Review of Priority Electric Bikes
According to Priority, the beauty of bicycles lies in their simplicity.
Priority Bicycles is an NYC-based brand that makes unique bicycles, including a couple of electric models, that prioritize low-maintenance, good looks, high comfort, and low price.
Electric bicycles do not have to be overly expensive, complicated, or difficult to ride. Priority bicycles are neither of these things. They’re suitable for commuters, fitness riders, everyday grinders, and weekend warriors.
In this Priority Bicycles review, we’ll tell you more about Priority’s electric lineup and show you why they stand out from the bunch.
Priority Bicycles Brand Overview
Priority Bicycles’ story began in 2012 when Dave Weiner, the founder of the company, decided to take a different approach to bicycle manufacturing.
His motivation stemmed from the fact that he could not recommend a bicycle to his friends, even though he spent years working in the cycling industry.
He then decided to make his own bicycle that will meet the criteria his friends had: a bike that looks good, is not too technical, is comfortable, lightweight, easy to maintain and ride, and not too expensive.
In 2014, Dave launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $30,000 and fund his idea. After 30 days, Priority Bicycles raised $565,000 with more than 1,500 bicycles backed.
Priority’s bicycles are unique because they’re built with high-quality parts and feature belt drives that require little to no maintenance.
The company has a Direct-to-Consumer business model which allows them to sell all of their bikes online, on their website, and thus have an efficient supply chain and low overhead costs.
The result is high-quality low-maintenance bicycles that do not cost an arm and a leg and also look good!
Priority Electric Bike Models
At the moment, Priority offers 14 bicycles, including adult and kids’ models. All of these are high-quality bicycles with belt drives, perfect for road and gravel cycling, mountain biking, city riding, commuting, and adventure.
Of these 14 models, two are electric. These are:
Current is a class 3 e-bike, whereas Embark is a Class 1 e-bike. Both of them are intended for commuters, recreational riders, and fitness riders who need a bike they can ride every day and not worry about maintenance when they’re not riding.
Let’s take a closer look at these two models and find out more about their features and electric components.
- Motor: 500W mid-drive motor with 140 Nm of torque
- Battery: A frame-integrated 500 Wh 48 V battery
- Class: Class 1 (Can change to Class 3 in settings)
- Range: 30-60 miles
- Drivetrain: Gates Carbon Drive CDX belt
- Features: Shimano Inter-5 internal hub, hydraulic disc brakes, aluminum frame and fork, lights, fenders, etc.
Priority Current is a premium electric bicycle jam-packed with head-turning features. It’s a progressive e-bike that combines contemporary technology, power, and comfort in a good-looking package.
Essentially, this is a city/commuter bike that urban dwellers will especially like. It features a powerful 500W mid-drive motor that develops a whopping 140 Nm of max torque. The battery is integrated into the frame and packs 500Wh for a 30-60-mile range.
- Related review: Best Belt-Driven E-Bikes of 2023
It also features a Shimano internal gear rear hub, with 5 gears, and a Gates carbon belt. This means that the drivetrain requires no maintenance and no lubrication. Just hop on and ride!
Priority Current ships as a Class 1 e-bike with a 20 mph top assisted speed, but you can change that to Class 3 in the settings and increase the top speed to 28 mph. Just check your local e-bike laws before you do that.
Other handy features include bright front and rear lights, fenders, a kickstand, hydraulic disc brakes, and mounting points for two water bottles. Also, the Current rolls on comfy WTB 650B tires and comes in two attractive colors—White and Charcoal.
If you need a no-fuss bike to commute through a busy city or ride for fun every day, it’s hard to beat the value Priority Current provides for the money.
Priority Embark (Discontinued)
- Motor: Bosch Active Line Plus 500W
- Battery: Bosch PowerPack 400
- Class: Class 1 e-bike
- Range: 50-mile top range
- Drivetrain: enviolo Trekking Group w/ Gates Carbon Belt
- Features: Lightweight aluminum frame and fork, fenders, front and rear lights, kickstand, 650B tires, hydraulic brakes
Priority Embark is a high-end electric bicycle that can endure the hardships of everyday urban exploitation. It boasts a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame and comes with some of the most reliable and durable components available on the market.
This is a Class 1 e-bike that uses a Bosch Active Line Plus 500W motor and a Bosch PowerPack 400 Wh battery. Together, they provide a 20 mph maximum assisted speed and a 50-mile maximum range. That’s plenty enough for zippy urban commutes and fast rides in flow with the traffic.
Priority Embark is also built in-line with the company’s “no-maintenance” philosophy. It features an enviolo Trekking integrated rear hub with a Gates Carbon Belt. You don’t need to clean it or lubricate it ever, except for a regular splash of water and soap. This drivetrain has a 380% gear range, which is enough to pedal across the steepest hills with the help of the motor.
Embark also justifies its premium status (and price) with hydraulic disc brakes, powerful front and rear lights, fenders, 650B WTB tires, and a Bosch Purion display.
The entire bike weighs just 45 lbs and comes in three sizes (17″, 19″, and 21″) and two colors (white and charcoal). Get it if you want a premium bicycle that requires little love but gives plenty of it back.
Related: All Electric Bike Brands
What Makes Priority Bicycles Stand Out as Unique?
Priority Bicycles does not make ordinary bikes. They are built specifically with ease-of-use in mind and intended for the average rider who can’t be bothered with regular bike maintenance. Thanks to their unique features, they can go for years and thousands of miles before they require any real service.
Here are several main features of Priority bicycles that we find exceptional value in. You’ll have a hard time finding them elsewhere at the same price point.
- Lightweight Aluminum Frames: Priority’s e-bikes weigh around 45 lbs, which is less than the industry’s average of around 50 lbs. That’s thanks to the lightweight aluminum frame and lightweight components.
- Gates Carbon Belts: ALL Priority bicycles use a Gates Carbon Belt instead of a traditional chain. Carbon belts last much longer than chains and require no degreasing and lubrication, thus simplifying maintenance.
- Internal Gears: ALL Priority bicycles also come with internal gears, which makes for a cleaner look and streamlines maintenance. Priority usually opts for high-quality Shimano or enviolo hubs.
- Quality Electric Components: Priority e-bikes use Bosch motors, batteries, and displays, which are considered to be the best around. These are mid-drive units that provide a natural riding feel and plenty of power.
- Direct-to-Consumer Business Model: Priority Bicycles sells their bikes directly to the final consumer online, on their official website. This reduces overhead costs and eliminates retail marges, which means their prices are hard to beat.
- Stylish Design: A simple design achieved through internal gear hubs, modern framesets, and elegant colors makes Priority bicycles some of the most stylish around.
- Fuss-Free Ownership: Hop on and ride. Repeat every single day for years and thousands of miles. No need to worry about cleaning your drivetrain or adjusting your gears.
Final Thoughts—Pricey, but Worth It!
There’s not much more left to say but to wrap up our Priority Bicycles review by concluding that we’re aware these are not the cheapest e-bikes around, but they’re well worth the price.
People who don’t label themselves as “cyclists” and don’t want to learn about bike mechanics and bike maintenance will love every bit of these bikes.
The Priority Current and Priority Embark are the company’s flagship e-bike models. They’re equipped with reliable and durable components that you can use and abuse every day on city streets.
So don’t hesitate to give Priority Bicycles a try if your budget is large enough to invest upfront. You’ll save both time and money later on.