Pure Free City e-bike review: Retro hybrid charm that falls slightly short

The Pure Free City is electric, affordable and very conventional

Pure Free City electric bike
(Image: © Rob Clymo)

TechRadar Verdict

The Pure Free City e-bike offers value for money, especially considering you can get it out of the box and start riding right away. It’s got lights, mudguards and everything else you’ll need. Less inspiring is the styling and, with a heavyweight build, this is a unisex city-style electric bike that’s great for shorter commutes, but less enjoyable on longer excursions.


  • +

    Accessories included

  • +

    Good value for money

  • +

    Retro design


  • -

    Heavy frame

  • -

    Low range and power

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Pure Free City: One minute review

If you're looking for a fairly conventional electric bike the Pure Free City model is well worth considering. Everything about this two-wheeler is from the past, save for the battery and electric motor. Perhaps because of that, and the way it’s been built, the Pure Free City is quite likable in a retro kind of way. 

You get a step-through frame design, narrow spoked rims and tires, a workmanlike saddle, basic pedals, and caliper brakes. In a lot of ways that’s what makes the Pure Free City e-bike a safe bet, and it’s reasonably affordable too at just over a thousand quid. The downside is this is a hefty bike to lug around, with all of the weight sitting at the back end.

Usefully, however, the sober styling makes the Pure Free City of less appeal to thieves, which is always a bonus if you’re going to make regular forays into the less salubrious areas of town. If you can overlook the compromises in build quality and performance, this is a chunky everyday ride that’s simple but effective, although it might not quite make the list of best electric bikes

Pure Free City: Specifications

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Pure Free City: Specifications
Size range: One size (S/M equivalent)
Motor:Pure DGW07 by Shengyi
Top speed15.5 mph
Power:250w with 40nm torque
Control:Pure handlebar-mounted control unit
E-bike classification: EAPC / Class 1
Speeds:7-speed Shimano Tourney
Brakes:Pure Free City aluminium alloy
Frame material:Reinforced aluminium
Weight:23 kg / 50 pounds
Range:28 miles

Pure Free City: Price and release date

Pure Free City electric bike

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)
  • £999 in the UK
  • Approximately $1,340 / AU$1,900
  • Not available in other markets (except by international shipping)

The Pure Free City e-bike is available now and costs £999. The bike isn’t available in other markets, but if it was you’d be paying around $1,340 in the US and AUS $1,900 in Australia. Whichever way you look at it, the Pure Free City e-bike represents pretty good value for money.

Pure Free City: Design

Pure Free City electric bike

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)
  • Simple design choices
  • Good for a first electric bike
  • Drab colorway

Pure has definitely played it safe with the styling of the Free City bike, but that’s actually not a problem. The plain and simple appeal of this bike will be a hit with anyone who’s moving up to their first electric cycle, and the step-through unisex frame makes it a doddle to ride by just about anyone. 

This being a relatively affordable electric bike, there is something of an issue with weight. The Pure Free City e-bike is quite heavy and weighs in at 23kg. The other thing that’s most noticeable as you lift it out of the box it arrives in is that this weight is largely found at the back. 

There’s a chunky battery pack, which sits under the cargo rack above the rear wheels. There’s a hub motor too, which along with the gearset, chain guard and what not leaves you with little desire to manhandle it very far. No matter though, because you’ve got the benefit of electric propulsion, which is just as well considering the bulk of the bike.

Our review model arrived in a very low-key black, with some minimalist Pure graphics and little else to provide much in the way of visual thrills. Again though, this actually works if you want a bike that isn’t going to turn heads. It’ll fit into a bike rack in town or at the supermarket and nobody will notice it. An e-bike with that credential is always a bonus in our experience. 

Full marks to Pure for making the Free City model a complete package, which doesn't have the annoying need to add on lots of vital extras. You get a luggage/pannier rack over the back wheels, the front and rear lights seem to be very good indeed and there’s the added benefit of full mudguards. 

While the saddle is very basic it does provide decent levels of comfort on short runs, which is what this e-bike is all about.

On first impression then the construction, fit and finish is reasonably on the money, though there are obvious compromises to be found along the way.

  • Design score: 3/5

Pure Free City: Performance

Pure Free City electric bike

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)
  • Low range
  • Delivers as promised
  • 7 speed Shimano gearing is reliable

Given the 23kg weight of the Pure Free City electric two-wheeler it’s fair to expect rather pedestrian performance. In essence, that’s exactly what you get. The 250W motor is more than adequate, and there are three different power modes. These let you increase your speed in increments, 9mph, 12mph or 15mph as a maximum, which is standard fare for e-bikes in the UK.

Delivery of said power isn’t as smooth as some bikes we’ve ridden, but it is there when you need it. We’re also keen on the 7-speed Shimano gearing, which rarely disappoints and is no exception here. Range is a fairly economical 28 miles, so you might find that on occasions you’ll be relying on those gears more than expected as the battery ebbs away. However, a six-hour charge can get the power pack up to 100% ready for your next jaunt. All necessary cables come included.

As outlined above, the Pure Free City is a heavy bike, which combined with a rider on board can push the battery pack to the max. While it is possible to ride the e-bike with a less intense setting, we found that it worked to best effect with the most potent propulsion mode. Without assistance the bike is a hefty beast to haul around, so chances are you’ll do the same. 

Nevertheless, the 28 miles official range is good enough for trips to the shops, which appears to be the main thinking behind this bike. It’s got enough zestiness to be useful on a trip to the country too, but you might tend to keep an eye on the available power that’s left to avoid pushing the thing home again. The quoted six hours to recharge seems about right in our experience following a near flat run out on the two-wheeler.

  • Performance score: 3/5

Pure Free City: Buy it if...

You want a cheap hybrid

If you love an old-school bike, but want battery power the Pure Free City could make a lot of sense, plus at just over £1,000 it's not going to break the bank either.

You want the complete package

The Pure Free City is a worthy purchase if you want an out-of-the-box solution, mainly because it comes with everything you need to get started. That includes lights, mudguards and a cargo rack over the rear wheel.

You want simplicity 

Anyone wanting a simple-to-operate e-bike will find the Pure Free City ticks all the right boxes. There are compromises with the design and some of the components, but the bike is a breeze to master.

Pure Free City: Don't buy it if...

You want a serious bike

Quality e-bikes can be expensive and by paying a premium you’ll usually get one that will offer years of service. Some of the build quality on show from the Pure Free City two-wheeler leaves a little bit to be desired. . 

You want big range 

Avoid the Pure Free City if you're aiming to cover a lot of miles over a variety of terrain. The motor, battery and gearing will certainly get you from A to B without too much in the way of hassle.

You live in the US

The Pure Free City e-bike isn't available outside the UK, which does rather limit its appeal to folks in other territories. If you’re in the US, have a look at the Rad Power RadMission 1 instead. 

Pure Free City: Also consider

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Also consider
ComponentPure Free CItyRadmission 1
Size range: One size (S/M equivalent)One size
Motor:Pure DGW07 by Shengyi500W Geared Hub Motor with 5:1 Planetary Reduction
Top speed15.5 mph15.5 mph
Power:250w with 40nm torque500w
Control:Pure handlebar-mounted control unitRad Power Bikes custom LED display
E-bike classification: EAPC / Class 1 Class 2
Speeds:7-speed Shimano Tourney 16 tooth freewheel
Brakes:Pure Free City aluminium alloy Tektro Aries caliper (MD-M300)
Frame material:Reinforced aluminium6061 aluminium
Weight:23 kg / 50 pounds21.5 kgs / 47 lbs
Range:28 miles45 miles

First reviewed: June 2022

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.