Ride1UP Prodigy v2 Review
The Ride1UP Prodigy was the company’s first mid-drive electric bike, available in three builds; one off-road and two urban. The latest iteration, the Prodigy v2 e-bike, expands the build options to four and adds a continuously varying transmission (CVT) and belt drive option, among other changes.
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.
This Ride1UP Prodigy v2 review will cover the new bike’s components and characteristics in detail and compare it to the v1 model so you can decide if it’s the right Ride1UP e-bike for your needs.
Ride1UP Prodigy v2 Main Specs:
- MSRP: $2,395 (XR, ST) or $2,695 (LX/LS)
- Class: Class 3, 28 mph
- Motor: Brose TF Sprinter, 90 Nm
- Battery: 504 Wh, 36V 14 Ah
- Range: 30-50 miles
- Tires: 27.5″ x 2.25″
- Drivetrain: 9-speed or CVT Hub gearing
- Brakes: Tektro HD-M745 hydraulic, 180 mm rotors
- Weight: 58 lb or 61 lb
- Payload Capacity: 300 lb total, 40 lb on rack
What’s New for the Ride1UP Prodigy
Ride1UP completely overhauled the Prodigy with the release of the v2 builds. As of autumn 2023, the original Prodigy is still available to purchase on the website, but we’re unsure of how much stock remains.
The original version was priced between $2,295 and $2,395, so the pricing has remained the same for the standard versions of the v2. However, the upgraded LX and LS versions see a $300 jump.
The redesigned frame and geometry are worth drawing attention to. In our opinion, the Prodigy v2 frame is prettier with its narrower-profile tubing. The updated geometry also creates a more aggressive ride position that increases efficiency and improves handling off-road.
Below you can see other major differences between the two versions.
Ride1UP Prodigy v2 Review
As mentioned, the Prodigy v2 is available in four builds or two frames, a step-over or step-through. The ST and XR with 9-speed Shimano Alivio/microSHIFT drivetrains, and the LX and LS with Gates Carbon belt drive and enviolo internally geared hub drivetrains.
The Ride1UP Prodigy v2 blends cross-country MTB and urban e-bike characteristics, meaning it can handle light, flowing XC trails or serve as a mixed-terrain commuter.
The geometry is relatively upright and stable, and the 100 mm-travel air suspension fork takes the sting out of light hits. However, you will feel under-biked if you enjoy proper trail MTB riding.
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The Prodigy v2 e-bikes come as step-through (ST, LS) or step-over (XR, LX). The step-through frames are better for shorter riders or those with limited mobility. Overall, the Prodigy v2 is a commuter-ready machine designed and equipped for comfortable and convenient rides on or off-road.
Now, let’s take a detailed look at the design, electronics, and components.
Ride1UP Prodigy v2: Frame, Geometry, and Sizing
Again, the frame comes in two layouts step-over and step-through. Each one is constructed with hydroformed 6061 aluminum alloy, which is relatively lightweight, resulting in a 58lb (XR, ST) or 61lb (LX, LS) weight. This includes a rack, lights, and alloy fenders.
The new frame has an even tidier, refined look thanks to the integrated cabling and electronics. Ride1UP tubing is typically quite chunky, but they’ve managed to reduce the size significantly here.
The geometry is a mix of hardtail mountain bike and city commuter. 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 step-through frame is almost identical, just with a low-step top tube that reduces the stand-over height, making it easier to mount and dismount.
Unfortunately, each version of the Prodigy v2 e-bike is only available in one size. The step-through frame fits riders 5’1″ to 6’3″, and the step-over fits heights from 5’6″ to 6’4″.
Finally, you can choose between three colors: Faded Bronze, Onyx Black, or Sea Fog.
Motor and Battery
The Ride1UP Prodigy v2 has impressive electronics, given the price of just $2,395 to $2,695. Mid-drive motors are uncommon in this price range, making this an attractive, high-value choice.
In general, mid-drives are preferable as, compared to hub drives, they provide a smoother, more natural power transfer, higher torque-to-power ratios, 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, 90Nm 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 v2 e-bike is surprisingly powerful when climbing steep gradients, capable of hauling payloads of up to 300lb, and fast off the mark.
The Prodigy v2 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 on average from this battery, and the automatic charging shutoff extends its lifespan.
Finally, the Brose display is 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 v2 have a throttle?
No, the Ride1UP Prodigy v2 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 v2 Drivetrain and Components
Each of the three builds comes with a set of Tektro HD-M745 hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors. These provide ample stopping power and reliable performance for this price range.
The most notable upgrade to the new Ride1UP Prodigy is the option to choose between a 9-speed Shimano Alivio/microSHIFT Advent drivetrain or a Gates Carbon belt drive with an enviolo Trekking CVT hub.The traditional drivetrain on the XR and ST builds comprises a 48t chainring and 11-34t cassette, providing a decent gearing range to get the most out of the mid-drive motor.
The Gates Carbon belt drive, and enviolo hub combination provides a seamless and hassle-free user experience. Firstly, the belt drive requires virtually no maintenance, it doesn’t require grease, it’s silent, and it lasts up to three times longer than a traditional chain drivetrain.
The CVT hub also has these advantages, as well as providing smooth, stepless gear changes, perfect shifting under load, and the ability to shift while stopped. This also pairs with the mid-drive motor to seamlessly match cadence.
Each Prodigy v2 e-bike also gets 2.25″ Maxxis Rekon Race cross-country tires, a Selle Royal saddle, and a 100mm air suspension fork. All these MTB-specific components give the bike its capability and comfort off-road.
Other notable components include the rear rack rated for 40lb, durable alloy fenders, an 80-lux headlight, and a 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 v2 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 v2 performs well above its price, largely due to the premium mid-drive system and brand-name components. It also feels solid and well-built for a bike in the upper entry-level range.
The ride quality is smooth, relaxed, and enjoyable for urban use. Likewise, it’s stable enough for riding on cross-country trails.
All things considered, if you’re looking for a high-torque mid-drive electric bike that straddles the urban and hardtail MTB categories, you won’t find a better deal than the Ride1UP Prodigy v2.