San Diego-based electric bicycle company Ride1Up has long been a value leader in the US e-bike industry. Now with the new Ride1Up Prodigy’s unveiling, the company is bringing the same value-oriented design to its first ever mid-drive electric bicycle.
Ride1Up Prodigy e-bike announced
But while hub motor-based e-bikes have been low-hanging fruit for many budget-oriented e-bike manufacturers, mid-drive electric bicycles have eluded affordability for years.
The centrally-mounted drive units often produced by proprietary German manufacturers have typically kept prices lofty – often in the $3k-$5k range. However, the new Ride1Up Prodigy seems to have cracked the code to affordability.
Featuring a Brose TF Sprinter mid-drive motor with internal belt reduction, the Ride1Up Prodigy offers Class 3 speeds of up to 28 mph (45 km/h) with an entry-level price of $2,195.
The team has been designing the bike for quite some time now, with the new model previously expected to be ready early this year.
However, long parts delays from many of their suppliers have pushed back delivery times considerably – a problem encountered by nearly every electric bicycle manufacturer.
The delays are so serious that Ride1Up isn’t ready to guarantee delivery times. Instead of taking pre-orders with an unclear timeline (which is an unfortunately common practice in the e-bike industry), Ride1Up is announcing the bike today and will begin taking pre-orders once the production timeline is more solid.
As the company’s co-founder Kevin Dugger explained to me via email:
“The manufacturers of the components we want for this model are so far behind sadly. We will likely take pre-orders this summer with an earlier shipping date likely. Interestingly, it’s a lot easier to get low end components right now than high-end components.”
While we wait for pre-orders to open, we can still enjoy ogling the lowest priced Brose-powered mid-drive electric bicycle yet.
The Ride1Up Prodigy sports impressive specs for its price, including not just that Brose motor with included torque sensor but also four-piston hydraulic disc brakes, a 9-speed Shimano Alivio transmission and included rear rack and fender set.
Buchel LED lights in the front and rear and Schwalbe G-One tires keep riders safe and stuck to the road, at least on the pavement-oriented XR and ST frames that offer a step-over and step-through geometry, respectively. Both include a hydroformed aluminum fork to match the frame.
There’s also a MTB version that upgrades to a suspension fork and Maxxis Forekaster tires, but looses the fenders and rear rack. You likely won’t miss those commuter-spec components when you’re screaming down the trails anyways though.
The 504 Wh battery hides away nicely in the bike’s downtube and should provide plenty of range on these pedal assisted e-bikes. Ride1Up claims a range of between 30-50 miles (50-80 km) depending on ride style and terrain.
We previously gushed over the Ride1Up LMT’D and its combination of high-spec parts at a reasonable price (check out the video below). So to follow up with an even more premium e-bike seems to be the natural next step for Ride1Up.
For now, Ride1Up is estimating availability in August, 2021. We’ll be sure to update when pre-orders open.
I respect Ride1Up’s strategy here. I know they’ve been working on this bike for a while and they’re super bummed that they can’t get it out to riders sooner due to the bicycle industry’s severely stretched supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But with the bike essentially finished as far as design goes, they still wanted to share the news and let riders know what they have coming, even if they don’t feel right taking orders yet without a solid delivery timeline.
Just the fact that we’ve got a nearly $2k Brose-powered mid-drive electric bike on the way is music to my ears.
The two street variants look awesome as Class 3 e-bikes that are quick and nimble. While some will complain about that lack of suspension on the XR and ST models, these aren’t mountain bikes. You’re looking at commuter bikes that are designed for efficient riding and dependable design. And there’s nothing more dependable than a rigid fork.
If you want that nicer suspension, the MTB version seems to have you covered, and is a cool way to offer both on- and off-road experiences using the same e-bike platform.
And lastly, check out that price of $2.2k! Sure, we’ve seen less expensive mid-drive e-bikes, but only with off-brand mid-drives and much cheaper bicycle components. This is the most affordable Brose-powered e-bike I’ve seen that still offers high quality components designed to last for years of daily riding.
That’s pretty sweet!
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