Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Review – Active Gear Review

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Ride1Up has been very successful in the world of e-bikes, and I attribute that to one of their main goals; build and deliver a quality electric bike at a very reasonable price. And that’s exactly what they did with the Core-5 e-bike we tested last year. With that success, they are now expanding their lineup beyond their core electric bikes with the launch of a moto-inspired moped electric bike called the REVV 1 and a casual upright electric cruiser bike called the Cafe Cruiser. We’ll be reviewing the Cafe Cruiser in this review and we should have the REVV 1 lined up for a summer review; watch out for that. Let’s dive in and see what this classic design has to offer.

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Unboxing

The Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser ships in a standard electric bike box. The entire bike was well packaged and the parts were heavily padded and attached well allowing the ebike to arrive in perfect condition.

Assembly was easy, requiring about 10 minutes to build the bike. All the tools needed to put the Cruiser together were included. The parts that needed assembly were the front wheel and fender, the headlight, the pedals and the handlebars.

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Build

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser assembled

The Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser has a lightweight yet strong alloy frame with ergonomic construction designed to provide a comfortable and relaxed upright ride. Beyond the swooping design, Ride1Up has added a Comfort Comfort cruiser saddle, VELO synthetic leather grips, and a Mozo hydraulic lockout front fork that offers 80mm of suspension travel to further enhance the luxury of this ride.

The Cafe Cruiser is equipped with SandStorm 26″x3″ Chaoyang tires that provide a smooth ride on the highway and offer just the right amount of grip on gravel. To keep splashing water and mud to a minimum, Ride1Up has added front and rear hardened alloy fenders. Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Tires

The Cafe Cruiser is equipped with a Shimano drivetrain, including an Acera 8 speed shifter, M360 derailleur, 11-32T cassette. Shifting with the Shimano kit is seamless and the power/speed ratio is perfect for tackling hills or cruising the track.

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Rear Grill

Ride1Up went with 180mm hydraulic Zoom brakes that provide excellent stopping power. Choosing hydraulics over mechanics is always the right move when it comes to electric bikes.

For nighttime visibility and daytime visibility, the Cafe Cruiser is equipped with a Buchel Shiny 80, ultra-bright 80 lux headlight and Velo Edge 48V taillight. Both do an admirable job of allowing the rider to see and be seen.

For cargo, the Cafe Cruiser has a rear rack welded directly to the frame. The frame has a load capacity rating of 150 lbs. and has built-in mounts to allow for the addition of side panniers.Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Rear Grill

Ride1Up also offers a Cafe Cruiser passenger kit that can carry someone up to 130 pounds. The kit comes with a quick connect seat, two wheel covers and two foot pegs that can be threaded onto the chain bar.

While we couldn’t test the passenger seat kit, I can see where it would come in handy for a quick trip to the beach with a kid or even letting a couple of teenagers loose for an afternoon cruise. I don’t know how much faith I would put in a fully loaded Cafe Cruiser to get up a steep hill on throttle/engine power alone though, I’m almost certain it would take quite a bit of human pedal power to get to the top. .

Motor Ride1Up Cafe CruiserMotor Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser

This is where things get weird. On the Ride1Up website, the Cafe Cruiser says it comes with a “48V Geared Hub Bafang Motor 750w Sustain.” The Cafe Cruiser I have does not have a 750 watt motor. As you can see in the picture above it has the model number RM G040.500.DC 10 1 stamped on the motor which tells me it is a 500 watt motor. This means I got a unique model with a 500 watt motor, Ride1Up has a mistake on their website or they are implying that the 500 watt motor can run at 750 watts sustained. We will reach out to Ride1Up to see if we can get any clarification on this and will edit this part of the review once we have it.

Powered by the 500-watt Bafang motor, the Cruiser offers a torque rating of 45Nm, which isn’t the claimed 60Nm, but is still plenty for quick starts and climbing hills. As I mentioned earlier, if you fully load the Cruiser with a passenger or gear, the 500-watt motor will need some pedal-dust assist to tackle any steep grades. But for straightaways, bike lanes, and rolling hills, this engine does just fine. The best seed for throttle hits just below the 20mph mark and with a concerted effort at the pedaling, the claimed 28mph is doable. Range-wise, the 500-watt motor is really beneficial, as it doesn’t draw as many watts as a 750-watt motor would, and the claimed 30 to 50 miles can be easily achieved. Of course, range depends on many variables such as rider weight, terrain, elevation, support level, tire pressure, wind, temperature, etc.

In general, Bafang motors are some of the most reliable and high performing on the market and a great choice for almost any electric bike. The 500-watt motor in the Cruiser is definitely the right choice for a single rider with minimal gearing, but add a passenger or a large load of gear and a true 750-watt motor would be more suitable, especially on steep hills.

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser BatteryRide1Up Cafe Cruiser Battery

Powering that motor is a 48V 15ah Reention Rhino battery. It’s built with 39 Samsung cells that equate to 720 Wh, which falls on the high end of battery life on most 48-volt e-bikes. With all the tests and e-bikes I’ve tried, Samsung cell batteries are always the best when it comes to longevity and ride time. This battery can be charged off the bike and takes 6-7 hours to fill from zero.

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Motor Ride ExperienceDirt Road Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Ride

The Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser is one of the most comfortable electric bikes I’ve ever ridden. The wide handlebars on this e-bike provide that nice upright riding position that keeps your shoulders and wrists in a comfortable, relaxed position, eliminating any strain or fatigue that sometimes comes with riding other bikes.Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Curved Handlebar

Hydraulic front fork suspension and 3″ wide tires provide a smooth ride, and together with the wide, plush seat, the Cafe Cruiser gives you the experience of gliding down the road in comfort. Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Adjustable Seat

Eight-speed Shimano gears combined with cadence sensing and five levels of pedal assist make riding fun. Hills become easy, straightaways can be fast, and cruising becomes a fun adventure. Everything about the Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser is designed for a comfortable, smooth and enjoyable driving experience, and it delivers. Riding fatigue is virtually non-existent with this electric bike, allowing for longer ride times and great distances. The Cafe Cruiser is great on paved roads, bike paths, boardwalks, gravel roads, and even handles well on non-technical trails, as long as the trail isn’t so narrow that those wide handlebars catch on something.

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Gravel Road RideFeatures of the Ride1Up Café Cruiser

  • Class 3 electric bike with 28 mph pedal assist and ~20 mph acceleration
  • 30-50 miles depending on rider weight, terrain, incline, assistance level, etc.
  • Lightweight alloy frame with protected and locked internal electronics
  • Customizable Pedal Assist (PAS) Settings
  • Integrated LED headlights and taillights
  • eBike SandStorm 26″x3″ tires
  • Offered in ST and XR frame versions
  • Colors: Matte Charcoal, Matte Indigo, Brilliant Latte

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Trail RideFinal Thoughts on the Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser

The Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser offers great comfort in the form of a smooth ride and casual comfort. This classic design combined with an electric motor really takes the bike ride to another level of fun. If the timeless design and relaxed ride of Beach Cruiser bikes appeal to you, the Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser is a great choice for daily rides, commuting, touring, and everyday fun.

To learn more about the Cafe Cruiser and other Ride1Up electric bikes, visit www.ride1up.com.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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