A very disorganized, 9-month, 700-mile, Ride1Up Series 700 Review

AtomicSans

New Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest
Okay, so I don’t really know how to structure this, so what I’m gonna do is give my thoughts on individual parts and components in no particular order, then circle back and discuss what I think of the bike and its ride as a whole.

Frame. It’s very nice. Probably not a perfect fit for my height - I’m a 6” tall woman, which is a difficult body type to shop for at the best of times - but I find it comfortable enough to not actively bother me. The fit and finish is actually excellent and beyond expectations for the $1600 MSRP that it ran at the time I bought the bike. Welds are basically seamless - the bead has been… sanded down? Ground down? I’m not sure about the manufacturing processes at work here, but the aluminum frame almost resembles carbon in appearance.
It is, however, quite heavy. The downtube is extremely wide, and I suspect it’s overbuilt and overly thick in many places. I am not a frame expert and will never claim to be, so I cannot make accurate judgments. But I believe that the level of rigidity necessary for a Class 3 does not need to come at the cost of this much weight.
I should mention that the matte gray paint on my particular bike is lovely-looking and wears hard. I’ve scraped against a bike rack or two, smacked some corners walking the bike, and fallen once on black ice, and there are no visible gashes, scratches, or even scuffs.
Overall, the frame’s fit and finish is a high point of this bike, to the point where I worry it might be too nice and other components might be suffering for it to hit the low price point. I will expand on this later.

Wheels and tires. Combining these two for simplicity. I may be wrong here. Please correct me if so. But I don’t understand this Schwalbe Super Moto X tire choice. 27.5x2.4 is - make no mistake - WIDE. It’s fat and wide, and I’m not sure it’s doing anything useful here. It might be doing something if Ride1Up had chosen a knobby MTB tire, and I’ve been frequently tempted to do so and give it a try myself, but I never have, because removing the rear wheel is a huge pain - I will touch on this later. The tire handles well on dirt trails, gravel paths, and the like. It grips. But a 700c gravel tire would do the same, so I’m not sure what I’m getting here. I’ve tried snow, however, and it’s utterly non-functional in situations where the same size MTB tire would likely at least get me somewhere. And on the road, they’re just a bit slow, to be honest. If there’s something I’m missing here, I’m open to being wrong, but as it is, I feel as though I’m getting a mediocre to bad experience on both road and off-road. That said, while I’m curious how MTB tires would work here, including them by default on this bike would probably be misleading, because…

Fork. It’s bad. Not terrible, not Walmart terrible, but it’s bad. The tensioning does not work. Sitting on it sags and no amount of adjustment changes this. Incredibly, while it seems to absorb no shock whatsoever on rough surfaces, it’s exceedingly bouncy and buoyant on perfectly flat surfaces. I keep the fork locked at all times like a solid fork, even on my ill-advised trail adventures. It’s that bad. I would take a solid fork over this suspension fork any day, and I would have saved a buck doing so.
I wish all bike companies would do what Trek does, and refrain from including a suspension fork unless it actually does something.

Drivetrain. I tire of writing too much negativity, so thankfully, I can be more positive here. The drivetrain’s not bad at all. Wellgo pedals give power to a KMC chain, and then to a Shimano Acera cassette and derailleur. It’s a budget group, but it’s thoughtfully budget. Shifting’s fast and pretty accurate, and while it clunked when new, it stopped doing so pretty quickly, so shifting is quite quiet now. The shifter is satisfyingly clicky, with very little travel on upshifting and a three-gear dump for downshifting. I have essentially no complaints here, but a couple notes.
First, I did not realize this for months, but the derailleur hanger was slightly bent out of the box. I hope this is not a frequent issue out of Ride1Up’s factory, because I think many riders may never notice this.
Second, my particular derailleur occasionally fails to downshift from 4th to 3rd. I believe this is a normal wear-and-tear issue that I could easily get fixed up, but I don’t really care right now, since it’s easily remedied by half-shifting down from 3rd. Shifting’s fast enough that the occasional mis-shift is not a speed or safety concern on the road.

Brakes. Another thing I’ll praise. These are quite standard Tektro hydraulic brakes and have never caused me an issue. The front brake has notably more stopping power than the rear, as you would expect. I’ve had some brake squealing issues, but I identified the cause as a contaminant, so not the fault of the brake. These are quite strong brakes. Pull hard enough downhill at 25 mph and you’ll send yourself over the handlebars. That’s a good thing.


Ooookay. Let’s move onto the electric components now. This is where my thoughts get a bit complex. I’ll start with the small stuff.

Lights. The included lights aren’t bad, as long as you understand them. The rear light is a quite nice red combination light and reflector mounted on the rear of the rack. It’s bright enough to make you stand out at dusk. I do think the cable routing for it is a little janky and exposed, but I have never accidentally disconnected it.
The front light is acceptable for a “be-seen” application, but it’s not enough for nighttime illumination. It’s a short-throw light, so it doesn’t focus to a tight enough point to be considered a “headlight,” and it’s just not bright enough. Do not ride after dark with this light. I actually replaced mine with a Buchel Tour 45 SL light that I bought from BikeInn. This involves importing the light from Germany, so it takes time to ship to America, but I like this light a lot. It focuses much more light at a pretty good distance. I feel confident riding at night with the Tour 45 SL. Installing it on the Ride1Up Series 700 involves cutting away some factory-installed heatshrink tubing, disconnecting the thin wires, and connecting the new one. Bring your own heatshrink and zip ties. Seeing as this light is only $20 and three times as bright as the included Buchel UniLED light, I believe Ride1Up should simply include the Tour 45 SL standard on the Series 700.
The lights do have an unfortunate interaction with the display, which brings me to…

Display. Overall, not bad. To get it out of the way, the interaction with the lights is this: when the lights are turned on, the screen dims. This sounds like a good thing, and it often is, because the display is quite bright, enough to ruin your eyes’ sensitivity at night. Unfortunately, the dimmed display is far too dim to be seen during the daytime and isn’t transflective, so in the daytime, you have a choice between being able to see your display and having daytime running lights. This isn’t okay. Trek forces all lights on at all times, which is absolutely the right way to go about this. Daytime running lights SHOULD BE THE STANDARD, and the Series 700 does not allow you to use your lights for this purpose, even if you want to.
Okay - other than that, my thoughts are actually quite positive. The display is quite bright during the day, even in direct sunlight, and it’s the perfect dim level at night. The giant Impact-font readouts are highly readable, and the information shown to you is quite logical. Speed is enormous and takes up most of the display. Assist level is the next-largest readout, and battery level after that. Finally, the smallest readouts show things like the odometer, trip, and a very welcome real-time watt meter. The interface is visually plain, but extremely functional.
Dig into the Display and Advanced Settings and you’ll find some very interesting things to play with. If you wish to cheat your local regulators, you can set the incorrect wheel diameter and go off to the races at whatever speed you like. If you wish to override the 20mph speed limit on the throttle, you can disable that without modding or flashing, for some reason. If you wish to replace the (mostly nonsensical) battery percentage readout with a real-time voltage readout, you can do that. If you wish to keep the battery percentage, you can actually set each 10-percent increment to whatever voltage you would like, which can help you get a more accurate battery percentage as your cells age, or if your battery just has wonky voltage droop behavior from the factory. None of this stuff is strictly necessary, but it’s kind of neat to expose these kinds of “developer options” to the consumer without any modding whatsoever. I am not sure about the legal status of some of these options, but I don’t think anybody actually cares.
ONE BIG RECOMMENDATION I HAVE: Find the “Sensitivity” setting and crank it as high as it’ll go. This controls how responsive the controller is to the cadence sensor and mitigates this bike’s awful pedal lag, which I will get into further in a later section. You will sometimes get false starts, but make good use of the brake levers’ power cutoff, and you’ll be okay.

Throttle. I have not used many other throttle-equipped e-bikes, but I hope they’re not all like this. You essentially cannot use the throttle exclusively at a reasonable speed, because the travel is so short and the friction so low that it’s effectively impossible to keep the throttle in the middle of its travel. If you’re using the throttle, you’re gonna be giving >750W to the motor. (You can change the throttle voltage in the settings, and I recommend lowering it.) I use the throttle exclusively as a crutch for the horrible pedal lag.

Motor and cadence sensor. Okay, let’s finally talk about the pedal lag. It’s bad. Nearly a full second bad. If you rolled to a stop at a bad gear, it’s gonna take effort to get moving, and once you do, the motor is going to kick in at an unexpected time.
Once you’re moving, the experience is better. The motor is loud at low speeds, but interestingly, quieter at faster ones. Also very interestingly, I’ve found that it’s actually quieter than it was when it was new, despite not having lost any power! I have no explanation for this. If you do, I’d love to hear your guesses.
The controller is smart enough not to hit the motor with all the power all at once (cough cough Bafang.) Whether you’ve just punched the throttle or started pedaling, the power ramps up over the course of a second or two. You can see this happen on the watt meter on the display in real time and it’s quite interesting to watch. This means the acceleration is quite smooth, if not responsive, but it also means you can’t get a torquey start, which some people like, as I understand. If all you care about is smoothness, you’ll probably like this!
Additionally, if power’s all you care about, you’ll get enough power out of this motor for just about anything. Power can spike to over 800W if the conditions are right.
A gripe I have with my unit: I get some mild vibration from the motor - but only at assist levels 2 and 4. None of the ebike mechanics I know or work with have any explanation for this. It’s enough that I avoid using level 2 and 4, and mostly only use level 1 and 3.
I like the inclusion of a walk mode. It’s saved my butt a couple of times.


Okay, so to wrap up, I’ll talk about the ride and a few other miscellaneous things.

It’s too heavy. 62 lbs is just too damn heavy, and that’s before all the bags and stuff you’ll probably put on it. Turning is ponderous, braking has to be done early despite the strength of the brakes. Combined with the horrible pedal lag, this bike doesn’t feel fast, even when it is fast. It’s not nimble, even compared to other ebikes, and it's very difficult to pedal without the motor. This is something I appreciate very much about the Trek Verve+ 2 I'm looking at replacing the 700 with - it's much more pedalable.

It’s surprisingly okay off-road, even with the front fork locked. Lower the pressure in the tires a bit and the ride won’t be jarring. It admittedly crushes gravel, no problem.

Ride1Up’s accessories are pretty good. The phone mount is a little overbuilt, but the pannier bags are actually pretty good. They’re not insulated, but they’re roomy with a good mounting mechanism and they come with retroreflectors.

Fundamentally, this is the bike to teach me that I just don’t like hub drives. At all. I know that a lot of my complaints about the motor and cadence sensor are just inherent to a lot of hub drives. Some people are willing to overlook these things for the power a hub drive can offer, but I can’t.

The disproportionate niceness of the frame’s fit and finish makes me worry that too much of the cost to build this thing is spent on the frame, and not enough was spent on the components. A hundred bucks of savings on the frame might have been better spent on the front fork, or indeed, a better e-system.

In general, the choice of smooth but fat 27.5” tires is puzzling to me. I’m not really sure what this bike is actually meant for. The overall design feels a bit confused, like even it isn’t sure what it wants to be.

I only have about 800 miles on this bike over nine months of ownership, which is a little low, but do note that I’m an all-weather cyclist. If I need to go somewhere and it’s raining or snowing, I’m going regardless! So understand that I have put this bike through hell this year, and it’s stood up very well. Regular basic maintenance has gotten it by just fine, and I haven’t needed even a basic tune-up yet.


…That’s just about all the thoughts I have for now. Sorry for not organizing them better. If you would like clarification, further thoughts, or have a question to ask, please ask. I’ll be happy to expand further.

Thanks for reading!
 

Gordon71

Well-Known Member
I will only comment on the very first part of your "Motor and cadence sensor." section. If you have to stop in a higher gear and need to get rolling then use your throttle for a second or two to get rolling and then start pedaling. That's basically the only time I use my throttle.
 

AtomicSans

New Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest
I will only comment on the very first part of your "Motor and cadence sensor." section. If you have to stop in a higher gear and need to get rolling then use your throttle for a second or two to get rolling and then start pedaling. That's basically the only time I use my throttle.
Yup, I mentioned this, it's just about the only thing I use the throttle for. I don't much like throttles in general, though, so it's something I do out of necessity, not because I want to.
 

RyanJ

New Member
Sounds like you're moving on, but some thoughts...

The tires and the bike are meant for commuting, running errands, on city streets / bike paths / bike lanes (smooth and fast near max PSI), many ebikes have larger or slightly wider tires. I wouldn't want to go to skinny when hitting 28mph. Knobby tires will decrease your range. I find it easy to pedal.

If you keep your thumb against the throttle body and not just the "lever", it's easier to slowly increase it.

The fork, it's not a fancy fork, but it's a solid fork. I've had many bikes without suspension and I think this one works for basic needs of most people. I'm pretty heavy, so maybe the fork feels different for me.

Pedal lag - adjusting display settings for sensitivity & slow startup along with downshifting when I stop. I'm sure I am aware of some, but it doesn't bug me. I like to pedal and downshift, so.

Lights - would love to see a brake light and brighter headlight.
Display - I angle my display towards me rather than more up and it's a lot easier to read.

Bike weight, often the 125-250lb rider is the heaviest thing on the bike, so weight concern of an ebike as long as not excessive, seems like a non-issue.

Will be curious to see if your review of your next ebike (non hub-drive) will be different. How's the Trek Verve+ 2 compared to the Ride1UP Prodigy? Pro's Closet Trek Verve 2 vs https://ride1up.com/product/prodigy/
 

AtomicSans

New Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest
Sounds like you're moving on, but some thoughts...

The tires and the bike are meant for commuting, running errands, on city streets / bike paths / bike lanes (smooth and fast near max PSI), many ebikes have larger or slightly wider tires. I wouldn't want to go to skinny when hitting 28mph. Knobby tires will decrease your range. I find it easy to pedal.

If you keep your thumb against the throttle body and not just the "lever", it's easier to slowly increase it.

The fork, it's not a fancy fork, but it's a solid fork. I've had many bikes without suspension and I think this one works for basic needs of most people. I'm pretty heavy, so maybe the fork feels different for me.

Pedal lag - adjusting display settings for sensitivity & slow startup along with downshifting when I stop. I'm sure I am aware of some, but it doesn't bug me. I like to pedal and downshift, so.

Lights - would love to see a brake light and brighter headlight.
Display - I angle my display towards me rather than more up and it's a lot easier to read.

Bike weight, often the 125-250lb rider is the heaviest thing on the bike, so weight concern of an ebike as long as not excessive, seems like a non-issue.

Will be curious to see if your review of your next ebike (non hub-drive) will be different. How's the Trek Verve+ 2 compared to the Ride1UP Prodigy? Pro's Closet Trek Verve 2 vs https://ride1up.com/product/prodigy/
Good news! I just picked up my Verve+ 2 today. My first impressions are fantastic, but I'm going to be putting it through its paces properly tomorrow. I'll have a better idea then.
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
I bought my 700 for under $1500 and put over 2300 miles on my 700 from March through November, and I actually rode a large chunk of those miles with PAS in 0 with no throttle, and the bike feels light when riding on flat ground once up to speed, so I would ride mile after mile with no assist. I can feel the extra weight compared to my 35 pound hybrid when handling the bike at a stand-still, but once I'm up to speed on level grounds, it rolls as easy as my hybrid. One reason I got the 700 was for those 2.4" wide tires - love the ride on my country routes compared to my 700c tires on my hybrid. Lower the tire pressure for a softer ride. I really like all the info on the display. Funny that pedal lag was mentioned, because while there is a little, I'm actually more annoyed with the delay in PAS setting taking effect, which is much longer than the mentioned pedal lag, but I am pretty much always pedaling. I compensate by toggling up PAS in advance of when I really want it. The throttle has lag also - and I personally use the throttle very little, usually just to get rolling while I get my shoe cleats locked in. I have no desire to use my headlight during the daytime, but there is a workaround if keep you display backlight on high if you are using headlights. I remember someone with a Trek was complaining about not being able to turn of his headlight, and I believe Trek released a firmware update that allowed it after enough people complained. The motor noise isn't noticeably different after 2300 miles on my 700. The voltage is determined by the battery charge, so that's not something you can change for the throttle. I'm not sure where the OP came up with that idea. You can change the throttle assist speed limit (11 to 28 mph).

The OP didn't mention one of my favorite things about the 700 and is the first thing that got me interested in the Ride1Up 700 series to begin with. Going back to around the June 2021 revision, it uses a power/current based assist rather than a speed based "cruise control" assist, and you can adjust the power percentage for each assist level independently and with unique settings across the 0-3, 0-5, 0-7, and 0-9 ranges (you can also set to begin at PAS 1 instead of 0). This was a big concern for me prior to getting an e-bike because I wanted to get a good workaround and didn't want a bike that provided too much assist in the lower power levels as I sometimes heard of bikes from other vendors, like Aventon and Espin. Ride1Up allows you to tweak these power settings granually as you want on the 700, and also on the 500, the second generation Core-5, current gen LTMD's, and probably the Cafe Cruiser. I have my PAS 1 set to 6% and usually have the PAS range set to 0-7.

Also, with a decent charge and having PAS assist at 100%, it can max out the power meter's top reading of 999 watts. The throttle maxes out under 900 watts with a good charge, less as battery level drops. Note, while the throttle thumb control is not easy to regulate throttle, the throttle thumb control functions like an on/off switch when pedaling with PAS. You can't regulate it at all while pedaling with PAS. Apparently, this is common among many of these hub drive bikes with throttles.

One thing about these bikes I want to mention is that many people will make comments about riding in a particular assist level, just like the OP. Without more info, simply mentioning the assist level is completely meaningless because these bike have several different range settings you can choose, the PAS power for a given PAS level will vary with different ranges, and you can also tweak that power percentage of each PAS level so that it can be very different from one 700 to the next, or even from one ride to the next if you change any of those settings. The motor noise seams reasonable, and I haven't experienced any significant vibration noises. The bike can be a little noisy when hitting bumps, but there are some things you can do to quiet that down.
 
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GenXrider

Well-Known Member
Good news! I just picked up my Verve+ 2 today. My first impressions are fantastic, but I'm going to be putting it through its paces properly tomorrow. I'll have a better idea then.
Does that use a Bosch motor like the Trek Allant+ ? I've heard some motor noise complaints. If you wanted a quiet mid-drive bike, the Ride1Up model you should be comparing to is the Prodigy, which uses a quite Brose drive system.
 

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
Okay, so I don’t really know how to structure this, so what I’m gonna do is give my thoughts on individual parts and components in no particular order, then circle back and discuss what I think of the bike and its ride as a whole.

Frame. It’s very nice. Probably not a perfect fit for my height - I’m a 6” tall woman, which is a difficult body type to shop for at the best of times - but I find it comfortable enough to not actively bother me. The fit and finish is actually excellent and beyond expectations for the $1600 MSRP that it ran at the time I bought the bike. Welds are basically seamless - the bead has been… sanded down? Ground down? I’m not sure about the manufacturing processes at work here, but the aluminum frame almost resembles carbon in appearance.
It is, however, quite heavy. The downtube is extremely wide, and I suspect it’s overbuilt and overly thick in many places. I am not a frame expert and will never claim to be, so I cannot make accurate judgments. But I believe that the level of rigidity necessary for a Class 3 does not need to come at the cost of this much weight.
I should mention that the matte gray paint on my particular bike is lovely-looking and wears hard. I’ve scraped against a bike rack or two, smacked some corners walking the bike, and fallen once on black ice, and there are no visible gashes, scratches, or even scuffs.
Overall, the frame’s fit and finish is a high point of this bike, to the point where I worry it might be too nice and other components might be suffering for it to hit the low price point. I will expand on this later.

Wheels and tires. Combining these two for simplicity. I may be wrong here. Please correct me if so. But I don’t understand this Schwalbe Super Moto X tire choice. 27.5x2.4 is - make no mistake - WIDE. It’s fat and wide, and I’m not sure it’s doing anything useful here. It might be doing something if Ride1Up had chosen a knobby MTB tire, and I’ve been frequently tempted to do so and give it a try myself, but I never have, because removing the rear wheel is a huge pain - I will touch on this later. The tire handles well on dirt trails, gravel paths, and the like. It grips. But a 700c gravel tire would do the same, so I’m not sure what I’m getting here. I’ve tried snow, however, and it’s utterly non-functional in situations where the same size MTB tire would likely at least get me somewhere. And on the road, they’re just a bit slow, to be honest. If there’s something I’m missing here, I’m open to being wrong, but as it is, I feel as though I’m getting a mediocre to bad experience on both road and off-road. That said, while I’m curious how MTB tires would work here, including them by default on this bike would probably be misleading, because…

Fork. It’s bad. Not terrible, not Walmart terrible, but it’s bad. The tensioning does not work. Sitting on it sags and no amount of adjustment changes this. Incredibly, while it seems to absorb no shock whatsoever on rough surfaces, it’s exceedingly bouncy and buoyant on perfectly flat surfaces. I keep the fork locked at all times like a solid fork, even on my ill-advised trail adventures. It’s that bad. I would take a solid fork over this suspension fork any day, and I would have saved a buck doing so.
I wish all bike companies would do what Trek does, and refrain from including a suspension fork unless it actually does something.

Drivetrain. I tire of writing too much negativity, so thankfully, I can be more positive here. The drivetrain’s not bad at all. Wellgo pedals give power to a KMC chain, and then to a Shimano Acera cassette and derailleur. It’s a budget group, but it’s thoughtfully budget. Shifting’s fast and pretty accurate, and while it clunked when new, it stopped doing so pretty quickly, so shifting is quite quiet now. The shifter is satisfyingly clicky, with very little travel on upshifting and a three-gear dump for downshifting. I have essentially no complaints here, but a couple notes.
First, I did not realize this for months, but the derailleur hanger was slightly bent out of the box. I hope this is not a frequent issue out of Ride1Up’s factory, because I think many riders may never notice this.
Second, my particular derailleur occasionally fails to downshift from 4th to 3rd. I believe this is a normal wear-and-tear issue that I could easily get fixed up, but I don’t really care right now, since it’s easily remedied by half-shifting down from 3rd. Shifting’s fast enough that the occasional mis-shift is not a speed or safety concern on the road.

Brakes. Another thing I’ll praise. These are quite standard Tektro hydraulic brakes and have never caused me an issue. The front brake has notably more stopping power than the rear, as you would expect. I’ve had some brake squealing issues, but I identified the cause as a contaminant, so not the fault of the brake. These are quite strong brakes. Pull hard enough downhill at 25 mph and you’ll send yourself over the handlebars. That’s a good thing.


Ooookay. Let’s move onto the electric components now. This is where my thoughts get a bit complex. I’ll start with the small stuff.

Lights. The included lights aren’t bad, as long as you understand them. The rear light is a quite nice red combination light and reflector mounted on the rear of the rack. It’s bright enough to make you stand out at dusk. I do think the cable routing for it is a little janky and exposed, but I have never accidentally disconnected it.
The front light is acceptable for a “be-seen” application, but it’s not enough for nighttime illumination. It’s a short-throw light, so it doesn’t focus to a tight enough point to be considered a “headlight,” and it’s just not bright enough. Do not ride after dark with this light. I actually replaced mine with a Buchel Tour 45 SL light that I bought from BikeInn. This involves importing the light from Germany, so it takes time to ship to America, but I like this light a lot. It focuses much more light at a pretty good distance. I feel confident riding at night with the Tour 45 SL. Installing it on the Ride1Up Series 700 involves cutting away some factory-installed heatshrink tubing, disconnecting the thin wires, and connecting the new one. Bring your own heatshrink and zip ties. Seeing as this light is only $20 and three times as bright as the included Buchel UniLED light, I believe Ride1Up should simply include the Tour 45 SL standard on the Series 700.
The lights do have an unfortunate interaction with the display, which brings me to…

Display. Overall, not bad. To get it out of the way, the interaction with the lights is this: when the lights are turned on, the screen dims. This sounds like a good thing, and it often is, because the display is quite bright, enough to ruin your eyes’ sensitivity at night. Unfortunately, the dimmed display is far too dim to be seen during the daytime and isn’t transflective, so in the daytime, you have a choice between being able to see your display and having daytime running lights. This isn’t okay. Trek forces all lights on at all times, which is absolutely the right way to go about this. Daytime running lights SHOULD BE THE STANDARD, and the Series 700 does not allow you to use your lights for this purpose, even if you want to.
Okay - other than that, my thoughts are actually quite positive. The display is quite bright during the day, even in direct sunlight, and it’s the perfect dim level at night. The giant Impact-font readouts are highly readable, and the information shown to you is quite logical. Speed is enormous and takes up most of the display. Assist level is the next-largest readout, and battery level after that. Finally, the smallest readouts show things like the odometer, trip, and a very welcome real-time watt meter. The interface is visually plain, but extremely functional.
Dig into the Display and Advanced Settings and you’ll find some very interesting things to play with. If you wish to cheat your local regulators, you can set the incorrect wheel diameter and go off to the races at whatever speed you like. If you wish to override the 20mph speed limit on the throttle, you can disable that without modding or flashing, for some reason. If you wish to replace the (mostly nonsensical) battery percentage readout with a real-time voltage readout, you can do that. If you wish to keep the battery percentage, you can actually set each 10-percent increment to whatever voltage you would like, which can help you get a more accurate battery percentage as your cells age, or if your battery just has wonky voltage droop behavior from the factory. None of this stuff is strictly necessary, but it’s kind of neat to expose these kinds of “developer options” to the consumer without any modding whatsoever. I am not sure about the legal status of some of these options, but I don’t think anybody actually cares.
ONE BIG RECOMMENDATION I HAVE: Find the “Sensitivity” setting and crank it as high as it’ll go. This controls how responsive the controller is to the cadence sensor and mitigates this bike’s awful pedal lag, which I will get into further in a later section. You will sometimes get false starts, but make good use of the brake levers’ power cutoff, and you’ll be okay.

Throttle. I have not used many other throttle-equipped e-bikes, but I hope they’re not all like this. You essentially cannot use the throttle exclusively at a reasonable speed, because the travel is so short and the friction so low that it’s effectively impossible to keep the throttle in the middle of its travel. If you’re using the throttle, you’re gonna be giving >750W to the motor. (You can change the throttle voltage in the settings, and I recommend lowering it.) I use the throttle exclusively as a crutch for the horrible pedal lag.

Motor and cadence sensor. Okay, let’s finally talk about the pedal lag. It’s bad. Nearly a full second bad. If you rolled to a stop at a bad gear, it’s gonna take effort to get moving, and once you do, the motor is going to kick in at an unexpected time.
Once you’re moving, the experience is better. The motor is loud at low speeds, but interestingly, quieter at faster ones. Also very interestingly, I’ve found that it’s actually quieter than it was when it was new, despite not having lost any power! I have no explanation for this. If you do, I’d love to hear your guesses.
The controller is smart enough not to hit the motor with all the power all at once (cough cough Bafang.) Whether you’ve just punched the throttle or started pedaling, the power ramps up over the course of a second or two. You can see this happen on the watt meter on the display in real time and it’s quite interesting to watch. This means the acceleration is quite smooth, if not responsive, but it also means you can’t get a torquey start, which some people like, as I understand. If all you care about is smoothness, you’ll probably like this!
Additionally, if power’s all you care about, you’ll get enough power out of this motor for just about anything. Power can spike to over 800W if the conditions are right.
A gripe I have with my unit: I get some mild vibration from the motor - but only at assist levels 2 and 4. None of the ebike mechanics I know or work with have any explanation for this. It’s enough that I avoid using level 2 and 4, and mostly only use level 1 and 3.
I like the inclusion of a walk mode. It’s saved my butt a couple of times.


Okay, so to wrap up, I’ll talk about the ride and a few other miscellaneous things.

It’s too heavy. 62 lbs is just too damn heavy, and that’s before all the bags and stuff you’ll probably put on it. Turning is ponderous, braking has to be done early despite the strength of the brakes. Combined with the horrible pedal lag, this bike doesn’t feel fast, even when it is fast. It’s not nimble, even compared to other ebikes, and it's very difficult to pedal without the motor. This is something I appreciate very much about the Trek Verve+ 2 I'm looking at replacing the 700 with - it's much more pedalable.

It’s surprisingly okay off-road, even with the front fork locked. Lower the pressure in the tires a bit and the ride won’t be jarring. It admittedly crushes gravel, no problem.

Ride1Up’s accessories are pretty good. The phone mount is a little overbuilt, but the pannier bags are actually pretty good. They’re not insulated, but they’re roomy with a good mounting mechanism and they come with retroreflectors.

Fundamentally, this is the bike to teach me that I just don’t like hub drives. At all. I know that a lot of my complaints about the motor and cadence sensor are just inherent to a lot of hub drives. Some people are willing to overlook these things for the power a hub drive can offer, but I can’t.

The disproportionate niceness of the frame’s fit and finish makes me worry that too much of the cost to build this thing is spent on the frame, and not enough was spent on the components. A hundred bucks of savings on the frame might have been better spent on the front fork, or indeed, a better e-system.

In general, the choice of smooth but fat 27.5” tires is puzzling to me. I’m not really sure what this bike is actually meant for. The overall design feels a bit confused, like even it isn’t sure what it wants to be.

I only have about 800 miles on this bike over nine months of ownership, which is a little low, but do note that I’m an all-weather cyclist. If I need to go somewhere and it’s raining or snowing, I’m going regardless! So understand that I have put this bike through hell this year, and it’s stood up very well. Regular basic maintenance has gotten it by just fine, and I haven’t needed even a basic tune-up yet.


…That’s just about all the thoughts I have for now. Sorry for not organizing them better. If you would like clarification, further thoughts, or have a question to ask, please ask. I’ll be happy to expand further.

Thanks for reading!
Thanks for the detailed write up. It's good to hear a frank, long term review. The EBR official reviews are terrific but nothing beats a write up living, exploring and suffering (hopefully not too much of the latter) with a bike. Keen to hear how you find the Verve. I think it'll offer a much more natural riding experience, which sounds like what you're after.

And remember folks, just because a bike purchase didn't work out for one user it doesn't have to invalidate, threaten or diminish your enjoyment of said bike. We're all coming from different places of expectations, requirements, fitness levels, journeys, etc.
 

AtomicSans

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Does that use a Bosch motor like the Trek Allant+ ? I've heard some motor noise complaints. If you wanted a quiet mid-drive bike, the Ride1Up model you should be comparing to is the Prodigy, which uses a quite Brose drive system.
The Allant+ uses a Bosch Performance Line CX motor, which is kinda loud. I've test-ridden one in the shop, as well as a Powerfly 4 with the same motor. The Verve+ 2 uses a weaker (but still surprisingly strong!) Bosch Active Line motor which is usually inaudible. On the very highest assist level, it's quiet but audible, and the pitch is fairly low so it's not piercing and can be mistaken for traffic noise.

I haven't tried the Prodigy. I'm never buying another bike I can't test-ride first, so most internet bikes are out of the question for me from here on out.
 

AtomicSans

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Keen to hear how you find the Verve. I think it'll offer a much more natural riding experience, which sounds like what you're after.
You nailed it. Despite what some in this thread have said, that 12-pound difference matters a lot. It was obvious from my first crank on the Verve. For quite a few reasons it's much more pedalable than the Series 700, even despite the very slight pedal drag. I spend most of my time on this bike with the assist turned off entirely! I can't praise that enough, I never could manage that for too long on the 700.
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
The Allant+ uses a Bosch Performance Line CX motor, which is kinda loud. I've test-ridden one in the shop, as well as a Powerfly 4 with the same motor. The Verve+ 2 uses a weaker (but still surprisingly strong!) Bosch Active Line motor which is usually inaudible. On the very highest assist level, it's quiet but audible, and the pitch is fairly low so it's not piercing and can be mistaken for traffic noise.

I haven't tried the Prodigy. I'm never buying another bike I can't test-ride first, so most internet bikes are out of the question for me from here on out.
Eventually, you may be able to find one you can test ride.
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
You nailed it. Despite what some in this thread have said, that 12-pound difference matters a lot. It was obvious from my first crank on the Verve. For quite a few reasons it's much more pedalable than the Series 700, even despite the very slight pedal drag. I spend most of my time on this bike with the assist turned off entirely! I can't praise that enough, I never could manage that for too long on the 700.
The Verve's lowest gear is much lower than the 700's lowest gears so that would make the "first crank" easier, especially combined with how the mid-drive takes advantage of the lower gears, but the 700 has the advantage of much higher gearing on the top end, so you can ride and pedal at fast speeds without hamster wheeling. I still do most of my riding on the 700 in PAS 0 and no throttle riding in 6th gear (out of 8).
 

AtomicSans

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Pacific Northwest
The Verve's lowest gear is much lower than the 700's lowest gears so that would make the "first crank" easier, especially combined with how the mid-drive takes advantage of the lower gears, but the 700 has the advantage of much higher gearing on the top end, so you can ride and pedal at fast speeds without hamster wheeling. I still do most of my riding on the 700 in PAS 0 and no throttle riding in 6th gear (out of 8).
The lower weight and better weight distribution makes the Verve+ 2 much, much easier to pedal without assist than the Series 700, after a couple of weeks on it at this point. It's a big difference. The Verve's a 20mph governed bike and 9th gear feels good through 22 mph at least, so that's not an issue. I can't pedal it too far past 22 on flat ground! So I'll take the much better array of low gears over the higher gears any day.
 

AtomicSans

New Member
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Pacific Northwest
Eventually, you may be able to find one you can test ride.
Seems limited to major metro areas. I've learned the importance of a good dealer network that operates even in rural areas, where I live.
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
My 700 feels pretty much as light as my 35 pound Trek hybrid once I'm up to about 10 mph on level ground, so that's why I ride in PAS 0 with no assist most of the time and get good exercise. The hills are a little tougher, but I can add some PAS and shift down as needed. The 700 is geared plenty low enough for me. I rarely drop into the lowest couple gears.

I don't have a local LBS, two hour round trip to the closest one, and I have always done all of my own non-warranty maintenance, but I can see that it would be important for a lot of people to have a close resource.
 

AtomicSans

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That sucks that you don't have an LBS. I wouldn't mind getting an acoustic bike shipped to me, but for ebikes, I feel it's very necessary to get it from an LBS because of how difficult to impossible it can be to service and replace cheap Chinese components like Ride1Up uses. Hell, I haven't even been able to figure out which Shengyi geared hub motor in particular the 700 uses, or where to get a replacement in case it ever dies. Let alone the controller.
 
Very nice review. Thank you for putting it up, helping other people even though you won't have yours anymore. I can understand where you come from, since I have a 700 (June 2020), a Ride1Up Limited (torque sensor and hub drive) and a Brose equipped mountain bike (mid drive with Brose torque sensor and programming). The Brose really sets the bar for performance and subtlety compared to the two R1U bikes - but doesn't come cheaply.

I realize that you may not have yours any longer, but for other readers considering a 700 from Ride 1 Up -

Re: horrible pedal lag - there are three important settings that can minimize the lag.
First, go into settings, then Display. Once there go to Sensitivity and change it to 1 - the motor will respond much quicker than it will if set to higher numbers.
Second, go to Advanced Settings, then Slow Start. 0 ramps up power more quickly, 4 ramps it up slowly. To accelerate quickly, use 0.
Third, also in Advanced Settings, go to Speed Sensor. This tells the motor how many magnets it has to count before sending power to the motor. One is the least number of magnets it can count (one twelfth of a crank revolution) and power will be sent to the motor quickest. Twelve is the most number of magnets it will count (which is one complete crank revolution) and power will not go to the motor for what seems like forever. My bike is set to 1 for fast response.

Re: fork - SR Suntour sells a tool (https://www.srsuntour.us/products/spanner-mtb-wrench) that will remove the cap at the top of the left leg. They also sell springs in soft/medium/firm for about $20 each https://www.srsuntour.us/collection.../xcm32-lo-100mm-spring?variant=32209028677726 . If you don't weigh 200+ pounds, the spring in the R1U 700 fork is too firm (I'm 170 and thought it was too firm.) Get one from Suntour - 100 mm long and fits inside one of their forks that has 32 mm diameter fork legs. I happened to have an old spring from a mountain bike that I put in my 700 and it actually has pretty smooth action once the softer spring was installed.

Thanks again for the complete review; I know it took a lot of time to write it. I'm glad you are enjoying the Trek. Its definitely a superior product, but also at a superior price. I wouldn't consider hitting the trails in anything less than my Brose equipped BH Easymotion - the motor and sensors and programming are perfect. But for kicking around town, the R1U works pretty well, especially considering the price.