In this detailed review, I’ll share my experiences of what it’s like to unbox, build, and ride the T1 ST. I’ll provide my thoughts as a beginner e-bike rider. Let’s dive in!
Unboxing the T1 ST
The T1 ST arrived in a big cardboard box on my doorstep. At just 36 lbs, I could maneuver the box myself into my garage for unboxing.
Inside, everything was well packed in plastic and neatly organized. The main components were the lightweight aluminum alloy frame, wheels with tires, handlebar and seat assembly, electric components, and various hardware.
I also found useful items included like basic tools for assembly, the charger, kickstand, reflectors, and an LED headlight powered by AA batteries. The overall look of the lava red color immediately caught my eye.
My first impressions of taking the bike out of the box were very positive:
- High-quality packaging and materials
- Thoughtful inclusion of small parts like reflectors
- Clean, minimalist aesthetics on the frame
- Awesome color that pops
I couldn’t wait to get it assembled to see how it looks and rides!
- 36V 350W rear hub motor
- Removable 36V 7.5AH lithium battery integrated into down tube
- Five levels of pedal assist plus turbo mode
- Torque-sensing cadence sensor for natural pedal feel
- Hydraulic disc brakes and partial cable integration
- Automatic LED headlight and removable tail light
- Aluminum alloy frame with two size options (small and medium)
The small attention to detail like the integrated hydraulic brake lines and phone holder add value not always found at this price point.
Straightforward Assembly Process
Assembling the T1 ST myself was a smooth process overall. With the included hex wrenches, I was able to get it put together in around 30 minutes without any issues.
I started by attaching the front wheel and handlebars using the stem and pre-installed headset. The brake cables are threaded cleanly through the frame.
Next was installing the seat post and saddle. There’s no quick-release lever, instead, it securely clamps into place with a hex bolt to deter theft.
Finally, I attached the rear wheel with the motor already installed, connected the brake line from the handlebars to the caliper, and added the pedals. The clear instructions with diagrams made each step easy to follow.
Having some basic mechanical experience helped, but I think most people comfortable with using tools could assemble this e-bike on their own without too much headache. The T1 ST makes a good starter DIY project.
Key Component Breakdown
Now that my T1 ST was fully assembled, I took some time to examine the components and features more closely.
Here are the highlights:
The rear geared hub motor is branded Velotric. It’s rated for 350 watts of continuous power but can peak higher at 600 watts.
The internal planetary gear reduction helps provide torque when accelerating from a stop. Overall the motor seems well made with durable aluminum housing.
A torque sensor measures how much force you’re applying to the pedals. This provides 5 levels of electric assist that feel more natural by responding to your pedaling input.
There’s also a turbo mode for maximum power if needed. The responsive pedal assist was instantly noticeable compared to basic cadence sensors.
Brakes and Drivetrain
Tektro hydraulic disc brakes offer strong stopping power from the 160mm rotors. Having hydraulics at this price point impressed me. The brake cut-off feature stops the motor when braking has been disabled, allowing simultaneous braking and throttle.
Shifting through the 8 speeds with the Shimano Altus rear derailleur felt smooth and consistent. The 46T crankset gives a good gear range for both climbing and descending. I appreciate that it uses common bike component brands.
Battery and Tires
The removable lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 7.5 amp-hours and is integrated inconspicuously into the frame’s downtube. Charging it fully takes around 4 hours using the included 2 amp charger. The control pad displays the charge level and lets you turn the bike on/off.
The Kenda 700x40c tires have some tread for light trails and roll quickly on pavement. Their width gives some shock absorption too. I think they’re a great versatile fit for this hybrid e-bike use.
LED lights, fenders, a phone holder, and cool colors help round out the entire package. The Apple Find My integration for tracking the bike’s location is super handy tech as well.
Overall the T1 ST combines nice quality parts with some handy bonus features at this price point. Next, it was time to get it out on the road and put it through some real-world testing!
Hitting the Road for a Test Ride
I couldn’t wait to take the T1 ST out for its maiden voyage on the local paved bike paths and roads. After double-checking the brakes, derailleur adjustments, and tire pressures, I set off for a 15-mile shakedown cruise.
Immediately I realized how light this e-bike feels. At just 36 lbs total, it handles more like a normal bicycle than a moped or motorcycle. The aluminum frame paired with moderately sized tires really makes a difference.
Accelerating up to the 20 mph top-assisted speed felt easy and smooth. On flats or slight declines, I could pedal faster, but the electric help maxes out at 20 mph.
Climbing moderate hills was doable by downshifting into lower gears. The torque-sensing motor gives you a nice boost when pedaling hard. But steep hills really take some work to power up.
Cornering and braking both felt stable and controlled on the T1 ST. The hydraulic disc brakes are very confidence inspiring. At higher speeds, the bike stays planted and comfortable.
Overall the ride quality matched the product specs and my expectations. The motor provides noticeable but not jarring electric assist. The components perform how they should. Read on for my more detailed thoughts.
Motor and Pedal Assist Experience
Let’s talk more about how that rear hub motor and pedal assist system actually perform out on the trails.
As soon as I start pedaling, the motor kicks in and gives a seamless boost without jerking. Help from the motor comes on smoothly and naturally. This is way better than a cheap cadence sensor.
The torque sensor is excellent at gauging how much power to provide based on how hard I’m pedaling. This really improves the cycling experience compared to a cadence sensor alone.
I definitely noticed the difference between the assist levels. It ranges from gentle on Level 1 up to turbo boost if you need it. But it’s done thoughtfully and not startling.
The motor itself runs quietly, especially compared to mid-drive motors. At low speeds, I could barely tell it was engaged without looking at the display. The bike rides like a bicycle but with extra power when desired.
Agile Handling for Urban Use
With a lightweight build and quality components, the T1 ST shows its agility by carving through city streets and park pathways.
The swept-back handlebars provide a comfortable position for controlled steering and visibility. Quickly changing lines and maneuvering at slow speeds feels natural and fun.
At higher speeds, the bike holds lines steady and resists wobbling. Good tires and chassis balance give confidence in turns. It’s really ideal for a mixed urban setting.
The linear braking control from the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes greatly reduces stopping distances. This lets me brake later before corners knowing I can scrub speed quickly. Overall the T1 ST delivers exactly the type of nimble but stable handling I want for zipping around congested roads and dedicated bike paths with lots of people.
Comfortable Fit for Smaller Riders
As someone new to e-bikes and on the shorter side at 5′ 3″, having the size small T1 ST frame fits me wonderfully.
I can fully stand over the bike and dismount easily. Reaching the handlebars feels natural with their rise and swept back angle. The ergonomic rubber grips keep my hands comfy too.
What I really appreciate is the wider, moderately cushioned seat. Many bikes have narrow saddles that get painful fast. But this one stayed comfortable for the entire 15-mile test ride.
All the contact points – seat, grips, pedals – avoid hot spots or discomfort even going over bumps and cracks in the road. Sizing down the frame doesn’t compromise the ride quality.
The scaled-down size with quality full-size components make the T1 ST one of the most accessible electric bikes I’ve found for smaller riders. It just fits me perfectly.
Final Verdict After 15 Miles of Testing
So what’s my overall opinion of the Velotric T1 ST after unboxing it, assembling it myself, and riding it on trails?
I’m thoroughly impressed with a sub-$1500 electric bike! The smart torque sensor motor assist feels great. All the parts work harmoniously for a high-quality riding experience. And the size small frame accommodates petite riders nicely.
The bike provides noticeable electric help when pedaling without feeling overly powered. It handles nimbly at all speeds. The interface is simple and intuitive too.
Sure, it struggles on very steep hills and aggressive terrain compared to high-end mountain e-bikes. But realistically the T1 ST meets my needs 95% of the time as a casual rider.
Considering the price and intended use, Velotric really nailed it. The T1 ST makes an e-bike approachable and unintimidating for newer riders while still offering performance to put a smile on your face.
I’d happily recommend this electric bike to other beginners looking for their first e-bike. The smart design decisions and reasonable price make the Velotric T1 ST a winner in my book. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Diana Miller, is a dedicated nature enthusiast and an outdoor adventurer. She began leading groups for excursions in her teens and never stopped. Following her passion for nature, she gathers her friends for outdoor trips every now and then. And for the last 10 years, she has executed workshops on backpacking, snow kayaking and traveling that included her main motive of lightweight packing while outdoors. During leisure, she loves planning for her next adventure.