- Good range
- Lots of nice design touches
- Excellent value
- Short warranty on many components
- Motor feels like it struggles on steep hills
If you are looking for a bike that you can use for riding in the city as well as the countryside, the T1 Step-Thru ticks a lot of boxes. It’s well designed, has a rear luggage rack, a nice, large display and seven-speed gears. For an entry-level electric bike, it’s surprisingly good.
If you are thinking of buying an electric bike, Eleglide is one of the brands you should consider. I wouldn’t have said that before I’d tested out one of its bikes and was pleasantly surprised at what you get for your money.
Eleglide offers different types of electric bikes: city, hybrid, mountain, and here I’ve gone for the T1 Step-Thru, a ‘trekking’ bike – as the company calls it – that you could commute to work on or take touring.
Since my intention was to do both, this seemed like the ideal model from the range. But can it really compete with rivals at this low price? Read on to find out.
Features & Design
The T1 Step-Thru, like many electric bikes, arrived partially assembled. I needed to fit the front wheel, pedals, handlebars and a few other things. This isn’t something you can do in ten minutes. In my case, it took around 45 minutes.
All the tools you need are included in the box, but the instructions weren’t as clear as I would have liked. More details would have made the assembly easier, but if you’re more familiar with how bikes go together, you’ll no doubt be cycling in less time.
All the parts are well protected so that they don’t get damaged during transport. A nice feature is the fact you can adjust the angle of the handlebars: something that is fixed on most bikes, let alone entry-level ones.
There’s no doubt that the T1 Step-Thru is a good-looking bike. Build quality is great, and I liked the white finish with contrasting brown Selle Royale saddle and handlebars. It’s also available in grey, but not in the UK. There’s also a non-step-through version called the T1, but that’s not available in the UK either.
Being an entry-level electric bike, it is fairly heavy at around 26kg. That’s almost 10kg more than the lightest electric bikes we’ve tested.
Where I live, I had to carry the bike down a flight of stairs every time I needed to ride it, but found that it wasn’t impossible.
Above the rear wheel is a useful luggage rack which is a very practical addition if you, for example, wanted to fit some panniers and go on a longer trip or if you want to replace a car journey and use it to load up your shopping.
It’s also great that Eleglide includes mudguards on both wheels, front and rear lights (the rear one comes on automatically every time you use the brake) and a kickstand as well.
Compared to a traditional bike, the Step-Thru takes its name from the lack of a horizontal top tube. This makes it much easier to get on and off the bike.
The battery is located in the down tube, and keys are included in the box so you can unlock it and remove it from the bike for charging. You don’t have to, though, it can be charged on the bike as well. But with certain bikes that cost way more having a non-removable battery this is a nice bonus.
The T1 Step-Thru has 27.5in wheels with grippy 1.75in CST tyres. What’s not usually found on entry-level bikes is any suspension, but the T1 has front shock absorbers with 80mm of travel and lock-out for those times when you don’t want suspension, such as on smooth asphalt.
Of course, specifications and features are only half of the story. What is the T1 Step-Thru like to ride?
The good news is that it’s smooth and efficient, regardless of whether you’re cycling on-road or off-road.
I’ve ridden it in the city, in the dry and on rainy days, as well as off-road on grass and gravel.
Although there are five different power levels, I preferred to ride without assistance from the motor, just like a traditional bike.
Of course, once I felt like I’d had enough of a workout or encountered a steep hill, the motor was very welcome.
Everything is controlled using the handlebar-mounted buttons and surprisingly large LCD screen.
Sara Piquer Martí
This 3.5in screen shows useful information such as your current speed, the assistance level (from 0 to 5) and the remaining battery level.
It also has a few extra functions that some e-bike displays omit, such as trip distance, max speed, average speed, trip time and more.
Handily, there’s also a USB port so you can charge your phone while you ride!
Eleglide claims a range of up to 100km, which is a lot for a 450Wh battery.
Testing in winter isn’t the ideal time for evaluating range, but I’d estimate the actual range you’ll get will vary from about 60-80km, or close to half the claim in the worst conditions with steep hills and cold weather.
Recharging from empty takes up to five hours.
The 250 watt (50 Nm) motor is housed in the rear hub. 250W is the standard set by the European Union, and this also applies in the UK. It also means the T1 is limited to 15.5 mph / 25 km/h.
The motor does deliver 500W for short bursts, like many of its rivals, but the way Eleglide has configured it, it felt to me like it needed a bit more power when cycling up steep hills.
This does not mean that Step-Thru is a bad electric bike, though. On normal roads, there’s definitely enough power and 25 km/h is more than enough for a slightly faster than normal ride, in my opinion.
Another great feature is that that the T1 Step Thru has 7-speed Shimano gears. Where some bikes are single speed and rely on the motor to get you up to speed and help on the hills, the gears are what makes it possible to ride the Eleglide without the motor.
Price and availability
If you take a look at our selection of the best electric bikes, you’ll see that the T1 Step-Thru is much cheaper than you’d expect at only £899.99 (or €999.99 in Europe).
Sure, it’s still not a ‘cheap’ bike, but you can easily spend twice this amount or more on something with very similar specifications.
This means it really does offer excellent value for money.
Just bear in mind that the warranty duration varies by component. Some, such as pedals and the kickstand have a three-month warranty, with the motor, other electrics and front fork being covered for a year. Only the frame has a three-year warranty, so this is where Eleglide is saving some money.
You can buy it directly from the official Eleglide website, but it’s also available on Amazon where it costs £949. At the time of review you could apply a £50 voucher to bring it down to £899.99.
It’s also possible to buy a spare battery. This costs £229.99 from Amazon, or £199.99 from Eleglide, which is less than many rivals charge.
Eleglide doesn’t sell bikes outside of Europe, so they’re not available in the US, Canada or Australia.
The T1 Step-thru surprised me with its thoughtful design, elegant looks, and the number of features you get for the price including front suspension and Shimano gears. Eleglide really has thought of every last detail and built a quality hybrid bike.
In fact, I ended up liking the T1 Step-Thru so much, it has become my everyday bike. It really does tick all the boxes.
The power of the assisted pedaling is good, although as a drawback I can mention that it suffers a bit on the slopes, but even so, it continues to meet the expected standard.
To be an electric bike and offer this quality, its price is quite competitive. In addition, as I have been able to observe, the brand offers promotions from time to time that could lower its price even more.
So if you are looking for a quality trekking bike and your price limit is 1,000 euros, this model should be considered without a doubt.
- Maximum assisted pedalling speed: 15.5 mph / 25 km/h
- Motor: 250W (500W peak), 50Nm (max output torque)
- Battery: 36V 12.5Ah, 450Wh
- Range: Up to 100 km in assisted pedaling mode
- Wheels: 27.5″ x 1.75″ CST tyres
- Braking system: Front and rear mechanical disc brake (160mm)
- Lighting: Front LED spotlight
- Water protection: IPX4
- Weight: 26kg
- 3.5in LCD screen
- 7-speed Shimano gear
- Recommended rider height: 160-200cm (5ft2-6ft7)
- Saddle height range: 825mm-1000mm