Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Review: Junk in the Trunk

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

I’m at all times shocked 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 trip is now huge and heavy. With a much less refined pc, calibrating the proper stage of help is troublesome. There’s no method to brace your self correctly. Jolting your self round on what’s mainly an e-motorcycle is a little bit scary. 

That mentioned, Ride1Up’s model isn’t dangerous, for the sort. It has a robust 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 laborious to write down—particularly in mild of the loss of life of Molly Steinsapir on an analogous RadRunner 2, this isn’t the bike that I’d suggest 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 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 quick legs). Both variations weigh 65 kilos and have curved cruiser handlebars that will let you sit upright, together 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 will probably journey as much as 28 miles per hour. I received 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 if you happen to’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, that means that if you happen to 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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