We pedaled, we loaded and we tested…
The Cero One is a Class 1 electric cargo bike, capable of carry up to 300lbs (rider weight included). This bike took over all of our lives as it became the bike of choice during our review period. From commuting to work, trips to the market and local coffee shops, it even found its way into becoming the baby hauler for one of our testers. Electric Cargo Bikes are great vehicle substitute’s with large carrying capacities and comfortable ergonomics. The Cero One as a cargo bike is slightly strange looking compared to most, with its mixed wheel size and stubby length (68.3 in.). Despite its looks, which have grown on us and spark quite a few conversations, it is easy to navigate and cruise around town with comfort. The front rack is fixed to the frame which ergonomically offers you an intuitive and familiar way of riding, as opposed to some longer cargo bikes that have a steep learning curve to feel comfortable on.
Starting at $3799 the Cero One is a Class 1 (20mph pedal assist) electric cargo bike with a component spec to fit the bill. The heart of the Cero One is a Shimano Steps E6100 Mid Drive Motor, with a Shimano 504wh removable battery. This is paired to a Shimano Inter-5E internal shifting 5 speed rear hub and Shimano REVOSHIFT on the handlebars. The step thru frame is tig welded rigid aluminum 6061-T6 with a 26″ rear and 20″ front wheel with Schwalbe Big Ben Plus tires. Stopping power is provided by Shimano hydraulic disc brakes which work extremely well. All together the bike (without the baskets) is just shy of 60lbs and capable of a 105 mile range. Cero offers a wide range of accessories, including the LODEN racks made specifically for this bike and adaptability to the YEPP Maxi Seat.
Providing a well equipped cargo bike for your everyday riding around town would not be complete without component offerings such as the ABUS frame mounted lock, Schwalbe Big Ben Plus tires, the LODEN baskets and compatibility with YEPP Maxi Seat and Ortlieb pannier bags. The low center of gravity and the 20″ front wheel help to keep your cargo weight low and ergonomics of riding this bike simple and intuitive. Adaptability for a broad spectrum of rider heights, the step thru frame makes it easy to get on and off the bike and an on the fly adjustable stem to change the bar height allow for quick fine tuning for ever riders posture. We speak very highly of brands that make good component selections on their bikes, the saddle selection from Ergon as well as the Ergon GC-1 paddle like grips make for an extremely comfortable ride and relieve a lot of pressure from your palms and wrists, and the Schwalbe Big Ben Plus tires are a fantastic tire that we very much so are a fan of for urban city bikes. This bike is quiet! Seriously. As much as we are fans of good component spec, we are mega fans for quiet electric bikes and this one fits the bill. The Gates Carbon Belt Drive is absolutely silent when pedaling and offers a no fuss, no mess drivetrain.
The aluminum frame although looking good is quite rigid and stiff and we noticed quite a bit of chatter and road feedback from cracks and bumps. That feeling aside, it was mildly reduced by a cargo load and adjusting the tire pressure. Unique to us and something that we are in conversation with Cero about is a speed wobble in the front end, specifically concentrated to rear end load with nothing on the front, we feel as though it could be due to the offset in the center position of the bike and the small 20″ tire. We will be sure to update as we receive feedback from Cero on the issue. In the meantime, simply not riding with no hands when you only have 20+ lbs on the rear rack and are going over 15mph will deflect the issue. On the topic of road feel, we do feel that if you lived in a rather hilly or steep area, you would be working a bit more than you may like due to the Shimano E6100 motor, all hills have been possible for us, even really steep gravel trails we have found while riding around. Again, it is just a bit more work then we’d like to see, especially with the idea of having it fully loaded and trying to get back home at the top of a few steep hills.
All in all, the Cero One is a fantastic build at $3799, with a great component build spec to fit the bill. We do think that the frame left a rather rigid feeling when riding, but a stiff and rigid bike can take a lot of abuse and leaves assurance that it can carry the load safely. In addition it isn’t the most powerful bike we’ve ridden, but we were never left unable to finish a climb and are able to look past a lot when considering its cargo capacity and how quiet it is with the belt drive.