The Velotric Summit 1 – A Beginner E-MTB for Expert Trails

Portrait of Mitchel Anderson, Rider Guide's Editorial Lead
John "Hammy Moto" Hamilton
April 30, 2024

John “Hammy Moto” Hamilton is a former motorcycle racer and current motorcycle reviewer with one of the top moto channels on YouTube. Check out his reviews @HammyMoto

Its the Velotric Summit 1 the best e-mtb you can get for the money? We put the Summit 1 through one of our most rigorous tests ever when I wound up on a double black diamond trail…. by accident! Obviously, I lived to tell the tale. See how the Summit 1 did in our review. 

Velotric Summit-1 — $1,799

The Velotric Summit 1 is a 750W, Class 3, 28 mph, hardtail electric mountain bike with plenty of power for serious riding and a beginner pricetag. I spent a couple days with this bike and really fell for it. It’s got a cool interface that reminds me of late 2000 cell phones (unfortunately, it doesn’t come with any ringtones), and it’s packed with features that make it super trail-worthy.

There are three riding modes, Eco, Trail, and Boost – basically slow, medium, and fast. I set the bike to Boost, hit 28 mph on the speedometer, and confirmed the speed independently. Then, in the top gear, giving it everything I had, I hit 30 mph on the bike. There’s a speed governor at 31, otherwise, it could go faster. 

Velotric Summit 1 Specs

Range

70 mi

Top Speed

28 mph, Class 1/2/3

Sensor

Torque Sensor

Battery 

48V 705.6Wh 

Motor 

750W (Peak 1300W) 90Nm torque

Modes

4 modes, 

IP Rating

IPX7 (battery) 

UL Listing 

UL2271

Lighting

Headlight and Tail/Brake Lights

Brakes 

Shimano Hydraulic Brakes w/180mm rotors

Shifting

Shimano 8 speed drivetrain

Weight Limit 

440 lbs

Suspens.

120mm hydraulic w/lockout

Add. Feat.

USB charging, 15 x 110mm thru-axle Novatec hub

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Velotric Summit 1 E-MTB: Features

Peak power for the 750W hub motor is a stated 1300W, with around 90 Nm of torque. The battery is 48V 14Ah, fully waterproof, and UL Certified, so it’s been vetted for charging safety and fire risk. It’s also fully waterproof, Velotric claims, and gives you a maximum range of around 70 miles.

You get 120mm of travel with the front forks and an 8-speed Shimano cassette in the rear wheel. Shimano is basically the industry standard, and the gearing is enough since there’s a thumb throttle to ease the lactic acid pains when you’re climbing. 

Speaking of climbing, you do a lot of it on a mtb, and the great thing about the Summit 1 is that it has a torque sensor instead of a cadence sensor. A cadence sensor responds based on speed, setting the motor to a fixed power output, like cruise control. It can feel like the pedals are pushing you forward instead of the other way around.

A torque sensor, on the other hand, responds to your pedaling force, actively matching your efforts so that pedaling feels more natural and you get a better workout. If you aren’t pedaling or using the throttle – if you’re cruising downhill, that is – you might want a dropper post. The Summit 1 doesn’t come with one, but you can add one aftermarket.

Velotric Summit 1: Ride Quality and Trail Capability 

post-image-1 So now we come to the ride, and I have to tell you, this is a pretty sweet e-mtb for the money. I took an adventure to test the bike on a clean, flowing trail and ended up – Whoops! – on a double black diamond instead.

While my rusty mountain bike skills weren’t quite up to the job with a bike I’m not too familiar with, the Summit 1 managed it just fine.

In the hands of a rider with a little more experience on this bike, you can really get a lot out of the Summit 1 on beginner and expert trails, although most places, if you want to ride a mtb trail, you’ll have to disable the throttle function and cap your speed to 20 mph.

Velotric Summit 1: Our Verdict 

I used the highest level of pedal assist and a lot of throttle, and after about 9.6 miles of hard riding, I still had about 51% battery left. The handling feels really good, although it does take a little while to get used to the 63 pound weight. But the Velotric Summit 1 is an e-mtb for beginners, not Red Bull athletes.

That said, the front fork on the Summit 1 felt pretty stiff on my descents, but the fork is usually the first thing people swap out on mountain bikes. I think that’s one of the few, if only, upgrades you might need to make to turn this into a great hardtail e-mtb for, really, any trail. On the whole, the Summit 1 is a fantastic value for $1,800 bucks. You really can’t go wrong with this bike.

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