Polaris Meridian Review

Polaris Meridian Electric Bike Review

Summary

  • High quality purpose-built frame with integrated cables, battery rack, chain guard and fenders
  • Upright cruiser-style design available in high step and step-through for easier mounting
  • Custom LCD control unit supports pedal assist or throttle mode plus regenerative braking
  • Overall smooth acceleration, lighter weight, top speed limited to 18mph, automatically activates regen

{{title}} {{distance | number:2}} miles away

{{excerpt}}

National eBike Shops

Propel Bikes
134 Flushing Ave
Brooklyn,  NY  11205
Electric Cyclery
900 N Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach,  CA  92651

Video Review

Trusted Advertisers

Introduction

Make:

Polaris

Model:

Meridian

Price:

$ 2999.00

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2013

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Brand:

Evantage DuoDrive

Battery Voltage:

29.6 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

177.6 wh

Battery Brand:

ProRide

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3 hours

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles ( 24 km )

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles ( 48 km )

Display Type:

Backlit Monochrome LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Odometer, Battery Level, Assist Level (Eco, Normal, Sport)

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle

Top Speed:

18 mph ( 29 kph ) (Automatic Regeneration Above 18 mph)

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

53 lbs ( 24.04 kg )

Battery Weight:

7 lbs ( 3.17 kg )

Frame Types:

High-Step, Step-Thru

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Colors:

Black, White

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour NVX Suspension with 75 mm Travel

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 SRAM X7

Shifter Details:

RevoShift Grip Twist on Right Bar

Pedals:

Plastic Platform

Handlebar:

Comfort Upright, Mid Rise

Brake Details:

Tektro IO Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotor, Integrated Motor Cutoff and Regen Activation Switch in Levers

Grips:

Velo Comfort Ergonomic

Saddle:

Velo Sport Comfort

Tire Brand:

Kenda, 700c

Wheel Sizes:

28 in ( 71.12 cm )

Accessories:

Plastic Fenders, LED Headlight, Chain Guard, Plastic Chain Guide, Side Mounted Kickstand

Trusted Advertisers



Written Review

The Polaris Meridian is my favorite bike in the Polaris electric bike lineup. It matches smooth, efficient riding with a bike design that supports relaxed upright positioning. It includes fenders, chain guard and an LED light on the front which come in very handy for city riding. The Polaris website describes this bike as having “European Styling” but I’d just describe it as a city cruiser.

The bike comes in two frame styles, high step and step-through for shorter riders or those who prefer easier mounting. Even the high step version of this bike has a slightly angled top tube which allows the seat to drop lower and position the rider more upright. Both models feature swept back handlebars that make them easier to reach. This is great for city riding because it doesn’t require you to lean forward to reach the handlebars, thus raising your natural viewpoint and making it easier to spot traffic. I have found this riding position to also be more comfortable on the neck and back when wearing a backpack or going over bumps.

The motor and control unit on this bike are unique to Polaris and combine the strength of 450 watts in the brushless rear hub motor with ~30 volts of power from the battery. Considering the relatively light weight of this bike, just 53lbs, that’s a decent offering. It’s important to note however that the Meridian doesn’t use its strength to overwhelm riders, it’s there to get you going and it does so very smoothly. Once you’re up to speed the motor cuts out then automatically switches to regeneration mode at 18mph helping to top off the battery.

The wheels on the Meridian are larger 29″ that support 700c tires more like a road bike. That said, the tires that it ships with are rather large and forgiving. This strikes a balance between smooth rolling, absorbing bumps and efficiency. The other two bikes that Polaris offers, the Strive and Vector, come with 26″ rims that are more traditional for mountain biking.

There are three pedal assist modes offered on this bike and they do the job well. Smooth is the best way to describe how they work and this is complimented by the cushy sprung seat and front shock absorber. For people who have tried some other ebikes and felt jerked around when starting to pedal, this bike will feel wonderful. Keep in mind however that it might feel less powerful and more like a regular bike than a scooter. Even the thumb throttle feels more gentle than other ebikes I’ve ridden, less jerky.

The battery on this bike offers higher voltage as mentioned earlier but not as much capacity, just 6 amp hours. Most other ebikes provide 10 or even 15 amp hours but what they lack is the regenerative braking which is activated during stops, higher speeds or coasting down hills on this bike. This combination of technology means the Polaris Meridian isn’t the cheapest bike around but does weigh much less than some comparable bikes.

If you’re looking for a lighter weight bike created by a long running trusted brand that isn’t designed for speed, the Meridian could be a great fit. This bike isn’t perfect, the rear rack doesn’t offer a lot of storage space or accommodate side-mounted panniers very well, the controller is mounted below the bottom bracket exposing it to more bumps and the price tag is a little high but it’s still my favorite Polaris bike and definitely one to check out. If you do end up needing more storage I recommend panniers that can sling over the top of the rear rack vs. clipping onto the side. Also, the high step model comes with water bottle mounting holes and is easier to mount onto some car racks and busses.

Pros:

  • Frame is solid, durable and relatively light weight
  • Extras including chain guard, fenders and light are very useful in the city or around town
  • Front shock and cushy seat smooth out the ride
  • Upright seating position and swept back handlebars are good for town riding, easier on back and neck
  • Custom controller is easy to use and includes extras such as carbon footprint calculation
  • Front and rear disc brakes provide great stopping power
  • Smooth acceleration and limited top speed keep this bike relaxed
  • Regenerative braking comes in handy for longer rides or big downhills
  • High end Lithium ion battery is light weight and will last 1,000+ charges before decreasing capacity
  • Polaris is a well established brand with experience building other light weight vehicles like ATV’s and motorcycles under the Victory brand

Cons:

  • Rear mounted battery puts weight up higher (like many ebikes) but means the bike is rear-heavy and a bit less stable, harder to lift in some cases
  • 18mph top speed motor may be frustrating for those wishing to go faster down hills or just in general
  • Plastic battery pack design can rattle around more than if it were integrated
  • Rear rack is not ideal for clip on panniers, works best with double sided ones that lay across the rack.

Resources:

Trusted Advertisers

More Polaris Reviews

Polaris Sabre Review

  • MSRP: $ 3499.00
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

A powerful, well balanced fat electric bike with a unique pedal-assist drive mode designed to focus on power or speed and increase naturally as you shift gears. Excellent weight distribution for a hub motor powered electric bike, sturdy frame and components...

Polaris Appex Review

  • MSRP: $ 2999.00
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

A high speed trail ready electric bike with proprietary gearless hub motor that offers two levels of power regeneration. Pedal assist only drive mode measures your chain speed and gear to distribute power efficiently…...

Polaris Terrain Review

  • MSRP: $ 2499.00
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

Hardtail mountain-ready electric bike with 650b 27.5" wheels, a well balanced battery location, two-year electronics warranty and support from Polaris. Smart DuoDrive pedal assist measures the gear you choose as well as chain speed for…...

Polaris Course Review

  • MSRP: $ 2999.00
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

Well balanced speed-commmuter electric bike capable of ~25 mph in pedal assist mode, solid two-year warranty and support from Polaris. Unique DuoDrive pedal assist measures gearign and chain speed to provide optimal power output at…...

Polaris Rail Review

  • MSRP: $ 2499.00
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

Well balanced city-style electric bike with a solid two-year electronics warranty and support from Polaris. Unique DuoDrive pedal assist measures your chain speed and the gear you're in to provide…...

Polaris Strive Review

  • MSRP: $ 2499.00
  • MODEL YEAR: 2013

Sturdy design features integrated cables, custom control unit and Lithium battery with regenerative braking. Control system and mid-drive sensors mounted below bottom bracket, exposed to rocks, curbs and elements...

Polaris Vector Review

  • MSRP: $ 2499.00
  • MODEL YEAR: 2013

Custom design with integrated cables, controller, and battery plus regenerative braking. Battery mounted in the down tube keeping weight low and stable, looks nice and doesn't…...


2 Comments

Ken Sanders
January 16, 2013

Are these going to be sold in Canada ?

Austin Higdon
January 16, 2013

Hi Ken
Polaris eBikes are currently available at the following locations in Canada.
If your local Polaris dealer does not carry the line, just advise us and we'll contact them to load them up with product.

Derand Motorsports
1231 Newmarket Street
Ottawa, ON K1B5N6
(613) 563-0029

Indian Motorcycles (Toronto)
7730 Islington Avenue
Vaughn, ON L4L1W3
(908) 209-0029

Sport Collette (Montreal)
1233 Armand Frappier
Ste Julie, QC J3E 0A1
(450) 649-0066

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.