Ebike you say? Yeah, everything seems to be going "e" these days from cars to scooters, and now ebikes are exploding on the scene with a lot of new players hitting the market seemingly all at once - or it's just the Facebook algorithm catching up with me. Whatever is happening, there seems to be a real groundswell in this new category that is disrupting the bicycle industry in a big way.
Why not just a standard bike? Most people would love to commute by bike if they could, but the fact that you end up all sweaty by the time you pull up to the office is enough for most people to halt that commute option rather quickly. The ebike solves the problem by adding a motor that allows you to go a comfortable 20 mph with the flick of a thumb throttle, for a perspiration-free ride (unless you are in Miami and it's 90 degrees out).
After a three month stint in Miami while setting up for WMC 2019 I was forced to commute by bike for the majority of my stay, so I ended up doing a lot of research to find the most cost-effective high-quality ebike on the market and ended up at Ride1up.com. They make three models of ebike, the 500 Series in both a city and mountain variation and the more urban commuter called The Ghost.
I ended up purchasing the 500 Series MTB because of the more aggressive handlebar set up and beefy tires that can handle more types of terrain. I also wanted to use it in my home state of Colorado and test it out on some longer trail rides where things get a bit more strenuous than the Miami flats.
The bike arrived roughly seven days after I ordered it and seemed reasonably easy to assemble, but I ended up taking it to a bike shop to have that done professionally and for the simple fact that I had no tools at my disposal.
I opted for the "Gold" model that featured the thumb throttle rather than rotating grip variation, and it just seemed a bit easier to use and more intuitive overall. The bike when assembled weighs roughly 50 pounds, so it's not light, but it's also not the heaviest in the category either and is easy enough to manage up small flights of stairs and load into an SUV or rack (remove the battery before doing that).
I also upgraded to the LCD monitor so I could get a digital readout on MPH and overall mileage, plus more variations on pedal assist vs. just the three on the include module (see picture).
So how does it ride?
This thing is an absolute blast, and whether you are using pedal assist or just ripping the throttle and coasting your lazy ass, it's pure childlike exhilaration. The bike itself is a seven-speed, and much of the time I found myself just pedaling and using the throttle only to clear intersections or when I was a bit tired after a long day of sitting in front of a computer.
Coming in at just over a thousand bucks the Ride1up is hard to beat on just about every level. The components are quality (Shimano derailer, etc. - complete listing below), it has front suspension, goes up to 50 miles on a charge (using pedal assist) and tops out around 26 mph while pedaling and using the motor. The bike is also built very well, is lighter than most in its class and looks badass.
I would probably recommend getting the rack system upgrade if you are going to use the bike to commute to work as carrying a backpack with ulocks and a laptop can get a bit heavy over longer commutes. The LCD display is a nice feature as well, but not as necessary and more of a luxury. One of the additions that I also added was an aftermarket smartphone holder so I could mount my iPhone to monitor incoming texts and calls. You could also listen to music via Bluetooth, but I wouldn't recommend that in traffic unless you are using bone conduction headphones like the Aftershokz Treks.
Another challenge with a cool ebike is that people are going to want to steal this thing, so I would lock it up with two u-locks and an Ottolock to discourage would-be thieves. I might be a bit over the top, but having my $1k bike lifted was not on my program, especially in a city that has a lot of bike theft.
The Ottolock is a lightweight solution for locking down your seat (as it's a quick release stem which can be easily stolen), It's tough enough to deter any seat thief and is easy to stow in your bag.
So if you have been on the fence about making the jump to an ebike, the Ride1up should help you get off said fence and get riding. The company stands by their product with a 1-year warranty, deliver the bike on time and beat out the competition by hundreds of dollars - no brainer.
500 Series MTB Features
Warranty: 1 Year* see terms
Speed: 26 mph (PAS) 20mph Throttle
Motor: 500 watt rear hub motor
Range: 25-50+ miles depending on rider weight, terrain, incline, level of assist, etc.
Standard Display with speed controls, pedal assist, and battery life. Optional Additional Display*
3 Levels of pedal assist, more on additional display controller.
Frame: 6061 Aluminum Alloy
Brakes: Tektro Mechanical alloy disc brakes
PAS Sensor: Cadence sensor
Battery: 48V10.4AH (52 LG M26 18650 Cells) frame integrated and lockable with a set of keys
Battery charge time: 3-4 hours
Motor: Bafang 48V BPM 500w
Throttle: Yes (Thumb = Gold model. Twist = Black model)
Fork: Suntour XCT Suspension
Derailleur: Shimano ACERA
Saddle: Selle Royal Plush A094D
Shifters: Shimano ACERA rapid-fire
Stem: PROMAX MA-45 25.4*28.6*ext 90MM 10°
Brakes: Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc Brakes with EABS- Electronic assisted brake shutoff (shuts off motor)
Spokes: Steel, black
Hubs: Joy tech 115mm
Headset: NECO H172H
Freewheel: Shimano MF-TZ500-7,7-SPEED
Tires: MTB tire: 27.5in x 2.1 Kenda - City tire: 28in x 1.75 Kenda
Pedals: Full alloy pedals set
Dimensions and Sizing:
Weight: 53 lbs
Packaging: 62 lbs (52" x 30" x 8")
Weight Capacity: 275 lbs (125 kg)
See Support sizing page for bike sizing reference image.
Handlebar height: 42”
Handlebar Reach: 16”
Maximum seat height: 39”
Minimum seat height: 31”
Seat tube: 19”
Stand-over height: 28.5”
Total length: 72”
Included with bike:
Integrated headlight run off main battery, controlled by display.
Heavy duty kickstand (Alloy)
Charger and cable.
Set of keys for integrated battery.