Move Electric rating: four stars out of five
What does it cost?
What is it?
How does a serial Formula 1 winning constructor and manufacturer of one of the most influential cars in British history end up making electric bikes? Cooper, a prominent brand through the 1960s was reborn in 2009 under the Cooper Bike Company name, spearheaded by Mike Cooper and his son Charlie.
The firm, which partnered with TechniBike GmbH in 2017, produces a range of electric bikes for both female and male riders.
We’ve got our hands on the Cooper CG-7E, the brand’s Classic Gents model, to see if the Cooper legacy can live on into the two-wheeled electric age.
What is it like to ride?
Upon first glance, the Cooper CG-7E is a fine looking machine, with the retro-styled e-bike featuring cues to the Mini Cooper and former car brand.
Eagle eyed e-bike connoisseurs might be analysing the frame of the Cooper and wonder where the battery is. Intriguingly, the CG-7E uses a Zehus all-in-one motor and battery hub mounted on the rear wheel. The innovative all-in-one hub is equipped with a 250W motor and 173Wh battery.
Rather than the powertrain being wired through a digital control screen on the handlebars, the Cooper uses the Zehus Bitride app. Using the app gives riders access to the hubs various modes which include Eco, Turbo and Turbo Custom; you can turn the electric assist off entirely too.
In Eco mode Zehus promises a range of up to 37 miles (60km), while Turbo mode - which delivers more performance - offers a range of up to 25 miles (40km). During our time with the Cooper it has delivered great mileage and performed well on a near 20 mile bike ride which included a lot of elevation.
It’s worth mentioning that in Turbo Custom mode, you control the level of assist therefore mileage can vary.
Alongside the riding mode, the Zehus has been designed with a clever KERS system, similar to regenerative braking found on most new electric cars. The system is activated when you pedal backwards which slows the motor and turns the energy through braking into electric energy for the battery.
It might sound light a bit of a gimmick, but the system works well, slowing the bike while also adding some additional charge for longer use.
Despite its uses, the app was a little challenging to connect to the bike. You have to have the bike plugged into charge or pedal it forwards in order for it to connect which can be awkward.
On the road the Cooper CG-7E rides very well, soaking up the bumps and ruts with confidence. Sure enough, when presented with a big enough pothole you certainly feel it, but on both rural lanes and urban backroads the Cooper performed admirably.
Ride position is relatively comfortable although in our experience we did find ourselves leaning over the handlebars somewhat.
At all speeds the Cooper handles competnently, being both nippy and agile in built up areas, but also smooth and reassuring on more leisurely routes.
The Juin Tech Hybrid brakes are a solid addition to the Cooper, providing a good amount of stopping power in all environments.
Despite its positive handling and ride, we found the Cooper’s Microshift seven-speed gearing to be too clunky and traditional. The thumb shifter was easy to operate, but in some scenarios the gearing lacked fluidity and took its time to mesh with the next cog.
Although less intuitive than other e-bike previously tested, the gears were reliable, as was the bike itself which offers a decent level of build quality.
Where can I buy it?
You can buy it directly from Cooper Bikes.
How does it arrive?
The Cooper arrives in a custom box with the wheel pre-assembled. Buyer’s only need to attach the front wheel and seat.
The Cooper CG-7E is a well mannered electric bike that encompasses the Mini Cooper philosophy through its combination of a lightweight frame design and uncomplicated and yet innovative all-in-in one hub motor and battery. Notwithstanding the quibbles with the gearing set-up and app connectivity, the CG-7E is a refined and trendy electric bike that can be enjoyed in both commuting and leisure settings.
Frame size tested: N/A
Weight: 16.2kg (without pedals)
Groupset: Microshift XLE, seven speed
Wheels/tyres: Kenda Kwick Trax K1053 35mm
Motor: Zehus Bike Gen2 All-In-One 250W, 30 lb ft
Battery: Zehus Bike Gen2 All-In-One, 173Wh
Mileage range: 37 miles (Eco mode), 25 miles (Turbo mode)
Assistance levels: 3
Charge time: three hours
Included extras: rear rack, bell, mudguards, Bitride app, front and rear lights