Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Review: Junk in the Trunk

If somebody tells me that they’re scared of electrical bikes, however have ridden bikes earlier than, I assume that the kind of motorbike they’ve tried appears to be like one thing like Ride1Up’s Cafe Cruiser. Every direct-to-consumer electrical bike firm has a mannequin with related elements, body type, and worth level that’s positioned as an reasonably priced, entry-level bike.

I’m at all times stunned that that is thought of an entry-level electrical bike. A laidback seashore cruiser with an opulent seat and large fats wheels is sensible on paper, however in observe, it weighs 65 kilos and has an electrical motor bolted onto it! That as soon as mild, comfortable experience is now large and heavy. With a much less refined laptop, calibrating the proper stage of help is troublesome. There’s no approach to brace your self correctly. Jolting your self round on what’s principally an e-motorcycle is somewhat scary. 

That mentioned, Ride1Up’s model isn’t dangerous, for the kind. 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. But—and that is exhausting to jot down—particularly in mild of the dying of Molly Steinsapir on the same RadRunner 2, this isn’t the bike that I might advocate for a brand new bike rider, or a smaller one.

Big Boy

Photograph: Ride1Up

The Cafe Cruiser is a biggish bike, with an alloy body that hides the electronics internally. It comes in two separate kinds, 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). Both variations weigh 65 kilos and have curved cruiser handlebars that help you sit upright, along with your elbows relaxed and your butt firmly planted on an enormous, squishy seat.

For such an reasonably priced 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 signifies that it could possibly journey as much as 28 miles per hour. I acquired 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. (This will actually provide you with fairly the jolt in the event you’re wheeling it someplace and unintentionally tag the throttle.)

To counter this, the Cafe Cruiser additionally has hydraulic disc brakes with an electrical cut-off sensor, which 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 said 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 stage go down in any respect.

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