Vaast’s new E/1 is an electric urban bike with rear suspension

Magnesium frame innovators turn attention to electric urban bike with suspension

VAAST e1 ebike for commutting

Vaast Bikes of Miamisburg, Ohio made something of a statement with its magnesium alloy framed gravel bike, the Vaast A/1 – and it was a bike that impressed us, with quality performance at a good price.

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However, the brand’s latest effort, the E/1, takes Vaast in a new direction. Designed as a ‘multi-purpose urban adventure ebike’, with rear suspension to boot, it sounds like it should meet plenty of different needs.

Vaast E/1 highlights

  • New suspension design from Darrell Voss of Nail’d
  • Powerful Bosch Performance Line CX motor
  • Three drivetrain options from Rohloff, Shimano and Enviolo
  • Low-maintenance Gates belt-drive options
  • Sustainably-sourced materials and plastic-free packaging

Nail’d suspension system

At the heart of the E/1’s design is Nail’d’s R3ACT suspension system. The R3ACT has been developed by Nail’d founder Darrell Voss, a legendary suspension designer with more than two dozen patents to his name and the man behind plenty of World Cup downhill suspension systems.

Now, this isn’t a pseudo mountain bike-style rear swingarm and linkage affair. Instead, think of the E/1’s design as a way of suspending the rider and the bike’s load.

The rear suspension system is effectively a four-bar design, suspending the rider, rear cargo battery and motor, but without changing the pedal-to-saddle height.

That means that neither pedalling nor power from the motor will influence the suspension travel, so it won’t move or bob as you ride, according to Vaast.

By isolating the rider and payload, the E/1 is said to smooth out rougher surfaces regardless of the load being carried on the integrated front and rear racks. Vaast claims a 20 per cent reduction in vibrations compared to more traditional suspension systems.

The design’s unique approach means the Bosch PowerTube internal battery has been shifted from its usual down tube position and into the seat tube, which helps put more of the suspended mass together.

As well as housing the battery, the seat tube/seatpost offers tool-free height adjustment. On that note, the E/1 comes in three sizes (S/M/L) but offers plenty of adjustment, according to Vaast, so riders from 141cm to 193cm tall should find a size to suit.

VAAST e1 ebike for commutting
The seat tube also houses the Bosch PowerTube battery and features tool-free saddle height adjustment.
Vaast bikes

Commuter and planet-friendly

The low-slung frame is designed for ease of use, while the fully-enclosed drivetrains and Gates belt options, along with standard full mudguards, should keep urban commuters happy whatever the weather.

The frame itself is made from hydroformed aluminium rather than the magnesium alloy championed on the A/1. According to Vaast’s general manager, Morten Kristiansen, the complexity of both the frame and rear stay shapes simply isn’t achievable with magnesium alloy just yet.

Despite this, sustainability is still key to Vaast’s mission and, like the A/1, the frame materials used are easier to recycle – you won’t find any carbon here. The company also uses no plastics in its bike packaging.

Vaast appears to have done a great job integrating Bosch’s Performance Line motor and 500W/h Power Tube battery into the frame design and integration plays a big part in the bike’s overall look.

The integration of the motor and battery has also been designed to ensure they can be easily replaced should you need to upgrade or replace old components down the line – another tick for Vaast’s sustainability credentials.

VAAST e1 ebike for commutting
The E/1 comes with front and rear cargo racks as standard.
Vaast bikes

The bike comes with front and rear racks bespoke to the design and fitted as standard. It also has dedicated alloy mudguards and neatly integrates Bosch’s Kiox full-colour display into the oversized stem.

It’s not quite on the same level as the futuristically styled Canyon Precede:ON CF9, but it’s certainly better than many urban electric hybrid bikes we’ve seen.

Fully equipped

The E/1 range starts with the base model specced in a mix of Shimano SLX and XT components for £TBC / $7,499 / €6,649.

Next is the Envilio rear hub model at £TBC / $8,499 / €7,499 with its clever automatic variable transmission gearing, as found on Canyon’s Precede:ON.

The hub on this mid-spec bike automatically moves across a 510 per cent gearing range, with no steps (unlike a traditional drivetrain). It’s a smart system and one we liked on the Canyon.

The fully loaded specification includes front and rear racks, mudguards, and supernova lights back and front powered by the Bosch ebike system.
The specification includes front and rear racks, mudguards, and Supernova lights front and back.
Vaast bikes

Finally, the range is topped by the Rohloff rear hub geared model, which offers 14 internal gears and a legendary reputation for reliability. The Rohloff bike is available for £TBC / $9,999 / €8,749.

Depending on territory, the E/1 is offered in models compliant with both EU power output regulations (up to 15.5mph / 25 km/h) and the beefier USA regulations (up to 20 mph / 32 km/h). For more information on electric bikes, check out our electric bike FAQs.

Vaast E/1 availability and specifications

VAAST e1 ebike for commutting
The new E/1 comes in three models all featuring a Bosch Gen 4 Performance Line motor.
Vaast bikes

We’ve got an E/1 on its way for testing and are intrigued to see the Nail’d suspension in action. Can the system, used successfully on mountain bikes, work to meet the needs of commuters and load-carrying urban riders?

Vaast E/1 Rohloff

  • Frame: Hydroformed aluminium, Nail’d suspension technology inside
  • Fork: SunTour Durolux36, 110mm travel
  • Rear shock: SunTour RS-Edge-R
  • Max tyre clearance: 62mm
  • Motor: Bosch Gen. 4 Performance Line (US model: Performance Line Speed)
  • Battery: Bosch PowerTube 500
  • Display: Bosch Kiox
  • Drivetrain: Rohloff 14
  • Crank: Praxis Alloy E-Crank for Gates
  • Cassette: Gates CDX 22t
  • Shifters: Rohloff E14 Electronic Shifter
  • Chain: Gates carbon belt
  • Brakes: Shimano M6120 four-piston
  • Hub rear: Rohloff E-14 Speedhub
  • Hub front: Shimano M7000 FH Boost, 32H
  • Rims: Alex MD40, 32H
  • Spokes: Stainless
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Super Moto-X 62-584 Reflex
  • Rotors: Shimano/Rohloff C180mm
  • Handlebar: Vaast, 31.8mm alloy, 640mm width, 34D sweep
  • Stem: Vaast, Kiox integrated, 75mm
  • Seatpost: Integrated with battery storage
  • Saddle: Selle Royal Forum with Gel
  • Front carrier: Vaast Oversized
  • Rear carrier: Vaast Oversized with integrated ABUS lock mount
  • Front light: SuperNova, M99 Mini Pro-45
  • Rear light: SuperNova, M99
  • Mudguards: Custom alloy
  • Kickstand: Rear axle mount
  • Extras: Bell/horn
  • Colour: Amazon Green/Cast Black
  • Size: S, M, L
  • Claimed weight: 78.5lbs / 35.7kg

Vaast E/1 Enviolo

  • Frame: Hydroformed aluminium, Nail’d suspension technology inside
  • Fork: SunTour Durolux36, 110mm travel
  • Rear shock: SunTour RS-Edge-R
  • Max tyre clearance: 62mm
  • Motor: Bosch Gen. 4 Performance Line (US model: Performance Line Speed)
  • Battery: Bosch PowerTube 500
  • Display: Bosch Kiox
  • Drivetrain: Enviolo
  • Crank: Praxis Alloy E-Crank for Gates
  • Cassette: Gates CDX 22t
  • Shifters: Enviolo Twist Shifter
  • Chain: Gates Carbon belt
  • Brakes: Shimano M6120 four-piston
  • Hub rear: Enviolo ST
  • Hub front: Shimano M7000 FH Boost, 32H
  • Rims: Alex MD40, 32H
  • Spokes: Stainless
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Super Moto-X 62-584 Reflex
  • Rotors: Shimano Centerlock 180mm
  • Handlebar: Vaast, 31.8mm alloy, 640mm width, 34D sweep
  • Stem: Vaast, Kiox integrated, 75mm
  • Seatpost: Integrated with battery storage
  • Saddle: Selle Royal Forum with Gel
  • Front carrier: Vaast Oversized
  • Rear carrier: Vaast Oversized with integrated ABUS lock mount
  • Front light: SuperNova, M99 Mini Pro-45
  • Rear light: SuperNova, M99
  • Mudguards: Custom alloy
  • Kickstand: Rear axle mount
  • Extras: Bell/horn
  • Colour: Vibrant Berry Red/Black Cherry
  • Size: S, M, L
  • Weight: 80.0lbs / 36.4kg
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Vaast E/1 SLX/XT

  • Frame: Hydroformed aluminium, Nail’d suspension technology inside
  • Fork: SunTour Durolux36, 110mm Travel
  • Rear shock: SunTour RS-Edge-R
  • Max tyre clearance: 62mm
  • Motor: Bosch Gen. 4 Performance Line (US model: Performance Line Speed)
  • Battery: Bosch PowerTube 500
  • Display: Bosch Kiox
  • Drivetrain: Shimano SLX/XT
  • Crank: Praxis Alloy E-Crank
  • Cassette: Shimano CS-M8100 10-45t, 12-speed
  • Shifters: Shimano SLX
  • Rear mech: Shimano XT
  • Chain: KMC c12, rust-proof
  • Brakes: Shimano M6120 four-piston
  • Hub rear: Shimano M7000 Boost, 32H
  • Hub front: Shimano M7000 FH Boost, 32H
  • Rims: Alex MD40, 32H
  • Spokes: Stainless
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Super Moto-X 62-584 Reflex
  • Rotors: Shimano Centerlock 180mm
  • Handlebar: Vaast, 31.8mm alloy, 640mm width, 34-degree sweep
  • Stem: Vaast, Kiox integrated, 75mm
  • Seatpost: Integrated with battery storage
  • Saddle: Selle Royal Forum with Gel
  • Front carrier: Vaast Oversized
  • Rear carrier: Vaast Oversized with integrated ABUS lock mount
  • Front light: SuperNova, Mini 2 HDM
  • Rear light: SuperNova, E3 Taillight 2
  • Mudguards: Custom alloy
  • Kickstand: Rear axle mount
  • Extras: Bell/horn
  • Colour: Nostalgic Sea Blue/Ocean Frost
  • Size: S, M, L
  • Weight: 74.6lbs / 33.9kg