Priority E-Coast Review: High-Maintenance Ebike

Overly technical outside sports activities are a little bit embarrassing. For instance, I like biking, however I don’t wish to misrepresent my curiosity or talents—I’ve no want to hobble round espresso retailers in clip-in sneakers and full-body stretch jerseys. That makes me the right buyer for Priority Bicycles, an organization that goals to make high-quality however not-so-technical, affordably priced bikes. (I additionally know I’m the right buyer as a result of, disclosure, I personal a Priority gravel bike myself.)

Like all of its bikes, Priority’s electrical seaside cruiser has a retro enchantment. It has some premium elements, like a low-maintenance Gates carbon belt drive with a strong rear hub motor, on a clear aluminum stand-up body. This is interesting, particularly because it comes with a wallet-friendly price ticket (for an ebike). Sadly, Priority could have overshot the mark with the E-Coast. You’re simply not going to search out many cruisers with Gates belt drives at this worth. But ought to you?

Figure It Out

The first signal I had that each one won’t be effectively was when the bike arrived. Priority is a direct-to-consumer firm, which implies that if you order a motorcycle, it is going to arrive boxed at your home. The firm does suggest having it assembled by knowledgeable; it engaged an organization to assemble it for me. (Here are the instructions, in case you don’t wish to spend an extra $200 and may assemble it your self.)

However, as soon as I acquired the bike, it did require troubleshooting. The entrance brake wanted adjusting, and the included proprietary entrance fender strikes every time I flip the entrance wheel, irrespective of what number of occasions I tighten the screw holding it on. Several weeks after receiving the bike, I nonetheless have to regulate the entrance brake or fender often. It’s the sort of low-level annoyance the place you don’t wish to hassle going to a store.

Still, on one of many first stunning spring days of the 12 months, I fortunately threw on a jean jacket and hopped on the E-Coast to cruise across the park—sadly, it was buzzing nastily. I grouchily got here house and glued it, however it’s nonetheless a downer if you simply wish to run out the door within the solar.

My tester got here in a particularly fairly mint-green step-through body. You’re meant to journey it whereas sitting straight up. Priority states that the minimal inseam on the step-through is 26 inches, which occurs to be my precise inseam. I may journey the bike fairly simply whereas pedaling, however I do have to face on my tiptoes to face on the bottom when I’m at a cease.

That’s not an issue with a Trek Electra cruiser bike, which has a proprietary flat-foot geometry—the best way the seat and pedals are positioned on an Electra body, you get full extension whereas pedaling and nonetheless can place your toes flat on the bottom. I didn’t discover this to be uncomfortable on the E-Coast, however it’s a consideration if you’re pedaling round a 56-pound bike.

It has 26-inch wheels which are enormously large, and a proprietary 500-watt rear hub motor, with a 576-watt-hour removable battery that’s positioned underneath the rear rack. This is quite a lot of weight to position on the again half of the bike, though I didn’t actually discover it except I used to be lifting the bike up onto a rack or up the steps. It’s price noting that neither the motor nor the battery has at the moment been UL licensed, which is the security customary for ebike electrical techniques. However, Priority does say that it is on the horizon, in time to be compliant with New York’s new law.

Not a Commuter

Photograph: Priority Bicycles

One of the E-Coast’s closest direct-to-consumer opponents might be the Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser, a motorcycle with which it has so much in widespread. Like the Cafe Cruiser, the E-Coast has a pleasant kickstand. It has a rear rack, even if you cannot carry passengers on it. And it’s a single-speed, which is definitely OK. As I discover with ebikes that don’t have a complicated laptop, it’s usually not definitely worth the bother of calibrating the right help stage with the appropriate stage of torque to really feel pure whereas pedaling. Just use the throttle and be carried out (it additionally has a throttle).

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