Review: Cero One
It switches very easily from being a daily commuter to a heavy-duty hauler. Two days before Thanksgiving, my local grocery store was a madhouse (even in a pandemic!). Rather than idle in the line of cars waiting for a space in the parking lot, I rode the Cero One to the store. I picked up my preordered groceries and skedaddled. With a large front basket and rear rack, I was able to fit everything I needed for the holiday—including a 15-pound turkey—on the bike and schlepped it home safely.
I have to say, I prefer the rack on my Tern bike because it’s lower, which means the bike’s center of gravity is lower. That feels safer and easier to manage for me. However, my 6-year-old feels differently, since the lower rack means my butt is right in her face, along with my purse. She likes riding higher up on the Cero One much better. And since Cero has a normal-size rack, I don’t have to buy specialized panniers (although I already happen to own the Ortlieb panniers Cero recommends, and they’re great). I also liked that I only had to charge the Cero One around once a week. (Cero claims a range of 105 miles.)
If you often bike with heavy loads, there are a few features you might miss. With regard to shifting, I do miss a continuously variable transmission—which switches gears on the bike based on your own cadence—especially when going uphill or hauling a lot of stuff with stops and starts. The Cero One has a 250-watt mid-drive motor, and the Shimano 6050 is an older drive unit than the 2020 Bosch Cargo Line my bike has. It does feel less powerful. I could get it up to 20 mph easily without any cargo, but I had to pedal a lot harder when I was hauling.
But these are minor quibbles. If you don’t have multiple children and are looking for a complete car replacement, the Cero One will probably be everything you need—especially once you’ve bolted on the large bike basket and built your own handles for your child seat. Never underestimate the power of building good stuff for your stuff.
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