- A super stylish, petite city electric bike that can handle cargo with the rear rack and optional wicker baskets and go far with an upgraded 560 watt hour battery pack
- Proprietary mid-drive motor is compact and powerful, wires and cables are internally routed to reduce snags, internal gearing is clean and tuff, frame is available in seven colors
- Can handle the rain thanks to full length fenders with mud flaps and a chain cover, integrated headlight and reflective sidewall stripes keep you visible but no rear light included
- The fenders, rack and baskets especially can become rattly when riding, the bike weighs a bit more at ~60 lbs due to the larger motor and battery, the headlight wobbled a bit
The eProdigy Banff is one of the most stylish electric bicycles I’ve ever reviewed… This is the second time I’ve gotten to ride it, the first time was a couple years back and the system wasn’t quite as refined or powerful as it has become. In addition to the colorful paint options, fun wicker baskets (which are optional and cost extra), fenders with mud flaps, integrated headlight and comfy saddle this is actually a well balanced and very efficient step-thru. It can be difficult to find “wave” style frames like this with mid-drive motors because it requires a custom build which tends to cost more money. In this case, the motor is a proprietary design from eProdigy that’s very compact and offers both pedal assist and throttle on demand. That’s another awesome combination that I would consider rare. You can find the Bosch mid-drive motor on a few low-step bikes like the Felt VERZAe but it doesn’t offer a throttle… and sometimes it’s nice to scoot around without pedaling, especially if you’re loaded up with groceries or other cargo and trying to get the bike started from standstill.
And so, this ebike balances aesthetics with comfort and performace. It even offers a handy walk-mode as shown in the video review above. Just hold the down arrow on the button pad for a few seconds and the motor will activate in a slow “walking speed” so you don’t have to push. This is handy for walking next to friends on the way home or for those heavy-loaded moments where riding doesn’t seem as stable. The eProdigy Banff itself is not the lightest bike around, at ~60 lbs it’s nice to have a removable ~8 lbs battery to make transporting the bike or doing maintenance easier. The battery weight is high and at the rear but this frees up the downtube and again, the mid-drive motor helps to move at least some of the weight down and forward. One thing I really like about the frame setup is that they opted for an adjustable angle stem and swept back handlebar. This brings the bar to you and makes riding a more upright, comfortable experience. There’s no suspension but the 1.75″ tires absorb vibration and the oversized sprung saddle is very nice.
Activating the bike is a two step process whereby you charge the battery (on or off the frame) then power it on followed by a second “on” button at the control pad. Once you’ve done this, the display comes to life showing your assist level, speed, odometer and other minor stats. The display is not removable but it is large and easy to read. I was told by the eProdigy team that you can enter the setting section of the display and turn down the power as some riders prefer a slower, less zippy ride. It’s easy to turn down power but adding it when you need to haul those books, cargo, kids or just get help climbing a steep hill is not so easy if the system itself is limited. For this reason, I appreciate the upgraded 48 volt battery pack and powerful 750 watt motor! This thing is quite capable even in the third level of assist and being able to add power with the trigger throttle is perfect. The throttle is mounted to the left bar and I found it easy enough to reach and use… it stays out of the way more than a twist throttle and might be easier for people with small hands to use. On the right bar is a grip shifter that lets you navigate three gears by default or you can upgrade to a five gear setup with Sturmey Archer hub. Either one is an improvement over derailleurs that can be snagged or bent easier and tend to require more maintenance in my opinion. The hub is compact, clean and allows for a shorter tighter chain that won’t flop off as easily. The only downside is added weight with a geared hub vs. derailleur.
While the e-Prodigy Banff is not perfect… it is a fun, capable and very unique ebike. The wicker baskets look nice and could be very useful but aren’t super durable and may rattle if you don’t zip-tie them down. The fenders also rattle a bit but are fairly resilient (being made of plastic) and match some of the silver accents on the frame. I tested this bike with my girlfriend Mony who loved the step-thru design because she has hit her leg and inner thigh before on larger bikes, even those with angled top tubes. For her, the baskets seemed useful for storing a lock and helmet and even carrying her small dog for fun. She noted the weight but appreciated that the brake levers cutoff power to the motor instantly when pulled and have an integrated bell. I noticed that the pedals were upgraded to stiffer grippier models vs. plastic on some lower-end bikes. Overall, I was delighted with the experience and excited to see something targeted at female riders. Having enjoyed the older model, it’s neat to see that they’ve improved it significantly and still offer the amazing two year warranty. Big thanks to eProdigy for partnering with me for this review.
- Very cute design and colors, available in white, black, red, ivory, baby blue, green and even pink, the cables are all run through the frame to reduce snags and make it look nice
- The step-thru frame is easy to approach and stand over (to control the bike at stops), I like that the downtube is reinforced to keep it stiff offering improved handling
- Neat basket accessories… even though you have to pay extra for the wicker baskets, this is one of the only ebikes I’m aware of that offer this sort of thing and they look great, I could imagine placing a small dog in the front basket, some flowers or a picnic lunch
- If you don’t opt for the wicker baskets, you still get a rear rack for hauling panniers or a trunk bag, I like that it matches the fenders and chain guard and has a pannier blocker bar to reduce interference with the wheel
- Even though the frame is only available in one size, it’s fairly adjustable and ergonomic, the stem swivels up and down and the bars are swept back, you get an oversized sprung comfort saddle and padded ergonomic grips
- Full length fenders with mud flaps keep you dry and clean, the chain cover helps to protect pants or dress ends from snagging and grease
- Integrated headlight that runs on dynamo power means you’ll never be left in the dark, even if the main battery runs out of juice, I also appreciate the reflective sidewall stripes on the tires for a larger visual footprint and the integrated bell on the left brake lever!
- The bike uses an internally geared three speed hub that allows for easy shifting even at standstill, In my experience these stay cleaner, drop the chain less frequently and are less vulnerable to damage if the bike tips than traditional derailleurs… but they do add a bit of weight
- The 750 watt co-axle motor is very powerful, especially paired with their 48 volt battery… it’s the same drive system used on their mountain bike and has no problem climbing as long as you switch to a lower gear
- You get pedal assist and throttle on demand drive modes so you can ride however you want and take a break if necessary, I like the trigger throttle because it frees up the grips and can be easier to use for people with smaller hands
- Both brake levers are ebike specific and cut power to the motor when pulled… this means you always have control over the bike
- Amazing two year comprehensive warranty, the bike is from a family owned Canadian company and they chose to use high quality Panasonic cells in the battery that will last longer
- No water bottle cage bosses on this frame but the rear rack would easily support a trunk bag like this with a bottle holster
- At ~60 lbs this is not the lightest bike out there, but the ~8 lb battery is removable so at least you can take that off when you need to lift and transport it
- Due to the fenders, rack and especially the baskets this bike can be a little louder and sort of rattly sounding… even the motor produces more noise than some competing offerings although it is super compact
- The headlight wasn’t mounted super tight on our demo bike and bounced around when riding… if it was dark and we were actually using the light that could become distracting or even confusing
- I love that the bike has a headlight but would definitely add a rear light as well, too bad they weren’t able to include one that runs off the battery, consider a large rechargeable one like this
- No suspension on this bike… the sprung saddle helps a lot but without a suspension fork the bike can feel a little jarring on bumpy terrain if you ride at higher speeds, consider a 27.2 mm seat post suspension if you plan to ride long distances but note that it will raise the minimum seat height by a few inches
- The brakes are just okay, linear pull design with rubber pads vs. disc… not a huge deal for urban riding but they could squeak more than disc brakes and get wet easier being on the rim
- The on/off process requires two steps which isn’t that uncommon with ebikes but does require extra time and just remembering to turn the battery and display on/off