If somebody tells me that they’re scared of electrical bikes, however have ridden bikes earlier than, I assume that the sort of motorbike they’ve tried appears one thing like Ride1Up’s Cafe Cruiser. Every direct-to-consumer electrical bike firm has a mannequin with related elements, body fashion, and worth level that’s positioned as an inexpensive, entry-level bike.
I’m at all times stunned that that is thought-about an entry-level electrical bike. A laidback seashore 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 as soon as gentle, cozy trip is now huge and heavy. With a much less subtle pc, calibrating the proper degree of help is troublesome. There’s no solution 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 dangerous, for the sort. It has a strong 750W rear hub motor that may 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 onerous to write down—particularly in gentle of the loss of life 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.
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 continues to be juuuuust a bit too tall for me at 5’2” (Ride1Up notes that the minimal peak for a rider is 5’, however I do have quick legs). Both variations weigh 65 kilos and have curved cruiser handlebars that assist you to sit upright, along with your elbows relaxed and your butt firmly planted on a large, 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 signifies that it may well 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 when 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 when 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.