Monday, April 22, 2024

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser E-Bike Review (Value-Focused, Feature-Filled)

How about an electric bike that blends power with practicality? The impressive Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser has performance features that stand out: a 750W Bafang motor paired with a 48V 15Ah battery promises both power and range. 

But the Cafe Cruiser isn’t just about performance. Its practical design and comfort are equally noteworthy. Integrated lights ensure visibility and safety, while the sturdy rear rack adds a layer of convenience, making it perfect for daily commutes or grocery runs. All this, combined with its stylish design, makes it ready for the ultimate urban adventures. 

I’m Lisa at E-Biking Today and I’m taking you on a feature-filled ride into the value-focused Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser. In my electric bike review, I’ll give it to you straight by laying out the pros and cons. 

I’ll also point out riders who would benefit most from this remarkable e-bike and why it might not be right for you. Plus, find out what you need to know before you buy and one cool feature you won’t get on most electric bikes.

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser E-Bike standing against the sky
In this Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser E-Bike Review, I’m testing the step-over frame.

PROS of the Cafe Cruiser Electric Bike

Now, here’s an in-depth list of the pros and cons of the Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser e-bike:

Powerful Motor

The 750W Bafang motor is robust. I sped up to 24 mph in seconds and had no problem conquering hills. I easily left Marc and his e-bike in the dust!

Long-Range Battery

With a 48V 15ah Reention Rhino battery with Samsung cells, you can ride 30-50 miles. You’ll get the greatest range if you use the throttle minimally and ride on pedal assist levels 1 and 2. I noticed that the battery took a hit every time I used the throttle to get up a steep hill. Battery range is also dependent on other factors such as rider weight and environment.

Cafe Cruiser Battery
The Cafe Cruiser battery is smoothly integrated into the frame and is easily removed.

Comfortable Ride

The wide comfort cruiser saddle is plush and easy to get used to on a long ride. Combined with the 80mm hydraulic suspension fork, I think that Ride1Up has once again managed to offer enhanced ride comfort at a below-average price.

Wide cruiser bike saddle
The wide cruiser saddle is comfy to sit on for hours of riding.

Advanced Tires

The SandStorm 26″x3″ tires are yet another feature that improves comfort. They’re wide enough to provide good traction and cruising comfort, yet tall and nimble enough to take corners.

3-inch wide tires on the Cafe Cruiser
The Cafe Cruiser has sturdy 3-inch tires, providing good traction and comfort.

Important Safety Features

An integrated 80 Lux headlight and 48 Volt taillight make you visible to cars and other bikes. Plus, the 180mm hydraulic brakes stopped me quickly and safely, thanks in part to the brake’s cut-off sensors turning off the motor when I pulled the brake levers.

Integrated Headlight
This electric bike has an Integrated Headlight and Taillight

Practical Design

A sturdy rear rack and powerful motor lets you carry your load where it needs to go. There are even options to attach a front rack or basket for additional cargo space.

Smooth Gear Shifting

The Shimano Acera 8-speed drivetrain feels smooth and the chain has been super quiet. Plus, the added 8th gear allows more riding options and helps get up steep hills.

Shimano Gear Shift
8-speed Shimano Gear Shifts

Durable Frame

Okay, let’s all admit that the Cafe Cruiser looks sleek. But, the thick frame also feels sturdy and capable.

Some other pros of the Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser include an easy-to-read display, thumb throttle that speeds you up to 20mph, comfortable faux leather grips, a Shimano Acera derailleur, stainless steel spokes, and tough alloy fenders.

And, finally, here’s a benefit of the Cafe Cruiser that you can’t get on most ebikes.

A Passenger Kit that holds up to 150lbs!

Although this is an optional feature, you can take along a passenger with the practical and fun $125 ride-on kit. It’s easy to install and the seat snaps on and off in one click (you do need a strong thumb or forefinger, however).

I like that the footrests fold out of the way when you’re not using them. I also appreciate the dual protective shields that protect both the electric bike components and the passenger.

Get more info on the Cafe Cruiser’s passenger kit.

Cafe Cruiser Passenger Kit
Cafe Cruiser Passenger Kit

CONS of the Cafe Cruiser Electric Bike

The 65-pound Cafe Cruiser’s weight is average for comparable electric bikes. However, it can get pretty heavy when carrying a full cargo load. The weight is even more important to consider if planning to carry a passenger. Make sure you’re comfortable managing this extra weight.

The Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser XR tested in this e-bike review is a step-over electric bike. This means you will have to swing your leg over the saddle when mounting. Further, it’ll be more difficult to get on the ebike when carrying cargo on the back rack. If this is a concern, consider buying the Step-Through version.

E-Bike reviewer standing over the Cafe Cruiser
This photo shows a good idea of how a person of my size fits on the Cafe Cruiser

Finally, both Marc and I wouldn’t mind if we had the option to adjust the handlebars to sit a bit more upright.

What You Need to Know Before You Buy

First, Ride1Up has detailed size charts for each electric bike model. So, be sure to choose the most compatible version for your size and ability. The Cafe Cruiser XR step-over is going to be most comfortable for riders 5’5” and taller. It also requires the flexibility to step over the frame without discomfort. 

I’d prefer the Cafe Cruiser ST, not only because I’m just above the 5-foot minimum height range, but because I can easily get on and off the ebike as needed. Marc caught this awkward picture of my attempt to get on the XR version… kind of awkward!

Woman throwing leg over the the Cafe Cruiser
Me stepping over the Cafe Cruiser!

But keep in mind that you’ll still have to lift your foot over 23 inches to access the step-through frame. It’s about 5 inches higher than some step-through ebikes due to the Cruiser’s Design. 

Lastly, keep in mind that this is a Class 3 electric bike. In general, this means that the motor can assist you up to 28mph while pedaling. Thus, some parks, trails, and public spaces may not allow you to ride it. So always check the local e-bike laws where you plan to ride. 

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser  shown with all parts inside its box
The Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser, thankfully, has just a few items to assemble.

Is the Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser the Best E-bike for You?

There’s no doubt that this e-bike is plenty powerful and capable for commuters, long-distance riders, and weekend cruisers.

But, this isn’t just about speed; it’s about enjoying long, uninterrupted rides with confidence. As long as you check your measurements before choosing which version of this e-bike cruiser to buy, then the Cafe Cruiser offers comfort, fun, and great value for the money.

I can only think of two reasons that it might not be for you:

  1. It’s too much bike to manage, especially with the higher stand-over heights, or
  2. You’re holding out for a more expensive e-bike with a few upgraded features like a torque sensor or full suspension.

But with a retail price of $1599 minus any discounts, the quality is hard to beat.

Ride1UP Cafe Cruiser LCD Display
Ride1UP Cafe Cruiser LCD Display and throttle

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Review Wrap-Up

Overall, I think the Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser stands out as an exceptional and affordable option for e-bike riders. Its blend of power, comfort, and practicality, complemented by the add-on passenger kit, makes it not just a mode of transport but a joy to ride. 

So, whether you’re commuting, running errands, or simply enjoying a leisurely ride, the Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser has the versatility, power, and comfort to make every journey a pleasure. 

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