2016 Ariel Rider W-Class Review

Ariel Rider W Class Electric Bike Review
Ariel Rider W Class
Ariel Rider W Class 7 Speed Shimano Altus
Ariel Rider W Class 48 Volt 11 6 Amp Battery Samsung Cells
Ariel Rider W Class Chopper Bars Custom Locking Grips
Ariel Rider W Class Branded Backlit Lcd Display Console
Ariel Rider W Class Branded Velo Extra Wide Plush Plus Spring Saddle
Ariel Rider W Class Flip Up Pivoting Saddle For Battery Removal
Ariel Rider W Class Matching Leather Touch Points
Ariel Rider W Class Spanninga Swing 40 Lux Headlight
Ariel Rider W Class Custom Frame Internal Cable Routing
Ariel Rider W Class 26 2 3 Kenda Balloon Tires
Ariel Rider W Class Alloy Bash Guard Oversized Wellgo Pedals
Ariel Rider W Class Integrated Lights Matching Fenders
Ariel Rider W Class 2 Amp Battery Charger
Ariel Rider W Class Electric Bike Review
Ariel Rider W Class
Ariel Rider W Class 7 Speed Shimano Altus
Ariel Rider W Class 48 Volt 11 6 Amp Battery Samsung Cells
Ariel Rider W Class Chopper Bars Custom Locking Grips
Ariel Rider W Class Branded Backlit Lcd Display Console
Ariel Rider W Class Branded Velo Extra Wide Plush Plus Spring Saddle
Ariel Rider W Class Flip Up Pivoting Saddle For Battery Removal
Ariel Rider W Class Matching Leather Touch Points
Ariel Rider W Class Spanninga Swing 40 Lux Headlight
Ariel Rider W Class Custom Frame Internal Cable Routing
Ariel Rider W Class 26 2 3 Kenda Balloon Tires
Ariel Rider W Class Alloy Bash Guard Oversized Wellgo Pedals
Ariel Rider W Class Integrated Lights Matching Fenders
Ariel Rider W Class 2 Amp Battery Charger

Summary

  • A beautiful, custom designed cruiser electric bike drawing from vintage motorcycle designs with a springer fork, chopper bars and wider top tube
  • Powerful 500 watt geared hub motor by Dapu paired with a 556 watt hour battery using Samsung cells for quick acceleration and decent climbing ability, adjustable speed up to 25 mph
  • Integrated LED lights, color matched fenders and chain guard, comfortable sprung saddle with matching leather grips on the Premium model
  • The motor produces more noise when starting off, the springer fork doesn't offer much travel, no rack or bottle cage mounting points, some delay on the cadence sensor

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Ariel Rider

Model:

2016 W-Class

Price:

$2,350 (Premium Model $2,550)

Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Cruising

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2), Moped or Motorcycle (Class 4)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Battery, 2 Year Motor/Controller, 5 Year Frame

Availability:

United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Austria, United Arab Emirates

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

61.7 lbs (27.98 kg)

Battery Weight:

8 lbs (3.62 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.37 lbs (3.79 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy, Double Heat Treated T4 and T6

Frame Sizes:

19 in (48.26 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

19" Seat Tube, 24.5" Reach, 30" Stand Over Height, 80" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Beige, Red, Black

Frame Fork Details:

Custom Made Springer Style, 10 mm Bolt Skewer with Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

10 mm Bolt Skewer

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Altus, CS HG20-7, 11-36T

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS Index

Cranks:

Prowheel 246A-2, 46T Chainring with Alloy Bash Guard

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform, B087DU

Headset:

Neco 3510

Stem:

Promax MA-525 Adjustable Angle

Handlebar:

Zoom Cruiser, 25" Width

Brake Details:

Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Easy Adjust Calipers, Artek Levers with Motor Inhibitors

Grips:

Custom Hand Stitched Leather with Lockers

Saddle:

Velo Extra-Wide Plush Plus, Sprung

Seat Post:

Zoom SP114A, Flip-Up Folding, Tapered

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Double Walled Aluminum Alloy

Spokes:

Stainless Steel 13G

Tire Brand:

Kenda 58-559, 26" x 2.30"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

50-80 PSI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Paint-Matched Full Length Composite Fenders with Mud Flaps, Paint Matched Composite Chain Guard, Flick Bell on Right, Integrated LED Lights Front: Spanninga Swing 40 LUX Back: Spanninga SPX, Aluminum Alloy Bash Guard, Sturdy Adjustable Length Kickstand

Other:

2 Amp Charger 1.1 lb with Cell Balancing, IP56 Water Resistant Controller, Honeycomb Battery Cell Layout (Avoids Short Circuits and Stays Cool)

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Dapu

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

700 watts

Motor Torque:

48 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung 29E

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11.6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

556.8 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Display Type:

Fixed, Backlit LCD Console on Left

Readouts:

Speed, Battery Capacity (5 Bars), Assist Level (0-6), Trip Meter, Odometer, Average Speed, Max Speed (Hold Plus Button to Activate Lights)

Drive Mode:

Twist Throttle, Torque Sensing Pedal Assist (12 Magnet Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)(Up to 28 MHP Unlocked)

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Written Review

The W-Class electric bike models from Ariel Rider are my personal favorite because they strike a balance between cost and aesthetic. First… let’s talk about the limitations, these aren’t cargo bikes and they don’t have racks or mounting options (not even bottle cage bosses) but that doesn’t matter as much when you’re cruising around the neighborhood, riding to events or friends’ houses. The vintage style springer fork doesn’t actually move a whole lot so despite the visual promise of comfort most of your shock absorption and cushion come from the balloon tires, sprung saddle and elongated cruiser style handlebars. These combine for a nice relaxed ride and even though the fork’s performance is limited I can’t help but appreciate the way it looks (for those who want actual travel, consider replacing the fork or looking at the N-Class Comfort model which has a basic oil fork). Continuing on with question marks, I felt like the pedal assist would activate quickly but noticed that it didn’t cut out right away. When I inquired about this behavior I was told that it is actually intentional and a design choice meant to smooth out power during uneven pedaling. At any point in time you can squeeze on the brake levers to completely cut power to the motor (even while you’re pedaling) or twist the throttle for maximum power so it’s really not a huge deal.

Ariel Rider is a company that dates back to 2010, having been rebranded after 2014 as they expanded internationally (now being sold in 26 countries). The name is a nod to Ariel Motorcycles, a company dating back to 1870, which was an innovator in British motorcycle design and eventually spun off into cars. Interestingly, the Ariel name has been taken up by a modern sports car producer called Ariel Ltd in much the same way that Ariel Rider uses it. So the point here is that these are all distinct entities, each building on a long heritage of innovation and style, paying homage if you will. Aesthetics are a huge draw with the W-Class and touch points like the custom leather saddle, locking leather grips, color matched fenders, chain guard and sturdy black pedals bring it home for me. I went into this review impressed and came away convinced that it all works together well for a good ride experience.

The motor driving this ebike is a 500 watt planetary geared hub made by Dapu. From what I can tell, this company is not as well known as 8Fun but I have seen their hardware on more models lately including some Easy Motion and Pedego ebikes and they feel zippy despite being compact in size. This is a strength with the W-500 because the hub motor is nearly hidden the seven speed cassette on the right and 160 mm disc brake rotor on the left. Sound produced by the motor is a bit higher when starting out, there’s more of a buzzing zinging sound as the ~62 lb frame is pushed up to speed, but it quiets down as 10+ mph are reached. One of the unique features with Ariel Rider electric bikes in the US is that their speed settings can be adjusted. The default max is 20 mph but some riders may want to bring speed and power down for a safer feel, or to avoid outpacing a friend or partner. This can be done with the LCD control panel by double clicking the power button then entering a password provided by Ariel Rider. For those who plan to operate on private property, perhaps as a pit bike, you can adjust speed up as well and I maxed out around 25 mph in this mode.

The display panel also controls the backlighting of the LCD and lights (both by Spanninga). Everything is wired into the main battery pack which offers an impressive 556.8 watt hours of capacity. It’s larger than average, both physically and in terms of the power and range you get but I think they mounted it well behind the seat tube and I’m told that inside the casing a honeycomb arrangement was chosen to improve airflow for cooling and quality Samsung 29E cells were chosen for their higher discharge rate and longevity. One of the best parts of the battery pack is that it can be charged on or off the frame and taking it off is pretty easy thanks to a pivoting saddle. The saddle I tested did rattle a bit due to this pivot feature but felt solid otherwise and didn’t rattle when I actually rode the bike, just when I put my hand on it for taking photos. One thing I don’t love about the battery is that you have to leave your keys inserted to activate it. This means more rattling, potential for snags and possibly more chances to forget them if you have a second set of keys for your house, car or office that you don’t add on to the bike key (to reduce rattling and bulk). It’s not a huge deal and some people have said they use carabiners to solve it more quickly than the metal key ring that is included.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went into this review, I hadn’t heard of Ariel Rider before but the design was clearly unique. I was sort of disappointed that the springer fork felt limited in terms of travel but glad it didn’t go the other way and get bouncy and squeaky. It enhances the aesthetic… The attention to detail wowed me and helped to justify the higher price points, at just over $2k for the lowest trim level I feel like the W-Class can be a great value. Being able to pedal around in assist and have a more gentle ride and lower speed if you so choose is great but then also being able to blast off with full throttle power at any time is exactly how it should be in my opinion, you get full control at any speed and that’s empowering, something that I’m always surprised feels taken away by some other brands. This is just a bicycle after all, I should have the say in how it performs and be respected. One of the most impressive little details for me was the leather stitched grips because the right one is shorter and fits seamlessly with the twist throttle (if you get the Premium model). It’s an area of the bike you see a lot and I could tell they spent time getting it right.

Pros:

  • Beautiful touch points on the Premium model, the saddle is large and comfortable but also has the Ariel Rider name on it in cursive which looks classy, same thing with the display, I love the wing logo on the top tube in gold and the custom leather grips tie in perfectly
  • The W-Class model has a removable battery pack and quick release front wheel making it a lot easier to transport (both lighter and shorter), considering the length of the bike is ~80 inches total with the wheels on battery weighs ~8 lbs this could be really handy
  • I’m a fan of the Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes because they offer tool-free rotor adjustment, you can use your fingers to twist the little red discs to fine tune the calipers as your pads wear down
  • Depending on where you live it’s wonderful to have full length fenders and the color matching on the Ariel Rider ebikes is spot on, the chain guard also matches and is a sort of custom thin guard which looks great
  • The chainring has an aluminum bash guard on it which also acts as a chain guide to some extent making the drivetrain more robust (useful at higher speed and on bumpy terrain), I like that the spokes they went with are a bit larger as well at 13 gauge vs. 14 given the heavier build
  • You get three color choices and all of them are sort of a matte satin finish that looks nice and more vintage, those are red, black and beige which leans towards light yellow vs. brown in my opinion
  • I absolutely love the integrated LED lights, both are made by Spanninga and the tail light is wired in so it only lights up when you pull the brake levers
  • Nice display panel and control unit, it’s compact but the buttons are large and easy to reach without taking your hand of the left grip, you can get into settings by double clicking the power button and change your speed when the passcode is entered (up to ~25 mph in the USA)
  • The controls default to 0-6 pedal assist and you can override with twist throttle at any level! This is awesome for people who want a more scooter-like experience, the cadence sensor uses 12 magnets making it pretty responsive
  • The Ariel Rider W-Class uses a custom designed hydroformed Aluminum alloy frame that leverages a more standard “silverfish” style battery pack to bring the cost down, I think it looks great and appreciate that the wires are run through and even protected with plastic channels for the rear light
  • Upgraded Wellgo Aluminum alloy platform pedals offer lots of surface area and feel stable and stiff, the saddle is comfortable but also functional with a flip-up lever to make getting the battery pack off, even the brake levers are upgraded and have a nice rubberized grip on the leading edge, you get a basic bell to top it all off

Cons:

  • The springer style suspension fork on the Premium model looks cool and adds a touch of vintage flare to the Premium model but doesn’t offer much travel and adds weight vs. a standard rigid fork
  • No bottle cage bosses or rack bosses on either the Comfort or Premium models, you might have to bring a little backpack along to carry supplies
  • This electric bicycle is only available in one frame size but the stem is adjustable angle and the seat tube has quick release so it’s actually quite versatile
  • I noticed that the cadence sensor starts quickly but doesn’t always shut the motor down when you stop pedaling (I was told this was a choice made to smooth out the ride with inconsistent pedaling), it alarmed me at first because I thought maybe the throttle was stuck on but you can always cut power by pulling either brake lever so that’s nice

Resources:

More Ariel Rider Reviews

Ariel Rider N-Class Review

  • MSRP: $1,699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

A vintage inspired powerful hub-drive eBike with tons of style and comfort like fenders, plush saddle, integrated lights, adjustable stem, and stitched grips. 750watt hub-drive, hydraulic disc brakes, 7 speed Shimano Altus system, and a powerful battery round…...

Ariel Rider D-Class Review

  • MSRP: $1,999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019

A 2WD dual-motor 750 watt electric fat tire bike with a stretched banana seat position, all-purpose set up, scrambler style. Comfortable fat tires can take on sand or snow, longer seat that can fit a…...

Ariel Rider W-Class Review

  • MSRP: $1,799
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

One of the most beautiful electric cruiser bicycles on the market today, vintage styled springer fork, rich faux leather touch points and matching balloon tires, paint-matched plastic fenders and chain cover. Zippy 500+ watt planetary geared hub motor from Dapu, strong 48 volt battery with upgrade…...

Ariel Rider C-Class Review

  • MSRP: $1,699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

A beautifully styled cruiser-inspired cargo electric bike with integrated lights, reflective tires, comfort grips and saddle, and a stable double-leg kickstand for loading, can handle 400+ lbs of combined rider and cargo weight. Powerful 500-900 watt geared hub motor from Dapu paired with a 48 volt LG battery…...

Ariel Rider M-Class Review

  • MSRP: $1,599
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

An approachable, highly adjustable, compact electric bike that turns into a capable little cargo bike with optional front and rear racks, great price point for being so feature-rich. Efficient and powerful mid-drive motor from Dapu offers 95 Newton-meters of torque, Shimano internally geared…...

2016 Ariel Rider N-Class Review

  • MSRP: $2,899
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

A powerful electric cruiser with unique battery box design reminiscing of vintage motorcycles, three color choices for the box, fenders and chain guard including red, black and beige. Integrated LED lights by Spanninga, comfortable CST balloon tires with reflective sidewall stripes and a…...


Comments (4) YouTube Comments

Doreen Juola
2 years ago

Hello again, Court!

What are your thoughts for either this W or N Premium ebike for my husband and I? I appreciated your feedback on the eTracker, by the way!

Again, we live in Bradenton, FL and want to ride 10 miles or less to nearby beach cafes, etc. Also, rack the bike on the back of our Bus ((RV) and camp to hike in NC at times and also, URban trips like St. Augustine, New Orleans, Charleston etc. (further in later years).

We want speed! We are in good shape and pedal just fine – but speed is needed for ‘cafe or in-town fun’!

We have even toyed w the idea of dumping the ebike thought and getting the smallest motorcycles (but that is quantam leap for us w many cons as there are pros, so…)

Do you feel either of these Ariel Riders are enough ‘quality’ for what we want to do? Can top Kevlar ‘tires’, better suspension spring and I have to have the Brooks type or after market Brooks saddle (NO cushy anything seat)! Not sure they will put that handstitched leather one the W.

Do you think I should be able to be near flat footed on stand over if I chose the N (personally, I like the W a bit better – I dont see differences except battery and asthetic – but I may have to reread that for more info ., if there are more differences in the Premium W vs N).

ANY info you can give us will help us decide. My husband knows bikes well, but NOT ebikes. Thank you!!

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Doreen, great job finding the Ariel Rider models. These are some of the few e-bikes that can go faster than 20 mph with throttle mode (which is why they are listed as Class 4, more like a moped). You can get similar performance from some of the Vintage Electric Bikes which offer speed pin for “race mode” but their products tend to cost a lot more. The design is similar, stepping over might not be as easy as some of the step-thru options. Other companies that sell faster ebikes include Hi-Power Cycles and a company called Luna Cycles which sells kits and complete builds with faster, more powerful drive systems. You might want to check them out! I haven’t reviewed any of the Luna models yet (and have slowed down on all Class 4 products) because the most legal products that do not require a license and insurance to ride are the Class 1, 2, and 3. Even if you have a license and insurance, many of these other products are not DOT certified so my understanding is that it’s a bit of a risk and gray area if something goes wrong and someone gets hurt. I think this is why Vintage uses a pin to make sure that it’s you choosing to ride the bike “off road” or in a “race” on private property. It might be a liability thing.

  Reply
Tom
1 year ago

So, they lowered the price to an extremely appealing point on Ariel Rider bikes. I am in the process of returning my Super 73 for a warranty refund. Shopping for a replacement. Narrowed down to a cruiser for recreation and errands, would you choose an E-Lux Tahoe Classic, or an Ariel Rider W-Premium? I like the style of both, and enjoy the benefits of fat tires on an Ebike, and I also like the idea of going through a brick & mortar retailer such as Cynergy Ebikes in Portland, OR. Please give me your recommendations. I also like comparable Addmotor models and the Magnum Cruiser. So the Magnum and E-Lux can probably be purchased through Cynergy, which are selling points.

I want my bike to be a smooth as velvet cruiser, and reliable. I’m capable of making basic adjustments but I don’t want to be constantly fiddling with it like my Super 73 required. I also want to be able to take it onto dirt or gravel without too much worry, if possible, but not at the expense of road comfort. Weight isn’t too concerning but compatibility is. No accessories fit on the Super 73! I need some hands-on, expert guidance from you, Court, before making a decision.

Tom

  Reply
Court
1 year ago

Hi Tom! I like your strategy of working through shops. Magnum has been a longtime winner in my book for value and availability for test rides/support. I love Ariel Rider as well, and feel that their team is authentic and responsive… E-Lux is great but I’m not sure if they would be available at the dealer you mentioned. If I were you, I’d go in and test ride a few models to get a feel for it. Reliability on all of these models may be similar because they are using similar parts at the mid-level. I hope this help. I hesitate to recommend one brand or product strongly over another in general but all of the products you specified here should be solid and reliable. I haven’t had much luck with Super 73 in terms of contacting them or getting support when I did a review. I reached out to visit them when I was in SoCal and they weren’t interested in working with me unfortunately. Their product is cool, but I try to review verses purely promote like some of the other YouTube people they have teamed up with :)

  Reply

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