Ride1UP Portola Review: New Sub-$1,000 Class 3 Folding E-Bike
Ride1UP Bikes has taken a step into the folding electric bike market with its new model, the Portola.
The Portola undercuts popular folders from direct-to-consumer brands like Rad Power Bikes, Aventon, and Blix and competes on price with the best-selling Lectric XP 3.0.
This powerful fat-tire machine is ideal for those with limited space at home or those who need a compact bike for road trips. However, the high weight makes it challenging to lift and carry, so it’s not suitable for multimodal commuting.
In this Ride1UP Portola review, we will cover the bike’s most important specs and characteristics and provide you with our ‘ride or pass’ verdict.
Ride1UP Portola Specs:
- MSRP: $995-$1,095
- Class: 1, 2, or 3, 28 mph
- Motor: 750W hub motor, 65 Nm
- Battery: 500 Wh or 645 Wh, 48V
- Charge Time: 5 hours or 6.5 hours
- Range: 40 or 45 miles
- Tires: Chaoyang 20″ x 3″
- Drivetrain: 8-speed Shimano Altus
- Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes, 180 mm rotors
- Ride1UP Portola Weight: 60 lb
- Payload Capacity: 300 lb
- Folded Dimensions: 19″ x 29.5″ x 33″
Ride1UP Portola Review: A Budget Folding E-Bike with Impressive Components
Folding e-bikes are some of the most popular in the entry-level market, so it’s no surprise that Ride1UP Bikes has entered the segment alongside its main competitors: Aventon, Rad Power Bikes, and Lectric. The Portola folding e-bike is a cheap alternative to the RadExpand 5 and Sinch.2 and a direct competitor to the XP 3.0.
The Portola has an impressive design and spec, given the low price of $995 for the 10.4Ah or $1,095 for the 13.4Ah version. To illustrate, it has hydraulic disc brakes, an 8-speed Shimano drivetrain, Chaoyang tires, and a huge carrying capacity from the frame-integrated rack.
The Ride1UP Portola stands out in the folding e-bike market with its impressive features and affordable pricing, challenging direct competitors with its combination of power, compact design, and substantial carrying capacity.
The compact frame folds quickly, is smaller than average when folded, and has a strap to keep it secure. Despite the frame size, the ride quality is stable and comfortable, thanks to the 80mm suspension fork and 3″ tires. However, the handlebars don’t extend or change angle, so taller riders may have difficulty finding a comfortable position.
Overall, the Ride1UP Portola electric bike is a solid option for you if you need a folding e-bike with plenty of power but have a limited budget. Now, let’s take a look at the specs in more detail.
Ride1UP Portola E-Bike Pros and Cons
A Fast-Folding Compact Frame With Clean Integration
The Ride1UP Portola frame is what sets it apart. Firstly, it’s beautifully designed, with full integration of battery and cables, clean welds, and a choice of three eye-catching finishes. The step-through layout also makes it easy to mount and dismount.
The frame is compact, with an unfolded length of 66″ and folded dimensions of 19″ x 29.5″ x 33″. This is much smaller than the RadExpand 5 (29″ x 25″ x 41″) and similar to the Lectric XP 3.0 (18″ x 28″ x 37″).
Featured in: Best Folding Electric Bikes
The weight is about average for this category, at 60 lb, meaning it’s not suitable for multimodal commuting or lifting up flights of stairs. However, the size allows it to fit neatly into a large trunk or in your city apartment.
Finally, the most impressive feature of this frame is that the integrated rack can support up to 130lb and is compatible with popular child bike seats. Ride1UP also sells a passenger package for taking teens or lighter adult passengers.
Powerful Hub-Drive System With Limited Range
The Portola’s electronics aren’t remarkable, but they’re pretty good for an affordable e-bike. The 750W, 65 Nm motor will provide plenty of kick for most terrain but may struggle on steep hills with a fully loaded setup.
You can choose the Ride1UP Portola’s battery at checkout. The 10.4Ah unit will return 20 to 40 miles of range, while the 13.4Ah one returns 25 to 45 miles. The difference between the two is $100, a worthwhile upgrade, in our opinion.
The sensitive 24-magnet cadence sensor ensures relatively responsive power transfer, especially for a budget bike like this. The low price means sacrifices, one of which is a basic handlebar display.
High-Value Components at a Low Price
Again, the Portola’s component list is surprising given its price tag. Most notably, the 8-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain. This offers plenty of gearing range and should prove durable over time. Almost all e-bikes below $1,500 use basic 7-speed Tourney drivetrains.
Next, hydraulic disc brakes with 180 mm rotors provide plenty of stopping power for this Class 3 e-bike and are a welcome upgrade to mechanical discs.
Other noteworthy components include alloy fenders, LED lights, and versatile treaded 3-inch tires. The one component this bike lacks is a bell or horn for warning other road users of your presence, a necessary feature of an e-bike.
More Ride1UP Reviews:
- Ride1UP Revv 1 Review
- Ride1UP Rift Review
- Ride1UP 700 Series Review
- Ride1UP Prodigy v2 Review
- Ride1UP Roadster v2 Review
- Ride1UP LMT’D Review
- Ride1UP Roadster v2 Review
Our Verdict: Ride or Pass?
The Ride1UP Portola electric folding bike is an exciting new entrant to the market and a solid option if you’re considering a folder.
This is a powerful, functional, practical, and sleek e-bike, a combination of characteristics uncommon at this price point. However, we’re not surprised that Ride1UP has managed it, as the brand always impresses with the value of its models.
Of course, some sacrifices are made to sell a bike at this price. These include heavy components, non-branded tires, weak lights, and limited height adjustability.
The standout features of the Portola are its compact folded size, high carrying capacity, and comfortable ride quality. If this is what you need from your bike and you fit the height range, add the Portola to your shortlist.