UrbanGlide E-Bike Is "Amsterdam Styling" Focused on Affordable Urban Mobility

UrbanGlide 13 photos
Photo: Vanpowers / Edited by autoevolution
UrbanGlide UltraUrbanGlide ProUrbanGlide UltraUrbanGlideUrbanGlideUrbanGlide UltraUrbanGlideUrbanGlideUrbanGlideUrbanGlideCity VantureCity Vanture
About a year or so ago, I opened up a collaboration with a bicycle crew from China by the name of Vanpowers. Little did I know that this crew would ultimately rise to the top of the cycling game regarding power, capability, and price. Well, now they're at it again, this time with the unisex, "Amsterdam style," step-through UrbanGlide.
Folks, Vanpowers gets its name from the fact that this company began by selling e-bikes out of a van, hence the name. It makes sense, really, but no matter when and where this crew got its start, I must say that it comes across as one of the more serious and affordable e-bike brands currently making a move onto this market—their City Vanture is my daily companion in just about any urban commute. Oh, and if you think these sweet words have to do with some sponsorship, it doesn't; I mean it when I say that Vanpowers has the stuff you want, and I'm not being paid to say that.

This time around, Vanpowers focused on building a unisex EV, much like the Vanture, but this one is aimed at everyday urban activities and comfort. Let's take the frame as the perfect example. Because the top tube has been eliminated, future owners of a Glide will be able to step over the BB (Bottom Bracket) and set their foot down on a pedal without ever having to tilt the Glide. Furthermore, the riding position is also very upright, so to help reduce some strain from your back as you ride over bumps, two of the three versions of the Glide include a seat post suspension. All three include a front suspension and 2.2 in cross-section tires to smoothen things out even further.

UrbanGlide Ultra
Photo: Vanpowers
Now, three versions of the Glide are available for preorder. The least expensive is the Standard, cruising in with a price of $1,100, the Pro at $1,650, and the Ultra, going for a solid $2,200. Why the differences in price? Well, the Standard and Pro include rear hub motors cranking out 500 W each, but the Ultra - the version currently sitting in my living room and awaiting attention - features a mid-mounted Bafang motor that makes light work of just about anything your city throws at you. Overall, the 510 motor cranks out 250 W of juice. I can tell you that you'll only be using it to get up to speed, after which your legs take over.

As for the battery pack feeding these motors, Vanpowers decided to integrate a removable pack right into the downtube. With all of its 690 Wh of power, Vanpowers states it can attain a range of 70 mi (113 km, Ultra version). This will be tested, I assure you, but if I know my Vanpowers, it'll hold. Sure, this number is obtained in an optimized test setting, but the City Vanture is holding up strong, even after a year of use. But my first ride on the Glide Ultra shows that, yes, a range of over 60 mi (96.5 km) is really possible.

The drivetrain, however, depends entirely on the sort of cash you dish out and on which version. The Standard includes a seven-speed Shimano TZ-500 setup, the Pro with a Microshift RD-M26L with eight speeds, and the Ultra with the same Microshift setup, just tuned to nine speeds instead of eight.

UrbanGlide Ultra
Photo: Vanpowers
I also mentioned that this manufacturer has also prioritized crafting an urban-ready bike that can be used for more than just riding, unlike the Vanture. So, as standard, each Glide is equipped with a cargo rack, found hanging over the rear wheel and secured to the frame. According to the handbook I received with my version, this sucker is good for up to 25 kg (55 lbs) of cargo. It's more than enough to help you carry a couple of bags of groceries home or your backpack to work. Then there's the presence of fenders to ensure everything stays clean.

What does all this mean for folks like you and me? Well, quite a whole lot, actually. From my first encounters with this EV, I was surprised. From the way the frame is built and is seemingly weldless to comfort features and the insane range it exhibits, all are ringing all the right bells. Furthermore, I'd like to add something on the Glide that maybe you haven't thought about simply because you haven't put your hands on one just yet.

What I can say is that, yes, it has all the goods to be a solid urban e-bike, capable of helping you reduce the use of your four-wheeler, but beyond that, the Glide has the goods to help you take a trip to the outskirts of town on a Saturday morning. Pack up a light lunch, a few drinks, and a jacket in case of some bad weather, and as long as there's asphalt under your feet, you're good to go. If you grab an extra battery pack, you can double your range. It sounds like an e-bike with some promising stats, and that's worth thinking about.

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Editor's note: Images in the gallery include multiple versions of the UrbanGlide and the City Vanture. Only the UrbanGlide Ultra is available for the EU, while all three versions for the US.

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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