The Ride1Up Roadster is the lightest ebike we’ve ever reviewed, but it may also be the sexiest- especially if what you’re looking for is an ebike that profiles more like a traditional single-speed road bike, albeit one with a swift 350W motor capable of speeds of 24mph. At only $1045 the Roadster is the most economical ebike in the Ride1Up fleet and we think it represents an incredible value for consumers who might be hesitant to switch from a conventional bike to an electric one. There are lots of electric bikes in the $1,500-$2,000 range that offer more powerful motors and large capacity batteries but one of the tradeoffs with those ebikes is that they weigh more than your 6th grade nephew and are likely to give you a hernia if you try lugging one up a flight of stairs. This commuter style electric bike however, is a horse of a different color. Kudos to Ride1Up for thinking outside of the box to design an ultra affordable ebike like the Roadster, without compromising ride performance or aesthetics.
Purchase a Ride1Up Roadster HERE or continue onward for our full ebike review.
Ride1Up Roadster Specs
- Top speed: 20mph, adjustable to 24mph
- Brakes: Tektro R315 Dual Pivot Brakes
- Motor: 350W (500W Peak)
- Tires: Kenda Kwest 700Cx28C
- Battery: 36v, 7Ah Samsung battery
- Charge Time: 2-4 hours
- Motor Torque: 40 Newton Meters
- Weight: 33lbs
- Frame: 6061 Aluminum Alloy Frame
- Range: Up to 35+ miles
- Carrying Capacity: 275 lbs
Look and Feel
Ride1Up gives you two size options and three matte colors to choose from in the Roadster: silver, burgundy and black. All the colors are great but we really think the burgundy stands out, especially set against those shiny black aluminum wheels. The 52cm frame is suitable for riders between 5’3 and 5’7 and the 58cm frame for those over 5’7.
One of the first things you’ll notice once you unbox a Roadster, which by the way is delivered 85% assembled, is just how sleek and stealthy it is- and also feather light at only 33lbs! There are almost no other ebikes on the market that weigh this little, which makes the Roadster very easy to transport and easy to store on conventional bike hooks in your garage or apartment. I am convinced Ride1Up designed this ebike with millennials and big city dwellers in mind, people that are prone to living in apartments or townhomes that lack a ton of storage space.
The other major thing you’ll notice is that the battery and controller are nowhere to be found, as they’re concealed within the frame. This is in stark contrast to the RadMission for example, which is also around $1,000, where both battery and controller are conspicuously exposed outside of the frame. Most people unfamiliar with the Roadster won’t be able to tell that it’s an ebike at all because it looks like a single speed road bike more in the “fixie mold.” I’m willing to bet Ride1Up founder Justin Dugger designed the Roadster with the fixie enthusiast in mind, hoping to convert some of those customers into ebike enthusiasts. The straight-forward geometry of the frame and deep set wheels, made of black stainless steel, cast a striking image that will turn many heads as you’re riding through your community. Thankfully the virtues of this electric commuter bike don’t end there.
Rear Hub Belt Drive Motor
Let’s start with the fact that you’re getting a 350W (500W peak) geared hub, belt drive motor that delivers 40 Nm of torque, a feature you rarely see in ebikes under $2,000. You usually see belt drives in fancier internally geared hub motors. This is still a rear-hub motor but pedaling on a Roadster is addictive I must say. The motor is so quiet and the pedaling motion is so smooth that you feel connected to the bike in a way that pulls you in, as if your quads are an extension of the bike itself. After riding a Roadster you may never want to ride a beltless ebike again.
The other great thing about belt drives is how low maintenance and durable they are. There’s no derailleur to toy with, no chain to clean and you don’t ever have to worry about bike grease soiling your favorite pair of jeans. For this reason and because of its extremely light weight the Roadster is an ideal city commuter ebike.
Ride1up included five levels of pedal assist with the Roadster but be aware that there is no throttle on this ebike, which could be a dealbreaker for some riders.
Ride1Up Roadster Battery Performance
Another area where the Roadster surpassed our expectations was battery life, which we were not expecting since the battery is small enough to hide within the front tube of the bike’s frame. We wanted to put this 36v, 7Ah Samsung battery to the test so we performed numerous tests to get a good gauge of its performance in real-world situations. The battery is technically rated for 20-35 miles but I was able to push that to 45+ miles on one ride, staying exclusively in pedal assist 2 and 3 the whole way. On another ride I rode exclusively on level 5 pedal assist, added extra weight to my bag and climbed over 500 feet of elevation. That time I got 20 miles out of the battery. For a rider in the 160-170 lb weight range like me, you could easily get several days of charge using this bike on shorter rides of under 5-6 miles, assuming you’re not tackling heavy duty hills, which we would not recommend anyway since this is a single speed.
Brakes and Tires
If you’re looking for a clean, elegantly designed city ebike that’s nimble, practical and capable of 24mph then you’ll want to take a long look at the Roadster. Keeping those things in mind, this bike is designed for smoothly paved city streets you’re not going to get rugged tires or beefy brakes. The 700×28 cm Kenda tires are great for speed and maybe the occasional small bump in the pavement but don’t expect them to perform reliably on gravelly surfaces. When it comes to brakes, the Tektro R315 Dual Pivot Brakes seem to perform beautifully, even after 200+ miles of riding this bike. I would say these brakes even perform better than some of the lower end, mechanical disc brakes I’ve tested on other similarly priced ebikes. Remember, this ebike is only 33lbs and is not really designed to shoulder heavy cargo loads where heavy duty brakes are required.
Cons of the Ride1Up Roadster
I would love to have seen a kickstand with this bike. I’ve heard from other sources that kickstands are hard to keep in stock right now because of the well publicized issues affecting the manufacturing supply chain for ebikes, as well as many many other industries like furniture. Perhaps future versions of the Roadster will include a kickstand. It’s just such a beautiful bike and it honestly pains me to have to lay it on the ground sometimes when I’m out in the wild.
Two other things you might find challenging about this bike are the size and positioning of its Narrow Road Riser Handlebars and the LCD display. LCD displays are pretty standard for all ebikes now, even at the lower price ranges, but this one is so tiny that I had a hard time reading it during my test rides. It can be quite distracting and semi dangerous to lean down for a closer look, which I had to do at times to confirm which level of pedal assist I was in, while riding 20+ mph. A larger display, like the one you see on the Aventon Level Commuter, would be a welcome upgrade for future Roadster versions.
Personally, I enjoy the look of the narrow handlebars on this bike but I’ve seen comments from taller riders bemoaning the confined dimensions of the Roadster. If you’re 6’0 or taller you’ll probably want to extend the front stem and invest in wider handlebars to maximize ride comfort.
We love the Ride1Up Roadster because of its exceptional styling, its impressive ride performance, and the quality of the components you recieve for under $1100, which we have to endorse as an exceptional value. Extremely light and nimble, the Roadster is not only easy to maneuver through bike lanes and traffic but also easy to transport or store in your home. This bike will serve you very well as a city commuter ebike or as a fitness bike. The higher levels of pedal assist enable you to zip along the highway with ease but since this is a single speed (without a throttle) it’s also a bike that can get you into shape fast if that’s what your heart desires.
Don’t get this ebike if you want to add additional accessories like a rack or a child seat or if you’re planning to lug groceries on it. This is not a utility bike like a Rad Rover or a car replacement like maybe an Aventon Level Commuter would be, so if you’re looking for those things in an ebike, don’t buy a Roadster. But if you want a more recreational ebike that’s economical, and that’s built for fun, fast riding or short commutes around town then the Roadster is definitely for you.