If somebody tells me that they’re scared of electrical bikes, however have ridden bikes earlier than, I assume that the kind of bike they’ve tried appears to be like one thing like Ride1Up’s Cafe Cruiser. Each direct-to-consumer electrical bike firm has a mannequin with related parts, body fashion, and value level that’s positioned as an inexpensive, entry-level bike.
I am all the time stunned that that is thought-about an entry-level electrical bike. A laidback seaside cruiser with a luxurious seat and massive fats wheels is sensible on paper, however in apply, it weighs 65 kilos and has an electrical motor bolted onto it! That after gentle, comfortable trip is now massive and heavy. With a much less refined pc, calibrating the appropriate degree of help is tough. There’s no technique to brace your self correctly. Jolting your self round on what’s mainly an e-motorcycle is slightly scary.
That stated, Ride1Up’s model isn’t unhealthy, for the sort. It has a strong 750W rear hub motor that can get you up steep hills, built-in lights and kickstand, a rear rack with a 150-pound cargo capability, and a battery that seemingly lasts ceaselessly. However—and that is arduous to write down—particularly in gentle of the demise of Molly Steinsapir on an identical RadRunner 2, this isn’t the bike that I might advocate for a brand new bike rider, or a smaller one.
The Cafe Cruiser is a biggish bike, with an alloy body that hides the electronics internally. It is available in two separate types, a step-through and a step-over—I’m on the step-through, which remains to be juuuuust a bit too tall for me at 5’2” (Ride1Up notes that the minimal top for a rider is 5’, however I do have brief legs). Each variations weigh 65 kilos and have curved cruiser handlebars that assist you to sit upright, together with your elbows relaxed and your butt firmly planted on an enormous, squishy seat.
For such an inexpensive bike, it’s fairly highly effective. It has a 750W rear hub motor with 5 ranges of help. It’s a Class 3 bike, which implies that it could journey as much as 28 miles per hour. I obtained it up over 20 mph fairly simply by pedaling, nevertheless it additionally has a left-side thumb throttle that may present as much as 20 mph help. (It will actually provide you with fairly the jolt in the event you’re wheeling it someplace and by accident tag the throttle.)
To counter this, the Cafe Cruiser additionally has hydraulic disc brakes with an electrical cut-off sensor, that means that in the event you press the brake lever, it cuts off energy from the motor. The battery is a 48V battery with Samsung cells that has a acknowledged vary of 30 to 50 miles, relying on the rider weight and terrain. I weigh about 115 kilos and rode it for 2 weeks on 1 to 2 mile journeys round my neighborhood, and barely noticed the battery degree go down in any respect.