Coboc Rome review: A gorgeous, fuss-free city commuter

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The Good The Coboc Rome looks great, weighs little and provides a no-nonsense electric ride on your city commute.

The Bad It costs a lot, and the battery is fixed in place so you'll have to store the bike near a wall socket to charge it.

The Bottom Line If you can stomach the price, the Coboc Rome offers a comfy, easy ride through the city streets and looks damn good doing it.

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8.0 Overall
  • Comfort 8
  • Design 9
  • Performance 7
  • Battery life 8

The Coboc Rome is a total no-nonsense electric bike.

It's a fixed-gear model, meaning that there are no gear levers cluttering your handlebars, and cycling around town is as simple as pushing off and starting pedalling.

The 250-watt electric motor is located in the rear wheel and it provides assistance only -- there's no throttle on the Rome so you can't rest your legs and ride only on the motor. The motor does provide plenty of assistance though and gets you up to speed -- and keeps you there -- with little effort on your part. The 80km range should be more than enough for both legs of your daily commute.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

You can't alter the amount of assistance the motor provides, which is both good and bad. On the one hand, it means you can't set it lower if you want an extra workout, or crank it up if you're tired. However, the simple 'on or off' nature of the bike is one of its charms. It really is a bike that you just pick up and ride. No fuss.

The bike itself is extremely lightweight, making it very easy to carry up and down stairs. It's very smooth to ride, the brakes work extremely well and the saddle and riding position make it very comfortable for a city commute. There's no suspension, so kerbs and larger potholes aren't absorbed well, but even rough asphalt is fine to ride over.

Its slick looks do come with a drawback -- the battery isn't removable. That means you will have to carry it upstairs into your flat in order to charge it, rather than just pull out the battery. That won't be a deal-breaker for everyone, but it's worth keeping in mind if you don't have access to convenient plug sockets.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

At £2,999 (that converts to around $4,044 or AU$5,400), it's not cheap by any means but the Rome's light weight, great looks and fuss-free features make it a superb electric-assisted bike for your city commute. Its lack of gears and suspension, however, means this isn't one to consider for weekend jaunts through the countryside.

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