A Look at Ride1Up’s Prodigy and Cafe Cruiser

Prodigy XC
Prodigy XC

Ride1Up, known for their quality yet affordable pricing, has two new models to begin shipping in late winter and early spring 2022. First to ship is the Cafe Cruiser, a bike with a beach bike inspired frame plus room for a passenger, and the Prodigy, Ride1Up’s first mid-drive ebike. We’re going to take a deeper look at both and see what they have to offer.

Cafe Cruiser

The Cafe Cruiser features 3″ wide balloon tires for a more stable and relaxed ride. They’ll do better in sandier soils, but also handle the weight of a passenger. I think this is the first full-size ebike, besides a cargo ebike, that I’ve seen to offer passenger seating. That passenger seating can handle 130 lbs and the total payload capacity of the Cafe Cruiser is 300 lbs.

Cafe Cruiser ST

Even if you don’t plan to ever haul a passenger, the Cafe Cruiser really lives up to its name as a bike that you’ll want take out and, well, cruise on! It’s sure to be a comfortable ride with those big tires, front suspension, wide seat, and swept back handlebars. But unlike a lot of cruiser bikes, it doesn’t have clunky performance.

The Cafe Cruiser is still a Class 3 ebike, meaning it’s capable of speeds up to 28 mph using pedal assist. It also has a thumb throttle for cruising at about 20 mph. It’s available in two frame sizes, a high step called the XR, and the ST which stands for step-thru, but is really more a mixte frame. Personally, I’d go for the ST. It’ll be easier to get on and off of.

You’ll find a 750 watt geared rear hub motor with 60 Nm of torque and a 48 volt 15 Ah lithium-ion battery. You can expect a range of 30-50 miles.

If you do plan to have a passenger, you’ll need to purchase the passenger kit which includes a rear seat, wheel cover, and foot pegs.

The Cafe Cruiser is listed at $1595 which is a good deal considering it’s a class 3 ebike and has a custom frame style.

Prodigy

Prodigy XR

The Prodigy is Ride1Up’s first mid-drive ebike, and I’m eager to test it out this spring! It’ll begin shipping in March. It’s rare to find a mid-drive ebike for less than $2500. Most go for quite a bit more.





The Prodigy is available in two different frame styles, the XR high step, and the ST step-thru. My only wish is that the step-thru frame was also available in the iridescent paint like the XR variations.

A Brose mid-drive motor and a 36-volt 14 Ah battery power the Prodigy. That may seem quite a bit less than the Cafe Cruiser but mid-drive’s have several advantages of hub motors. Even though the Brose motor is less wattage than the Cafe Cruiser’s motor, it has 90 Nm of torque. This means good hill climbing ability.

Also, mid-drives can utilize a bike’s gears, since a mid-drive motor turns the rear wheel with the bike’s chain. Mid-drives typically also use torque sensors, and the Prodigy is no exception. You can expect a more natural and satisfying pedaling experience.

Prodigy ST

Other nice features of the Prodigy include a color display, a hydraulic fork, if you choose the XC version. You’ll also find an upgraded Shimano Alivio derailleur. It’s a step-up from the usual Altus and Acera derailleurs common on many ebikes.

It’s great that Ride1Up offers different variations of the Prodigy. The XR and ST are more city-bike oriented, while the XR is more capable for some off-roading.

You’ll want to take a look at the specs of each variation because they are different. I’ll be reviewing the XC. I think it’ll make the perfect gravel bike with its wider tires and more aggressive tread, though the XR and ST would be quite capable too.

You can check out the Prodigy here.