer version of the company’s Discover 1 model, features a 750W (1100W peak) rear hub motor with 75 Nm of torque, paired with a 48V 705.6Wh battery, which together are capable of a range of up to 75 miles per charge. The Discover 2 has a torque sensor, as opposed to a cadence sensor, which gives a fluid feel to pedaling, with the bike’s motor responding accurately to how much force is put into the pedals, making for a very organic feel that is almost exactly like pedaling a non-electric bike — except that it takes much less effort with that e-motor helping out.

Velotric Discover 2
The Velotric Discover 2, photo by Derek Markham / CleanTechnica

For many casual cyclists and bike commuters, being comfortable while riding is an absolute must, and having your body end up being sore or cramped due to your riding position is a sure pathway to a very short cycling experience. With that in mind, the Discover 2’s frame geometry and swept-back handlebars, coupled with an adjustable stem that allows for up to a 60° change, make for a very ‘easy’ upright riding position that won’t put extra strain on your neck or back, which goes a long way toward an enjoyable ride.

The Discover 2 also incorporates a front suspension fork with 80 mm of travel, which helps to eat up some of the bumps on the road, while the uber-comfy wide saddle helps to cushion your rear end and spine from those same bumps. And with a very low step-through height of just 15.35 inches, it’s very easy to mount and dismount from the Discover 2 as well, especially for those who don’t want to (or can’t) swing their leg over a regular frame, and the bike’s low center of gravity makes for ease of handling both on and off of it. The maximum load capacity (rider plus any cargo) is a whopping 440 pounds, which is pretty impressive for a 63-pound e-bike.

An integrated rear rack capable of carrying up to 66 pounds, whether on top of it or in saddlebags on the sides of it, is a convenient feature that can allow for backpack-free riding or for carrying extra gear or bringing groceries home with ease. The front and rear fenders, which cover the 27.5″ x 2.4″ puncture resistant tires, help to keep dirt and dross from coating the rider, so you won’t arrive at your destination with a stripe running up your back or with mud flecks on your cheeks. The Discover 2 has a powerful LED headlight and a rear brake light with built-in turn signals for safety, and its bright color display offers all the pertinent information at a glance, even in bright sunlight.

The pedal assist feature on the Discover 2 can be switched between three riding modes — Eco, Trail, and Boost — with 5 levels of assist possible in each of those modes, making for 15 different “acceleration curves,” as Velotric puts it. This allows for the choice of the optimum assistance level from the motor to best match the terrain or route, or the rider’s fitness ability or energy level. In addition, a thumb throttle on the handlebar gives the rider instant access to a boost in power to the rear wheel, which can be handy for starting out from a dead stop or for conquering that dreaded hill.

In the settings, the rider can also choose to modify the top assisted speed — up to 28 mph — and to change the throttle setting from being speed-limited by whatever pedal assist level is selected to an ‘unlimited’ setting that gives access to full power from the throttle no matter what the current pedal assist level is. The Discover 2 also has a 2.9 mph Walk setting that can be used to power the bike when pushing it on foot, along with a Cruise Control feature which can be used to maintain a steady speed when riding it, just like the same feature in a car.

The battery of the Discover 2 is rated IPX7, and the bike itself is rated IPX6, so wet conditions are no problem for this bike, and with the battery receiving UL 2849 and 2271 certification, charging should be safe and worry-free. On the security side of things, Velotric also integrates the “Apple Find My” technology into the Discover 2, so tracking down a stolen (or lost) bike can be as simple as opening the app. The bike can be ridden without using the Velotric app, but the app allows for the use of your phone for navigation, ride tracking, and more, including connecting with Apple Health, along with quickly accessing the bike’s settings.

Some people like to get their info visually, and since I don’t do video reviews, here’s the company’s introduction to the Discover 2:

After riding the Discover 2 on a few different types of terrain (pavement, dirt, and gravel) and putting it through its paces, I can safely say that this is a stable and sturdy bike that doesn’t sacrifice nimbleness, and it doesn’t feel like a heavy bike while in the saddle. The upright riding position, enabled by the frame geometry, the swept-back handlebars, and the adjustable stem, is very comfortable, as is the saddle, so it’s a great choice for someone who is new to cycling or who may have stopped cycling in the past due to physical issues (or due to a previous ill-fitting bike, as is the case sometimes).

The 750W motor provides plenty of power across all of the various ride modes and pedal assist levels, and it does so smoothly and without hesitation. I didn’t try this, but according to Velotric, the Discover 2 is capable of pulling a trailer weighing 880 pounds, thanks to the motor’s 75Nm of torque, which bodes well for anyone with a lot of hills to climb on their routes, as most of us don’t need to pull a trailer often, let alone a very heavy one.

The Discover 2 handled best on pavement, as that is its intended use, but handled decently riding on gravel and dirt, so while I probably wouldn’t take it on anything as challenging as a bumpy mountain bike trail or off-road conditions, it is easily capable of riding on and through mixed road conditions. This model is a worthy contender for a commuter bike or grocery-getter, or just as a casual recreational ride for health, fitness, and fun. The Velotric Discover 2 comes in four different colors and two frame sizes, and retails for $1899.

[Disclosure: Velotric supplied the Discover 2 to the author for review purposes.]

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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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