Faraday Cortland Review

Have you recently looked at the Faraday Cortland? Many say it is love, at first sight, looking at the electric bicycle with its fun and retro design.

The cruiser style with flamboyant paint job stands out, and the bamboo fenders make it a head-turner. But the price tag might make you hesitate a bit.

Now you may be thinking, “E-bikes are made for lazy people, right?” such as postal workers or idle people. People who don’t want to make an effort to ride a bike themselves.

Yes, we know the pedelec has an image problem, but one cannot overlook the fact that it is one of the popular e-bikes to ride. It still feels like a regular bike when not using the motor.

To take it even a step further, Faraday made two models: the Cortland and Cortland S electric bike, and we are sure you will want to ride more.

So, why should you consider buying a Faraday Cortland or not buying and instead look for another city commuter options such as the Phantom Santa Fe? Let us find out.


✅ You get eight levels of pedal speeds.

✅ Hydraulic disc brakes for more control.

✅ Lightweight compared to other top rated e-bikes on the market.

✅ GPS recovery system and smartphone app to control the lights, adjust speed, and show your location.

✅ The Motor Controller can be fitted with an auxiliary battery pack, increasing the millage coverage.

⊖ The tires are not built for high speed.

⊖ No quick release system found on the wheels or seat tube.

⊖ No throttle mode.

⊖ Expensive compared to other good commuter e-bikes, but components are high quality.

Pure Fun to Ride

We know nothing in the world is perfect, but riding the Cortland 8-speed step-through is close. Other models offered include the Cortland S and those who have purchased one are pleased with the investment. The bike is balanced, lightweight, and self-sufficient.

With two electric assist levels, eight gears and a battery that stays in place what can one ask for more? You can decide how much effort you want to use to make it up the hill. The motor is barely noticeable when powered up, especially when in the high power mode.

You can enjoy a comfortable and relaxed ride with the handlebars and vintage pedals. While cycling, you exercise the body and mind connecting with nature. Furthermore, the e-bike is loaded with upgrades such as the eight-geared speed Shimano Alfine hub that is great for steep hills.

Faraday Cortland full view

The belt-drive system is quiet, clean, and comprise center-track alignment technology. The hydraulic brakes provide for a quick stop, and the built-in lights stand out from the rest. Additionally, the pedelec and s-pedelec is mobile app compatible compared to other electric bike models.

The Electric Bike Loaded with Features

Faraday Cortland S
Cortland S Model

The Cortland and Cortland S is similar in design with minor changes. On the model S you get a traditional cassette based drivetrain, chain, and derailleur. While the model C has a belt, internal geared hub, with leather touch points on the grips and saddle.

The model S may have synthetic leather with rubberized cork but still feels good. The bicycle looks sleek, but the battery on the Cortland is built into the down tube, making it stealthy compared to other electric bikes.

The model C pedelec has a 250-watt motor with 290-hour battery use that is average. For a pedal assist-only bike, it is lightweight at 42.5 lbs (19 kg). The motor is quiet and one would not think it is an electric model going down the road. Other favorite features one cannot forget to mention is the built-in LED lights found on the front and rear.

You see no exposed wires and can see the metal housing is robust. The handlebars have a swept-back design making your body alert to sit upright leaving the cockpit open and clean. The step-thru frame mount is easily without a high-step construction.

The tires are wide, and the front rack mount is on the frame without turning the wheel and does not compromise your steering. Another significant difference is, the Cortland S has a single-side kickstand compared to the double-sided scissoring one on the Cortland.

Other Standout Characteristics

Now you may be wondering, “You have not convinced me yet that this is one of the best e-bikes you can ride”

The truth is the harder you pedal the electric bike, the more support you get when riding.

What makes the bicycle so unique is the onboard algorithm continually alters the motor according to your needs. The battery works together with the pedals giving you full control when cycling. But this is not all, here you can see other outstanding features making this a high-end electric bike to invest.

  • Enjoy riding in an upright position for urban use.
  • The electric bike offers you Class 1 Pedal Assist with a Class 3 Pedelec speed.
  • The total weight of the bicycle is 42.5 lbs making it lightweight to maneuver.
  • The frame material used is chromoly steel adding to the weightless design.
  • You can buy the electric bike in two frame sizes 19.3-inches and 20.5-inches with a step-thru frame.
  • Pick your favorite color from a classic white to stingray blue.
  • The e-bike is equipped with an 8-speed gearing system with Gates CDX CenterTrack 22T Sprocket.
  • Further, it has a Shimano Alfine 8 RapidFire shifter on the right bar with a forged aluminum crank with chainguard and 50T Gates CDX CenterTrack Sprocket.
  • The pedal is made of aluminum and it has a 1-⅛ threadless sealed bearing headset.
  • The stem and handlebar comprised aluminum and equipped with a Tektro Vela Hydraulic Disc Rotor and Lever brakes.Cortland e-bike Review infographic
  • Further, the Faraday Double-Wall Disc-Only Rims and Continental Contact 26 x 1.75-inch tires make for a perfect ride.
  • You can enjoy a comfortable ride on the breaker puncture Kevlar Reinforced Nylon protection tire.
  • Included you get a 4 Watt LED Headlight, LED Tail Light, Scissoring Kickstand, and Bamboo Fenders on the Rear and Front.
  • Added accessories you can purchase is the stem extended handlebar raiser, a Porteur Rack, Rear Rack, Leather Pouch, extra charger, extra pouch mounted battery, and Spurcycle Bell.
  • For pedal assistance, the e-bike is equipped with a Panasonic 43-volt battery with an estimated range of up to 25 miles.
  • You receive a two-year warranty on the bike.

Is the Faraday Cortland Perfect?

In our opinion, the Faraday Cortland is one of the best e-bikes you can buy for many reasons!

Good Reason to Buy:

  • You get eight levels of pedal speeds, and you can shift it at a standstill, especially if you need to stop when going up a hill.

    Cortland battery support
    Battery support
  • The gates belt drive system offers a cleaner option with less maintenance.
  • You get smoother controlled stops without the need of straining your hands with the hydraulic disc brakes.
  • This electric bike gives you a relaxed ride and is lightweight compared to other top rated e-bikes on the market.
  • The motor will not accidentally activate when you stop to rest as it has a pedal assist sensor measuring your speed and force.
  • Can use it with a GPS recovery system and you can use the smartphone app to control the lights, adjust speed, and show your location.
  • Has a smart and clean look with no noticeable wires, as everything is built-in the tubes.

Reasons not to Buy:

  • Has no quick release system found on the wheels or seat tube, but designed to be theft-resistant.
  • There is no throttle mode, and you need to pedal to make the electric bike move, but the torque sensing bottom bracket offers a responsive and smooth ride.
  • No USB charging ports included on the electric bike.
  • Expensive compared to some other of the best pedelecs, but the drivetrain and components are high quality.

Should You Buy the Faraday Cortland?

The Faraday Cortland might not be perfect for everyone, but the low-step frame makes it more accessible. The electric bike is ideal for people who want to take their child with them on a ride.

The bicycles are responsive and comfortable with handles, seat, and frame. If you are looking for pedal-assist, the Cortland and Cortland S are perfect to serve your purpose. You will enjoy a quiet ride and look great cruising through town.

Forget about what others think, you will be more fit and happier while riding the Faraday Cortland electric bike!

Images courtesy of Faraday Bikes

2 thoughts on “Faraday Cortland Review

  • February 16, 2020 at 10:18 pm

    Excellent observation and question Jack! I thought about going into this but with such a small, light weight motor felt it was unnecessary. Yes, in my opinion it still changes the steering (everything matters, everything) but to such a small degree the bike rides great and the hub motor enables them to use an internally geared hub in the rear for pedaling and they do balance (weight wise and visually). If the motor was 350 watt with the added weight I might point it out a little more and definitely at 500+ but this little gearless design does not make a huge difference in my opinion when it comes to steering response and given the solid fork vs. suspension there are no concerns about strength or performance that way 🙂 Thank you so much for your thorough reviews. You help a lot of people. I think I will buy me a Faraday Cortland tomorrow ?.

    • March 10, 2020 at 9:53 am

      Many thanks for the input.



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