Ride1Up's Prodigy v2 Promises the Smoothest and Most Budget-Friendly Ride Around

Folks, I've been warning you that this moment would come for a couple of years now; affordable and solid e-bikes are now common ground. One crew carrying the e-torch is Ride1Up, and the Prodigy v2 is the machine, showing us that anything is possible in the right hands.
Prodigy v2 LX 14 photos
Photo: Ride1Up
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Folks, Ride1Up is a crew from San Diego, America, and if the name sounds familiar, it might be because their name has graced our e-pages before. Some of their notable machines are the LMT'D, Roadster v2, Revv 1, and Gravel Roadster v2.

Well, their newest addition to the family is the Prodigy v2, an e-bike that's available in four variations, each tuned to a particular type of rider and, above all, nearly any budget. For example, the first version boasts a traditional and chained 9-speed drivetrain, and here, a step-through and step-over option is available for $2,400 (€2,270 at current exchange rates).

However, the real ticket item is the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) version, again offering both a step-through and step-over frame, but this time with a belt drive and Enviolo automatic shifting. These versions are only going to add on an extra $300, for $2,700 (€2,550). However, it's a winner in my book, and we're going to look at why.

Prodigy v2 LX
Photo: Ride1Up
Since this is the version that Ride1Up - myself included - feels reflects the most optimized experience possible, let's start with it. Overall, the two frames are built out of good old aluminum. This ensures as light and strong a bike as possible while still leaving some cash in your wallet.

Just how light are these babies? Well, according to the manufacturer's website, we're looking at a pair of beasts that weigh 61 lbs (28 kg) in their standard configuration. This may sound like quite a bit, but even with all the gear Ride1Up throws on, it's still within the average weight for an e-bike.

Now, frame aside the centerpiece of the lineup, literally, is a Brose mid-mounted motor. Yes, a mid-mounted motor is fueling these class 3 e-bikes, and this configuration is the kind you want whenever you put a motor on a two-wheeler. Not only are they lighter than a hub motor of the same strength, but they offer better handling and typically tend to be much more powerful. For example, this little powerhouse crunches out 90 Nm (66 lb-ft) of torque, in line with the toughest e-MTBs around.

There's just one catch to such a powerful motor: it can drain your battery as if it's a Carpi Sun in a 12-year-old's hands. So, to ensure that buyers of the v2 don't return it within the 30-day no-hassle period, Ride1Up throws on a massive 14 Ah battery to each of the v2's down tubes. Remember, you can catch 28 mph (45 kph) with this thing, and as you do, you'll fall anywhere between 30 to 50 mi (48 to 80 km) of riding.

Prodigy v2 LX
Photo: Ride1Up
Moving on, some of the money you drop on this e-bike goes toward one very important system; some might even call it the heart of a bicycle. I'm talking about the drivetrain, and as you may have noticed in the image gallery, these babies are rocking Gates carbon belt drivetrains. This system alone is worth the $300 difference between these two classes of Prodigy v2.

But, without trying to sound like a commercial, there's actually more. To help new riders fall in love with e-bikes, Ride1Up decided to throw on Enviolo's Trekking internal gear hub. After all, pedaling with a single-speed belt drivetrain wasn't going to be very easy and would put a whole lot of stress on your motor.

Part two of this system is its ability to offer precise shifting under load, thanks to that CVT, and is smooth and quiet, leading to heightened ride comfort. The downside is that internal gearboxes tend to be heavier than a classic cassette, and CVT is sure to add even more weight to your setup. Thank god this thing is electric.

All this is designed to amount to nothing more than one of the smoothest e-biking experiences you can get for this sort of cash, and to make it even smoother, a couple of other features need to be brought to light.

Prodigy v2 LX
Photo: Ride1Up
At its base, the Prodigy v2 is rocking a pair of 27.5 in wheels with 2.25 in cross-section tires, the kind I rock on my MTB, and this is a city bike, so expect it to be smooth as silk. At this point, I don't even understand why Ride1Up even added a fork suspension, but then again, some city streets require such a tool.

This brings me to my final analysis of the Prodigy v2. All this power, smoothness, and features that can handle quite the abuse lead me to believe that this e-bike can fare just fine outside the confines of the urban jungle. In short, take it out to the countryside, roam some gravel backroads, and, along the way, create a couple of new memories with your significant other while having lunch; cargo racks are included in the price I mentioned.

At the end of the day, what are we looking at? Well, the Prodigy v2 comes across as strong and fast, that's for sure, but then it goes a bit further and steals the show with seamless shifting, plush rides, and the ability to extend beyond city streets. Worth it? Only one way to find out: a test ride!
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

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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