Monday, April 22, 2024

Ride1Up Roadster Review V2: Class 3 Belt Drive Ebike (a surprising find)

Looking for a lightweight, nimble ebike that won’t draw attention to the fact that you’re getting electric pedal assistance?

Because the frame is so narrow and has that typical road bike geometry, the Ride1Up Roadster v2 looks and acts much like a regular bike. So, you can fly under the radar of other cyclists, pedestrians, and even would-be bike thieves.

But, more importantly, this is not a cruiser… it’s an electric road bike that can whisk you speedily across cities and down paved roads. I’m Lisa from E-Biking Today and I’m showing you everything you need to know about this class 3 belt drive ebike in the Ride1Up Roadster review.

Check out what this amazingly lightweight electric bike offers. I’ll point out the pros and cons and share my experience to help you decide if this is the best electric road bike for you. And, there are a few surprises for an ebike that retails at only $1095. Check the V2 Roadster’s current sale price. You might be surprised!

Let’s get on with the Ride1Up Roadster v2 electric bike review. Start by watching the video above.

Red Ride1Up Roadster v2
Testing the Ride1Up Roadster V2 for an electric bike review

PROS of the Ride1Up Roadster V2

Budget Electric Bike

It’s honestly surprising to find a quality road ebike at this price point. But the Roadster offers more than you’d expect for an electric road bike priced this low.

Natural Road Bike Geometry 

This slender ebike has an aggressive road geometry, meaning that it provides a more efficient riding position and better aerodynamics for speed. This is largely due to its lower stack and longer handlebar reach, which puts the rider in a forward position as opposed to sitting up.

But do note that I sit up straighter on the Roadster than other riders might because I’m 5’1” and ride on a low saddle. Taller riders’ saddles typically sit higher than the handlebars. In this review, I’m riding the Small frame which best fits riders 5’3” to 5’8”. Anyone 5’8” or taller should consider buying the Large e-bike frame.

Red Ride1Up Roadster V2 leaning against tree
I leaned my small frame Ride1Up Roadster v2 against a tree since it doesn’t have a kickstand.

Fully Concealed Battery

The Samsung cell battery is hardly noticeable since it’s smoothly integrated into the frame. This feature, and the discreet display, make it hard to detect that you’re riding an electric bike.  

Ultra Lightweight

The Roadster v2 is the lightest ebike I’ve reviewed to date. Weighing only 33 lbs, just about anyone can lift it. Being lightweight also has other advantages: It’s easier to maneuver, rides faster, and it’s easier to travel with.

Unique Drive Train

Another feature I like about the Roadster is the Toptrans belt drive. Getting a belt drive electric bike at this price point, instead of one with a chain drive, is special. The belt drive helps this single-speed e-bike ride smoothly on flat terrain, offers zero chain noise, and is easy to maintain. Yet, it’s still a class 3 bike that can speed up to 24 miles per hour.

During my test ride on mostly flat terrain, I easily sped up to 22-23 miles per hour on pedal assist levels 4 and 5 riding with consistent pedaling.

Belt Drive on the Ride1Up Roadster
The Roadster uses a Belt Drive instead of a chain drive

Surprising Brake Efficiency

The Roadster’s Tektro dual pivot brake calipers were a surprise find. I’d expected to get mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes. Although I was unsure how well they’d stop a fast electric bike, they did the job quite well, as you can witness in the video above. It helps that the Roadster V2 is an incredibly lightweight bike, making it easier to stop in general.

Narrow Cornering & Sleek Handling

The super narrow Kenda Kwest 700Cx28 tires are nimble and take corners well. Although many heavier, wider-tire electric bikes demand substantial slowing before a turn, I was able to go around corners smoothly on the 700C tires.

Plus, I like knowing that I have less chance of popping a tire on a nasty thorn since so little tire actually hits the road.

Smooth Transitions

I always felt in control of the Roadster. During testing, I went a couple of miles per hour faster with each pedal assist level increase, while I pedaled at a consistent cadence.

Small But Comfortable Saddle

I felt stable and comfy on the ergonomic gel road bike saddle. This is a pro I didn’t expect from a narrow seat. 

Despite having all of the benefits of an electric road bike, the Roadster is missing a couple of features you might not want to do without, even at this price point.

Narrow Roadster v2 shows saddle and slim tire
The Narrow Roadster has a slim saddle and ultra-slim 700C 28 tires

Cons of the Ride1Up Roadster V2

First, there are no lights. Even though I don’t plan on riding in the dark, I’ve been caught riding home at sunset numerous times when it would be a safety hazard not to have both a headlight and taillight.

Also, there’s no kickstand. Okay, I know it’s typical to leave off a kickstand on a road bike, so this is more of a preference. However, when I wanted to get off the Roadster to get something in my bike bag, I had to find a tree or building to lean it on. I wasn’t about to lay this beautiful new e-bike on the ground. But, if you’re concerned about the kickstand’s extra weight or the bike’s aerodynamics, then you might be perfectly happy with no kickstand.

The other con that can be improved upon is road bump comfort. I felt a few hard bumps that could get pretty uncomfortable during a long ride, even though I set the tire pressure to the low end of the recommended PSI range. To deal with this, I recommend getting a suspension seatpost to soften the blow from the slender road tires. Ride1Up offers a nice touring package with an upgraded cushioned saddle, 350mm suspension seatpost, and a handlebar mirror to improve comfort and safety. You can find this $75 road bike package here.

Ride1Up Touring Package
Get the Ride1Up Touring Package to make your rides even more comfortable.

What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Power

The Ride1up V2 Roadster has an efficient 350W rear hub motor. Plus, its 40 Newton Meters torque easily zooms this ultra-lightweight Class 3 e-bike over 20 miles per hour! So, although there’s no throttle, it isn’t needed.

Range

You can expect to ride a range of 20-30 miles on one battery charge. This depends primarily on your weight and level of pedal assist. You’ll get the low end of the range if you ride on levels 4 and 5, and even lower if you attempt to tackle hills. This range assumes you’ll be riding on flat terrain.

Sizing and Fit

Because the Roadster is a step-over ebike, make sure to measure your inseam so you’ll fit comfortably on either the Large or Small frame. As you can see, even the small frame crossbar fits a bit too tight for my 5’1” height and inseam. 

Assembly

I’m happy to say that the Roadster was quick and easy to assemble. I watched the Ride1Up short assembly video, checked out the owner’s manual, and easily lifted the bike to get the front tire on by myself. It’s pretty exciting to head out for a ride in around 45 minutes of opening the box. 

The biggest challenge was to untwist the handlebars before tightening and to assemble the pedals by turning them in the correct direction. Both of these steps are easy to do.

Ride1Up Roadster V2 Unboxing
This is how the Roadster looks when opening the box
Ride1Up Roadster V2 Beginning Assembly
Beginning Assembly

A Few Other Notes

The Roadster V2 comes with water bottle bosses and an integrated bike bell. Plus, you can choose from 3 colors: Burgundy, like the review e-bike, Silver, or Black.

Is the Ride1Up Roadster V2 E-Bike for You?

The affordable Roadster v2 is a great option for urban riders and commuters. It offers the benefit of pedal assist on a lightweight electric bike that looks and feels much like a standard bicycle.

And if you’re looking for simple, this single-speed belt drive ebike is it. There aren’t any gears, a clunky chain, or a confusing display to get in the way of just enjoying your ride.

However, if you want an electric bike that handles off-road terrain, then you might check out the all-terrain Gravel Roadster.

Ride1Up Gravel Roadster V2
The Ride1Up Gravel Roadster V2 has wider tires and low gears.

If you’re still reading this Ride1Up Roadster Review, I suspect you’ll find one of these version 2 Roadsters is perfect for you. Just as I’ve found in my other Ride1Up e-bike reviews, the Roadster V2 price is unbeatable for a quality budget electric road bike. I like that it’s fast, quiet, easy to manage, and low maintenance… perfect for a city, commuter, or recreational rider. 

You might also like to look at my other Ride1Up reviews, including the 700 Series and Cafe Cruiser. Thanks for joining me on E-Biking Today and enjoy your ride!

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