Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT review – a great ebike for first-time riders

Approachable, easy-riding and plenty peppy

A red Trek Verve+ Lowstep LT bike against a dark asphalt background.
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Dan Bracaglia/Tom's Guide)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT is an approachable, easy-riding and comfortable ebike that's great for beginners and anyone with apprehensions about motor-assisted cycling. Its 250W motor isn't the most powerful but it's plenty peppy enough for cruising around at speeds up to 20 mph with little effort. Pricier than other entry-level options, the Verve+ 1 Lowstep includes a two-year warranty on the battery and a lifetime warranty on the bike.


  • +

    Approachable upright riding position

  • +

    Stylish and constructed with high-quality components

  • +

    Hydraulic disk brakes are very responsive

  • +

    Peppy motor, even on steep hills

  • +

    Lots of accessories available/frame attachment points


  • -

    Non-removable battery with somewhat limited range

  • -

    E-assist lags slightly

  • -

    Pricier than the competition

  • -

    No throttle

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT: Specs

Weight: 44 pounds
Max rider weight: 300lb
Tires: 27.5 x 2.0
Drivetrain: Eight-speed, chain
Motor: 250W rear hub motor, 40Nm torque
Battery:  48V, nonremovable, (250 Wh)
Max advertised range: 35 miles
Assist levels: Three

The Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT is the brand's entry-level, upright-style electric bike for beginners, commuters and joy riders. Featuring a step-through frame, a large comfortable seat, grippy handlebars and a riding position that makes it easy to keep an eye on traffic, the Verve+ 1 LT is one of the best beginner-friendly ebikes available.

It's a bit pricier than the competition, but Trek makes up for it with high-quality components, including hydraulic disc brakes, integrated lights and fenders, oversized tires and a reasonably lightweight (44 pounds) design, with an all-aluminum frame construction. 

Powered by a modest yet capable enough 250W motor integrated into the rear wheel hub, users can select from three e-assist levels and eight gear speeds. At $2,300, it may not be a contender for our best budget electric bikes guide, but it's a strong contender as one of the best ebikes for newbies.

Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT review: Price and availability

The Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT is available for $2,300 from Trek directly, including Trek retail stores. You can also find it in a lot of local independent bike shops. The cost of the bike includes professional assembly, which is a huge plus. I recently tried to build an ebike at home and ran into several issues, despite working confidently on traditional bikes. 

For U.S. customers, all Trek bikes, electric or not, come with Trek Care, which covers the frame and main mechanical components for life. The battery, on the other hand, has a two-year warranty. While it's not meant to be removed by customers, Trek shops can easily switch it out if/when it does need replacing. 

Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT review: Design

A red Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT ebike with blue skies behind it.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

The Trek Verve+ 1 LT comes in three sizes, small, medium and large — I tested the latter —  and three colors: Galatic Grey, Viper Red, and Baja Yellow. All variations feature the same low-step-style frame with no upper crossbar to contend with. Built out of Trek's Alpha Gold Aluminum, the bike weighs in at a manageable 44 pounds. 

A close-up photo of the grippy handlebars on the Trek Verve+ 1 LT.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Tom's Guide)

With handlebars that are positioned high and wide, riders are seated upright rather than hunched over, like on a performance bike. The rubber grips on the handlebars are also super comfortable with lots of real estate to accommodate even the largest hands. The brake levers are also long and easy to grip. 

The main computer control on the left handle bar of the Trek Verve+ 1 LT.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Tom's Guide)

You'll find the e-bike controls on the inside of the left handlebar. A long press on the on/off switch gets things going, while the plus and minus buttons allow you to jump between no e-assist and the three powered settings.

The green LEDs indicate how much charge the battery has left while the red LEDs represent the e-assist setting. It's a lot more basic than the displays on the Ride1Up Turris or the RadPower RadCity 5 Plus, but it gets the job done. 

The gear adjuster on the Trek Verve+ 1 LT showing its eight different speeds.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Tom's Guide)

In addition to three e-assist settings, the bike has eight geared speeds which are adjusted using two levers located on the inside of the right handlebar. A small window facing riders indicates the current gear via an orange strip.

The seat on the Trek Verve+ 1 LT ebike.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Tom's Guide)

The bike seat features a quick-release lever making it easy to adjust the height for different riders on the fly. Trek equipped the Verve+ 1 LT with the wide and comfy Bontrager Boulevard Bike Saddle, which is a nice upgrade over the saddles that come on most entry-level models. 

The rear hub on the Verve+ 1 LT ebike.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Tom's Guide)

Power comes from the 250W, 40Nm motor tucked in the rear wheel hub. The eight-speed drivetrain uses all high-quality Shimano components, including the shifter and derailleurs. The disc brakes, meanwhile are made by Tektro. 

A close-up view of the tires and wheels on the Trek Verve+ 1 ebike.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Tom's Guide)

The tires are a hybrid affair, making them suitable for pavement and trail riding. I was easily able to cruise over loose gravel and dirt on the bike without issue. And while they offer basic puncture protection, they are far from the Kevlar-reinforced tires I default to on my own bikes.

The wide, grippy pedals on the Trek Verve+ 1 LT.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Tom's Guide)

Last but not least, the Trek Verve+ 1 LT comes with wide, grippy Bontrager City pedals which provide decent traction even in wet weather (I mostly rode around wearing sneakers or hiking boots). 

Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT review: Riding experience

A red Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT ebike with blue skies behind it.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

In addition to riding the Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT across the world's longest floating bridge and up the steepest hill in Seattle, Washington, I also used it to get around town while running errands and taking midday breaks. Here's how it faired.

The bike is extremely easy to get on and off of, and feels stable while riding, even at fast speeds. First-time riders should start with e-assist in the lowest setting before cranking it up, as the bike accelerates quickly at maximum power.

However, there is a slight delay between when you start to pedal and when the motor kicks in, about two pedal strokes, which is worth keeping in mind when taking on big hills. 

Trek Verve+ 1 electric bike on a steep hill.

(Image credit: Future)

The max e-assisted speed is 20 mph, which you can easily surpass with some help from gravity. Going up hills is fairly painless, especially in the bike's easiest gear and with maximum e-assist. However, unlike some of its competitors, the bike lacks a throttle, so you can't get a free ride.

Both the seat and handlebars are plenty comfortable. I rode on numerous occasions in inclement weather and had no issues gripping the bike or keeping my feet on the pedals. The tires also provide ample traction on wet pavement.

It's worth noting that there's no suspension, so, expect to feel some bumps and knocks as you cruise around. That said, I wouldn't call it a stiff ride. Also, lowering your tire pressure a bit below the recommended PSI will give you a little more cushion, if needed.

The brakes are very responsive, so resist gripping them too tightly your first several times stopping or you may send yourself into orbit. That said, the stopping power is fantastic, even under wet conditions. 

Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT review: Battery life and performance

The downshaft on the Trek Verve+ 1 LT ebike.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Tom's Guide)

The bike's battery is integrated into the downtube on the frame, making it pretty damn difficult for someone to steal. The downside is that you can't carry an extra. However, Trek sells a battery range extender for $499, which more than doubles the total advertised distance to 75 miles — the advertised range without it is 35 miles. The extender does add an extra 3.5 pounds of weight, though. 

Without the extender and in everyday riding conditions, versus the ideal conditions these batteries are tested in, I got closer to 16 miles of range while using maximum e-assist (and climbing 1,400 ft). While riding more conservatively, switching between the three power settings as needed, I was able to squeeze out closer to 25 miles, again with ~1000 ft climbed. 

The battery charge port of the Trek Verve+ 1 LT.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Tom's Guide)

I do reckon that on flat terrain using only the lowest e-assist setting, I could make it to 35 miles on a single charge, but where's the fun in that? Fortunately, as long as your destination has a power outlet and you're sticking around for a bit, I found the battery can be charged up fully in just over two hours.

The bike charges via a covered port at the base of the downtube and the included charger has plenty of length for hard-to-reach outlets. 

Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT review: Accessories

An MIK compatible bag on the rear rack of the Trek Verve+ 1 LT ebike.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Tom's Guide)

While accessories like front and rear rain/mudguards, lights and even a MIK-system compatible rear cargo rack come standard on the Trek Verve+ 1 LT, you'll need to shell out extra coin for goodies like the detachable bike bag shown above, the mountable battery extender (obviously) or a water bottle holder. Fortunately, the Verve+ 1 LT is covered in mounting points to accommodate all sorts of accessories, allowing you to customize it to your heart's content. 

Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT review: The competition

The Rad Power RadCity 5 Plus is the best ebike for most people and a solid low-step-style alternative to the Trek Verve+ 1 LT. It features a more powerful motor, greater range and a lower price in a similar package. However, it is 20 pounds heavier with one less gear.

The Ride1Up Turris is about $1,000 less than the Trek and also offers a comparable range with a more powerful motor. However, it too is about 10 pounds heavier. 

If you want a low-step bike with maximum range, consider the incredibly named NIU BQi-C3 Pro. It's good for an advertised 90-mile distance but also weighs a hefty 70.5 pounds and doesn't have any gears, which might be a deal-breaker if you live somewhere with lots of hills. 

Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT: Verdict

A close-up of the back of a red Trek Verve+ 1 LT ebike.

(Image credit: Dan Bracaglia/Future)

The Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT is the most approachable and well-equipped beginner-friendly ebike I've encountered. Professional assembly is included in the price of the bike, as is a lifetime warranty on the major parts, except the battery, which has a two-year warranty. 

Easy to ride and appropriate for folks of all statures, the built-in motor has three speeds; the lowest setting is great for getting used to the electric-assisted lifestyle. However, the motor is nothing short of zippy with maximum power. 

Battery life could be better, but for trips under 20 miles, the Trek Verve+ 1 Lowstep LT is a great option. The eight-speed drivetrain makes it appropriate for even the hilliest terrain. Plus, the battery recharges in about two hours and an accessory range extender can be picked up, doubling your distance.

Ultimately, if I were a man of many dollars, this is the ebike I'd buy for my parents to enjoy because it's safe, built from quality components and a lot of fun to ride. I also dig Trek's incredibly helpful customer service. However, it's hard to ignore its price, which is much higher than some of our other favorite bikes, including those with specs and features that meet or exceed what Trek offers.

Dan Bracaglia
Senior Writer, Fitness & Wearables

Dan Bracaglia covers fitness and consumer technology with an emphasis on wearables for Tom's Guide. Based in the US Pacific Northwest, Dan is an avid outdoor adventurer who dabbles in everything from kayaking to snowboarding, but he most enjoys exploring the cities and mountains with his small pup, Belvedere. Dan is currently training to climb some of Washington State's tallest peaks. He's also a big photography nerd.