The compact Movea Modo 20″ is the Smart car amongst commuter bikes. With numerous features and a motor and battery concept that fits in the rear hub, it tries to mix it up with the competition of 18 high-end ebikes in our commuter bike group test. Does it work out for the Movea Modo 20″?

Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best ebike of 2021 – The 19 most exciting concepts for everyday use

Movea Modo 20” | Zehus 2nd Generation/160 Wh
16.04 kg in size 20″ | € 3,697 | Manufacturer’s website

Your friends see you as a free thinker, but really, you don’t want to stand out from the crowd. You simply want to shape your day as you see fit, free of demands or conventions. You live for the better things in life, love design and style, and surround yourself with objects that create a tasteful environment. For you, it’s not enough that something you use every day works. It also has to look good while doing so. For your mobility solution, you rely on an ebike but not just any one. How would an ebike for the city look if it wasn’t just about how fast you move around or how many calories you burn while using it? An ebike that you’ve integrated into your life because of pleasure in its design and how it carries you around? For Lars Jensen, the founder of Movea, the answer to this question is the Modo 20″. The company, stemming from the cycling-city Copenhagen, has specialised in urban mobility, which is why there’s no room for bulky or awkward ebikes in its design philosophy. Instead, Movea conceive ebikes for urban areas where you can reach all destinations to fulfil your daily needs within 15 minutes. We found out whether the Movea Modo 20″ holds true to its promise and whether it can also bring enjoyment in other applications.

Movea Modo 20” spec in detail

Lots of love went into the detail and overall look of the Movea Modo 20″. The aluminium frame with a split and deeply slung top tube impresses with its deep metallic green paint. The metal mudguards have been treated to the same finish. The abysmal motor remote aside, you’ll not find cheap plastic parts anywhere on the Modo 20″. Instead, there’s plenty of chroming present. The Nitto stem, Crane bell and powerful Formula Cura brakes are a rarity on production bikes but, as a result, all the more appreciated by bike fans who want something special on their two-wheeled steed. One highlight is the aluminium wheels, which are strongly reminiscent of the rims of a 1960s Jaguar E-Type. The rear wheel is even laced radially. To prevent the front wheel from being stolen during short stops, the axle is protected with a Hexlox theft-protection device, which can also be used for other parts of the premium spec. Power is transferred to the rear wheel via a GATES carbon belt, which avoids the need to lubricate a chain. Nor do you have to adjust or set up gears, as the Movea Modo 20″ is the only single speed bike in the group test.

While putting together the component package, the product management team was allowed to go wild: the Movea Modo 20″ shines in the test with genuinely top-end parts!

With a 3:1 gear ratio, the 60 t chainring drives the 20 t cog at the rear. Instead, the hub motor is intended to compensate for the missing gear range. The smart, all-weather version of the Brooks Cambium C17 saddle is just as low maintenance. The Supernova E3 PURE 3 front light and Supernova rear light are fitted to provide sufficient visibility and illumination and are both powered by a Shutter Precision dynamo instead of the main battery. The excellent spec is rounded out by the front rack. Movea offer a total of four racks and baskets for the Modo 20″, which can be elegantly attached to the ends of the split tubes of the top tube. Despite the city bike’s diminutive dimension, the clever concept offers an impressive packing volume. However, in tight alleys, you’ll first have to get used to the rack not turning with your bars to avoid clipping anything. When loaded up, you also have to pay attention to how you park the ebike, as the rearward positioned bike stand can hardly keep the Modo 20″ upright. The compact ebike weighs 16.38 kg and costs € 3,697.

Hard and soft
The large seat post extension results in some riding comfort. Extend it even further and it can even be used for self-defence.
Constant power
The Shutter Precision dynamo delivers power to the lights. So that no one pilfers the high-end parts, the front axle can be optionally secured with a Hexlox device.
Packed up nicely!
Despite its compact dimensions, the Modo 20″ offers a clever transport concept with good capacity.
In its shell
The rear hub contains the motor and battery. For short trips through the city, the concept works perfectly.

Movea Modo 20”

€ 3,697


Motor Zehus 2nd Generation 30 Nm
Battery Li-on 160 Wh
Display -
Fork Lug Chromoly
Brakes Formula Cura 160/160 mm
Drivetrain GATES CDX 1x1
Stem Nitto Anodized Alu
Handlebar Alu 600 mm
Wheelset Double Wall Alu
Tires Schwalbe Marathon Plus 20 x 1.75"

Technical Data

Size 20" 24"
Weight 16.04 kg

Specific Features

Supernova lighting system
belt drive
single speed bike w/ only one gear
recuperation mode

The Crane bell and Formula Cura levers belong to the highlights of the Movea Modo 20″. The cheap plastic remote has to hang its head in shame.
Only for the looks
The stand fits the design but doesn’t hold the bike up securely – especially not with luggage in the front.
Faux pas
The dated square-taper bottom bracket is a small slip-up in the otherwise well-chosen spec of the Movea Modo 20″.
Not just a visual highlight
The Formula Cura brakes bite hard into the rotors and deliver enormous braking power.
[MISSING: No Geometry info found on website]

The compact E-drive of the Move Modo 20″ in detail

The Movea Modo 20″ manages the fastest jump from the start blocks of all the ebikes on test. While ebikes in the Bosch league are still booting up, you simply jump aboard the Modo, pedal forward and at a speed of 10 km/h, backpedal three times to activate the motor. That can be a little awkward in some situations, like on a steep hill, but in practice, it’s very intuitive for city use and improves the hop-on-hop-off feeling of the bike massively. The Zehus 2nd generation motor, the 160 Wh battery and the electronics are all packaged inside the rear hub of the Modo 20″, which inevitably has consequences for the motor power. Not only does the battery have the least capacity, but the 30 Nm torque produced by the motor also comes in last in our group test. For flat earthers and people living in harbour towns, it provides propulsion in homoeopathic doses. It takes the sting out of peak efforts while riding in the city but quickly gives up on moderate slopes. The limited battery capacity is enough for short distances and can be made up for slightly with the energy recovery mode. If you’re rolling towards a red light, you simply backpedal to activate the motor brake to feed some charge back into the battery. Nonetheless, the battery isn’t designed for long, E-supported outings and has to be charged at regular intervals. It can only be charged on the ebike with the charging port well hidden in the rear axle. No problem: the handy Movea Modo 20″ can be carried through the tightest stairwells without much effort thanks to its 16.38 kg weight and compact dimensions. It will also fit perfectly into the surroundings of a stylish loft.

The hub motor is controlled via Bluetooth with the bar remote. As it’s not restricted by cables, it can be fitted left, right or even centrally on the stem and be configured to suit with a smartphone app. Six LEDs on the edge provide information about speed, motor power, and battery charge depending on its configuration. You can select the assistance mode using the buttons on the remote as well as turn the ebike on and off. Holding the buttons activates energy recovery mode or Boost mode (which isn’t worthy of the name). Instead of using the remote which has all the haptic feedback of a sponge, everything can be controlled via the Bitride MyBike app. It provides basic functions like showing battery charge or changing the support level, and further functionality on top of that like tuning the riding modes. But the app and motor system combination can’t keep up with the best in test à la VanMoof or Bosch Nyon in terms of connectivity.

Movea Modo 20” on test

Hardly any other bike in the test had us more enthusiastic to jump on to pick up our food order during lunch. Over short distances, it fully plays to its strengths: the riding position aboard the Modo 20″ is surprisingly comfortable and thanks to the low bottom bracket and slack seat angle, you can easily get your feet on the ground at the lights. The large amount of exposed seat post flexes generously under your body weight, always offering some suspension, while the cockpit also exhibits sufficient compliance. The 2″ Continental Contact urban tires on our test bike deal effectively with surface bumps or cobblestones – however, the production bike is supposed to come with narrower Schwalbe tires. The manoeuvrable Modo 20″ masters tight corners and narrow alleys easily. However, you should always keep an eye on the protruding rack to avoid clipping it on obstacles. Once you’ve got used to it, the Modo 20″ delivers lots of riding fun at moderate speeds. The ebike isn’t designed for fast riding and has to be kept steady with a calm hand. The noise produced by the bike is a constant companion, consisting of the gentle whir of the belt drive and the quiet hum of the hub motor, as well as the occasional creaking from the cockpit and gentle ratting of the front rack when riding over kerbs. If you swap the city for a trip on non-asphalted roads or through hilly terrain, the Movea Modo 20″ is far outside its comfort zone. The large ratio of the only gear and the minimal motor support turn climbs into a huge effort and the chassis doesn’t offer enough comfort to cushion large blows.

Tuning tip: one-way train ticket to Copenhagen for your new life with the Movea Modo 20″ on the flats

Movea Modo 20” conclusion

On short trips through the city, the Movea Modo 20″ delivers a lot of fun! Thanks to the high-end spec, the practical transport concept and its ease of use, the compact ebike is a practical companion for everyday tasks in an urban environment. On top of that, its timeless design makes it a modern time classic. However, the motor concept limits it to use inside the city, meaning it could only place in the middle of our group test.


  • well-executed design concept with high sex appeal
  • first-class components with lots of highlights
  • modular rack system
  • compact ebike with easy use
  • manoeuvrable handling is lots of fun


  • very limited range of applications due to limited motor support and hard gearing
  • poor ergonomics and looks of the motor remote

Rider Type

The trans-urban mile muncher 1
The stylish city explorer 2
The Transporter 3
The short distance whizz 4
The passionate recreational cyclist 5

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The testfield

Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best ebike of 2021 – The 19 most exciting concepts for everyday use

All Bikes in this group test: Ampler Stout (Click for review) | Brompton M6L Cloud Blue (Click for review) | Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty LE (Click for review) | Canyon Commuter:ON 7 (Click for review) | Diamant Juna Deluxe+ (Click for review) | FEDDZ E-Moped (Click for review) | FLYER Upstreet6 7.10 HS (Click for review) | Haibike Trekking 9 (Click for review) | Kalkhoff Endeavour 5.B Excite+ (Click for review) | MERIDA eBIG.TOUR 700 EQ (Click for review) | MERIDA eONE SIXTY 10K (Click for review) | Moustache Samedi 27 Xroad FS 7 (Click for review) | Movea Modo 20” | Riese & Müller Homage GT Rohloff HS mit DualBattery (Click for review) | Riese & Müller Packster 70 Vario (Click for review) | Riese & Müller Roadster Touring (Click for review) | Schindelhauer Arthur VI/IX (Click for review) | Specialized Turbo Vado SL 5.0 EQ (Click for review) | VanMoof X3 (Click for review)

Words: Rudolf Fischer Photos: Valentin Rühl, Benjamin Topf