The Ride1Up 700 Series electric bike is an absolute unit of a bicycle that’s so impressive it’s kind of made my car obsolete. And with gas prices where they are these days, that is a huge deal to me.
The bike features large 27.5-by-2.4-inch tires – not the largest you’ll find, but definitely wider than your typical off-road bike. These tires, along with the hydraulic shocks mean this bike feels smooth over a large variety of terrain. And as someone who usually rides a basic road bike, my usual routes felt night-and-day different.
The 700 Series includes a massive 48-volt battery powering a 750-watt motor, which means it can last a long time. The battery can be charged while connected to the bike, but can also be taken off to charge elsewhere or just for safekeeping. I’m not a huge fan of its location being under the bike’s frame, however. This makes access a tad more difficult compared to other bikes I’ve used, where the battery’s on top.
The battery powers the bike’s five levels of pedal assist but when it’s not on, the 700 Series feels just like riding a traditional bike with a 1-by-8 gear range. But what’s really exciting is, you can skip pedaling entirely and use its throttle to propel you, quickly accelerating up to around 21 mph. The throttle uses about twice as much juice compared to the pedal assist, so take that into account when planning a longer trip. Using the throttle is perfect if you just finished an intense leg day session at the gym or maybe a couple of hours of ultimate frisbee and pedaling home to any degree just feels like a chore. I also found the throttle super-useful when kicking off from a stop and wanting to get up to speed as quickly as possible. And it’s a total game-changer when it comes to hills and you’re worried about how hard the first few seconds of pedaling will be before the cadence sensor kicks in and provides any assist.
The 700 Series comes in two colors, blue and gray, and two frame configurations — the ST and XR.
The ST is a step-through frame with no horizontal top tube , so you don’t have to lift your leg over the rear wheel to get on and off the bike. This also lets you easily stand and straddle the bike when you’re not riding. I tested the XR frame which does have a top tube, and even though the tube does dip down, it was still too high for me to comfortably bring my foot forward through. If I had the rear rack loaded up with stuff, swinging my leg up and behind it might not even be an option. The top tube does make it easier to pick up and carry the bike around, however, which is great since it weighs more than 60 pounds. And if I had a bike rack for my car, this would allow it to secure much more easily than the ST frame. Side note: The XR frame bikes look cooler, too.
The 700 Series also comes with a number of accessories right out of the box. These include the previously mentioned rear rack, which has a weight limit of 50 pounds. With its three elastic straps you can quickly secure most bags or boxes. The bike also has front and rear fenders, as well as a kickstand, which you wouldn’t think is a big deal, but you’d be surprised how many bikes don’t come with one. Front and rear lights are also included that attach to the frame (no worries about someone sliding off and stealing after-market lights) and they’re controlled through the bike’s handlebar display.
The color display unit is located on the left-hand side, just above the throttle. Plus and minus buttons adjust the amount of pedal assist. Press and hold down the plus button and the front and rear lights kick on while simultaneously switching the display to a more nighttime-friendly mode. The power button, aside from turning the battery on and off, cycles through things like your max speed, average miles per hour, length of ride and an odometer. The screen also shows the current pedal-assist level, ride distance, battery level and current speed. One last thing: Holding down the minus button activates a walk mode to give you a power assist when walking the bike.
The biggest drawback of the 700 Series is its weight. This bike weighs 62 pounds, which is a lot for a bicycle. I go to the gym a lot, and I only say this to brag a little, but I’m in pretty good shape and even I had a hard time carrying this bike upstairs to my apartment. Coming home after long sessions of exercising or playing some sports makes lugging this thing around a real hassle. I need to store my bike inside, so when you combine this with how large the bike is, I just can’t see it fitting into my lifestyle. Obviously, if you can store it outside or in a garage, this is less of an issue. Many electric bikes are heavy, though, so it’s definitely something to keep in mind when you’re considering an e-bike.
Speaking of which, if you’re ordering this bike online, it was the most difficult bike I’ve ever put together. Most bikes I’ve tested usually just require a couple protruding components, like the handlebars and pedals, to be screwed in place. Not this one. Pretty much every part of it needs to be attached or wired together. If you’re not comfortable assembling a bike, then I would recommend bringing it to a shop to have someone with experience handle it. Ride1Up does have a YouTube video showing assembly instructions that I found very helpful, more so than the included paper instructions, but it was still a pain.
The 700 Series retails for $1,700, which might sound pricey but is pretty reasonable for all the features you’re getting. And if you start riding this instead of driving a car, the gas savings alone will be significant. It’s also worth noting that Ride1Up still sells its 500 Series e-bikes, which go for just under $1,500. Both models are pretty similar, but the 700 Series has higher-quality components. Some other trade-offs include a slightly less-powerful battery that isn’t as integrated into the frame, a less aesthetically pleasing display and no rear light. However, the 500 Series is also seven pounds lighter.
Ride1Up put together a really great package with the 700 Series. In fact, I’ve found myself using my car much less for some of my longer commutes. The 750-watt motor supplies a lot of power, and the battery just lasts forever. If you’re someone with a handful of miles you need to travel on a regular basis, this should be perfect for you. It obviously doesn’t have the same cargo space as a car, but if I’m just trying to get from point A to point B, that’s not a problem.. The large battery allows for extended trips when pedaling but the throttle is really great to have when I want to just coast, so I can take a break while still traveling. Plus, its large tires mean I can take this bike off-road without having to worry about how difficult it’ll feel.