2014 may very well be the year of electric bikes. There were quite a few personal e-vehicles showing their stuff at CES, but one e-bike was missing.
Meet Riide, an electric bike built specifically for the young, hip commuter.
According to co-founder Jeff Stefanis, most e-bikes today are bulky and conspicuous, whereas the Riide looks like a super-slick, matte black bike. The controller and lithium ion battery are housed inside the frame of the bike, as opposed to sticking out behind the seat.
The Riide achieves a maximum speed of 20 mph and can last for 25 miles on a single charge, not to mention the Tesla-like regenerative charging that recycles braking energy back into the battery. Plus, you can always use the pedals.
It takes about 2 to 3 hours to charge.
I had the chance to ride the Riide around this week, and found that transitioning from pedaling to motor is super smooth and simple.
And that’s how it was intended.
Stefanis explained that one differentiator for the Riide is that it’s single speed. “A lot of e-bikes have a really tough learning curve because there are so many speeds and settings, so we chose to make the bike a single speed bike with a straightforward motor,” said Stefanis. “It’s natural.”
Another differentiator? Weight. Riide is about 40 percent lighter than most e-bikes, and actually weighs about the same as a Citi Bike in New York.
The Riide, which was assembled in the U.S., also comes with a phone mount to let you get directions to your destination.
The Riide costs $1,799 on Kickstarter .