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Any e-bike below $1,000 comes with tradeoffs, and as such, we can’t fault Retrospec for not including things like a display, integrated lights, or a bell. If the brand could find a way to add those elements in the future without increasing the price, we’d be thrilled! As it is, we would like to see at least a phone mount included with the bike to allow users to substitute their phone as a display and track speed, mileage, etc.

One area we do feel needs improvement is the bike’s motor engagement. We appreciated its power once activated, but the motor took a full 3-4 seconds to turn on once the pedals started moving. This equated to at least that many full rotations of the cranks, which felt excessive considering that most cadence sensors we’ve tested (this year) have triggered their motors with ¼ turn. We found the throttle helpful in getting the bike moving, but we’d prefer a more responsive cadence sensor.

That aside, the overall feel of the drive system was good. With a 7-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain, we anticipated some degree of ghost pedaling at the higher end of the bike’s speeds, and observed that it started in PAS 4 at around 18-19 mph. On anything but a cruiser-style bike, we would consider this a downside, but in this case we think it fits the Chatham Rev 2’s casual feel.

We enjoyed the overall retro styling of the Chatham, as well as the classic feel of its aluminum trim that came on the “Sea Mist” color. The other color option, “Overcast Gray,” includes black trim.

Before concluding this Retrospec Chatham Rev 2 review, I want to give the brand credit for two of the small extras that we appreciated. First, considering the bike’s price point, it would have been easy to opt solely for reflectors, so we like that they chose to include battery-operated lights. Additionally, we are always grateful for an included chain guard, as it removes the concern of greasy pants.

Bottom line: the Chatham Rev 2’s ride quality has a couple of small tradeoffs for its price, but is overall very solid.

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