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Velotric Discover 2 e-bike review: a premium ride for a not-so-premium price

Velotric Discover 2 left profile view with parked by a pond with tall aquatic grasses.
Velotric Discover 2 e-bike review: a premium ride for a not-so-premium price
MSRP $1,900.00
“The Velotric Discover 2's thoughtful and incredibly practical features show the designers' dedication and care.”
Pros
  • Convenience and comfort features abound
  • Faster than rating, powerful torque
  • Powerful brakes and lights for safety
  • Versatile MIK HD-compatible rack
  • Uncluttered, with few visible cables
Cons
  • There are good e-bikes for less money
  • No standard mirror
Velotric Discover 2 left profile view with parked by next to the Farmington River.
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

I was surprised by the Velotric Discover 2, the handsome red e-bike with a convenient step-through frame in the photo above. After my experience last year reviewing the Velotric T1 e-bike for city riders, I expected a lot from the same company’s all-purpose e-bike. I assumed the Discover 2 would be well-built with high-quality components and ample smart features.

I’m happy to state that I was correct; the Discover 2 met the T1’s standards. But I have to raise my expectations with this company as the Discover 2 out performed its specifications.

It’s not as long or heavy as a typical cargo bike, but the Discover 2 has a surprisingly high maximum load capacity.

Here are two quick examples of the Discover 2’s penchant for overdelivering, and then we’ll move on. When configured as a Class 3 e-bike, the Discover 2 has a top speed rating of 28 mph — except I hit 31.5 mph.

The bike has an adjustable front fork suspension, but no rear suspension, suspension seat post, or wide fat tires to ease the jarring effect of riding over ruts, rocks, and speed bumps. However, the ride was so smooth that I began to look forward to riding over speed bumps without hesitation.

Velotric Discover 2: best use

Velotric Discover 2 left profile view with parked near a soccer field.
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

The Discover 2 doesn’t slot into just one user profile, although it isn’t the right bike for all buyers or purposes. Velotric positions this e-bike as a premium, all-purpose ride.

The Discover 2’s wheels and tires aren’t appropriate for any more than mild off-road surfaces. It is not the bike for rocky trail riding, mountain biking, or beach cruising on loose sand. It won’t fold to fit in your car’s back seat and it’s too costly to leave outside if you have no inside storage option.

The Velotric Discover 2 has a comfortable plush seat with easy height, depth, and angle adjustment.
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

The Discover 2 can be the perfect e-bike for casual riders who want a bike to ride around the neighborhood, visit friends, run errands, and enjoy exercise and fun rides with friends. This bike is appropriate for commuting, although, at 66 pounds, it’s a bit much to carry up and down flights of stairs daily.

The standard MIK HD-compatible rear rack fits a growing array of third-party bags, baskets, cases, and seating options (for kids) that attach and detach easily. It’s not as long or heavy as a typical cargo bike, but the Discover 2 has a surprisingly high maximum 440-pound load capacity.

There are three electric motor performance modes and five pedal power assistance levels.

The Discover 2’s thoughtful and incredibly practical features show the designers’ dedication and care. The bike comes standard with fenders to keep your clothes clean, a bell, a kickstand, a USB-C phone charging port, a bright 130-lux LED headlight, and a combination of taillight and brake light.

Velotric Discover 2 head on with light-sensing 130 luxs headlight, adjustable front fork suspension with lockout, and optional mirror.
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

You can activate rear turn signals with a remote keypad on the left side of the handlebar. The turn signals are not self-canceling, but a green left or right arrow blinks on the Discover 2’s bright 3.5-inch display as a reminder.

Velotric does not include a mirror with the Discover 2, which was my only minor disappointment. At my request, Velotric sent the mirror seen in the photos I shot for this review. The mirror, which attaches firmly to the handlebar, didn’t vibrate or get fogged up during my testing. The mirror costs $33 on Velotric’s website.

Velotric Discover 2: by the numbers

Velotric Discover 2 right profile with unobtrusive Velotric rear hub motor, concealed controller and battery, and few wires and cables.
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

Velotric’s 750-watt continuous power rear hub motor reaches 1,200 watts of peak power and produces an impressive 75 Newton-meters of torque, which is good for steep hills and taking off quickly at intersections. The bike is also IPX6 water resistant and UL 2849 certified. It meets the ISO 4210 safety standard.

E-bikes are increasingly subject to concerns about battery fires, so it helps to know that the Discover 2 has a UL2271-certified battery with an IPX7 waterproof rating. The Discover 2’s 48-volt, 705.6 watt-hour battery uses Samsung/LG cells and should fully charge with the 3A fast charger in five hours.

Velotric rates the battery range at 75 miles using pedal assistance and 60 miles using only the trigger throttle. Your mileage can vary drastically depending on speed, acceleration, incline, rider weight, cargo weight, air temperature, wind, and many other factors.

Velotric Discover 2 showing the maximum attained speed of 31.5 mph.
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

You can configure the Discover 2 as a Class 1, 2, or 3 e-bike. There are three performance modes and five power assistance levels, for a total of 15 power levels. The bike has Shimano 8-speed gearing, which you can use to lessen your draw on battery power. Velotric equipped the Discover 2 with a torque sensor, so pedal power assistance matches the force you pedal.

As I mentioned in the introduction, this e-bike is faster than its 28-mph rating. Reaching 30 mph or a bit higher on flat roads was easy. I weigh about 160 pounds and am 5-feet, 8-inches tall.

I tried pedaling without any battery assistance and found it was only OK. E-bikes are heavier than regular bicycles and while the Discover 2’s rider geometry allowed me ample room to extend my legs while pedaling, I’ll choose battery power assistance when riding this bike.

Velotric Discover 2: Special features

Velotric Discover 2 ready for the standing-start steep driveway torque test.
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

Beyond the Discover 2’s fit and finish, the combination of premium components makes this e-bike special. The bike’s powerful motor with faster-than-expected performance, long range, safety-certified battery, hydraulic disc brakes with ample 180mm disc rotors, and adjustable front fork hydraulic suspension all complement each other.

The bike rides on 27.5-inch puncture-resistant Kenda tires that are a moderate 2.4-inches wide. Any wider and rolling resistance would interfere with range and maneuverability.

Velotric sells the Discover 2 in two frame sizes: Regular for riders 4-feet, 11-inches to 5-feet, 9-inches tall and Large for riders 5-feet, 6-inches to 6-feet, 4-inches tall. The frame is available in four colors: mint, pine green, stone gray, and cherry crimson, which is the color of the test bike.

Velotric offers a longer-than-usual two-year warranty, plus free shipping and eco-friendly packaging. Velotric has a 14-day trial purchase period, although there’s a restocking fee if you return a bike.

In addition to direct-to-consumer sales on the Velotric website, more than 1,000 retail locations sell and repair Velotric e-bikes. I was surprised and pleased to discover a local bicycle and e-bike shop selling Velotric and Aventon e-bikes about 7 miles from our home. If you’re not sure if a bike is right for you, take advantage of the chance to test ride one at a retail location.

Velotric Discover 2: Our take

Velotric Discover 2 left profile view with parked by a pond with tall aquatic grasses.
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

I highly recommend the Discover 2, especially if you also purchase one of the excellent left-side mirrors. You can find very good general-purpose e-bikes for less than the Discover 2’s $1,900 starting price, and you can certainly spend a lot more on e-bikes like the gorgeous $6,000 Gazelle Eclipse e-bike I recently reviewed. The Velotric Discover 2 sets the current benchmark for premium multipurpose e-bikes that don’t destroy your budget with every technology and performance tweak possible.

Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Commerce teams. Bruce uses smart devices…
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