- A fun, light weight ebike that's well balanced and comfortable on or off road
- Mid-drive system creates efficiency and keeps weight low but isn't as fun or powerful as some other designs
- Battery is positioned well, can be charged on or off the bike and comes with a great warranty
This review is for the 2014 eProdigy Whistler, the company has since improved the motor design and updated components on the bike. The 2016 model offers a 500 watt mid-drive and a 48 volt 11.6 am hour battery! To learn more about this model and read my latest review go here.
eProdigy is an electric bike company based in Vancouver BC, Canada. It’s a joint venture between a motor and battery manufacturer that began in 2008 under the name EPIK Bikes but changed to eProdigy in 2013. The Whistler is their mid-level offering that uses a proprietary mid-drive system to leverage the rear cassette for optimized torque or speed depending on whichever gear is chosen for pedaling by the rider. It’s a system that keeps the weight of the bike centered and low to the ground but doesn’t offer the same scooter feel of power and speed that some other ebikes do.
I really like the look and feel of the Whistler, and while I’ve categorized it as “mountain ebike” based on the tires and mid-sized shock, I’m not sure it’s quite as capable as some of the higher end offerings. This is both in terms of components and drive power… That said, let’s continue. It’s not the only bike out there using a bottle-style battery pack mounted on the downtube but is is one of the few that also features a mid-drive system. This bike comes with ergonomic handle bar grips, colorful treaded tires for riding on or off road and a decent front shock to smooth out the ride. The disc brakes work well and make for a higher quality feel and the price is reasonable with free shipping to US or Canadian buyers and a generous two year battery warranty. Please note however that the demo unit in the video review shows a nicer LCD display and is not styled quite the same as the new eProdigy models being sold.
The motor driving this bike offers 350 watts of power which is fairly average for mid-drive bikes sold in the US. While other ebikes offer more watts in hub drive configurations, this motor leverages the rear cassette for more torque or speed depending on the gear the rider picks. It’s a clever design used by EVELO, Haibike, Felt and other ebike makers but it does create more tension in the chain and perhaps wear the teeth on the rear chain rings more quickly. I’m always careful when changing gears to ease off the pedals and de-activate pedal assist so as not to create the loud crunching sound of a forced change. One big upside to mid-drive systems is that they make servicing the bike and changing flats much easier than on hub motor systems.
The battery pack is one of my favorite features on this bike. It’s encased in an aluminum cylinder that mounts just like a water bottle would and is easily removable for charging on or off the bike. The pack is made with Lithium-imide cells that are known for being light weight, long lasting and heat resistant. Charging the pack from empty can take between two and six hours depending on whether you use fast charge. Offering 37 volts, this pack is middle of the road in terms of power. The 8.8 amp hour capacity is also mid-level and should get you around 30 miles (45km) of range.
Considering the light-weight and well balanced design of this bike it doesn’t matter too much that it features a smaller battery and motor. These are the trade offs with any ebike and the price, quality of features and warranty eProdigy offers are a good value. The simple controller is easy to use but doesn’t make it clear how much battery capacity is left and I always enjoy a throttle mode which this bike doesn’t have. It also lacks lights, stock fenders and a mounting point for your water bottle. Still, I like the disc brakes, ergo grips, solid metal pedals and fun color scheme. This would be a great around-town bike for someone who appreciates a lighter, well balanced ride that is actually fun to pedal around and more aggressive positioning, like a mountain bike.
- Free shipping to US and Canada
- Light weight 46 lbs (21 kg) bike, well balanced design
- Removable battery can be charged on or off the bike, comes with a two year warranty
- Disc brakes offer great stopping power
- Well balanced weight, battery and motor are central and low to the ground
- Shock absorber on front shock smoothes out bumps and makes occasional trail riding more comfortable
- Fun colorful design with matching tires, grips and battery
- Pedal assist mode extends range and allows for lighter battery and smaller motor
- No throttle mode, only pedal assist
- No LCD display with speed, battery capacity or distance (the pictures and video show a demo model, the true model is more like the feature shot of the white bike at the very top)
- No where to mount a water bottle, spot taken by battery pack
- No built in lights, have to be added separately
- No stock fenders or storage rack but will work with after market offerings (the pictures and video show a demo model, the true model does not have a rear fender and looks more like the white image at the top of this page)
- Mid-drive system can wear chain and rear gears more when changing speeds because it pulls directly on the chain with added force vs. hub motor