Our Rating - 4.5/5
The Ride1Up Roadster V2 is an entry-level priced electric bike with the look of an ordinary road bike. It mixes elegant frame construction with reliable electric components to provide you with a pleasant electric biking experience around the city.
Ride1Up Roadster V2 - In-Depth Review
When it comes to electric bikes in the sub-$1000 price range, there’s usually nothing much to expect. However, Ride1Up defied the odds with the release of the Roadster V2 commuter bike.
Despite its relatively stripped-down look, this e-bike impresses with a nice mix of functional features; the highlight being a belt drive to replace the chain drives we’ve become accustomed to on cheap e-bikes.
So, just what makes the Roadster V2 stand out from the crowd? Let us answer that for you in the following Ride1Up Roadster V2 electric bike review.
But before we do that, here is a quick preview of the notable specs on the bike
6061 Aluminum Alloy frame
Kenda Kwest 700Cx28C
500w (peak) 350w (nominal) Geared Hub Shengyi
36V 7.0Ah 252Wh pack with Samsung 35e Cells
Tektro R315 Dual Pivot Brakes
Ride1Up Roadster V2 at a Glance
The Roadster V2 was released to replace the original version of the Roadster and comes with exciting changes that make it the perfect urban commuter bike. From a distance, you’ll have a hard time telling if it enjoys electric assistance.
This is thanks to a simple and minimalist frame design that will have you picturing an ordinary road bike. But there’s more to the bike than just the sleek look. Let us take a deeper look into the individual features on the V2:
The Roadster V2 is held together by an aluminum alloy frame that offers a more optimal balance between weight and durability compared to the steel used on the original version. Tipping the scales at only 33lbs, the bike sheds around 17lbs off its predecessor’s weight, resulting in a more pleasant and easier-to-manage ride.
Despite this, the frame can still sustain up to 275lbs of rider weight, and will be ideal for users between 5’7” and 6’2” tall, with two frame sizes available; 52cm for the smaller and 58cm for the larger one. The basic yet clean design gives onlookers a hard time figuring out you’re riding an e-bike.
If you like to experiment with colors, this bike offers three different options to match your personality. You can choose between a matte burgundy, matte black, or matte silver frame.
With the battery fully integrated into the down tube, the V2 resembles any other ordinary road bike. The riding geometry of the bike is pretty comfortable and features a narrow riser handlebar to go with a decently cushioned Custom Gel Ergonomic Road seat.
Durable Velo rubber grips on the handlebar ensure you enjoy reliable control as you roll on the 700c tires. A quick test on the bike revealed just what a pleasure it is to ride! Its lightweight build gives you total control on the road while the upright riding position eases the strain on your back.
On the downside, the basic construction of the V2 means that several features were left out on the frame. You won’t get any fenders or lights on the bike, plus the rear wheel rack on the original Roadster is a notable oversight on this new version.
These are all practical features that would ordinarily come in handy during an urban commute. Nevertheless, you have to consider that you’re paying under $1000 for the bike, so we expected the manufacturer to find a way of taming the price tag.
Ride1Up went with a modest 350W nominal geared hub motor to keep up with the overall simple design of the Roadster V2. While this may sound a little underwhelming to most, the engine still impresses with a peak power of 500W to drive you to a top speed of 24mph on pedal-assist.
Furthermore, the 40nm torque produced by the motor makes your work much easier on gentle climbs and against headwinds, although it’s nothing to rave about. You should note that this electric bike has no throttle, so you must put in some pedaling effort to engage the PAS.
The advantage here is that using the pedal-assist mode helps you to conserve the battery power, which in turn extends your ride.
A minimalist and not-so-in-your-face LCD is mounted on the left side of the handlebar and this displays useful data such as battery gauge and speed while allowing you to switch between the 5 available PAS levels. Meanwhile, the major talking point of the Roadster V2 has got to be the belt drive.
Although it’s not the fancy Gates carbon fiber belt you’ll find on premium models, this significantly raises the status of the V2 in the market. With this, you get to enjoy limited maintenance and durable performance that you can only dream of in a chain-driven bike.
You won’t be overwhelmed by the relatively small battery fitted on the Roadster V2. The 252Wh 36V 7.0ah pack with Samsung 35e Cells can manage a range of between 20 and 35 miles, depending on factors like riding terrain and PAS level you’re using.
However, the fascinating thing about the battery is that it is sleekly concealed within the frame’s downtube, giving the illusion that you’re riding a normal bike. What you won’t like about this is that you can only charge the battery on the bike, which doesn’t allow you to extend your ride with a backup battery.
While the battery is technically removable from the frame, this is only possible during servicing. It is not designed to come out every other day for charging. Included in the package is a 36V 2 Amp charger that will need around 2-4 hours to get the empty battery fully juiced up.
P.S. The charging port is nicely tucked towards the base of the downtube for easy and fast access during charging.
The Roadmaster V2 uses a pair of old-fashioned Tektro V-brakes for when you want to bring the ride to a stop. These may not come with the low-maintenance and responsiveness you get from hydraulic brakes, but still do a decent job when you hit the top speeds.
The Tektro brake levers used on the bike are designed with ergonomic rubber inserts to make for smooth brake application. We felt that the V-brakes complement the basic single-speed construction of the bicycle, which saves you the trouble of having to switch between gears when the terrain changes.
Not to mention that you’re getting the efficiency of a belt drive to even out this tiny negative.
WHEELS AND TIRES
This bike rolls on two thin street wheels that have been paired with narrow Kenda Kwest 700Cx28C tires. These are just perfect for road performance. Decent treading on the tires allows the bike to keep your ride stable even on wet roads.
The front wheel features a quick release for effortless on-and-offs but the rear wheel will require a little more effort to remove. Lastly, the all-black color of the wheels and tires blends in well with the frame to improve the aesthetics of the bike.
What Do I Like?
There are several aspects of the Roadster V2 that impressed us. For one, the belt drive left the biggest impression on an electric bike in this price range. This ensures that you enjoy a low-maintenance and long-lasting performance, as well as a stealthier ride compared to a chain drive.
With three great color options to choose from, you get variety to choose from.
At only 33lbs, this bike is conveniently lightweight, which allows you to ride relatively comfortably even when you run out of battery life. The low weight plus the diamond triangle also allows you to easily throw the bike on your shoulder and carry it upstairs.
The frame of the Roadster V2 is elegantly designed with a seamless appearance. Unless someone spots the rear hub motor, it is generally hard to believe that this is an electric bike just by looking at it from a distance.
This bike also impresses with the overall riding geometry it offers. Aside from the nice-to-hold rubber grips on the riser handlebar, the ergonomic saddle ensures you enjoy a comfortable and stable ride.
We also like the basic LCD controls on the bike, which are quite easy to operate as you ride the bike. Not to mention that the monochrome backlit screen displays clear information.
The overall simplistic design of the Roadster V2 makes it an easy-to-maintain bike. There is no chain to clean every time, no derailleur to tune, or gears to shift. Ultimately, the ride is smooth and pleasant at all times.
Although there is no throttle mode on the bike, we feel that Ride1Up did a wonderful job with the PAS-only design. In addition to extending the range of the low-capacity battery; it also ensures that you remain active throughout the ride.
The 24mph maximum speed that you can achieve on this bike is pretty impressive and faster than what some more expensive models in the market can offer you.
Finally, you’d be hard-pressed to find better value for money from an affordable electric bike. It’s not common to get high-quality features like a belt drive on a bike that will cost you less than $1000!
What I Don’t Like?
Our main gripe with the Roadster V2 has more to do with what Ride1Up chose not to include on the bike than what they included. For a city bike, leaving out features such as a kickstand, lights, and fenders can be an inconvenience if you use the bike for your daily commute.
The only consolation is that there is an integrated bell on the left side of the handlebar to serve as the only urban-friendly feature on the bike.
Also, the combination of a stiff fork and tiny tires means you will feel every bump that you ride on, even if it’s just a small rock. So, you want to stick to smooth streets and pavements for a pleasant experience.
Lastly, the integrated battery design makes it impossible to switch batteries when you run out of power. This is to say that your electric ride is limited to the range of a single charge cycle.
Advice to Buyers
If you are trying to find your first electric bike, the Ride1Up Roadmaster V2 can be a practical choice for those transitioning from regular to electric. Its relatively simple design and lightweight construction allow you to enjoy a riding experience that is not too different from what you’re used to.
Furthermore, its sub-1000-dollar price tag ensures that you don’t need to break the bank to get your hands on a new unit!
Overall, the Roadster V2 from Ride1Up offers cyclists a fun-filled classic riding experience with the extra benefit of electrical assist. The bike impresses with a sleek everyday design and lightweight construction that allows you to enjoy the ride at all times.
Add to this the efficient belt drive and you won’t easily get better value for money from a budget e-bike!