Propella V2.0 Single-Speed Review

Propella V2 0 Electric Bike Review
Propella V2
Propella V2 Bafang 250 Watt Geared Hub Motor
Propella V2 Downtube Battery Bottle 36v 6 8 Ah
Propella V2 Locking Grips Control Pad
Propella V2 King Meter J Lcd Display
Propella V2 Shimano 160 Mm Mechanical Disc Brakes
Propella V2 Optional Carbon Fiber Aero Wheel Front
Propella V2 Panasonic Bottle Style Battery
Propella V2 High Resolution 12 Magnet Cadence Sensor
Propella V2 Single Speed 16t Sprocket
Propella V2 44 Tooth Chainring Lasco Cranks
Propella V2 Lightweight Ebike
Propella V2 Left Side Rear Mount Kickstand
Propella V2 Electric Bike
Propella V2 0 Electric Bike Review
Propella V2
Propella V2 Bafang 250 Watt Geared Hub Motor
Propella V2 Downtube Battery Bottle 36v 6 8 Ah
Propella V2 Locking Grips Control Pad
Propella V2 King Meter J Lcd Display
Propella V2 Shimano 160 Mm Mechanical Disc Brakes
Propella V2 Optional Carbon Fiber Aero Wheel Front
Propella V2 Panasonic Bottle Style Battery
Propella V2 High Resolution 12 Magnet Cadence Sensor
Propella V2 Single Speed 16t Sprocket
Propella V2 44 Tooth Chainring Lasco Cranks
Propella V2 Lightweight Ebike
Propella V2 Left Side Rear Mount Kickstand
Propella V2 Electric Bike

Summary

  • A lightweight urban ebike weighing just ~34 lbs, simple to use single speed drivetrain, beautiful black and blue color scheme throughout, stylized bottle-battery, efficient 250-watt hub motor
  • Top pedal-assist speed of 16 mph works exceptionally well the stock gearing ratio and the pure sine wave controller provides smooth quiet roll on of power
  • Optional carbon fiber front aero wheel upgrade looks great and increases aerodynamic efficiency, it also likely weighs than the standard wheel, but it can catch the wind and impact steering
  • $1,200 price tag makes the Propella 2.0 a good value buy, especially with the many name brand components it includes: Shimano disc brakes, Bafang motor, Zoom handlebars and more

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Propella

Model:

V2.0 Single-Speed

Price:

$1,199 ($1,399 with 7-Speed Drivetrain, $1,450 with the Carbon Aero Front Wheel)

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Commuting, Road, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2018

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

34.2 lbs (15.51 kg)

Battery Weight:

3.2 lbs (1.45 kg)

Motor Weight:

7.28 lbs (3.3 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

19 in (48.26 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

19" (50 cm) Measurements: 19” Seat Tube, 22” Reach, 29” Stand Over Height, 24.5” Width, 69” Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Black with Metallic Blue Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Aluminum Alloy, 100 mm Hub Spacing, 9.8 mm Skewer with Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

135 mm Hub Spacing, 9.8 mm Skewer

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

1 Single Speed 1x1 16 Tooth Sprocket, Stainless Steel Horizontal Dropout, (Optional 7-Speed Shimano Altus M310)

Cranks:

Aluminum Alloy, Lasco CF 12 Crank Arms, 165 mm Length, 44T Chainring

Pedals:

Aluminum Alloy, Feiman FP-988 L, Black

Headset:

Threadless, External Cups, 1-1/8” Straight

Stem:

Zoom Aluminum Alloy, 100 mm Length, One 10 mm Riser, 31.8 mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Aluminum Alloy, 620 mm Length, Low-Rise

Brake Details:

Shimano Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Zoom Four-Finger Levers

Grips:

Flat Rubber, Locking, Black with Metallic Blue Lockers

Saddle:

Vader, Active with Gel, Black with Blue Accents

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, Anodized, Double Walled, Deep Dish, 20.8 mm Width, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13G, Black with Silver Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda, 28” x 1.1”, (700c x 32c), (32-622)

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

50 to 75 PSI, 3.4 to 5.1 BAR, Reflective Sidewall Stripes

Tube Details:

Presta Valve (60 mm Long Stem)

Accessories:

Rear-Mounted Kick Stand, Optional 4.1-pound Front Carbon Wheel ($249.00), Optional Additional Charger ($45), Optional Additional Battery ($300)

Other:

Locking Removable Downtube-Mounted Battery Pack, 1.1 lb 2 Amp Charger, 14 Amp Controller, Maximum Weight 180 lbs (81.65 kg)

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Peak Output:

350 watts

Motor Torque:

35 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Panasonic

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

6.8 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

244.8 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

2.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Estimated Max Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Display Type:

King-Meter J-LCD, (Press M to Cycle Trip and Odometer, Hold Up and M for Backlight, Hold Down for Walk Mode, Hold Up and Down for Settings Menu)

Readouts:

Battery Level (4 Bar), Timer, Trip Distance, Odometer, Assist Level (0-5), Current Speed

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad on Left (Buttons: Up, Down, M)

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist (12 Magnet Disc)

Top Speed:

16 mph (26 kph)

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Written Review

Propella launched their first product on Indiegogo in early 2016 and has since produced a refined 2.0 version which is what I’m reviewing here. This product comes in either a single speed or 7-speed setup, and I was loaned the single-speed with an upgraded carbon fiber aero wheel (which retails for an additional $249). I will be discussing a few differences between the 2.0 and upcoming 2.2, which will arrive in Summer 2018 and is currently taking pre-orders. The main differences are a more upright geometry, rack bosses at the rear dropouts on the single speed frame (the current 7-speed frame has these), wider 700x32c tires, a spring loaded battery lock, and some controller adjustments. Propella has two primary goals: Get people riding bikes, and make them look good while they’re doing it. Their newest iterations, the Propella 2.0 and Propella 2.2 seem to have fulfilled those ambitions. It should be noted up front though that the 2.0 is no longer available, and all orders from Propella from the time of this writing moving forward will be for the 2.2. This bike has a sweet black and blue color scheme that is well matched from top to bottom. The deep dish rims and locking points on the grips are a metallic anodized blue that is just beautiful. There are also blue accents on the grips, saddle, and battery, and the frame and fork are painted with smooth satin black. The base model single speed is priced at $1,199 and, which seems like a sweet deal because the frame is purpose built with internally routed cables, and many of the accessories are name-brand vs. generic. It would fit perfectly into urban environments, and is easy to lift at just 34 lbs (with the battery left on!) Hills could be a struggle if you’re starting from rest, but once the bike is up to speed, the 250-watt motor basically doubles your human pedal power. For those who expect to climb hills frequently, consider the 7-speed version, which uses a Shimano Altus derailleur. All models offer a top pedal-assist speed of 16 mph, which is lower than most competing products that top out at ~20 mph. The single speed gearing is designed to match comfortable pedaling to the speed where the motor begins to fade out, and this improves overall efficiency. The gearing consists of a 44 tooth chainring with a 16 tooth rear sprocket. It currently only comes in one frame size, 19 inches, and a sturdy high-step diamond style. High-step frames are known for being stiff, sturdy, lightweight, and easier to lift and mount on car or bus racks. The folks from Propella told me that in the coming months, there may be more frame sizes and color schemes available, but with such a low price point, I can see why they stuck with very limited options to begin. I was able to put about 15 miles or so on the Propella 2.0 and I noticed some interesting points about this bike that really stand out. So, let’s dive into this review and take a look at the specs!

Driving the Propella 2.0 to a top pedal-assist speed of roughly 16 mph is a Bafang 250-watt internally geared hub motor. This is a motor I’ve tested a handful of times now and I really like how quiet and efficient it is. Also, given it’s small size, it all but disappears behind the sprocket or cassette, and disc brake which helps make the Propella 2.0 stealthy. The motor freewheels, and will not produce excess drag as some gearless designs might, so you can still pedal easily when the bike is turned off. While this motor only puts out 250 nominal watts (with 350 peak watts) it’s still pretty zippy, offering 35 to 40 Newton meters of peak torque. I was talking with Court about this and he made a point that 250 watts is the average power output of a professional cycling athlete. So when thinking about it like that, 250 watts seems like a fair amount of power. It’s also pretty quiet, and while I could hear a slight whirring sound when it was under strain, overall the motor noise was masked pretty well by the road noise and ambient noise. This bike has a 12-magnet cadence sensor, which measures the rotation of the cranks, compare to a torque sensor, which measure the torque, or pressure, applied to the cranks. Cadence sensors normally have a slight delay from the time I start pedaling to the time the motor actually starts putting out power, and then another delay from the time I stop pedaling to the time the motor shuts off. The same goes for the cadence sensor here, but the 12 magnet design is faster than 5 or 6 magnet I see elsehwere. Cadence sensors also have a sort of start-stop feeling to them, where the motor is either on at 100 percent or off. This can make for a jerky ride experience, but the Propella 2.0 is equipped with a pure sine wave controller, which gives a much smoother roll on of power from the motor (even if the signal going to the motor from the cadence sensor is on/off). The controller itself puts out 14 Amps and is built into the mounting bracket, which mounts to the downtube. With this slightly nicer controller design, the Propella 2.0 almost feels like riding an electric bike with a torque sensor, which is very cool. The pure sine wave controller also smoothly rolls the power off right around 15 mph, providing increasingly less help from 15 mph to 16 mph, at which point the motor shuts off completely. Again, this just makes for an all around smoother ride experience compared to most cadence sensors, and helps to extend your range. This configuration feels very well thought out from Propella’s end. When pedaling at 16 mph, I felt my cadence was right in the sweet spot on the single speed model, and during my 15 miles or so of testing, I found that I was really only using the pedal assist to help get me up to 16 mph, and then occasionally using it to help maintain 16 mph. I think this is especially important given the below-average capacity of the battery, which is a 36v, 6.8ah battery. Propella estimates the range of a single charge to be somewhere between 15 and 35 miles, which I think is probably about right given the points above and my ride test. The last thing I want to mention about the motor and cadence sensor setup is that I really only noticed the lag when I was at a dead stop and wanted to accelerate quickly, specifically when I was at a crosswalk and trying to cross the street. Because this is a single speed, and because there is a slight delay with the cadence sensor, I found I needed to get out of the saddle and really give it some oomph to get it going. Of course, this will probably be true of all single speeds with a cadence sensor, but I wanted to point it out anyway because there is no throttle. Stopping is handled very well, with motor inhibitors built into both brake levers… the 2.0 uses Zoom but the 2.2 will have nicer Shimano hardware.

The Propella 2.0’s battery is located on the downtube and, as I mentioned briefly above, is a little below average in terms of capacity, with only 244.8 watt hours on tap compared to an average of 350 wh. The battery itself, however, is a bullet-style that looks like a water bottle and only weighs ~3.2 pounds. Some bullet style batteries like this tend to have some issues with the prongs on the connector getting bent and/or gunked up and stuck in over time. Normally, the connectors with these types of batteries only have two prongs, but Propella bumped it up with a total of four, so the connection is nice and secure and there shouldn’t be as many issues with dust and water jamming them. This is a locking battery that can be taken off the frame with the turn of a key, and Propella mentioned to me that the 2.2 will have an upgraded battery housing with a spring-loaded latch. This means you won’t need the key to reattach the battery, but instead can just push it back on. The battery housing on the 2.2 will also be a bit beefier, though I’m not entirely sure exactly what will be changed to make this happen. The battery also has a nice loop on the end of it to make it safe easy to carry around, though unfortunately there’s no USB port, so it can’t be used as a portable battery bank to charge up accessories. On the outside of the battery is a button and four LEDs, a nice way to quickly check how much juice is left in the tank before taking a ride. It’s best to store Lithium-ion batteries in a cool, dry location, away from extreme heat and cold. The included 2 amp charger weighs just over a pound and is super compact, so you could toss it into a backpack and bring it to work or school… They even sell additional batteries for $300 and additional chargers for $45 so you could increase range or leave one charger at your destination vs. carrying it around all the time. To me, at a glance, the battery look like a water bottle. This, along with the fact the motor is pretty well hidden and quiet (because of the pure sinewave controller) just adds to the stealthiness of the Propella bike. And because of it’s location on the downtube, the bike feels well balanced. The Propella 2.0 has an overall curb weight of 34.2 pounds and because of the aluminum alloy diamond frame, I was able to pick it up by the middle of the top tube and throw it over my shoulder without it tipping forward or back. This is a pretty sweet point for anyone who wants to use this bike in an environment with lots of stairs.

I really appreciate the color scheme on this bike, especially the blue accents everywhere. The super deep dish rims are beautiful and because of the shorter spoke length add a bit more strength, but this also means there will be less give, making for an even stiffer ride on a bike with no front suspension and highly pressurized tires with a low air volume. The tires on the 2.2 will be Kenda, as opposed to the Vittoria tires on the model I tested. However, the wheels will still be 28 inches in diameter. The narrow width and high pressure of these tires – 50 to 75 PSI – makes for a nimble bike indeed, but as mentioned, the overall low volume means the tires won’t provide much shock absorption. Another aspect to consider with low air volume, high pressure tires is that they tend to lose air more quickly and should be checked regularly. If this were my bike, I would probably check the PSI before every ride so I didn’t get a pinch flat. I hate having to pause my ride to change a flat tire. If you do need replacement tubes, you might not be able to get them from your local bike shop because they are fancier long 60 mm stem Presta tubes like this, because the stems have to reach all the way out of the deep dish rim. As mentioned earlier, Propella also offers a carbon fiber aero-rim for the front wheel that runs for $249. I was able to test this aero-rim and absolutely loved it. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it’s also lightweight – the front wheel with the aero rim weighs just 4.1 pounds. I’m not sure how much the normal rims weigh as I didn’t have one of those to measure, but I suspect the aero rim is fair amount lighter, Propella said it was almost one pound lighter… As their name implies, aero rims are indeed more aerodynamic and slice through the air when riding forward. They also make a really sweet whirring sound like a mini-wind turbine when they’re spinning fast. There is, unfortunately, one major drawback to aero rims: They catch side wind. Lateral wind gusts can affect steering, and wheel I didn’t really experience this at the lower speeds on the Propella 2.0, I’ve definitely felt this when racing at higher speeds. I used to do triathlons and almost always used an aero wheel in the front. Some riders would also have a full aero wheel in the back, and on more than one occasion I’ve seen these riders get literally knocked over by wind. Granted, this only happens in extremely windy conditions, but the point I want to make is to please be careful when riding with an aero rim. One final takeaway here is that the stiffer wheelset, high pressure tires, and rigid alloy frame and fork (vs. a steel or carbon fork) make this an aggressive and less comfortable bike. You could improve the comfort a lot with a simple 27.2 mm seat post suspension like this and a shockstop stem to protect your back, neck, shoulders, and wrists on bumpy terrain or longer rides.

The control center on the Propella 2.0 is basic but efficient. It’s a fixed, backlit LCD display with a four-bar battery indicator, pedal assist level (0-5), clock, speedometer and the ability to toggle between a tripometer and odometer with the quick press of the M power button. There’s also a walk mode that can be accessed by holding the down arrow for a second or so. The walk mode felt a little fast for me, around 4 mph, but when going uphill the speed slowed to a reasonable 1 or 2 mph. As far as I know, there’s no way to adjust the walk speed in the settings menu. Since this display is fixed, leaving the Propella 2.0 at a public bike rack might result in the display getting scratched up by another bike, or getting worn down by the sun and rain over time. Although the display itself isn’t particularly unique, I think this bike would likely attract a lot of attention, especially with the aero wheel. And, much like the battery pack not having a USB charging port, the display lacks this also, so you cannot charge your phone, lights, or other portable electronics while riding. It’s not such a big deal here however, given the lower capacity battery pack. I really appreciate that the display panel is separate from the control pad, which is positioned super close to the left grip. This allows for easier interactions while riding, without having to take your hand off or even look down to change levels of assist.

When it comes to stopping power, the Propella 2.0 has Zoom mechanical disc brakes with 160 mm rotors. The brakes on the version I tested were a little squeaky, but still brought the bike to a stop fairly quickly. The Propella 2.2 will have upgraded Shimano rotors and possibly calipers, but I’m not sure exactly what model they will be. The brake levers are four-finger Zoom brand and aren’t adjustable the way that hydraulic brake levers often are. They require more hand strength and a medium reach compared to hydraulic, but are probably fine for people who can fit on this high step frame and are seeking a more active bike as they are probably pretty fit to begin with. And that’s an interesting point, is the expense and weight of an electric assist bike worth it on a 16 mph single speed bike? For people who ride longer routes on a daily basis, have to cut through wind or manage hilly terrain… I’d say yes. It’s actually much more efficient to charge an ebike with $0.03 worth of electricity and have it help you than it is to eat more food, digest it, and waste heat energy by pedaling. From a health perspective, smooth consistent mid-range heart rate is healthier than extremes. This bike just makes riding more fun, and perhaps that means you will use it more frequently or even be able to replace your car or UBER trips. One final note about the brakes themselves, they do have motor inhibitors, which cut power to the motor whenever they’re depressed. This is a feature I love to celebrate whenever I see it, as I feel it’s quite important to have on a cadence sensing electric bikes, even with lower power. Having motor inhibitors ensures the shortest possible stopping distance by making sure the rider isn’t fighting against the motor itself while braking. On electric bikes with torque sensors, which activate and deactivate quite quickly, this may not be as important, but I think it’s a necessity for electric bikes like this one that have cadence sensors, which can have a delay.

A couple of other quick callouts I want to make include the stainless steel horizontal dropout on the right side of the frame, which handles the torque being put out through the motor axle. It’s a beautiful and elegant solution compared to a full sized external torque arm, and is probably more than sturdy enough for a motor of this size. I love the black hub motor casing, black bladed fork, and black spokes, the reflective tires for safer night riding, and the bottle cage bosses on the bottom of the downtube. I’d probably upgrade the pedals from lightweight cage style (which get bent easily and don’t offer as much surface area) to some matching blue Wellgos. I appreciate that Propella took to the time to color match pretty much everything on this bike and especially how much consideration went into the gearing ratio. These guys are into bicycles first, their team wasn’t sure about ebikes when this project began and their aim was to make a product that would appeal to their type of rider… and make sense as an electric product. There’s a lot of name brand parts on this bike, like Zoom handlebars, Bafang motor, Lasco cranks, Zoom brakes etc, and I think that for $1,200 this is a good value buy for those who want to ride in style on a simple, easy to use electric bike. Again, since this is a single speed, tackling hills might prove a bit difficult, but for those who live in a hillier area, there’s also a 7-speed version for $1,399. I want to thank Propella for partnering with me on this review and welcome you to post comments below or in the Propella Forums where other owners might be able to chime in.

Pros:

  • With a curb weight of just 34.2 pounds, this is a light electric bike, and because of diamond frame and position of the battery and motor, I was able to easily pick it up and carry it around by the top tube
  • Satin black and metallic blue color scheme looks great and almost every component has a touch of blue added in, the optional aero front wheel looks especially nice
  • Single speed adds to the overall simplicity of the bike and also means there will be less maintenance and chance of derailment compared to electric bikes that have derailleurs but they do also sell a 7-speed version
  • Bafang geared 250-watt hub motor is efficient and sips power, the pure sine wave controller provides a smooth rolling on of power which makes it feel more like a torque sensor, even though it uses a high resolution 12-magnet cadence sensor
  • The custom bullet battery design has four prongs on the connector compared to other batteries of this type, which only have two, this should decrease the chance of the prongs getting bent
  • Super deep dish rims have nice metallic blue color and add strength to the wheel because of the shorter length of the spokes, they provide a bit of aerodynamic properties as well
  • Motor inhibitors cut power to the motor whenever the brakes are depressed, ensuring the rider isn’t fighting against the motor when braking, this provides the shortest possible stopping distance
  • Gearing of 44T chainring and 16T rear sprocket feels perfect for pedaling at 16 mph, the exact speed where pedal assist fades out, riding at lower speeds extends range due to limited air resistance
  • Even though the bike is relatively affordable at $1,200, Propella still went with a lot of name brand parts, like Shimano disc brakes, Zoom handlebars and brake levers, Bafang motor, etc. and offers a full year comprehensive warranty
  • The kickstand is located at the rear of the bike and out of the way of the pedals, so there’s not pedal lock when the kickstand is deployed
  • Internally routed cables keep the Propella 2.0 looking clean, and because the motor is mostly concealed by the rear disc brake and sprocket, and because the battery looks kind of like a water bottle, this feels like a stealthy electric bike that flies under the radar
  • Tires have reflective sidewalls for increased visibility in low light conditions, this is important for an all-black bike without lights, consider adding some removable usb-rechargeable lights like this
  • Steel insert in the rear dropout provides added strength and reduces the risk of the aluminum frame getting mashed up as the motor axle rocks from on to off over time
  • The bike frame has fender bosses, front and rear rack bosses and bottle cage bosses below the downtube, the 2.0 single speed version did not have rear dropout eyelets but all 2.2 models will have them
  • Locking grips help keep them securely in place, which I think is especially important for a singel speed bike like this, where it’s sometime necessary to get out of the saddle and really ratchet down on the handlebars to get going

Cons:

  • The stock pedals are cage style platforms that don’t offer a lot of space and can get bent up (as seen in the video and images), consider some larger lightweight Magnesium Wellgos that come in a range of fun colors
  • Currently only comes in one frame size, 19”, and one color scheme, black with blue accents, but the accents flow throughout the frame (saddle, bottle battery, locking grips, deep dish rims)
  • Four-bar battery indicator isn’t very precise, with only 25 percent increments to denote battery level, it also sagged as I used the motor and voltage dropped temporarily vs. staying consistent
  • Mechanical brake levers aren’t adjustable, which could make gripping the levers difficult for those with extra small or extra large hands, or for those who wear thick gloves while riding, over time the mechanical wire can stretch and get sticky in some situations
  • No front headlight, or rear headlight, this coupled with the black color makes for a bike that might be difficult to see at night or in low light conditions, consider removable aftermarket lights like these
  • No front suspension or seat post suspension coupled with the highly pressurized tires with low air volume and deep dish rims make for a stiff ride, you could add a cheap 27.2 mm suspension post like this but keep in mind that it will raise the minimum saddle height by a few inches, consider a suspension stem like this to reduce wrist, arm, shoulder, and neck fatigue (they also sell a more upright ShockStop suspension stem here)
  • Front aero wheel looks great and is lightweight, but can catch wind and negatively affect steering at times, it could also attract unwanted attention and get scratched up easier at bike racks
  • Tires don’t have puncture protection, and because they are high pressure, low air volume tires they tend to bleed air more quickly than low pressure, high air volume tires, flats might be an issue here if the pressure isn’t closely monitored and the replacement tubes require long stem 60 mm presta valves which not every shop carries, get them before you end up with a flat tire
  • Battery capacity is lower than average and the battery itself doesn’t have a USB port, so it can’t be used as a portable power bank to charge accessories on the go, the display panel also lacks a USB charging port… but without a big battery, maybe that’s not such a big deal
  • Cadence sensor has a delay from the time pedaling begins to the time the motor actually starts putting out power, this makes starting from a dead stop more difficult on this bike since it’s a single speed
  • Chainring doesn’t have a chain guard or chain guide, and while derailment isn’t likely, this means pants and dresses are more likely to get dirty while riding, and loosely fitting pants might get caught in the chainring teeth
  • While the base model is a good value buy at $1,200, the front aero wheel is an additional $250 and the 7-speed version is another $200, this quickly adds up and turns this into a more expensive entry-level bike

Resources:

Mike Dills
2 weeks ago

You are doing readers a disservice by writing articles about crummy cheap bikes that break down and even with a warranty, you are stuck. So just do companies that don’t pay you a fee to review their horrible bike. Please stick to major brands, since the entry level Haibike’s are now selling for $999 MSRP locally. Which will never give you a problem, goes 20, triple the range and will never break down.

Reply
Court Rye
1 week ago

Hi Mike! I began working with Brent on reviews so that more products could be covered. Neither of us have owned this particular bike so we cannot say how well the warranty will be supported, but the parts are common and the bike is simple enough that it should be decent… Propella has been around now for a couple of years and seem to be refining their offering. In my opinion, this is a step up from many products on Amazon or eBay because you can reach the team directly. Indeed, there are great deals to be had right now (between seasonal highs) but the goal of this website is to cover the objective details of each new bike and provide a resource for people to get a third party perspective and then analyze photos and comments for themselves. It’s not “best ebike recommendations dot com” it’s simply a review site, and we’re doing our best to be fair and complete. Thanks for sharing your input and suggestions :)

Reply
Urry
1 week ago

Thank you, Brent, for such a comprehensive review! Details and recommendations are very appreciated.

Reply
bob armani
1 week ago

Nice bike however, with no torque sensor, I would opt for the EM EasyGO Race which has a torque sensor and a more precise display interface for battery percentage, etc. It is also about the same weight class and could be found a lot less expensive if you find it on a sale or even as a demo bike. They need to do more refinements to this bike. However, I do like that this bike has mechanical disc brakes where as the other models in this class do not and it is also offered in a 7 speed. Some trade offs though. I would also like to see a battery upgrade and a smaller size frame as well for this bike in the future.

Reply
Court Rye
7 days ago

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Bob! I’d love to see a smaller frame option as well, especially since it only comes in high-step for now :)

Reply
Mike
5 days ago

A carbon fiber ‘aero’ wheel for a bike that only goes 16 mph? Hmnn. Interesting product marketing. What happens when you get hit with some powerful cross winds?

Reply
Court Rye
5 days ago

I’m so glad you asked Mike… the bike will go EVEN FASTER!!!

Reply

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Ann M.
2 weeks ago

No ebike is perfect, this is a thread dedicated to sharing known issues or problems with electric bikes from Propella as well as any help and solutions you know of. Sometimes that means a DIY fix and other times it can mean a recall, software update or part replacement by a dealer.

Please be respectful and constructive with feedback, this is not a space for hate speech. In many cases, representatives from the company will see feedback and use it to improve their product. In the end, the goal is to enjoy riding and help each other go further and be safer.

bob armani
1 month ago

Ben-I watched the videos and this bike looks pretty nice, however, if you look at the design and the specs of the Easy Motion Easy Go Race, they are very similar in weight, battery size, etc at around the same price point or even less. Looks like you are competing with a company that has been making bikes for over 100 years. In addition, I own a couple of Easy Motions, and they have excellent build quality. Good Luck with your campaign! ;)

bob armani
1 month ago

Hi Ben-Would be nice to see what the interface looks like (if you have a pic, that would great). Thanks.

BenTarassoli
1 year ago

I believe weight is a big issue when it comes to electric bikes. There are a few under 40 lbs eBikes in the industry, however they are very expensive!

At Propella we are excited to release our new eBike model that weighs under 35 lbs (15.8 kg) using Panasonic High-Density Li-ion cells, with alloy frame and components.

Please visit our blog for updates: http://www.propellabikes.com/blog

And sign up to stay tuned on the release date: http://www.propellabikes.com

Thanks,
Ben

canrocks
2 years ago

Hi all,

I know next to nothing about e-bikes but I have plunked some money down on the Propella Indiegogo campaign:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/propella-electric-bike--2

Notice that it has one of those "bottle" style batteries you see everywhere. Are those interchangeable, like AA batteries?

If the people behind Propella go bankrupt, and I need a replacement battery, can I purchase any old bottle battery that fits and off I go?

Bike_On
2 years ago

CN,

Justin is a hub motor guy (Currently), and they tend to need a bit higher output spec due to inefficiency on hills. Kind of like the claim a 350W MD will perform like a 500W hub, so maybe the 1200W hub would match the 1000W MD? On the flats however, the extra power pulls ahead.

Cameron Newland
2 years ago

I totally agree with you (I'm running 500W nominal/750W peak and want for nothing more), but Justin from Grin Tech (creator of the Cycle Analyst and ebike motor expert) maintains that 1,200W is the magic number for ebike power. Perhaps he values higher speed up hills that 500W just can't provide.

The guys from Propella Bikes who are selling a 32lb, 250W single-speed ebike with a 6.8Ah bottle battery seem to think that using anything larger than 6.8Ah adds too much weight to a bike such that it's no longer really a bicycle, and ditto with motor power output in excess of 250W.

Seems like everyone has a different take on what the ideal motor power is.

David Keenan
1 week ago

Cool bike but just not a fan of single drive gear. Love that it weighs 34 pounds! Water bottle battery, cool design. Cool looking bike!

ScrimHyphen
1 week ago

That bike is doope. More reviews like these, please.

Tom Takumi Okamoto
1 week ago

Hi I'm from the Philippines. It rains a lot in here. I wanted to know about water proof. Is the motor water proof?

blairo15
1 week ago

Shame that the front wheel isn't blue too

John Durkin
2 weeks ago

I would not buy any ebike with a Bafang hub motor. Poor quality and function. Much prefer mid drive from quality manufacturer.

John Durkin
1 week ago

I purchased an Addmotor cheapie bike as my first step to ebikes - it's got a Bafang hub motor which I just find to be problematic. When the motor gets stressed, for example uphill or long(ish) period of max assist, it just goes dead until it recovers. This is a big problem, as the added weight of an ebike without assist makes the bike into an anchor. I also don't like all the complexity (for me) of a hub motor that makes removing the rear tire a hassle and prefer having the motor weight more centered rather than having all the weight on the rear tire, along with body weight. I still have the Addmotor, but moved up to the Levo Turbo Comp FSR, which, so far, is perfect. I do a lot of trail and street riding, living on a 100 m hill, so the ebike assist really helps. The Brose drivetrain never cuts out, super quiet, lots of power when needed, and good weight distribution. Exactly what I was looking for in an ebike. I still use the Addmotor bike for light riding (to my local coffee shop or something like that) but the Turbo Levo is the real thing, great engineering, and to me worth the price. From what I can tell, Bafang is mostly used in lower price ebikes or a lot of the ebikes that are just tweaked and rebranded OEM ebikes made in China. I have been to China many times and can say there is all kinds of electric scooters/bike/transportation there, its pretty chaotic. I don't count out Bafang, someday they will probably take the market when they get the tech right.

WellOiledMachine
1 week ago

Bafang makes quality stuff for the price. They make a premium mid drive motor (Max Drive) that feels just as good as any other one out there. Their components are on so many bikes for good reason.

Brent McCluskey — Electrified Reviews
2 weeks ago

John Durkin Hi John! Have you had issues with Bafang motors in the past? If so, what kind? And what was the customer service like? Curious to know, man and thanks for the comment.

NWforager
2 weeks ago

i think i tuned out at 15 mph . cool with 1 proper gear tho . maybe firmware for 20mph with pedaling ??

Brent McCluskey — Electrified Reviews
2 weeks ago

What Court said! And yeah, 16 mph is definitely a bit slower than average but I actually really ended up liking the lower top speed in conjunction with the gearing ratio.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Yeah, it's an interesting setup, I believe it goes ~16 mph when pedaling, and they chose this gearing to make it easier to start, reduce air drag, and just maximize range overall :)

HackHunter1835
2 weeks ago

At least give it 7 gears....FAIL

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

They have a 7-speed option which is like ~200 more, I might review it later this year when the 2.2 comes out. Neat looking bikes :)

Rick Gross
2 weeks ago

what does single speed mean? You only have first gear? Maybe I'm wrong but that would be some heavy duty pedalling at 20MPH in first gear wouldn't it?

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Single speed means that there is one chainring and one rear sprocket, the chain is straight and won't fall off easily, there's no derailleur to get bumped, it weighs less... but starting takes more work and then you end up spinning fast "beating eggs" when you exceed the optimal pedal cadence. In this case, the optimal cadence is right around ~16 mph where the motor eases out. It's a neat design, meant for active riding, purposefully minimalist :)

james eagle
2 weeks ago

Why don't they make ebikes with tubeless ready wheels?

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

I think we might see more of that in the coming years, Specialized announced a tubeless tire last year and it came stock one of their hybrid city bikes. I think comfort is sacrificed and you gain some weight, they aren't especially cheap https://www.specialized.com/us/en/s-works-turbo-road-tubeless/p/133039

Infa-Red !
2 weeks ago

Hey Cord, can you please review the new IZip E3 Moda!

NWforager
2 weeks ago

right on . they dont run Trans-x mid-drive anymore i think which will likely put izip in the price range with so many others But they've been at the game so long they can win with innovations . So many established companies just now jumping the ebike thang . lol . More Power to EBR

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Howdy! It's on my list, planning to visit IZIP in a few weeks ;)

Bob A
2 weeks ago

Great bike and good job on the review. Whenever I see a bike in this class with the 250W motor, I compare to the EM Easy Go Race which is also a 34lb single speed. This one is a little different at around the same price point. This bike has disc brakes: The Easy Go has the caliper squeeze style brakes. Could be a deal breaker IMHO. Thanks guys!

Brent McCluskey — Electrified Reviews
2 weeks ago

Thanks, Bob! Glad you dug it! It was definitely a fun bike to review.

Bob A
2 weeks ago

Great I'll have to look at that one too. I was just viewing your video with Mark at EM hqtrs with the Evo Cross plus. Interesting points about the TMM4 torque sensor on the newer models. Older models go bit above the 20mph mark. Thanks!

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Yeah! That's a cool bike, I also compare it to the Schwinn Monroe 250 https://electricbikereview.com/schwinn/monroe-250/ also single speed, larger battery than the Easy Motion

ArthurDentZaphodBeeb
2 weeks ago

Really missed out by not adding a throttle - single speed in traffic is a pita to start up from stops - you'd be sorely tempted to blow thru stop signs. Battery is extremely small considering the price.

And title is misleading. Bike as shown is $1450, not $1200, right?

Brent McCluskey — Electrified Reviews
2 weeks ago

It’s interesting you mention this, Arthur. I was actually talking with the folks from Propella and they mentioned they used to have a throttle on their earlier versions but ended up getting rid of it. I think it might go back to their whole philosophy of keeping it simple and aesthetically pleasing. That being said, you’re absolutely right about starting from a dead stop... it’s not exactly an easy task. :)

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Correct, sorry to be misleading! As shown, with the carbon wheel it is $1,450

Chris Barr
2 weeks ago

OK, who is this dude?

Brent McCluskey — Electrified Reviews
2 weeks ago

Hi guys! I’m Brent. Pleasure to e-meet you! Like Court mentioned, I’ve been helping with reviews lately to try and get more electric bikes up on the channel. Court’s been helping me get up to speed with all the various specs and details, and I’ve been getting some help from you guys in the comments section as well. So please feel free to give your feedback, positive and/or negative, and I’ll do my best soak it all in and keep getting better and more detailed as I keep going!

Chris Barr
2 weeks ago

I was just curious that's all. He did a good job. I did go back and watch another Brent did and that was good also. I think it's great that you are able to expand the channel.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Hey Chris! That is Brent, he offered to help with reviews because I cannot cover all of the new models... I think he's a nice guy, really working hard and learning. I review all of his work and talk with him before and after each review. We're making progress together and I'm thankful to have the help so we can all see more ebikes. Your input and feedback is always welcome. I'm Court, the guy that normally does reviews here ;)

HackHunter1835
2 weeks ago

A substitute reviewer. He actually does pretty well imo

aWildTomAppeared
2 weeks ago

keep your chain clean and you wont get grease on your pants

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Good point, I learned that it's best to use cleaner but then wipe it dry after, so it really shouldn't be too greasy if your bike is clean and tuned properly :)

aWildTomAppeared
2 weeks ago

50-70 psi on a road bike? that's not high, that's very low, id only expect that from a tubeless road bike

aWildTomAppeared
2 weeks ago

idk what size those tyres are but 23-30mm tyres tend to be pumped up to around 100 psi give or take 20 psi, I would have expected ebikes to be higher because of the added weight

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

Good point, the higher PSI is relative to most ebikes, which are in the 25 to 45 psi it seems. The PSI is higher given the faster average speeds and longer distances that ebikes tend to support, and might be different for people who aren't sport riders

TheParaxore
2 weeks ago

aWildTomAppeared I'm over here on my 20 x 4 inch fat tires filled to 25psi

Pure Water Window Cleaning
2 weeks ago

Pretty sweet looking bike! Very stylish! Too expensive though. It should be faster and more powerful for that price. Going in the right direction though!

Brent McCluskey — Electrified Reviews
2 weeks ago

I dig it too! I especially like the carbon aero wheel. Very sweet.

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 weeks ago

The limited top speed got me curious, but I see how it's designed to maximize range with a smaller battery and be lighter this way. I like the look for sure :D