Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainabili Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainability, green tech, AI, and EU policy. With a background in the humanities, she has a soft spot for social impact-enabling technologies.
As much as I admire Harley-Davidson‘s motorcycles, the truth is I’m totally incapable of riding one. So when the iconic brand and its affiliated company, Serial 1, released their ebikes back in November 2020, I got very excited about being able to try at least one Harley-Davidson vehicle.
Fast forward to May, when I got to test the Serial 1 Mosh/Cty: a powerful, single-speed ebike that makes urban riding feel breezy and simple.
Let’s break down all I’ve learnt during my time with it.
How’s the design?
The Mosh/Cty looks like a heavy throwback to the original 1903 Harley Davidson “Serial Number One” motorcycle: from its bold design language and strong lines, to its huge wheels.
Despite its rather large size (for instance, its wheels measure 27.5 x 2.8 inches), the aluminum frame keeps the Mosh/Cty at a manageable 21.7kg. The motor and the battery are both located at the bottom of the bike, giving it a low center of gravity — which also makes the Mosh/Cty feel lighter than it actually is.
What I mostly like about the ebike’s design is its simplicity. All the wiring is internally routed. There are no gears or displays to think about. The only controls are a light switch and a LED-lit power gauge — both on the left handlebar.
Power and performance
The Mosch/Cty comes with a mid-drive Brose S Mag motor, considered one of the best on the market with its balance of ride feel, durability, and power.
Indeed, I really enjoyed the quiet and vibration-free riding as much I loved the bike’s powerful acceleration and its impressive 90Nm torque — it only takes seconds to reach 20 to 25km/h on level ground.
As mentioned before, the bike features a single-speed drivetrain, and its pedal-assist will take you up to 25km/h; if you want to go faster than that, you’re on your own.
I personally think a 25km/h speed is more than enough for city riding, but to provide an answer to riders who might find this a limiting factor, I spoke with Aaron Frank, Brand Director of Serial 1.
As he explained, the reason behind this choice is that the company’s bikes should comply with regulations both in Europe and the US to be allowed on bicycle lanes and paths.
As for its range, the ebike’s 529Wh battery can take you as far as 55km to 170km, depending on the terrain.
I used it both for my daily commuting within Leiden — a small Dutch city of 23 square kilometers — and some trips to the countryside (yes, there were tulip fields), without having to charge it for days.
It needs nearly 5 hours for a full charge, and you can either plug the removable battery or the bike itself into a home outlet. The charger is pretty large, but it easily fits into a backpack if you want to carry it on long rides.
How does it feel to ride the Mosh/Cty?
What I want from an ebike is something that simply works well, delivers a smooth ride, and looks good while doing it.
And the Serial 1 Mosh/Cty fits that description perfectly.
It feels fast and powerful even in all terrains I tested it. Its low center of gravity makes it impressively steady, which is noticeable in its maneuverability in high-speed turns.
The single-speed drivetrain adds to the overall experience: everything about the bike feels simple and natural. Hell, at some points I forgot I was riding an ebike to begin with.
What needs to be improved?
Like I said before, the Mosh/Cty feels lighter than it actually is. But for an average-sized female rider like me, a 21kg load was difficult to carry up two floors of stairs at my home.
This shouldn’t be a problem for a stronger rider, and I know that the engineers at Serial 1 did some amazing work with frame geometry and weight distribution. Still, I’d be interested to see a version for cyclists who can’t necessarily carry something this heavy.
I’d also connect the bike’s app to a small digital display on the ebike’s steering wheel, perhaps added to the empty space at the center.
The Mosh/Cty (as all the models of the series) comes with a useful mobile app, which recently integrated Google Cloud Connectivity. You can use it to choose different riding modes (Eco, Tour, Sport, or Boost), set your cadence, navigate, track your trips, collect ride data, and control security features.
For now, you can only access the app on your phone, mounting it on the bike (which definitely works), but I believe this bike would be even easier to live with if a display for these features was integrated into the frame. That would let me leave my phone at home when I’m riding, so I’m more connected to the bike and nothing else.
To put it in a nutshell, the Serial 1 Mosh/Cty is an excellent city commuter that doesn’t disappoint. It’s overwhelming simplicity allows riders to enjoy powerful cycling without needing to do much.
Mind you, the Mosh/Cty is a premium ebike, coming from a brand with heavy heritage, and as such it’s priced at a not so budget-friendly $3,799.
So, is it worth it?
If you’re looking for a recreational vehicle that you’re gonna use every other Sunday for a short ride in the park, there are several other options that you should consider for half the price, such as the Velotric Discover 1 and the RadCity 5.
But if you like the look of a Harley-Davidson ebike and you’re aiming for a fast, efficient, and reliable ride, then it’s definitely worth it.
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.