Meet the Civilized Cycles Model 1 e-bike, traditionally styled but laden with tech

The Civilized Cycles Model 1 is an e-bike for the city, with practicality, performance and room for two

Civilized Cycles Model 1 e-bike
(Image credit: Civilized Cycles)

Another day, another e-bike. This time, the focus is on practicality, craft and quality, thanks to US-based manufacturer Civilized Cycles and its new Model 1. There’s a clear retro influence on the Model 1, with a step-through frame and distinctive rear panniers, but Civilized emphasises that comfort, convenience and practicality were its driving forces.

Civilized Cycles Model 1 e-bike with front lamp in dark

(Image credit: Civilized Cycles)

Civilized Cycles was set up by long-term cyclist and biker Zachary Schieffelin, also the founder and CEO of Vespa Soho, America’s largest Vespa dealership. Schieffelin has been in the e-bike game for eight years and the Model 1 is a culmination of combining this experience with the skills of a team of designers, engineers, and technologists from around the world. 

Civilized Cycles Model 1 e-bike handlebar detail

(Image credit: Civilized Cycles)

The name is no accident, for the Civilized Cycles Model 1 is designed to be upright, sedate and relaxing to ride, even if it is capable of a 28mph top speed. This is a Class 3 e-bike, with a separate throttle, rather than pedal assist, hence the impressive turn of pace. With the optional second battery installed, the Model 1 will take you up to 60 miles. 

Civilized Cycles Model 1 e-bike: room for two

Civilized Cycles Model 1 e-bike outside building

(Image credit: Civilized Cycles)

Comfort and security are taken care of by Civilized’s ‘AirTechTM’ suspension, an automatic system that maintains a stable and well-damped ride across any surface. The hydroformed aluminium frame is designed to be strong enough to carry two adults. 

Model 1 e-bike by Civilized Cycles rear panniers

(Image credit: Civilized Cycles)

Then there’s the panniers. Apparently designed by a ‘team that works with Nasa and Nike’, the twin storage compartments are clad in carbon-fibre panels, with expandable, concertina-like interiors that take the capacity from 20 to 80 litres of luggage. Integrated display, taillights and auto-dimming headlights, as well as a brake light, complete the safety package. 

Civilized Cycles Model 1, $4,999,

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.