Ride1UP Prodigy ST Review

Prodigy St Reveiw
Ride1Up Prodigy ST Review

Affordable mid-drive electric bikes are hard to find, so when Ride1Up announced their first mid-drive ebike for a great price, I knew I wanted to check it out. Well, I’ve had the Prodigy now for a few months, put a couple of hundred miles on it, and have come away very happy with my purchase. I’m not going to go over all the specs of the bike in this review, but will share my experiences after riding it for over 200 miles.

I wasn’t sure if the bike would be comfortable without front suspension, but my fears were unfounded. The bike tracks better, is more efficient, and stable without it. It just scoots along the bike path so efficiently. It is a bike best suited for pavement. If you’re wanting to go off-road, on gravel, or super bumpy roads, the Prodigy XC is the one to check out. It has front suspension and knobby tires.

As far as the Prodigy ST goes, I think it’s comfortable. If I were planning to take it on gravel, I’d get a suspension stem (on Amazon) for it, but for where I ride, it’s ideal.

But enough about front suspension, what about the rest of the bike?

Ride1Up Prodigy ST
Ride1Up Prodigy ST

Brose Motor

The Brose electric system is quiet and efficient. One of the things I love most about the Prodigy, is just how quiet the motor is. Couple that with tires that are almost slicks, and the bike is practically silent on the bike path. This is an electric bike in which you’ll have to announce your coming. You’ll need a bell, or a good strong voice yelling, “On your left!”, when passing pedestrians, because they won’t hear you coming.

The range that I have consistently been achieving is an easy 30 miles. 40 miles is very doable if I’m conservative. That’s using a variety of pedal assist levels, mostly staying in Tour, which is the second-highest pedal assist level out of four.

Hills have been no issue, and I weigh about 155 lbs and usually carry another 5-10 lbs with me.

While I’m only 5’1″ tall, the bike fits me well. The reach is comfortable and getting on and off the bike hasn’t been an issue. I do have to have the seat at the lowest setting, which means I can’t use a suspension seat post, but I haven’t felt that I need one anyway.

I think the comfort of the ST is a testament to its frame geometry. I don’t feel like the bumps are jarring, from the front end or the rear. In fact, I still have the stock seat and don’t feel the need to change it. I can ride for several miles without developing sore wrists or stiff shoulders.

Of course, we’re all built differently and have different preferences, but compared to many other bikes that I have tried, the Prodigy doesn’t transfer bumps in a harsh way, like some other bikes do.

A Bike For Pedaling Enthusiasts

The Prodigy is a bike meant for those who love pedaling. Not just because it doesn’t have a throttle, but because the bike is set up like a good quality non-electric bike. If you’re coming from a road bike or gravel bike background, you’ll enjoy pedaling the Prodigy. It produces a natural riding experience with the right amount of assistance for a comfortable and practical cadence. I don’t feel like I’m cheating on this bike, nor do I feel like it is under powered. I guess I can call it my “Goldilocks” bike, because it delivers the right amount of assistance for me.

The only time I wish it had more speed is from a dead stop when I’m trying to cross a busy road. I’ve learned to make sure I have plenty of time. That’s not to say the bike is slow. It just doesn’t have jackrabbit starts, which is great for safety, especially if you’re new to ebikes. The Brose motor is smooth and predictable, which I appreciate.

The top speed I’ve reached is about 27 mph, but that’s the speed at which I chickened out. It probably could go faster. This is a Class 3 ebike, meaning it can go up to 28 mph using pedal assist. That speed is achievable when using the Boost pedal assist level and using the highest gear. By the way, the gear ratio on the Prodigy is very good. I haven’t experienced “ghost pedaling” where I’m just spinning the pedals for looks.

 

Ride1Up Prodigy ST
Ride1Up Prodigy ST

The thing I love the most about the Prodigy is it has a comfortable and practical cadence. I can pedal along at a satisfying cadence to achieve the speed I want. The torque sensor plays a big role in this, but so does power delivery by the bike’s controller and gear ratio. Many ebikes fall flat at this.

The display on the Prodigy is easy to use and easy to read in all lighting conditions. It has an ambient light sensor to turn on the backlit display for night riding. You can also choose a white or dark background.

Another fantastic feature is the ability to customize the pedal assist levels by specifying how much power you want from each. So, if out of the box factory settings are too fast or too slow for you, you can change it. All ebike displays should have this, in my opinion. It makes a huge difference.

The hydraulic brakes are sufficient, and after 200+ miles the pads are still going strong. I only had to make a slight adjustment for the derailleur by using the barrel adjuster on the handlebars, and since then it has shifted smoothly.

There’s just so much to like about the bike. It definitely gets a lot of attention on the bike path. I’ve had people ride along with me for miles just asking questions about it. Many people love the integrated rear light in the rear rack. It’s just a classy looking bike that draws attention in a good way.

 

Ride1Up Prodigy ST
Ride1Up Prodigy ST

Some Issues

I did have a couple issues with the bike, though. When it arrived, the front brake rotor was bent and had to be replaced. It was an easy fix, and I’m sure Ride1Up would have reimbursed me, but I just bought another rotor off of Amazon, and quickly fixed it myself.

The other, more annoying issue, is that the battery in the down tube sometimes doesn’t seat right. After riding on bumpy roads for miles, it will sometimes move enough out of place to turn the bike off when I’m riding it. At least, there is the reassurance that the battery won’t fall out, because there is a second locking mechanism to prevent this from happening.

I have had a battery fall out on another bike, causing me to wipe out, so I’m not a big fan of batteries that go in beneath the frame. But due to the frame style of the Prodigy, this wouldn’t be possible.

Conclusion

Other than that, the Prodigy is my favorite in my collection of ebikes. It’s the one I’m most often riding. It is a versatile bike that I can take places, and light enough for me to lift onto a rack. The bike weighs about 55 lbs with the battery. Of course removing it before lifting reduces the weight by a good 7-8 lbs.

So, after owning and riding the Prodigy for a few months, I can give it a big thumbs up. It’s a quality ebike for a very good price. It’s the third Ride1Up ebike in my collection. I also have the 500 Series and 700 Series. I’ve had very good luck with Ride1Up, which is a company based out of San Diego, California. It’s a growing company, but not so big that you can’t communicate directly with the owners.

Check out the Prodigy St on Ride1Up’s website. You can also view all the full specs of the bike.

 

 

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