The Propella SS (Single Speed) is an affordable and lightweight ebike for those seeking a stylish and straightforward commuting experience. With its sleek matte black frame, dazzling aluminum rims, and impressive features, this Propella ebike offers a compelling option for urban riders in flat cities. In this Propella ebike review we’ll cover every aspect of this single speed electric bike so you can decide if the Propella SS is right for you!
Specs of the Propella SS
- Cost: $799
- Weight: 35 LBS
- Type: Class 1
- Motor: Bafang 250-watt hub motor (400-WATT PEAK MOTOR)
- Brakes: SHIMANO TX-805 MECHANICAL DISC BRAKES
- Tire: CST XPEDIUM PUNCTURE-RESISTANT 700C X 35 TIRES (50-65 PSI)
- Range: 20-40 mile pedal assist
- Speed: 18.3 MPH top speed
- Battery: 36 Volt 7AH Samsung Lithium-Ion, 250-watt hour removable battery pack
- Charge time: 2.5 hour
- LCD Display
- 5-level pedal assist
- Drivetrain: single speed, 16T freewheel, LASCO 46T alloy chain ring
- Material: aluminum
- Rider height: 5’4” and 6’2” (Ideal)
First Impressions on the Propella SS
The Propella SS costs $799, making it an excellent entry-level option that’s just as affordable as the Ride1up Roadster or KBO Hurricane 2. Like those other single speed ebikes, the Propella SS is lightweight and easy to maneuver, weighing only 35lbs. Its top speed with pedal assist of 18.3 MPH keeps it safely within the class 1 status. The Bafang 250-watt hub motor (400-watt peak) provides sufficient acceleration from a standstill, making it easier to zip through traffic lights and keep pace with cars. The SHIMANO TX-805 mechanical disc brakes ensure enough control and stopping power for safe commuting.
Battery and Range
With a 36 Volt 7AH Samsung Lithium-Ion battery pack, the Propella SS offers a 20-40 mile pedal assist range. The battery is removable and has a charge time of 2.5 hours, allowing for quick recharging. However, the battery life may be relatively short if your commute features hills.
Design and Components
This Propella ebike features a stylish matte black frame, which also conceals dings and scratches. The bike comes with mounts for a rack and fenders, providing convenient options for carrying cargo and preventing splashes. The cobalt anodized aluminum rims add a striking appearance and makes it seem like more than a budget ebike. However, the grips and seat of this Propella bike are not the most comfortable, causing some irritation during longer rides.
The Propella SS’s LCD displays speed, time, trip distance, odometer reading, assist level, and battery life. It allows riders to conveniently monitor their ride progress and battery status. However, it’s important to note that the battery status indicator is more accurate when the bike is stationary. While riding, higher motor load causes a voltage drop, immediately reflecting a decrease in the battery indicator level. Then, when you stop pedaling the indicator level might rise again.
Portability and Maintenance
One of the significant advantages of single speed electric bikes are their portability and the SS is one of the lightest ebikes you can buy. Weighing only 35 lbs, carrying it over stairs or onto public transit is no strain for many riders. Also, being a single-speed ebike with mechanical disc brakes simplifies maintenance.
Test Ride and Performance
During test rides, the Propella performed well on city roads, providing a smooth and enjoyable riding experience. The 46-tooth by 16-tooth gear ratio is ideal for cruising on flat roads with e-assist. But, it’s not a bike that will help tackle hills because of its single speed. Its top speed with pedal assist is about 18 miles per hour, and there’s no way to increase it with controller overclocking.
Also, there were some rattling and vibration noises from the battery during acceleration. While the 400-watt peak power motor offers good acceleration pedal assisting from a stop, the battery life on this single speed electric bike is limited, providing only 16 miles on assist levels 4 and 5. The battery’s recharge time is 2.5 hours, and you’ll need to recharge often if your commute is more than 16 miles round trip.
We love this Propella ebike’s design, having a sleek appearance with the battery looking like a water bottle on the downtube. The tall, colorful wheel rims are cool but require a long Presta valve, which isn’t available at every bike shop. You might need to order tubes online, and you would be wise to keep a personal stock on hand in case of flat tires.
The disc brakes performed well in our tests, giving us the confidence that we could controllably stop when we wanted to. However, the minor components, like the grips and seat, aren’t the most comfortable. If you plan to ride the SS long distances or for daily commuting, upgrading these items would increase your enjoyment. The bike doesn’t come with lights, fenders, or a rack. There are mounts for a rear rack and both fenders.
This budget ebike only comes in one frame size to fit riders 5’2” and 6′ 4,” but riders on the extremes of that range might not feel too comfortable. We felt balanced riding the Propella SS standing up like on a BMX bike. Being so lightweight, it’s easy to carry around if you have an upstairs apartment or want to load it into a vehicle.
Final Thoughts on the Propella SS
The Propella SS is a perfect entry-level electric bike, offering affordability, style, and simplicity. If you’re seeking an economical commuter bike for flat terrain that’s easy to assemble, maintain, and carry if you have to, then this Propella ebike is the ideal choice for you. Its sleek design and straightforward features make it a great option for riders looking for hassle-free pedal assisted rides.
Moreover, if you enjoy the sensation of standing on the pedals while riding and prefer a quick and nimble single-speed electric bike reminiscent of the old BMX days, then the SS will surely fulfill your desires. It captures the essence of a no-frills bike, providing a fun and nostalgic experience.
It’s important to note that the SS is not designed for those seeking a powerful, high-torque motor capable of hill-climbing or carrying heavy loads like small kids or groceries. Instead, it shines as a fitness and recreation companion, perfect for light commuting purposes.
Overall, this single speed electric bike is a fantastic choice if you need a budget-friendly boost for your short commute. Whether you’re using it for everyday commuting, recreational rides, or fitness purposes, the Propella SS delivers on its promises and provides an enjoyable riding experience.