2014 Riide Electric Bike Review

Riide V1 Electric Bike Review
Riide Electric Bike
Riide Electric Bike Ultra Motor 350w
Riide Electric Bike Battery Downtube
Riide Electric Bike Twist Throttle
Riide Electric Bike Avid Bb7 Disc
Riide Electric Bike Battery Door
Riide Electric Bike Colored Saddle
Riide Electric Bike Tire Tread
Riide V1 Electric Bike Review
Riide Electric Bike
Riide Electric Bike Ultra Motor 350w
Riide Electric Bike Battery Downtube
Riide Electric Bike Twist Throttle
Riide Electric Bike Avid Bb7 Disc
Riide Electric Bike Battery Door
Riide Electric Bike Colored Saddle
Riide Electric Bike Tire Tread

Summary

  • Urban style single speed electric bike that's extremely light weight, nearly silent to operate and very well balanced
  • Quality components that don't rattle, matching all-black frame and motor design, regenerative braking
  • Offers throttle mode only (no pedal assist), battery is well positioned and hidden but not removable

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Riide

Model:

Electric Bike

Price:

$1,799 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2014

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

35 lbs (15.87 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Black

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

1 Single Speed

Pedals:

Fyxation Plastic Platform

Handlebar:

Ritchey Design, Flat

Brake Details:

BB7 Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors

Grips:

Flat Rubber, Black

Saddle:

SDG Multi-Color

Seat Post:

Ritchey Design, Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

400 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Spokes:

DT Swiss

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe, 26" x 1.75"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewall

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Bash Guard on Front Ring

Other:

ASI Controller, Regenerative Braking

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

TDCM

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Peak Output:

600 watts

Battery Brand:

AllCell

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

8.7 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

313.2 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium Manganese

Charge Time:

3 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Drive Mode:

Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Riide electric bike came to life on Kickstarter in February 2014 reaching more than 100% of its funding goal. At ~$1,800 it’s designed to be affordable but still offer quality components that will last and feel good cruising around a city landscape. This ebike is stealth… meaning it blends in with regular bicycles. The battery pack is built right into the downtube and the motor is painted black to match the frame, pedals and other accents (note that the bike I reviewed was a prototype so the motor is silver). The coolest part is just how quiet the bike rides! In the video review all you can hear is the freewheel, disc brakes and tires – no motor noises. Riide focused on durability and minimalism with its single speed design and won me over even though it only offers one speed, no suspension and no LCD display. The simplicity, weight distribution and solid feel make you forget about the bike and focus on the ride.

The motor used on this bike is made by TDCM and is similar to those used on Stromer electric bikes which are known for being quiet and powerful. It’s a 350 watt direct drive setup with peak output of 600 watts. The benefits of this configuration are silent operation, durability and regeneration (which is offered when you pull the brakes). The downside is that the motor is a bit heavier than a geared alternative and doesn’t freewheel quite as efficiently. During my tests it worked extremely well and felt so smooth and quiet I was delighted and then re-impressed when I edited the video and realized I couldn’t hear it at all. I also did a quick hill climb test in the video review which worked out pretty well, the motor had no problem ascending even from rest. At just ~35lbs the bike is light and I’m also light (at ~130lbs) so depending on the hill and your weight you might need to carry some speed going in.

The battery pack chosen by Riide uses custom configured AllCell batteries that are built right into the downtube. This keeps weight low and centered but also means you can’t easily remove the pack for charging or transport. If the pack gets damaged somehow (not likely given its position) or eventually wears out you can remove a panel below the tube to remove it for replacement. The big downside to this design is that you basically need to bring the bike inside for charging or use an extension cord. This isn’t a huge deal for most of the city riders I know who already store their bikes inside for safety. Doing so here will also reduce the chance of extreme cold or heat damaging the chemistry. Inside are Lithium-ion 18650 cells that are similar to those used in electric cars. They last well, are light weight and are surrounded by a special material that insulates them from the bicycle frame to keep it from getting hot. The 36v power and 8.7ah size is about average and keeps the pack light weight, helping to make the bike portable.

The cockpit of this bike is about as simple as they come. No gears, no displays… just brake levers (that activate regen) and a half-grip twist throttle on the right portion of the handlebar. Aside from being stealth this layout minimizes distraction and complexity making it intuitive. I experienced the same joyful romping on this bike that I used to get on my single speed Huffy as a kid. It’s just solid and responsive in a way that opens up a different type of riding. It’s more an extension of the rider than a machine he or she has to operate. The one drawback is not being able to easily tell how much battery is remaining but I suppose the light weight and regen option mean it’s not too bad to pedal home if you do run out and you might even have some juice stored up when you get there ;)

In conclusion! This bike performs quite well and I found myself using the throttle to start and gather speed before switching to the pedals. The solid no-rattle feel and quiet operation cannot be understated. It’s awesome and I think it really sets this bike apart because nobody will give you grief about using electric (if you’re worried about that). You could even put a rear wheel cover on to go completely stealth! While the motor cuts out at 20mph for legal reasons you can easily top that by pedaling and the disc brakes make stopping a no brainer. The price point is reasonable and the enthusiasm and focus by the team is admirable. They created something unique in the world of ebikes that speaks to me (and I’m sure many others) as a solid, fun city bike that can overcome hills, take you further and fight the weather without downgrading your style.

Pros:

  • Extremely quiet thanks to the gearless hub motor and single speed design, nothing rattles or whirrs
  • Very well balanced with battery weight kept low and center in the downtube
  • The bike blends in thanks to the integrated battery and all-black frame, pedals and hub motor
  • Requires less maintenance thanks to the single speed design, no derailleur to tune up, tighter chain won’t fall off as easily, no shifters or extra cables to adjust
  • Durable, heat resistant Lithium-ion cells by AllCell will last for 1,000+ charge cycles if used properly and cared for (avoid extreme heat and cold, charge after use and every couple of months if not used)
  • Solid two year warranty on hardware with service provided by Riide, enthusiastic startup team
  • Regenerative braking extends range, slows the bike on hills and reduces wear on rotors and pads
  • Extremely simple to operate… just hop on, power up the bike and twist the throttle
  • Oversized city tires provide great traction, efficiency and a bit of cushion on cracks and bumps
  • One of the lightest ebikes I’ve tested at ~35 pounds, easier to carry up stairs, mount on racks and transport

Cons:

  • No pedal assist options, this bike only uses a twist throttle to activate the motor
  • No display to let you know how much battery is left, how fast you’re going or how far you’ve traveled
  • Direct drive motor drags a little bit when coasting due to cogging (magnets inside repel the stater… this is true of all gearless direct drive motors)
  • Battery pack cannot be easily removed from bike for transport or storage, it’s designed to stay inside the downtube

Resources:

More Riide Reviews

Riide V1.1 Electric Bike Review

  • MSRP: $1,999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016

A tough, near-silent, single speed electric bike that's designed for urban use, clean all-black frame, motor, spokes, wheel set and accessories look cool. Only available in one "medium" frame size but the angled top tube improves fit for…...

Comments (23) YouTube Comments

steven pearson
5 years ago

Your reviews are fantastic and appreciated. The Riide is my favorite but I wasn’t able to find a contact phone or rider height and weight information. It would also be nice to know the estimated delivery date? Steve

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Hi Steve, I reached out to Jeff and Amber (the founders of Riide) and got this information for you:

  • The bike accommodates anyone from roughly 5 feet tall to 6’4″. We can customize bikes with taller/shorter seat posts and steering columns to fit shorter and taller individuals. We have not yet determined a max weight, but have had folks up to 250 lbs. with no issues.
  • We are anticipating a late August 2014 delivery at this point, however that could change if anything is delayed with production. Those who pre-order will receive weekly updates on production + the company, and bikes will be shipped in the order in which orders are received!
  • Anyone can reach us personally at hello[at]riide.com, amber[at]riide.com, jeff[at]riide.com and the company telephone number is 202-656-9004.
  • We are giving test riides + tours of Riide HQ in Washington DC every Friday from 4-6PM. If the commenter is local, we’d love to have them by the space!

Best,
amber + jeff

  Reply
Didier
5 years ago

So what made you take a half point for this bike? Is it the lack of pedal assist?

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Hi Didier, that’s part of it… While I really liked the Riid prototype I am cautious with new companies and am waiting to see the final build to decide if it should be a 5 or not. I understand the resilience and simplicity of a single speed but that’s not for everyone and this bike only comes in one size right now (medium). It also suffers a bit from cogging (standard with most gearless direct drive motors) but has no pedal assist or a display to help you determine speed, distance and precise battery level. That, along with the limited removability of the battery (which might not be so bad given the light weight stealthy design of this bike) just tipped me towards 4.5 vs. a full 5. I hope that makes sense and seems fair :)

  Reply
Jason
5 years ago

No display? Seriously for $1800 there are better bikes out there with displays. I would hate to be riding and suddenly my battery cuts out.

  Reply
Ben S
5 years ago

I dig the Riide. The simplicity and elegance blow me away. An electric fixie. (haha…bring on the hecklers). Man…I hope they reconsider the addition of a display. If they have all the braze ons for racks and such, they have to know that performance will vary widely and people have to be able to estimate their range. I like the frame and headset in the picture more than the prototype. Seems a little less aggressive. Totally cool that the folks at Riide will work to fit you. I see on the website that they’ll add a cassette for you if you want. I hope they get into production soon… still in pre-order status.

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

This is such a cool ebike in my opinion for all of the reasons you shared. It’s sleek, simple and solid. I saw the team at Interbike and I know they are working hard to get units out, should be soon! Regarding displays, you could always add your own bike computer fairly inexpensively and just estimate your range with each ride given your unique weight, cargo, terrain etc. Even bikes with range estimators like the Haibike XDURO are still only guessing and tend to be imperfect in my experience.

  Reply
Shaz K.
5 years ago

Great Review! I just wanted you let you know that Kenneth Cole has teamed up with Riide to create their own version with a list price of $3000. The price is almost double to what Riide is selling it for but, the bike looks really good in black.

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Wow, that’s pretty cool! Thanks for sharing this tip Shaz, I hadn’t heard about Riide teaming up with Kenneth Cole but hopefully this means they are doing well and can continue to innovate! Great tip on the cheaper version direct from Riide ;)

  Reply
5 years ago

Some questionable short comings need reevaluation to rate this bike so high. No Fenders, no lights, no rack. Another consideration is 8.7 ah / 313.2 wh’s and 20 to 30 mile range. Not to mention “single speed” and no pedal assist… rating of 9 out of 10 is a bit of a stretch.

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Great points, I’m not sure that dinging the bike for not having accessories is fair given the lower price point and the smaller battery contributes to a lighter more portable weight. The single speed design fits with city riding and is more of a style thing here, the bike is efficient enough to ride on streets and won’t require as many tuneups but you’re correct about limitations with no pedal assist. I rated this bike high for what it was, maybe it deserves an 8 or lower given 2015 standards but I felt an honest connection with the team and bought into their vision for what this bike is for.

  Reply
Michael Blanchard
5 years ago

I have owned a Riide for four days. I own two other non-electric bikes, a Trek FX 7.3 hybrid and a Trek 1.2 road bike. The Riide is my first electric bike.

Assembly was simple, instructions were clear, and the tools provided were high quality. I had the bike out of the box and put together in about 90 minutes.

My first impressions of the bike are largely positive. It’s heavy compared to non-electric bikes, but entirely possible for me to lift and carry up and down the single flight of stairs to my office. It charges up in the promised 2-3 hours. The available power from a stop makes it easy to pedal – I haven’t really tested out much trying to ride it without pedaling. The ability to apply the throttle only when I want or need it is nice, and allows me to manage battery use better than an automatic pedal-assist setup would do. That’s important, which I’ll get into more later. The bike looks great. The welds are not as perfect as on a high-end standard bike, but they’re clean, and the matte black looks and feels good. It’s comfortable to ride, feeling much like my Trek hybrid in terms of fit. They seem to be using quality components, if not top-of-the-line.

My only issue with the bike so far is range. Riide claims 25 miles. My commute is around 16 miles, over moderately hilly terrain. The profile is generally downhill on the way to work and uphill on the way home, but there are short to moderate climbs in both directions. For context, I weigh about 180, and I added a rack and have probably another 10 lbs of gear on the bike, give or take. I’ve done that ride 3 times now – twice to work, once home. The first two trips, the battery died before I reached my destination.

Now, to be fair, that first trip was actually 19 miles, as I made several stops on the way to work. I was also using the throttle almost the entire time, because I didn’t know any better, and figured I had 25 miles of range and wasn’t going anywhere near that far. At about mile 17, I had no more juice. Now, it’s still a bike, and you can just pedal it, but even though it’s light for an e-bike, it’s heavy for a single-speed NON-e-bike, and starting from a stop or even moderate uphills are a lot of work with no power.

My second trip was the ride home. It’s generally an uphill profile, but I didn’t take the same detours, so the total distance is around 16 miles. I was more conservative about how much I used the throttle, trying to limit it to only when I really needed or wanted a boost (starts, uphills, occasionally on flats), but I still had no power left at around mile 15.3. Not TOO bad to ride that last bit unassisted, except it’s uphill, and I was tired. Not super fun.

This morning I did the regular route to work, and actually took a slightly different route which netted out at about 15.1 miles. I also checked my tires and discovered my rear tire was underinflated quite a bit (still within the recommended range, but much less than the max inflation I would normally use). I’m sure that didn’t help range. So, I inflated both tires to 70psi, and on this trip, I was MUCH more sparing about when I used the throttle, and I made it with power remaining.

There are a few things I think this bike needs pretty badly. First, an on-board battery meter. The only way to know the state of the current charge is by plugging in the charger, whereupon you see a red (not charging), yellow (charging) or green (charged) light. That does me no good when I’m out on the road and wondering how much juice I have left.

Second, the charger seems a bit uncertain about whether the battery is fully charged. At one point I plugged in the bike after riding several miles, and the charger read green. That seemed wrong, so I unplugged it and plugged it back in, and now it was yellow and the charger kicked on (the charger has a small fan in it, which I thought was a nice touch). Today, after riding 15 miles to work and plugging in the bike, after several hours of charging the light turned green. Seems normal. But when I unplugged the charger and plugged it back in, the light goes yellow and it charges some more. Could the charger be quitting too soon?

I might consider swapping the single speed for a cassette and adding a derailleur. I like the simplicity of the single speed, but when the power’s all gone, it’s a rough go.

To their credit, I’ve been communicating with the folks at Riide and they’ve been very responsive. I knew when I bought it I was an early adopter (my serial number is in the low 100s), and there were likely to be some rough edges. I’m generally pleased, but do hope I can find a way to extend the range so I can at least make it the full distance of my commute without running out of juice.

Happy riding.

Michael

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Wow, amazing review and ride testimonial there Michael, thank you so much for sharing your experience here and keeping such a good attitude. It’s often difficult for me to approximate range when I do these reviews and I know that can leave people feeling disappointed. Regarding the battery charger, maybe plug the bike into the charger for a few seconds and let the light turn on (which will definitely not be green) and then plug it into the wall. This way, the charger can sort of balance with the bike before starting to deliver power. If you start by plugging the charger into the wall, it might think that all is charged (because it’s not connected to the bike) and then once you do plug it into the bike, maybe it’s not smart enough to re-check? This is just a random idea… I hope it helps and I agree that a power level indicator on the bike would be nice. The guys at Riide are very nice with me as well, I admire their upstart energy and responsiveness :)

  Reply
Johnny
5 years ago

Wait. 9 out of 10 and absolutely no way of knowing how much charge is remaining on the battery? Even those cheapy $500 China-made lead acid ebikes have LED lights to indicate remaining charge. I’d be embarrassed to sell this.

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

This bike received a higher score based on the model year (what was available in this category), relatively low price point and enthusiastic support from the build team. Objectively, you are correct that it doesn’t offer the same refined systems that other high-scoring bikes have (especially newer ones). You probably noticed that my scores tend to be inflated at times and I acknowledge that they are subjective.

  Reply
Corey
4 years ago

I have been using my Riide to commute to work every day for about 4 months now, rain or shine. It’s above all a great quality bike. I never use the electric power in the mornings, I just get a great workout and enjoy the simplicity of a smooth ride on this amazing single speed bike (my first single speed). The schwalbe energizer plus tires are pretty darn amazing, I have had only one flat in all my rides, and I put some serious miles on this thing. I always use the electric throttle fully open the whole way home, which makes my homework journey a pleasant one no matter how hot it is. I’m not usually an early adopter and I took a big risk being one of the first to buy a Riide. I’m happy to say it was totally worth it.

  Reply
Court Rye
4 years ago

That’s awesome Corey! Makes me happy to hear that your first ebike has been a positive experience. Great feedback on the tires being tuff, I like how they are kind of oversized to absorb bumps as well. Ride on and ride safe!

  Reply
Kevin
4 years ago

Court, the reason for the power and it being so quiet is because of the ASI controller and the way the controller has been configured and professionally set up. most people do not understand why some motors are louder, less powerful or less smooth than others. the importance of the controllers role and its effect and influence on how smooth the ride is is misunderstood generally in the industry. It was a good observation from your review on the fact it rides like a Stromer, but the reason for why it rides like a Stromer is not because of the motor.

  Reply
Court Rye
4 years ago

Cool, thanks for your input Kevin! I visited your website and it looks like you are very knowledgeable about motors and controllers. Feel free to drop in and share on any of the reviews. I am admittedly undereducated in some areas (and don’t always get the deep insights from my visits to shops or companies). I would love to learn more and have heard about sine wave controllers and more mosfets, do you have any comments on how these play a role in smoothness and quietness?

  Reply
Adam
4 years ago

Any word from Riide on the completion of the next production run? Their site states Early 2016, but I’m hoping maybe they have some information as to when exactly they’re hoping to get these into the hands of the masses. Also, there aren’t a lot of community members posting about the Riide on YouTube.

  Reply
Court Rye
4 years ago

Hey Adam! I’m hoping to meetup with the Riide folks within a month or so (possibly sooner). Keep an eye out, I’ll do my best to be thorough and get some great updates for you but the final visit times are not set yet. It’s neat to see the company moving forward, refining the product and offering some unique ways to get into the ebike space by sort of leasing their products. If you have any specific questions or tests you’d like to see please let me know by replying and I’ll do my best to get them!

  Reply
Adam
4 years ago

How removable is the battery? What are they planning for Riide v2? Are they planning to extend the free repairs to outside the DC area (I’m in Seattle!)? With bike theft at an all time high, can we choose a better lock? How about offering different colors?

Thanks again! I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on one!

  Reply
Amber
4 years ago

Hey Adam –thanks for your comments and interest in Riide! To answer your questions — the battery is designed to be replaceable but not removable. Meaning it can easily be accessed via the panel on the underside of the downtube, but it’s not meant to come out on a regular basis. As for Riide 2.0 — none of our updates have been publicly announced, but we have lots of awesome ideas on the product roadmap, and are always looking from input from riiders. We are absolutely planning to expand unlimited maintenance to other cities including Seattle, but we will continue to pilot in SF and DC this year. You can use whatever lock you like, but the ABUS folding lock comes free with the bike and we’ve had a great experience with it! Finally, regarding colors, for now we are taking the Henry Ford approach: “any color you want, as long as its black” ;). Hope this helps, and let us know if you have more questions!

  Reply

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