Gadgets for humans

The Analog Motion AM1 e-bike is a great budget ride for sweaty commuters

It could be the ideal way for you to change your travel habits

I’ve slowly become a fan of e-bikes. At first, I was pretty indifferent about the things, but after some time with the VanMoof ES2 and the Cowboy, I’m a changed man.

But there’s one thing holding me back from getting totally on the electrified, uh, bike: Price.

The VanMoof and Cowboy will set you back around $3,800 and $2,200 respectively. Which, and let’s be honest here, is a lot of money. You can get a solid second hand car for that.

Anyway, it’s this aspect of e-bikes where the Analog Motion AM1 e-bike wants to stand out. This vehicle sells for £999 ($1,295 at the time of writing) — effectively half the price of the other two-wheelers.

The big question is: What do you lose with that price? Well, I suggest you check out the video at the top of the page. We put a lot of time into that, and think you’ll probably like it.

If you aren’t down for watching a video (which is a shame, really, because we worked hard on it), we’ve also put together some of the key points below. That, friends, is called doing it all. [JWPlayer]

What does the Analog Motion AM1 e-bike look like?

Like the sorta bike you’d wanna take out to a candlelit dinner, give your best sweet talk to, and then walk it respectfully home. Honestly, the Analog Motion AM1 is a genuine looker:

Analog Motion AM1 aesthetic looks
And the guy holding the e-bike’s not too bad either, right? RIGHT? *cries*

It’s sleek, sophisticated, and understated. I’ve even had people stop me and compliment its looks. I might not trust those folks implicitly, but at least the two-wheeler’s aesthetics create an impression.

Something I’m also a big fan of are the mudguards. In that the Analog Motion AM1 e-bike actually has some. And they look good. The Cowboy didn’t come with any as a standard, and this made riding in any sort of vaguely wet weather an impossibility.

Well, unless you wanted mud sprayed up your back.

Something that’s also worth pointing out is although the Analog Motion is on the budget side of e-bikes, it does feel well-made and sturdy. In my time riding it, I never got the impression it’d creak or break after a year or so of prolonged use.

How heavy is the AM1 e-bike?

Including the battery, it clocks in at 13.5kg.

Now, you might not think this is particularly important, but at some point, your e-bike is going to run out of battery when you don’t expect it. When this happens, you’ll be happy you have to a two-wheeler that’s light enough to use without power.

Yes, you’d stuggle going up hills with an uncharged Analog Motion AM1 e-bike, but it is light enough you can get to the next plug socket without to much hassle.

What about the battery life?

Now this is one of the more disappointing parts of the Analog Motion AM1 e-bike. The company said it’d deliver about 32km of travel, I found it was more common for it to get me in the 20-25km range.

This isn’t terrible, but it does mean you need to charge you battery pretty regularly.

But here’s the trade-off: With a bike like the VanMoof ES2, the battery isn’t removable, so you need to shift the entire thing when you need to charge it. The AM1’s battery though is about the size of a water bottle, meaning it’s easy to grab and charge.

Analog Motion AM1 e-bike battery
A little battery with not a huge amount of juice.

The Analog Motion AM1 e-bike’s battery size also has another benefit: It’s small enough to fit easily in a backpack. This means having a spare on you isn’t much of an issue if you’re riding longer distances, or just want to keep an extra at work or something.

Yes, I would’ve preferred a higher capacity battery so you can be a bit more laissez-faire about charging, but there are trade-offs with budget e-bikes.

And how does the Analog Motion AM1 e-bike ride?

Finally, we get to the meat of it! To summarize, pretty damn well.

Basically, the motor is powerful and riding the Analog Motion AM1 feels intuitive and fluid. You set the boost level you want on the onboard computer (this allows you to do things like track distance and speed too) and then the power kicks in once you’ve got the bike moving.

In my eyes, the motor isn’t quite as refined as the Cowboy, but it’s damn close. The whole riding experience felt slick and I found I could cycle long distances with barely a bead of sweat. Basically, if you’re wanting to get to work in summer without ending up dripping in bodily fluids, the Analog Motion AM1 could be for you.

Another positive point were the brakes. The AM1’s disc brakes felt sharp and responsive, which gave me a great sense of security while I was riding along. Which is a good thing when you’re hitting speeds above 25km/h.

Analog Motion AM1 e-bike brakes
These little beauties make me feel secure.

Any negative points?

First off, I really hated the handlebars. They’re really narrow and, although I got used to riding with them after a little bit, I never really enjoyed using them.

The LCD computer on the Analog Motion AM1 e-bike is also deeply unlikeable. It’s not bad per se — it does everything you could want, really — it just looks crap. This gave the bike a little bit of a cheap feeling, which is a shame because everything else seemed well designed.

This isn’t a deal breaker and, honestly, it might not bother you at all, but I do wish there was something a bit more custom about the computer. Still, this is an e-bike aiming for the budget end of the market — corners do have to be cut.

Analog Motion AM1 e-bike LCD screen computer control
I… don’t like this.

Conclude this for me

The Analog Motion AM1 is a damn solid e-bike with a few flaws. Would I recommend it if money was no object? Or if you’re certain that e-bikes are your preferred commuting choice? Probably not. I believe there are better vehicles out there.

Where the e-bike finds is niche though is price. While it’s not exactly cheap, its $1,300 price tag isn’t insane. Think of it this way: Depending on where you live, that’s probably somewhere between six and ten months of public transport fees.

The Analog Motion AM1 e-bike would effectively pay for itself in that time as a commuting method. After that grace period, you can then sell it and go back to your normal commute if you hated the experience, or trade up for a better model if you liked it.

Basically, I’m a big fan of the e-bike. Is it perfect? No, but you have to cut some corners when you’re making a lower end device. And, if you’re on the hunt for an entry-level e-bike, you could do much worse than the Analog Motion AM1.

You can find some more info about the e-bike here.

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Published March 30, 2020 — 12:41 UTC

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