Looking for an Affordable Carbon Fiber All-Road E-Bike? Ride1Up's Racer1 Is the Answer

Racer1 11 photos
Photo: Ride1Up
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E-bikes are great and all, but it can be challenging to damn near impossible to find a budget machine designed to go the distance and performs like a competitive two-wheeler. Well, Ride1Up has just unveiled their Racer1, a carbon fiber machine designed to give riders the best experience possible, for its price, that is.
Folks, $2,195 (€2,030 at current exchange rates) is all you need to get your hands on the ravishing carbon fiber machine before you. No, it's not a Trek, Cannondale, or even Giant; it's a Ride1Up. This is their all-new carbon fiber Racer1 road and gravel e-bike, and aside from that price tag, there are plenty of reasons why this beauty needs to be on your cycling radar.

For starters, the Racer1 is an e-gravel bike, and that means quite a bit for interested buyers. Allow me to point out that gravel riding is quite possibly the fastest-growing branch of cycling, and that means countless teams are whipping out beauties left and right.

Why so much interest in this branch of riding? Well, it's about the whole do-it-all mentality that gravel bikes bring to the game. A gravel bicycle sits somewhere between a road bike and an MTB, taming the best of both worlds, often feeding our need for downright speed but also the need for technical and adrenaline-filled adventures through backroads and even some light singletracks.

Photo: Ride1Up
A third benefit of a gravel bicycle is its ability to go the distance, often being covered in cargo mounts so you can throw on things like a tent, water, food, and clothing and go on cross-country trips, literally, across countries! Riders are known for clocking in month-long trips on gravel bikes.

All that's wrapped up into the Racer1, and it all begins with a juicy carbon fiber frame. It's not clear just what sort of tensile strength this carbon fiber may have, but with it, Ride1Up was able to deliver a bike that looks like it has the goods we want. This includes internal cable routing, a rather solid geometry, and tube forming, and if it's cargo mounts you want, enjoy! Oh, and it even looks damn good, too.

Aside from all those little tricks I mentioned, Ride1Up also designed the Racer1 to be a "versatile" e-bike, and this means the ability to take the shape of a classic road rager or a good old gravel monster. This is made possible by simply switching out the wheels; the Racer 1 can accommodate up to 40c tires (gravel variation). In road mode, 32c tires from Schwalbe are the base.

Now, this is an e-bike, and so we need to take a closer look at what's giving us the extra spunk. It may not seem like much, but mounted to the rear of the Racer1, Ride1Up has chosen to add a 250 W motor from Bafang that can squeeze out a peak of 42 Nm (31 lb-ft) of torque. Again, it doesn't sound like much, but it's enough to give us a solid boost on climbs. Oh, and this little powerhouse is also going to assist you all the way up to 28 mph (45 kph).

Photo: Ride1Up
Safety Tip: If it's your very first time on an e-bike, please take the time to practice the mechanics of electric assistance in a safe environment; it's definitely a tad different from a classic bicycle and can clearly be dangerous. Always wear a helmet when riding, too.

Regarding range, here, too, we're seeing a rather low number, but with a bit of power management skills, you'll be able to ride much further than that. After all, you don't need your motor as you power down hills, just on climbs, or when you want some extra speed on a flat.

As for the all-important drivetrain, guess who is responsible for your shifting experience? I'll give you a hint: it's not Shimano, and that tells me that Ride1Up knows what brand is the king of the forest, none other than SRAM. A Rival 1 brings an 11-speed shifting experience through double-tap shifters, and brakes are also controlled from here; a set of Rival 1 with 160 mm (6.3 in) rotors.

If this sort of setup isn't what you're looking for, just switch it out for whatever you already ride with, or just grab a new groupset. You'll have plenty of cash left over from your Racer1 purchase, so you'll easily be able to deck it out with plenty of options and gear. Don't forget about those cargo-carrying capabilities; they'll unlock overnight adventures out of town with your gang.

Photo: Ride1Up
The question on my mind is how much all of this is going to weigh. Well, it depends on the size and configuration you eventually choose, but the lightest setup comes in at only 27.4 lbs (12.4 kg), and the heaviest at 28.6 (13 kg). The latter belongs to the gravel component layout.

But how the heck did we get here? Well, suppose the name Ride1Up sounds familiar to you. It's because they've been hitting the cycling game quite hard in the past couple of years, unveiling several machines, each one tuned to a particular riding style or use.

Personally, I've been noticing that this crew has their sights set on securing a place for themselves among the hearts of people like you and me, who want the experience of a solid bike without having to drop over double the Racer1's price and, frankly, they're doing one hell of a job! GG, Ride1Up, GG!
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
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A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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