Ride1Up has made a lasting impact on the e-bike industry since its initial launch of it's 500 Series.
Now, with their Core-5 model coming to market, huge expectations come with this bike - are these high hopes met?
This sleek electric bicycle is praised for its simplicity, affordability and efficiency: all great qualities that you want in an rideable option.
So does the Core-5 live up to its hype as a dependable choice amongst electric bikes?
Ride1Up Core-5 at a Glance
Aside from the slightly overemphasized downtube, the Ride1Up Core-5 looks like any normal city bike. You’ll have to move closer to notice it’s backed by a motor, given the relatively clean frame design.
This bike might come with an entry-level price tag, but it hits above its weight class as far as performance is concerned.
Ride1Up has outdone itself with the styling of the Core-5. This sleek electric bike comes in two frame designs and an array of colors to suit any taste or preference. It proudly features a classic aluminum alloy frame which is sturdy yet lightweight for easy portability.
Tailored for riders between 5’6” – 6’4", we particularly enjoyed the comfort provided by its comfortable Selle Royal saddle topped off with a slightly swept back handlebar.
We like the adjustable stem, which allows riders to position the handlebar to a state of comfort. Add this to the ergonomic rubber grips and you can expect to always be in control of the ride.
All the cables connecting the electronic components of the bike are internally routed and well-protected to give the frame a seamless appearance. This also means there is less clutter to get in the way of your knees as you pedal the bike.
Tipping the scales at 49lbs, the Core-5 is fairly lightweight for an e-bike, which is something you’ll appreciate when carrying it up or downstairs. Also, it can support up to 275lbs of load, leaving enough room to carry shopping or groceries when you pass by the store.
You have the option of adding a rack for convenience, although this will add an extra 2lbs to the overall bike weight. Other city-friendly features you’ll appreciate on the Core-5 include the heavy-duty kickstand on the rear wheel and pre-drilled water bottle bosses.
For a city bike, one of the stark oversights we can point out on the Core-5 is the missing head/tail light. This means riding in the dark can be a bit of a challenge and venturing into the busy highways may compromise your safety.
While you can expect trade-offs when buying a budget-priced e-bike, Ride1Up went against the grain by slapping the Core-5 with a generally impressive engine. The bike boasts a 500W 48V Geared Hub Shengyi Motor that peaks at 750W, which leaves a lot to be desired from its peers in the market such as the Aventon Pace 350 (300W motor).
The motor produces a 60Nm torque to take away the struggle out of scaling hilly stretches of the city streets. The Core-5 is a class 3 e-bike, meaning it reaches a top speed of 28mph on pedal-assist and 20mph on throttle mode.
Furthermore, the thumb throttle is positioned on the left-hand side of the handlebar for effortless access during riding. You can choose between five different pedal-assist levels, depending on how much pedaling effort you want to put in.
The PAS is backed by a cadence sensor, which may not be the best but acceptable at this price position. Meanwhile, the controller is nicely concealed inside the frame whereas an KD21C Adjustable Speed LCD digital display sits pretty just beside the thumb throttle on the handlebar.
It shows crucial ride data, including the odometer, speed, battery percentage, and PAS level.
Similar to the motor, the 500Wh battery does not disappoint, and the LG cells inside it are quality you can rely on. Because of this, you'll be able to squeeze up to 40 miles of range, which should be enough to cover all your day-to-day urban escapades.
The battery is nicely integrated into the frame and features a lock to safeguard against thieves whenever you have to get away from the bike. You need the two keys included in the package to remove the battery during charging or storing.
This also allows you to replace the battery with a spare so that you don’t have to cut short your ride. Incorporated into the battery is a BMS (Battery Management System) to ensure it’s protected from damage as a result of overcharging.
Furthermore, the Core-5 comes with a 2amp charger and cable that will need approximately 2.5 to 3 hours to fully charge the empty battery. So, you won’t have to wait too long to continue with your ride.
The Ride1Up Core-5 uses Tektro 160mm mechanical disk brakes, a cost-effective yet reliable option. These may not be as effective as hydraulic disc brakes, but they are an understandable concession at this price position. They will still get the job done.
A truly innovative feature is the electric cut-off sensor integrated into the brake levers, you can turn your bike off by pressing both at the same time, maximizing your riding range. This is great news for all those penny-pinchers out as you get extended range without spending an arm and a leg on a high-capacity battery.
Elsewhere, the Core-5 is a 7-speed e-bike that allows you to make use of the gears on ascents if you don’t want to waste the battery by engaging the throttle.
TIRES AND WHEELS
The 27.5” x 2.2” Kenda Kwick Seven.5 tires add to your experience on the road. Thanks to the smooth profile of the surface, the tires glide effortlessly on the city tarmac. Meanwhile, rows of horizontal treads help to improve traction.
This means you may be able to get away with riding on off-road trails. The tires are also wider than your typical commuter bike tires and offer enhanced cushioning on bumps and potholes.
Besides, the tires are designed with K-shield protection, so you won’t have to worry about flat tires when you venture into the rougher sections of the road. Lastly, a reflective stripe around the bike tires serves to make you more visible to other motorists and helps to compensate for the lack of lights on the Core-5.
What Do I Like?
The frame of the Core-5 is designed for your comfort and convenience. Its slanting top tube on the high-step frame allows you to easily mount and dismount while its step-through frame is great for riders with bad knees or weight issues.
Plus, the plush saddle gives you maximum support even on longer rides.
At 28mph, the maximum speed of the bike is more than you’ll need and the 2.2” wide Kenda Kwick tires are suited for both road biking and off-road adventures. Whether you want to use the Core-5 primarily for your daily commute or adopt it as an adventure bike in the back-country trails, the K-shield protection ensures it won’t let you down.
The integrated battery on the Core-5 helps to deliver a seamless appearance that looks great in both the Slate Blue and Midnight Gray frame color options.
The design of the bike offers riders comfort right from the moment you step over it. This is thanks to an easy-to-mount style frame, upward riding geometry, cushy saddle, as well as beefy tires that roll smoothly on the surface.
The 500W motor is an upgrade for an e-bike in this price range. It can produce 60Nm of torque, so you won’t need to struggle on climbing lanes.
Another great thing about this bike is that the battery requires a maximum of three hours to fully recharge. This is among the fastest times in the industry.
The heavy-duty stand on the back wheel is a thoughtful addition that will make it easy for you anytime you need to hurriedly park the bike.
With a 275-pound maximum weight capacity, the Core-5 is sturdy enough to carry heavier riders and still leaves enough room to haul your grocery shopping.
Overall, the bike is equipped with more-than-decent features at this price that should suffice the needs of a daily commuter.
What I Don’t Like?
While a typical e-bike will take you about half an hour to assemble, the Core-5 needs between 1 and 2 hours of setup. It is a relatively demanding process that involves installing the fork, front tire, handlebars, etc. So, if you are not a fan of lengthy tasks, you might have to contract a professional to get it done for you.
This bike does not come with extra accessories like a headlight, taillight, or rack, which are typical for a commuter bike. However, you can still get them installed separately if you see necessary.
Advice to Buyers
Despite being clearly designated as one of Ride1Up's budget offerings, the Core-5 offers a elegant frame design and some nice features to make your urban commute as comfortable as possible. Plus, it comes at a great price of little more than $1000, making it an absolute steal in terms of value for money!
Our Rating - 88/100
The Ride1UpCore-5 is a price-friendly city bike that does not sacrifice on all the good features. It would be a great option for someone looking for their first e-bike or those looking to upgrade without blowing their budget.