Propella Owners: Feedback Please!

Should I buy this bike?

  • Buy this bike now

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Wait for next version to come out

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Don't buy, you'll regret it

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
I'm very intrigued with this bike considering the price point and what appears to be a straight-forward no fuss system. I think this one is really unique in keeping the ebike parts accessible and easily replaced, and without just slapping an elongated black box on any random bike frame (realizing that is a subjective point of view, but I like it). So kudos for that!

However, of the reviews I can find online, many of them seemed to all follow the same story line (almost the exact same order of talking points, as though from a script), and made me wonder if I'm not seeing the entire story. OR....the bike really is stylish, affordable, built with quality parts, etc....and that's why all the reviews are so similar, which would be great to hear!

In all fairness to the reviews, much of what I'm looking for can't be covered in a single test ride. So I'm looking for some help from you, the Propella owners (of any previous version. I'm looking to pre-order the 3.4):

1. How is the durability of the typical (non-electric) bike parts after 3 months, 1 year, 2 years? Are you having any abnormal (outside of normal maintenance) issues with the chain, shifters, brakes, tires, frame, etc. I see in previous posts that the brakes were an issue on version 2. Has this been fixed in version 3+?

2. How is the battery doing over time? What sort of range are you getting, and how much has it reduced over time? (Props to Propella for providing the option to purchase a new battery at low cost, and being upfront about the 2-5 yr lifespan)

3. What kind of support are you getting from the motor on hills? For those in Seattle, think climbing Marion St from waterfront to I-5? Any example will help. This one was tough to find information on. I don't expect a 250w motor to be a hill climber, just want to know what level of support to expect.

4. In all honesty, do you have any buyers remorse? Any bikes that you would have purchased instead? (sticking to this general price range, otherwise I know I'd hop on a Specialized Vado SL if I had the $):)


The Luna Stealth was very interesting, but sounds like it has some durability issues and less-than-great customer service when digging in deeper....

Thanks in advance for your help!
 
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Update: I was able to take a test ride and can say the bike certainly meets expectations! This bike gives a fair level of confidence to become my trusted daily commuter with some regular maintenance. The motor certainly doesn't do all the work, which was expected, but it consistently provided support even on the steepest hills. The power levels stepped up with a natural feeling and gave a smooth transition to pure peddle power once 18 mph was reached. I turned the motor off for a good stretch of the ride and was impressed with how well it rode as a typical bike (at least compared to my Flash Bike, which is a tank without the motor assist). It was raining during the ride, so I did get a little tire skid with some hard braking, but nothing unexpected. I think I'm understanding why all the reviews are so positive. It is honestly a great bike, considering expectations at this price point.

I am still looking for feedback on any of the questions if you have any! Especially what you think after owning one of these over time. Much appreciated.
 

K H

New Member
I want to offer my early feedback on a Propella single speed (v3.4) delivered in summer 2020. First, I want to thank Propella for offering a single speed 250W electric bike made compatible with standard parts. Other electric single speeds that are often compared to Propella come with a bigger motor or proprietary attachments. The v3.4 has been a great bike for this newbie to learn about the capabilities and quirks of an electric bike.

In pancake-flat Chicago, the electric motor is useful, not so much for hills, but for speed and distance. The original gears (46/18) didn’t allow for my pedaling to ever catch up to the motor on max assist. Switching to 52/16 (40 USD) has made riding fun and fast, while increasing battery life. I might suggest to Propella that they gear the stock single speed at 46/16 (may consider post-market surveying).

I like to use panniers, so got a seatpost-seatstays-stabilized rear rack (30 USD). It’s not perfect, but it will have to do (Ortlieb panniers can be set up to work, though barely). I also had to rig fenders that isn’t perfect, but it’s better than any alternative I was able to conjure. I might dare say that I’d rather have more standard attachment eyelets, even if we had to get rid of the disk brakes.

I had a rear tire go flat within the first 200 miles on this bike. I switched over to Schwalbe Marathon Plus (90 USD ) to survive the broken-glass-littered-streets of Chicago.

The saddle had to be swapped with something not so mushy (50 USD).

So for an additional 210 USD in modifications, I think I finally have a nice ride for my 30 mile/day commute. We’ll see how the battery holds up in subzero temps of Chicago's winter. Thanks, again, to Propella for keeping things simple.

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