- A well rounded mostly-city oriented mid-drive electric bike, eProdigy is offering a more powerful 500 watt motor that's visually small and relatively quiet along with a substantial 48 volt 11.6 amp hour battery
- You get full length fenders, a decent set of pedals, a kickstand, an integrated bell and a solid suspension fork with lockout here, the nine speed Shimano Alivio drivetrain is mid-level
- Available in high-step with one size (sort of a medium ~18 inch), you can choose from three colors and shipping to Canada and the US is free
- The price tag feels a bit high given some of the more basic accessories (non-locking grips, generic saddle, mechanical disc brakes) and I wish it had rear rack bosses for use as a commuter platform
The 2016 eProdigy Whistler offers massive improvements in power and range with a 750 watt centerdrive motor that is compact and relatively quiet paired with a 48 volt 11.6 amp hour battery pack. The pack is removable which is great for indoor or in-office charging but requires an extra on step once attached to the frame before the display panel can also be turned on. The display is large, easy to read and navigate thanks to an independent button pad mounted near the left grip… Also mounted here is a trigger throttle that can be used to override assist as long as you’re in levels 1-4. If you’re in level zero the throttle and assist won’t work but the display will still tell you how far you’ve gone, how fast you’re traveling and how much battery capacity remains.
My initial impression of this ebike was that it would be great for trail riding. It comes with a suspension fork and the tires are semi-knobby… but upon closer inspection I think I’d use this mostly in the city or neighborhoods. The center of the tires is more slick for quiet, efficient rolling and the plastic fenders provide good protection in wet or muddy conditions. I think they’d rattle around a bit with true off-road use and the non-locking ergonomic grips, narrower pedals and adjustable angle stem might not offer the level of performance required for rigorous use. This is all fine and good, there are plenty of urban ebikes out there but if that’s the focus I wish this one had integrated lights and bosses for adding a rear rack. Instead, you might have to add a beam rack to the seat post and these are easily twisted side to side and of course, they add to the cost.
The Whistler isn’t an especially affordable ebike in my opinion. You’re getting mid-level parts and while the frame is custom built to be electrified, some of the wires are tacked onto the base of the downtube vs. routed through. For this kind of money there are a lot more options available now that look cleaner and deliver on one type of riding. The Whistler is capable, the motor blends in and is powerful and I love the integrated bell but the mechanical disc brakes are only average and the cockpit feels a bit crowded and awkward with both the throttle and button pad at the left. My biggest complaint is that the trigger throttle is flipped so you push it forward, requiring your thumb to swing up above the bar along with the rest of your hand. This definitely compromises handling and grip strength which could become an issue if you’re riding fast or in uncertain conditions.
Most of the time I’d probably be riding with pedal assist and that drive mode works very well. It activates through a cadence sensor so you don’t have to push hard, just keep the cranks turning. The motor switches on and off very quickly and offers a nice range of speed output so you can hit the max speed of 20 mph on the bike in several gears, not just the highest one like some other electric bikes. This was a tricky review to shoot because the e-Prodigy Whistler is good as many things and indeed would be capable off-road. The quick release wheels are a big convenience for transporting or performing service, the nine speed Shimano Alivio drivetrain performs well in a range of conditions (flats or climbing) and the bike felt comfortable. The company offers great support, has an awesome warranty and has been in the market for several years doing a good job. If the frame fits your body size and the areas of strength fit your needs then this could be a solid choice. Hopefully we’ll see some of the gaps in design filled in future years or the price dropped to make it more competitive.
- Super friendly small company from Canada, I haven’t had to deal with support issues but I’m guessing they would take good care of customers and they offer an amazing 2 year warranty on the motor and battery with 5 years on the frame!
- Unique mid-drive motor that’s fairly small… it’s completely obscured by the chainring on the right side of the bike which helps it blend in and look more normal
- I love that the battery is removable and can be charged on or off the bike frame, this also reduces weight and makes it easier to mount on hang-style car racks
- Available in three colors (matte black, white and red) so you could get two for you and a friend or partner or aim for safety with white to be more reflective at night
- You get four levels of pedal assist and the settings are easy to adjust while riding thanks to an independent button pad near the left grip (you have to reach over the throttle), I like that you can override assist with the throttle as long as you’re in level 1-4, not zero
- Despite offering a lot of power (350, 500, and 750 watts) and being a geared design, the motor didn’t make a lot of noise when operating
- In my experience the motor offered a nice range of speed out put so you could hit the 20 mph top speed in several of the higher gears, not just the very highest… It meant that I could choose a cadence I felt comfortable with vs. having to accommodate the motor’s output range
- I’m a fan of the kickstand, integrated bell and hybrid tires with reflective sidewall stripes for use in city environments if you were commuting
- Because this is a mid-drive ebike you get quick release wheels! This makes performing trail maintenance or transporting the bike more convenient, mid-drive ebikes also tend to be more balanced front to rear and in this case with the battery mid-frame that’s definitely the case
- The motor is fairly responsive and uses cadence sensing so it’s a bit more on/off vs. ramping up and down with power, one benefit of this is that you don’t have to push hard to get it to activate… just keep turning the cranks, I like that the brake levers have motor inhibitors built in to cut power immediately if you pull them
- It sounds like eProdigy offers free shipping to Canadian and US customers, this is nice considering it can run $150+ from some other companies and it’s important considering that it seems like not too many shops in the US carry the brand at this time
- This bike is only available in one “medium” frame size measuring ~18 inches and only comes in a traditional triangle high-step design that is sturdy but might not be as easy to mount for people with shorter legs, I like that the stem is adjustable to help dial in fit but make sure it doesn’t get loose if you ride off-road as these don’t seem as sturdy as fixed stems
- No bottle cage bosses on the seat tube (in part because the battery is mounted to the downtube and takes up most of the space), no rear rack mounts either… consider using a seat-post beam rack like this or a smaller saddle bag for gear or just use a saddle rail adapter for bottle cages if water is all you need
- There are some exposed wires going from the battery to the motor… not as clean as the Yamaha, Bosch or Impulse mid-drive systems, I also wish the display was removable for protection but it’s fixed
- This is more of a light trail bike or neighborhood/urban bike in my opinion so it’s nice that it has lockout on the suspension fork but otherwise many of the accessories like the grips, saddle, tires and fenders seemed basic and I actually felt the price was a little high
- I like trigger throttles for off-road riding vs. twist because it allows for a more secure grip but it took me a moment to get used to having the trigger on the left side vs. right and since it’s inverted my thumb grip was compromised vs. pushing down like I’m used to… they probably put it on the left because there are trigger shifters on the right taking up the space near the grip
- The motor doesn’t have any sort of shift sensing technology so you could more easily strain the chain and sprockets if you try to change gears while it’s operating
- Two-step power up process for this electric bike, you have to activate the battery pack and then the display which could add confusion if you don’t ride frequently and just some extra time
- This is a minor gripe but considering the fenders, kickstand and bell it would be nice to also have integrated lights for city riding… it would be convenient and considering the very large battery it wouldn’t cut into range much