Now with VC backing, Ride1Up is producing affordable mid-drive e-bikes, like the Prodigy

Since e-bike manufacturer Ride1Up closed a $6.5 million Series A led by Ecosystem Integrity Fund, the 2018-founded San Diego-based company has seen steady sales growth, especially as consumers switched to e-bikes during the pandemic over public transit. Indeeed, last year e-bikes reportedly outsold EV and plug-in hybrid automobiles.

So it was high time we tried out one of their bikes.

While the Ride1Up Prodigy is a mid-drive electric bike at an affordable price, this belies its quality as an electric bike, even at this price point.

Most hub motor electric bikes (these have the motor in the center of a wheel) can be slightly awkward to ride because of this drive positioning. Not so with the Ride1Up, which I found had a very natural feel when riding.

Even though mid-drive bikes can be pricier, somehow the Ride1Up Prodigy has managed to come in at a relatively affordable $2,295 — an unusual price-point for this design.

With plenty of power at your disposal, via the German-made Brose TF Sprinter motor (which is, incidentally, pretty quiet) you will literally fly off the mark at the lights.

A small assist can get much faster just by pushing harder on the pedals, which made me wonder if some clever algorithm was at work.

Although limited to a set 15.5 mph (25 km/h) speed by law in European zones, the bike will hit 28 mph (45 km/h) if unfettered elsewhere, and has a published 30-50 miles (50-80 km) of range.

Ride with the power on all the time and you will only get the 30 miles. But at the lower power level you could easily get to the 50-mile range, should you need it. Most people will end up in the middle, which is plenty of scope.

There is no throttle, so you must continually pedal, but this means you will end up getting more range, which is fine for a commuter or a leisure e-bike like this.

Featuring hydraulic disc brakes, aluminum fenders, Selle Royal Viento saddle, rear rack, built-in LED lighting, Shimano Alivio transmission (with nine speeds) and a handlebar display, the bike doesn’t seem to skimp on the extras.

The Ride1Up Prodigy XR, has a step-through frame and the XC version is a cross country version with a suspension fork.

Ride1Up Prodigy Tech Specs
Motor: Brose TF Sprinter mid-drive
Top speed: 28 mph (45 km/h)
Range: 30-50 miles (50-80 km)
Battery: 36V 14Ah (504Wh)
Weight: 50 lb (22.7 kg)
Load capacity: 300 lb (136 kg)
Frame: Aluminum alloy
Brakes: Dual-piston hydraulic disc brakes
Extras: Brose color display, Shimano Alivio 9-speed transmission, front and rear LED lights, included high-quality rack and fenders, kickstand
Price: In the region of $2,295