Overall rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Beameo Classic shows that e-bikes don’t need to be overly complicated and high-tech. This sleek yet simple machine has a traditional ethos, combining a straightforward hybrid frame and time-proven components with a subtly integrated battery for a solid range. At first glance, it could be a regular bicycle, but the makers say it gives you that extra helping hand for your commute or leisure ride. Could this be the ideal bike for the first-time electric rider?
- Those baffled by complicated tech
- Leisure riders
- Those making the switch from regular bikes
- Stylish design
- Nicely integrated battery
- Decent range for the money
- Sporty riding position
- Fun to ride
- Proven components
- Frame is too big for those under 5’7”
- Ride is on the firm side
- Position might be too sporty for some
- No mudguards, lights or rack included
- Mechanical brakes rather than hydraulic
In an age when many e-bike manufacturers are pushing boundaries, coming up with ever more arty and out-there designs and incorporating some incredible tech, the Beameo Classic is different. It is, essentially, a traditional bike with a battery and a motor. But for many customers, that’s all they want. I found it simple, affordable and effective. The classic lets anyone who can ride a bike make an easy switch to electric, providing a helping hand on hills and generally keeping the sweat away.
It’s nice to look at, uses well-proven parts, doesn’t cost the earth and even has a slightly sporty edge to its riding experience. I did find that the sporty zing come slightly at the cost of comfort, and the electric assistance didn’t blow ne away, but if you want a nippy bike with extra soupçon of electric zip, then this could be just what you’re after.
One size (55.8cm), suitable for adults between 170.2cm/5’7” and 196cm/6’5”
Max Rider Weight
Seven-speed Shimano Tourney
Tektro mechanical disc brakes front & rear
Assembled & built
Wales, United Kingdom
Up to 60km/37 miles
250 Watt rear-wheel hub
4 hours. Charger included
15.5mph (UK e-bike speed limit)
Five power assist modes
KeyDisp LCD display
|Performance and handling
|Components and build quality
|Safety and security
|Comfort and practicality
Performance and handling
The Beameo Classic is a hybrid e-bike, which means it’s designed to do a bit of everything. I didn’t find it as upright or comfortable in its riding position as a traditional commuting bike, and neither is it a proper racer. It sits towards the sporty end of inbetween, with low handlebars and a relatively head-down position. The frame feels stiff and the ride is fairly firm – more on that later – and the effect is to give you an enjoyable, agile and alert-feeling riding experience. My colleague Rich has spent lots of time on the Classic rather than his trusty, traditional single-speed bike, and I can see why he compares the two favourably. This is a bike to enjoy, not just a method of transport. It’s easy to change direction and flick in and out of traffic, but it’s equally happy cruising along a cycle lane.
Across the spectrum of e-bikes, there’s a difference in how electric power assistance feels. On some bikes, you feel like your legs moving the pedals merely turns on the power like a switch, and that the battery and motor are doing all the work. Not so with the Classic – it feels like a genuine collaboration between my legs and the electric assistance, which considering the vibe established in the previous paragraph is a nice balance. A ride on this made me feel like I’d put in some effort, but didn’t leave me covered in sweat – if that’s the kind of experience you’re looking for in an e-bike, then you’ll be very happy.
The seven-speed Shimano gear setup means I was never stuck straining on pedals to get going from standstill, even on a hill – it’s easy to move the pedals enough for the Classic’s cadence sensor to deploy the electricity, and from there it feels like I had a helping hand moving me along. At higher speeds, with max assist deployed in fifth, sixth or seventh gear, there’s still resistance on the pedals – some e-bikes can take over to the point where you’re freely spinning your legs against nothing, but that’s not the case with the Beameo. You still feel like you’re riding a proper bike, rather than zipping along on futuristic electric transport.
The 7.8Ah battery promises up to 37 miles from a single charge. Several of us in the Electroheads office have spent time with the Classic zipping around London, and that claim doesn’t seem a million miles away from reality. That said, I had the power assist on max just about all the time (because it’s fun that way), which would likely lower the range by a good chunk.
Components and build quality
The Beameo Classic may be simple, but it feels like a quality product. The components used are from recognisable suppliers, which means they feel great in the hand and have a reputation for longevity, They can also be upgraded or replaced in the same manner as a traditional bicycle, which means you don’t have to order proprietary parts if something goes amiss.
The frame is relatively traditional, with a kink in the top tube for extra style and the 48V 7.8Ah battery integrated into the downtube with a slightly triangular profile. You can order the frame in only one colourway, which with a yellow-beige base colour, the red stripe on the top-tube and the contrasting beige on the battery, gives the Classic a vibe reminiscent of both the Mondrian-inspired Look bikes and/or a Toblerone. Either way, we reckon it’s got plenty of presence and style.
The classy visuals are further enhanced by the tan 28mm Kenda tyres, which are knobbled to enable light off-road riding, and matching tan leather handlebar grips and sprung, riveted saddle.
Gears are shifted using Shimano’s trusty seven-speed Tourney setup, with a thumb shifter on the right handlebar. Power assistance, meanwhile, comes from a 250W rear hub motor with five levels of assistance, controlled via a small LCD display on the left handlebar. The brakes are mechanical disc brakes from Tektro – another well-established brand. Some rival bikes include hydraulic brakes at around this price point, but they’re generally made in places where such features are more affordable – Beameo bikes are based in the UK. As with many parts of the Beameo Classic, they can be upgraded at just about any local bike shop if you really want to.
No lights are included, which is a shame but keeps the cost down, and there’s plenty of space on the handlebar to add your own. Mudguards are an optional extra at £50, or you can add third-party ones. Sadly for commuters there’s no option for a rack or panniers, but again, there are third-party options if you really need to carry stuff.
The weight is a pretty hefty 24kg – light enough that I could huck it up a set of steps, but heavy enough that I don’t really want to.
Safety and security
The Beameo Classic’s battery slots into the downtube and is rechargeable in-situ, or you can easily remove it to charge in your flat, office or… well, wherever you can find a plug. It’ll take around four hours and a charger is included. Although it’s heavy, I could ride the Classic without a battery, so make sure you secure it with a proper lock, even if you’ve take the battery with you.
No lights are included, which is a shame - you get reflectors as required by UK law, but that’s it. Still, there’s plenty of space to add your own lights, but it’s an extra expense.
The Tektro mechanical disc brakes are well proven and reliable, and they work well – I had no trouble quickly scrubbing off speed for traffic lights and errant pedestrians wandering into London’s cycle lanes. If you’ve ever tried hydraulic brakes you may yearn for the extra feel and modulation that they allow, but they would drive up the price. Still, it’s an easy upgrade.
Comfort and practicality
The Beameo Classic comes with relatively wide 28mm tyres, which combined with the sprung saddle take the edge off what is a fairly firm ride. Riding this bike after several more upright e-bikes, which had squishy saddles and, on some, suspension, this felt firm, although that did add to the feeling of agility. The sporty riding position, with low handlebars, also means I was leaning forward more than on some other e-bikes, which after time can weigh on your arms and hands.
This isn’t necessarily a criticism – those other bikes didn’t feel as sporty – but it’s an observation to keep in mind as you consider what kind of riding experience you want from your e-bike. A squishier-still saddle could be a worthwhile upgrade if you’re worried about comfort, as could spongier handlebar grips.
The lack of mudguards could be a problem for some, and with no rack available without heading to third parties, the practicality level of the bike out of the box is limited. Still, it’s relatively straightforward to add those things (indeed, order a Classic from Electroheads and we can fit them for you). And Beameo has at least included a kickstand.
Phill Tromans has been a journalist and reviewer since 2001. As both a keen road cyclist and car aficionado, he’s fully embraced the concept of e-mobility, and while he still loves pure pedal power, he also likes not being a sweaty mess at the end of every bike ride.