MOD Bikes City+ 3 E-Bike Review: A Fun Ride Even with a Few Bumps in the Road

This e-bike checks all the boxes for RVers, including a folding design that makes transport and storage easy. 

Image Caption: Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

Testing an e-bike can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a little frustrating at times. Such was the case with the MOD Bikes City+ 3, a brand-new model that provided a fun all-around experience, excellent performance, and a comfortable ride. However, my review unit also had a few issues that resulted in some unexpected bumps in the road as well.

Mod Bikes City+ 3

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

A Rough Start

Like most direct-to-consumer e-bikes, the City+ 3 arrived at my door in a partially assembled state. In order to fit it in its shipping box, the front tire and fender weren’t installed, the handlebars were folded down, and the seat was removed. Thankfully, getting everything into place, plus installing the front headlight and making a few adjustments for fit, took just 45 minutes to complete. The entire process was fairly straightforward and easy, provided you know how to use an Allen wrench.

With the bike assembled, I soon set off on my first ride. With its comfortable seat, snappy performance, and smooth handling, the City+ 3 made an excellent first impression, even though its battery drained faster than expected. Over the course of a 15-mile ride, the charge level went from 100% to 65%, which seemed somewhat excessive. But having seen similar performance out of other e-bikes in the past, I wasn’t all that concerned.

A few days later, I hopped on the bike and set off on another ride without so much as glancing at the battery level. It wasn’t until I was 20 minutes out that I noticed the charge had somehow dropped to just 17%, which instantly created a feeling of range anxiety. How the battery had lost so much energy after sitting idle for a few days and covering just a few miles was beyond me. But not wanting to get caught out without a charge, I decided it was best to cut the ride short and head back home. A minute or two later, things got even worse when the City+ 3’s colorful display flashed an error message, and the electric motor stopped working altogether. Fortunately, I could drop into a lower gear and slowly limp back home—not an easy feat considering the bike’s 63 lb. weight.

Mod Bikes City+ 3

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

When alerted to my issues, MOD Bikes informed me that the display unit—which controls the level of pedal assist and other features—was inadvertently running an older version of the bike’s firmware. They quickly shipped me an updated model, which was easy to install and get up and running. As promised, it solved the problems I had with battery life and the motor malfunctioning.

However, outdated firmware wasn’t the only issue I had while testing the City+ 3. The bike’s thumb throttle controller would also stick in the on position, often requiring a bit of extra effort to get it to turn off. A helpful video from the MOD team showed me how to fix that problem, but prior to that, it was akin to having the gas pedal in your car get stuck. The bike’s quick-release lever for the front tire also came loose on every ride, even when I went to great lengths to tighten it into place. Needless to say, the glowing first impression quickly soured.

Mod Bikes City+ 3

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

Second Chances

Swapping out the display unit and fixing the throttle eliminated most of my issues, although the quick release for the front tire continued to rattle loose on every ride. I chalked these problems up to my test bike being an early pre-production model, and I wouldn’t expect the final consumer version to exhibit similar issues. For instance, shipping the wrong firmware would be highly unlikely, considering the quality assurance process that takes place before ramping up production.

With these adjustments made, my next test ride was better than ever. Not only did the City+ 3 reaffirm my initial positive thoughts, its battery life was dramatically improved, too. Riding the exact same 15-mile route I followed on my first outing, the bike’s charge level dropped less than 20%, which is a vast improvement over the 45% reduction I had the first time out.

The City+ 3’s motor is powerful and responsive, providing five levels of pedal assist. Each level is tightly tuned to deliver a specific experience to the rider based on their needs. For instance, the first level is called “Fit” and is designed to provide riders with a good workout, while “Eco” mode strikes a balance between range, battery life, and ease of pedaling. “Cargo” is best for hauling heavy loads, while “Sport” and “Turbo” offer increased power, speed, and acceleration at the expense of range.

Personally, I found riding in “Eco” mode to be the best option most of the time. It provides a surprisingly excellent level of pedal assist while extending the range as far as possible. The higher assist levels came in handy when taking on steep climbs, and “Fit” delivered on its promise of making the rider work a little harder, thus burning some extra calories.

Mod Bikes City+ 3

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

Specs and Stats

For e-bike riders who enjoy diving into the specs of individual models, the City+ 3 has a lot to offer. The bike features a 500W (750W peak) brushless motor paired with a 615Wh lithium-ion battery. This gives it a pedal-assist speed of 20 mph and up to 28 mph while using the thumb throttle. It also has a range of as much as 45 miles on a single charge, although I found that estimate to be somewhat conservative. Charging time is officially listed as 3-6 hours, with my test unit requiring closer to the higher end. That is somewhat slower than expected but still reasonable, considering the size of the battery.

The City+ 3 has built-in wide-beam LED head and taillights, turn signals, and brake lights. It is outfitted with responsive hydraulic brakes and a seven-speed Shimano gear system that won’t impress bike nerds but is better than those found on most other e-bikes at this price point. The faux leather seat is comfortable and accommodating, even on long rides, thanks in part to gel cushioning and an integrated suspension system. The 20″ x 3′ tires roll nicely over most obstacles and add additional comfort and stability.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I like the City+ 3’s digital color display. Issues with the firmware aside, the bike’s screen is clear, easy to read, and provides plenty of information at a glance. The colors—while not overly vibrant—are very nice and give off a premium feel not found on most other e-bikes. My only knock on it is that the display can be difficult to read while wearing polarized sunglasses. Otherwise, it is excellent and a true standout feature.

At 63 lbs., the City+ 3 isn’t exactly lightweight, but it isn’t as cumbersome as some other models we’ve tested either. The battery is easily removable, which sheds a few pounds, making it less cumbersome when lifting it onto a bike rack or into a vehicle. The bike has a folding frame that makes it easier to transport and store, too, taking up less space in a garage, closet, or RV. This makes it an excellent option for those who like to bring their e-bike with them when traveling or have limited space in their home or apartment.

Mod Bikes City+ 3

Photo Credit: Kraig Becker

Accessories and a Smart Helmet

One of my favorite things about the City+ 3 is having access to MOD’s excellent accessory ecosystem. The company offers front and rear baskets, bags, and racks that easily slide on and off as needed. There is even an option to add a bench child seat or an insulated food delivery bag. This gives all of the company’s bikes a versatility that is hard to match elsewhere while also allowing customers to customize their bikes to meet their individual needs.

I was sent MOD’s Snap-On Trunk Bag, Quick Release Front Basket, and Snap-On Rear Basket to test with the City+ 3. I found each of those accessories to be incredibly handy—so much so that I used the bike to run errands, knowing I could safely carry cargo without impacting my ride quality. The ease of removal made swamping out the bags and baskets a simple affair, which only added to their appeal.

But my favorite MOD accessory is the Ultra Helmet, developed in conjunction with Lumos. In addition to protecting the rider’s noggin, this smart helmet pairs with the bike via Bluetooth to unlock additional safety features. For instance, integrated lights on the front and back help make the wearer more visible to motorists. The rear lights even get brighter when braking and act as turn signals when an indicator is activated on the bike. That level of innovation and tech integration helps set MOD apart from the competition.

Mod Bikes City+ 3

Photo Credit: MOD Bikes

An Excellent Ride

Despite my early challenges with the City+ 3, I found it to be a very well-built e-bike that offered an excellent riding experience. Even on longer outings, it was comfortable, maneuverable, and just plain fun. The powerful motor made it easy to zip along at a consistent speed, with plenty of pedal assist to meet every rider’s needs. The quality components, ease of assembly, excellent range, and battery life all impressed, as well.

Priced at $2,190, the new City+ 3 is easy to recommend. Its step-through frame makes it accessible to a wide range of riders, and its folding capabilities should appeal to buyers looking to save space. MOD’s line of accessories gives it versatility and functionality that few other e-bike manufacturers can match, further enhancing its value. MOD’s excellent customer service and five-year limited warranty are worth noting, as well.

Visit the company’s website to learn more about the MOD Bikes City+ 3, the Ultra Helmet, and MOD’s full range of accessories.

+ posts

Read This Next

Subscribe to Wildsam Magazine today, Camping World and Good Sam’s magazine of the open road.

Just $19.97 for a year’s subscription.


Read Premium Articles with an subscription.
Starting at $14.97/year

Join Now