When it comes to e-bikes, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that faster is better. But just as a McLaren or a Ferrari would be overkill for basic grocery runs, the e-bike equivalent feels excessive for everyday riding. Enter the Cannondale Quick Neo, a bike that hits the sweet spot of practicality and price, and one that’s closer to a Fiesta or an Accord: less go-go-go, more get-it-done.
Outfitted with Shimano’s STEPS mid-mount drive system, the Quick Neo combines a 1x-style drivetrain that shifts 10 cogs with added assist in three power levels: Eco, Normal, and High (maximum 250 watts). Pedal assist tops out at 20 mph, meaning anything over that speed is all on you. The bike also has rack and fender mounts, and is equipped with a suspension fork to smooth the road for better control at any speed.
Shimano’s STEPS drive system consists of a 1x-style drivetrain with 10 cogs. Mitch Mandel
Readout on the stem-mounted display shows time, speed, and distance, along with range and battery-life estimates. A three-button switch at the left grip lets you toggle up and down through assist levels; the third button activates a “walk” feature, which engages the motor just enough to overcome the added weight (about 18 pounds) of the STEPS system when you’re maneuvering the bike on foot. (For a go-anywhere bike with a big motor, check out the Raleigh Tamland in the video below.)
Three weeks of daily commuting at about 20 miles round-trip gave our testers a pretty hefty usable battery range, averaging about 49 miles total. That meant we could leave the charger in one place, ride a couple of days, and have a little in the “tank” for detours. Recharges take about five hours.
Shimano’s E6010 STEPS cycle computer has readouts for time, distance, speed, assist level, and battery life. Mitch Mandel
The Eco setting was good for buzzing around town, offering a slight boost over a regular bike. But for daily commuting, we spent the bulk of time in the Normal mode. In this setting we got up to speed earlier than in Eco and settled in to the 20 mph cutoff while still getting a bit of a workout. On days we rolled out the door a little late, deploying the High mode meant we could stay at a faster speed with less effort, arriving at work fresh rather than sweaty.
Faster models like the $5,000 Trek Super Commuter+ 8S might get you to your destination a little bit sooner with a tad more flash. But the reliable Quick Neo is all you need for getting where you want to go—at nearly half the price.
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