Long range, light, gravel bike less than $2,000: Propella?

I’m looking for a second e-bike to purchase in the next 6 to 8 months. I’ve got a Lectric that I’m really loving and will keep for grocery trips to town 8 miles away. I’ll use that for fun trips to town too and for the occasional meeting. It’s a blast to ride. 16 to 20 miles round trip is easy on that. But...

In rural Missouri I have access to lots and lots of quiet county roads, many blacktop, many gravel. Some of the blacktop is new and smooth, some old and rough. I used to cycle in Memphis before a knee injury 20 years ago, mountain and road bike, 100+ miles a week. With the Lectric I’m finding that I can actually do a lot of peddling. When I bought it I expected to be using the shift thruster a lot more but I peddle 100% of the time. And because I didn’t expect to be peddling I didn’t expect I’d be this excited about being back on a bike. It was to be a utility vehicle. Now I just want to ride and ride and ride. 😊

I’m going to give it 6 months or so and see how it goes with the knees. I expect to average about 330 miles per month. If they continue to do as well as they have then I want to get the second bike so that I can get out for 60+ mile rides. I’d like to be able to head out for a 3 to 5 hour county exploration at 15 to 20mph.

Here’s why I’m thinking the Propella is what I want:
  • It weighs in at around 38lbs with the 7 speed option. Assuming my knees continue to do well I’d like something light that I can contribute more of the energy to. I’d be happy to do 60 to 80% of the pushing.
  • Stated range is 20 to 40 miles. Batteries are 3.3 lbs so right off I’ll be buying an extra with a willingness to get 2 extras for a total of 6.6 lbs to carry on rides. Given my desire to contribute as much peddling energy as possible I’m going to assume that 30 miles per battery is very doable. And so 60 miles with 2 batteries, 90 with 3 batteries is very realistic. Will test range before buying a third.
  • Seems that gravel tires are available at 700x32 so I don’t expect that to be a problem.
  • Will be keeping weight down so just a rack and a bag to carry batteries and other necessities (Tool kit, patches, spare tube).
Given those parameters and goals, any reason I shouldn’t go with the Propella? I don’t see a lot of reviews for it and that specific forum is pretty slow. I guess my biggest concern (aside that I’ve overlooked something in the above) is the question about the company being around for the long haul should I need additional batteries 2 or 3 years from now.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
It uses a generic bafang 250w hub motor and controller so I shouldn’t worry about the battery issue as you could likely wire in any 36v battery and/or replace the controller if necessary, or get the battery pack re-celled when it wears out. It sounds really light for an ebike, post your impressions on the forum if you get one I’d be interested to read how it feels to ride. The cassette is pretty basic/narrow range, the gearing might be the one thing you might want to play around with
 

EMGX

Active Member
If you aren't worried about not having a warranty Easy Motion (BH) Gravel X are ~$1,100 plus $150 shipping on Ebay. The seller does have a 30 day return policy. I bought one and like it a lot. I weighed mine with heavy Walmart pedals with extenders, fenders, top tube bag and a fairly heavy kick stand added and it weighed in at ~43.5# so their stated wt of 42# seems conservative. One online seller I came across states 40#. I've done rides up to 46 miles that included elevation gain of around 3,000 feet. I put a good amount of pedaling effort in and if I recall correctly it took the battery from 9 out of 10 bars down to 3 bars. I don't have a lot of ebike experience but find the Yamaha PW motor exceeded my expectations.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Beardy I also wondered about the propella. I posted in that (empty) forum. It seems to me that most of the ebikes on this site are too heavy, too fast, and have too little range. Especially for riding rail trails here in Pennsylvania I can't imagine riding 28 mph for very long, but we could go 15 to 20mph all day long with a bigger battery and smaller motor. And gravel tires of course.