Ride1Up Roadster V2 review: A city slicking bike made to dazzle

The Ride1Up Roadster V2 is definitely one for seasoned city commuters, with plenty of power and very minimalist looks

Ride1up Roadster V2 electric bike
(Image credit: Mark Knapp)
T3 Verdict

The Ride1Up Roadster V2 readily excels for city riding. It’s got a stylish design that’s well built and flies under the radar as a minimalist, single-speed ride. But, it’s packing enough power to zip from A to B and back so long as you remember to charge it back up regularly.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Agile on flat terrain

  • +

    Superb looks

  • +

    Low maintenance

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No power cutoff in brake lever

  • -

    Smaller, non-removable battery

  • -

    Demanding gear ratio

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Ride1up Roadster V2 - Key Specs

Size range: 52cm (Rider Height Range 5'3"-5'8"), 58cm (Rider Height Range 5'8"-6'3")
Motor: 350W (500W peak) Shengyi rear hub, geared
Top speed (motorized): 24mph
Power: 36V 7.0ah (252Wh) Samsung lithium battery
Control: Cadence-sensor pedal assist
E-bike classification: Class 3
Speeds: Single-speed (64/20 gear ratio)
Brakes: Tektro R315 dual-pivot rim brakes
Frame material: 6061 Aluminum Alloy
Fork material: 6061 Aluminum Alloy
Wheel size: 700Cx28
Weight: 33 pounds
Range: 20-30 miles

There’s a lot of action happening among the best electric bikes, with motor-powered models offering extra accessibility for riders. All the extra electronics that go onto an e-bike raises the price considerably over a comparable non-electric bike, though, and it tends to come with a lot of extra clutter that can reduce the elegance of the bike. Enter the Ride1Up Roadster V2.

The $1,095 (roughly £820 / AU$1530) Ride1Up Roadster V2 is still on the inexpensive side for e-bikes, but it’s something special. Ride1Up has gone with an under-the-radar design that you really wouldn’t know is an e-bike unless you knew exactly what to look for. Between its style, equipment and fair price, it makes for a compelling option for those looking to get into the e-bike scene without having to dive into the mess of cables, gaudy battery pack, and added weight of competing e-bikes. Let’s take a closer look at all that it’s doing.

Ride1up Roadster V2 electric bike

The matte paint work and styling gives a very non-electric look

(Image credit: Mark Knapp)

Ride1Up Roadster V2 review: design and features

The Ride1Up Roadster V2 is as elegant as it is simple. The bike has a straightforward diamond frame that only hints at its unusual nature with an extra-wide steerer tube, down tube and a little extra metal welded just above the bottom bracket where the down tube meets the seat tube. Ride1Up finishes it with a matte paint job in red, white, or black — or gray for the Gravel Edition of the bike, which is a separate beast — and slaps a metal badge onto the front of the bike. All the metal on the aluminum frame comes together impressively cleanly, too, with welds only visible on the chainstays and around the bottom bracket where some of the electronics are hiding. Keeping it even cleaner, Ride1Up routes some cable internally.

Combine the elegance of the frame with the simplicity of a single-speed hybrid bike with rim brakes and you’ve got an e-bike that can cruise around the city alongside fixies and other low-key rides without doing much to suggest this thing is packing a bit of extra horsepower.

The Ride1Up sneaks a 350W Shengyi hub motor with a 500W peak into its rear wheel. That motor runs on pedal-assist to give the bike a Class 3 rating that lets it cruise up to a hasty 24mph. The motorized assist is controlled via a minimalistic LCD display on the left side of the handlebars. It has five assist settings or can be turned off. Meanwhile, the display can track battery levels, speed, and odometer or trip distances. 

The bike offers a narrow handlebar perfect for city riding and weaving through traffic. The rubber handgrips offer a bit of vibration-dampening but the aluminum frame and narrow 700Cx28 Kenda Kwest tires still sent a lot of the road vibration into my hands. The grips could be more ergonomic, but they blend in with the minimalistic style of the bike. The bike uses a threadless headset, making the height and angle of the handlebars easy to adjust. Though Ride1Up has omitted power cutoff switches on the brake levers — a nice safety feature that keeps the motor from engaging while the brake levers are pulled — it has gone with brake levers that include a compact but satisfyingly pronounced bell for a different sort of safety. 

Ride1up Roadster V2 electric bike

The slim but well padded seat

(Image credit: Mark Knapp)

The bike comes kitted with a comfy seat that’s low profile and narrow but nicely padded. It’s easy to adjust with a quick-release clamp. The front wheel also has a quick-release skewer, and the Tektro rim brakes can pop open with the flip of a lever. The seat tube has mounting points for a water bottle, which can be used instead for an extra battery with some modifications. There are also eyelets on the seat stays and rear dropouts for a rear rack, though the rear brake cable can get in the way.

The Ride1Up Roadster V2 deviates a bit from the norm in its drivetrain. Rather than opting for a chain, Ride1Up has gone with a belt drive from Toptrans. It has a fairly demanding 64/20T gear ratio, but the cadence sensor is designed to be extra sensitive, so it can kick in quickly.

The 252Wh battery of the Ride1Up Roadster V2 is completely hidden inside the downtube, where a covered port above the bottom bracket allows for charging. The battery can take 2-4 hours to charge, and will require more frequent charging than many competing bikes due to its lower capacity. Impressively, the battery is only slightly lower capacity than the more garish external battery on the Detroit Bikes E-Sparrow. Though it’s built into the bike, the battery is replaceable through an opening beneath the bottom bracket if it needs servicing.

While the bike looks like it would be lighter, it weighs in at a modest 33 pounds. That’s still on the light side of the scale for e-bikes, but a traditional bike could come in well below that.

Ride1Up ships the Roadster V2 mostly assembled, but a few parts need to be attached out of the box. This is easily achieved in under a half-hour, and Ride1Up includes a full set of Allen keys to get the job done.

Ride1up Roadster V2 electric bike

The discrete LCD screen gives speed and distance 

(Image credit: Mark Knapp)

Ride1Up Roadster V2 review: performance

For being such a low-key e-bike, the Ride1Up Roadster V2’s motor does a great job reminding you of what you’re riding. The design of the Ride1Up Roadster V2 is great for agile riding, and the 500W peak of the motor makes it easy to get up to speed. The bike's 24mph max speed doesn’t take long to reach, and the gear ratio actually allows for a fairly relaxed cadence to keep it up.

Though the gear ratio makes low speeds harder on the legs, the cadence sensor on the bike kicks in after just a few degrees of rotation, so the motor will start assisting in no time. Once at full speed, cruising along feels great. The bike's rim brakes are responsive and have some good bite, so it’s not difficult to come to a quick stop or adjust speed and navigate some city traffic. The brakes were able to regularly bring about 260 pounds from 20mph to a stop in about a single car-length. Ride1Up has opted for brakes that are certainly a cut above the basics and don’t come with some of the difficulty adjusting that a cheaper set of disc brakes might. 

The Ride1Up Roadster V2 has five different speed settings, the first few will get the bike up to around 18mph. I had a hard time distinguishing between level 4 and level 5, as both readily pushed me past 20mph and on to 24mph. The motor is certainly a pleasure to have for getting going from a standstill, and that’s perhaps where it’s best employed. By sticking to a lower level assist, I can be quick off the starting line and then stick to using my legs for the higher speeds. That feels like what this bike was meant for, given its styling can so readily appeal to a seasoned city rider. 

The somewhat smaller battery offers a bit of a limited range. Ride1Up estimates 20-30 miles of range, which generally isn’t going to come from using the maximum assist. I tested in cold weather, which can pretty seriously reduce the range as much as 50%. Sure enough, I got about 12 miles per charge on average, suggesting closer to 24 miles in better weather. I let the bike offer a lot of assistance, varying between level 3, 4, and 5 on these rides, but kept my legs engaged. The city riding consisted of mostly long stretches of constant speed, though it included stops here and there, putting more demand on the bike to accelerate. 

Ride1up Roadster V2 electric bike

The Roadster V2 used a belt drive rather than a chain

(Image credit: Mark Knapp)

Battery management is important on this bike. On one ride, I ran out of juice, and losing that assist at the starting line makes it a real slog. I’ve generally noticed on e-bikes that there’s some added difficulty pedaling with an inactive rear hub motor compared to a traditional bike wheel, so the combination of a large gear ratio and extra resistance can make for a surprisingly difficult ride. Even maintaining just 12mph becomes a real effort in this case.

Though the belt drive offered a fairly quiet ride most of the time, the cold and dry weather started making it creaky. After my ride, a blast of silicone spray along the belt quickly resolved that.

There’s a little learning curve to this bike’s electronics. To cut down on cable clutter, Ride1Up didn’t include the motor cut-off switch in the brake cabling that’s often found on other e-bikes. So, if I continue pedaling even a little bit while I’m braking, the motor will continue to try pushing forward. The brakes are easily strong enough to overcome this, but it can make for some surprise jolts forward and difficulty with track stands or slow-rolling at a red light.

Overall, the bike offers a great ride for some high speed cruising through the city. It’s strong on flats, and it has enough motor power to tackle small hills. Its range makes it more of a short commuter, though, especially since its single speed.

Ride1up Roadster V2 electric bike

The Roadster V2 comes with quality brakes that are easy to adjust

(Image credit: Mark Knapp)

Ride1Up Roadster V2 review: verdict

The Ride1Up Roadster V2 has a lot going for it. It’s absolutely beautiful, and you wouldn’t know it was an e-bike at first glance despite it packing in as much motor power and battery as some of its competition. Ride1Up goes above and beyond by including some higher-quality parts for the price. The Ride1Up Roadster V2 offers plenty of speed and decent range for shorter city commutes, which it’s also well suited for with its nimble riding. In the right settings, it’s an excellent bike and a killer value, though riders looking to go on long adventures will probably want to look for something with more gears or a larger battery, like the Ride1Up Core-5.

Mark Knapp

Mark Knapp has covered tech for most of the past decade, keeping readers up to speed on the latest developments and going hands-on with everything from phones and computers to e-bikes and drones to separate the marketing from the reality. Catch him on Twitter at @Techn0Mark or on T3, PCMag, IGN, TechRadar, Business Insider, and Reviewed.