Ride1UP Prodigy Review
Ride1UP is one of the newer entrants to the e-bike market, founded in 2019 by Kevin Dugger in San Diego, California.
The brand has quickly established itself as a major player in the US electric bike scene, thanks to the high quality of its products and an aggressive pricing strategy.
The Ride1UP Prodigy is the company’s first mid-drive electric bike, available in three builds; one off-road and two urban. Since its release, the Prodigy e-bike has maintained high demand, often with one or two-month wait times for shipping.
This Ride1UP Prodigy review will cover the bike’s components and characteristics in detail, so you can decide if it’s the right one for your needs.
Ride1UP Prodigy Main Specs:
- MSRP: $2,295 (XR, ST) / $2,395 (XC)
- Class: Class 3, 28mph
- Motor: Brose TF Sprinter, 90Nm
- Battery: 504Wh, 36V
- Range: 30-50 miles
- Weight: 50 lbs
Ride1UP Prodigy Review
As mentioned, this electric bike is available in three builds. The ST and XR versions are fully-equipped urban builds, and the XC is a cross-country hardtail.
Ride1UP Prodigy XC is a pure cross-country e-bike designed for handling fast, flowing trails at speed and crushing steep uphills with its high-torque mid-drive motor.
The geometry of the XC is upright and stable, wide handlebars give you plenty of leverage, and the air suspension takes the sting off light hits. However, you will feel under-biked if you enjoy aggressive trail riding.
- Featured in: Best Mid-Drive Ebike Picks for 2023
The urban Prodigy e-bikes include step-through (ST) and step-over (XR) models, which are identical apart from the frame. These are commuter-ready machines designed and equipped for comfortable and convenient urban rides.
Now, let’s take a detailed look at the design, electronics, and components.
Ride1UP Prodigy Frame, Geometry, and Sizing
The frame comes in two layouts: the XR and XC are the same, and the ST has a step-through layout. Each one is constructed with hydroformed 6061 aluminum alloy, which is surprisingly lightweight, resulting in a 50-lb base weight for all three (excluding the rack and fenders).
This durable frame has a tidy, refined look thanks to the integrated cabling and electronics. The geometry is close to a pure hardtail. It’s slacker and longer than a typical urban bike, resulting in a stable and confidence-inspiring ride when venturing off-road.
The geometry of the ST frame is almost identical, just with a low-step top tube that reduces the stand-over height to 18″, making it easier to mount and dismount.
Unfortunately, each version of the Prodigy e-bike is only available in one size. The ST model fits riders 5’1″ to 6’3″, and the XR and XC frames fit heights from 5’6″ to 6’4″.
Finally, you can choose between three colors: matte carbon, gloss chameleon, or gloss chalk.
Motor and Battery
The Ride1UP Prodigy has an impressive set of electronics, given the price of just $2,300. Mid-drive motors are uncommon in this price range, making this an attractive choice for many riders.
In general, mid-drive motors are preferable as, compared to hub drives, they provide a smooth and natural power transfer, more torque at lower power ratings, and are more efficient on battery power.
The motor chosen is a TF Sprinter by the German brand Brose. This is the most powerful aluminum motor Brose makes, with 250W, 90 Nm of torque, and max assistance of 380%. A unique feature of this motor is the internal belt drive, which runs much quieter than typical mid-drives.
Impressively, the TF Sprinter has more torque than Bosch and Shimano’s most powerful motors. As a result, the Prodigy e-bike is surprisingly powerful when climbing steep gradients, capable of hauling heavy payloads (300 lbs), and fast off the mark.
The Prodigy e-bike battery is a 36V, 14Ah (504Wh) BN21 by Phylion. It’s seamlessly integrated into the downtube, removable for off-the-bike charging, and lockable for extra security. You will get between 30 and 50 miles of range from this battery, and the automatic charging shutoff extends its lifespan.
Finally, the Brose display is slightly underwhelming. It’s clear and easy-to-use, but relatively small, meaning you must use a button to switch between the individual ride metrics as they aren’t displayed together.
Does the Ride1UP Prodigy have a throttle?
No, the Ride1UP Prodigy doesn’t have a throttle. Most mid-drive electric bikes don’t have throttles, as the motor connects directly to the drivetrain, meaning the pedals must be turning for the motor to activate. Throttles can be retrofitted to mid-drive e-bikes, but it’s a costly endeavor.
Ride1UP Prodigy Components
Each of the three builds comes with a set of Tektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors. These provide ample stopping power and reliable performance for this price range. In addition, you get a 9-speed Shimano Alivio drivetrain with trigger shifters and an 11-34t cassette.
The only difference in the drivetrains is the chainring; the XC gets a 42t narrow-wide chainring for better chain retention and more climbing gears, compared to the 46t standard chairing on the urban builds. Each Prodigy e-bike also gets a Buchel Shiny 80-lux headlight and 27.5″ alloy wheels, but the rest of the components are different.
The Ride1UP Prodigy XC has a set of Maxxis Forekaster 2.4″ cross-country tires, MTB handlebars, a Selle Royal SRX saddle, and a 120mm air suspension fork. All these MTB-specific components give the bike its capability and comfort off-road.
In contrast, the ST and XR have urban-style components for comfort and functionality in the city. This includes 2″ Maxxis Re-Fuse gravel tires, swept-back handlebars, a Selle Royal Viento saddle, rigid forks, fenders, a rear rack, and a rack-integrated taillight.
Shipping and Assembly
Ride1UP provides free shipping of e-bikes to the lower 48 states and charges $100 to Canada. Shipping to Hawaii and Alaska starts at $400 per bike.
The company uses GLS, FedEx, or UPS, depending on where you live, and provides tracking information within one business day of ordering. Shipping time is between one and six days in the US.
Ride1UP takes great care in packing each bike into as small a container as possible, saving costs on shipping and passing those savings onto the customer.
The Ride1UP Prodigy assembly requires a pump, Philips screwdriver, and 8mm, 10mm, and 15mm wrenches. The bike is mostly assembled before packaging, but you must install the front fender, the front wheel, the handlebars, the rear reflector, and the pedals.
Ride1UP has a follow-along YouTube video for initial assembly and additional ones for fitting, tuning, and maintenance.
Other Ride1UP Models We’ve Reviewed:
- Ride1UP Roadster v2 Review
- Ride1UP Cafe Cruiser Review
- Ride1UP Core 5 Electric Bicycle Review
- Ride1UP 700 Series Review
- Ride1UP LMT’D Review
- Ride1UP Revv 1 Review
Our Verdict: Ride or Pass?
The Ride1UP Prodigy performs well above its $2,300 price, largely due to the premium mid-drive system. It also feels solid and well-built for a bike in the entry-level range.
The ST and XR’s ride quality is smooth, relaxed, and enjoyable for urban use. Likewise, the XC version has a stable and fun ride feel when taken on cross-country trails and doubles nicely as a comfortable city cruiser.
All things considered, if you’re looking for a high-torque mid-drive electric bike in the urban or XC MTB categories, you won’t find a better deal than the Prodigy.
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