Less than two weeks ago, I received the Prodigy ST electric bike from Ride1Up. This is the company’s first mid-drive ebike, available as a step through and high step frame. So far, I have put 25 miles on the bike, and boy do I love the Brose motor!
First, I have to stress how quiet this motor is. There’s no high-pitched whistle like some mid-drives produce, nor the strange clunky whirls of others. In fact, I can’t even hear it in the lowest pedal assist level, Eco. Even at its highest level, Boost, it’s still quieter than most ebikes at their lowest pedal assist level. As someone who doesn’t care for loud, obnoxious motors on an ebike, I’m very pleased. And now that I know it’s possible, I wonder why other motors are so dang loud. Hmm…
Beyond just being quiet, the Prodigy is capable when you need the power the most, as on hills. With 90Nm of torque and being able to utilize the bike’s gears, unlike a hub motor, it marches up the hills without a hiccup. I rarely have to use the highest PAS level for hills. Usually, I’m pedaling up them in Tour or Sport assist levels.
I don’t think I can stress enough how satisfying it is to pedal the Prodigy. Unlike many electric bikes out there, this one delivers the power in a way that makes sense. It doesn’t provide too much or too little. The cadence is comfortable and practical. I’ve never been left ghost pedaling, meaning that I’ve run out of gears or the motor can’t keep up. It’s dialed in nicely, but you also have the option to change how much power you want from each level of pedal assist. I love that, though I don’t feel the need to change anything.
Okay, so that’s the motor. What about the rest of the bike? It’s nice! I won’t get into all the details just yet. That’ll be in the full review, but so far what I appreciate about the Prodigy is what a great value it provides. And Ride1Up did that without sacrificing too much on other aspects of the bike. Nothing is cheap. You’re getting good hydraulic brakes, a good derailleur, well-made frame, custom rear rack with an integrated tail light, double-wall fenders, highly efficient tires, a quality headlight, quality rims, locking grips and more.
Now, are these all top of the line components? No, but I wouldn’t expect them to be for a mid-drive Brose ebike costing less than $2.4k.
It’s not all sunshine and roses. The bike did arrive damaged from shipping. I had to replace the front brake rotor, but that wasn’t a big deal. Ride1Up should probably consider reinforcing the shipping box at these more vulnerable spots. I’ve seen other ebike companies reinforce their boxes with hard plastic on the inside.
Other than that, there wasn’t a mark on the bike. Assembly was straightforward and easy, taking about 30-45 minutes.
If you’re considering the step-thru frame, it does accommodate shorter riders. I am 5’1″ with a 28″ inseam and while I can’t flat-foot it at a stop, or use a suspension seat post from needing the seat to be as low as it will go, I can still mount the bike confidently. The frame geometry allows proper leg extension for pedaling, too.
Think in the terms of a road bike, where you’re not supposed to be able to flat-foot it while on the seat. But since this is a step-thru, or really a mid-step, I can comfortably straddle the frame when off the seat to feel more in control of the bike when it is stopped.
So yeah, it’s a thumbs-up from me so far! I’m impressed. I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss a front suspension sometimes. This is a bike meant for the pavement, but boy does it do good on pavement. The top speed I’ve taken it up to so far is 25 mph. That’s as fast as I wanted to go, but it’s capable of more. This is a Class 3 ebike, so 28 mph is very possible. There’s no throttle, but I don’t miss it at all. The motor responds quickly when pedaling, with very little delay.
Is it a powerhouse like a 1000 watt rear hub motor? Of course not, but it delivers power in a way that makes sense for a pedaling enthusiast. So far, I’m guessing the range is easily 30+ miles when using a mix of different pedal assist levels for the average rider, but I’ll be doing more testing.
Legal Stuff: I did not receive the Prodigy for free from Ride1Up. Most ebikes I review I purchase, as I did with this one. I am however an affiliate of Ride1Up, and if you purchase using the links in this article, I’ll receive a small commission at no added cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!