My liking for the Propella V4.0 grew with over the course of my review. The V4.0 was a lot of fun to dive into corners on once I was used to its handling characteristics, and it was easy to maneuver overall thanks to its lightweight design.
I see the V4.0’s fast rolling 35c tires and slightly wider than average handlebars being great for big city commuting, and paved surface riding in general. These components inspired confidence at higher speeds when I was riding, something I definitely value in a commuter.
The saddle was also comfortable for long periods of time and I was actually pretty surprised at how much I liked it. One of the biggest things I look for in a good commuter is how comfortable it is. I like to get to my destination without being flustered or sore, and the saddle earned some extra “commuter points” because of the comfort it provided me with.
The V4.0 also performs quite well without any pedal assist, so if you run out of battery you’ll still be able to pedal to your destination. In our circuit test results there was only a -1.3 mph difference between the bike turned completely off and the first pedal assist level; confirming the V4.0s overall efficiency and fast rolling ability. Our max pedal assist level also was only -1.2 mph off of the Propella V4.0’s top speed of 18.5 mph.
Propella did a decent job with the motors strength to weight ratio on the V4.0. For only having a 250W motor the V4.0 accelerates fast and can hover around its top speed of 18.5 mph without much issue.
I think the bike would really come alive with a 350W or 500W motor, the average speed wouldn’t dip down near as much as it does on steep hills if it had a little more power. Even if they kept the top speed at 18.5mph a larger motor would keep the V4.0 riding close to that speed at all times.
Yes, this would add some weight to the bike but I think the gains outweigh the losses in this instance.
The 7 speed drivetrain also added a lot of value to the bike, and I like that they offer the V4.0 in a single speed design as well. The 7 speeds were largely beneficial to me because of where I live as here in St. George there are a lot of punchy, steep hills that can be difficult to scale. While I was never the fastest up the steep hills on the V4.0 I was always able to get up them without much strain at all, adding to the bike’s overall commuting value.
The V4.0 comes in stealthy black, and has blue componentry and decals to tie together the visuals of the bike. The bike looks great, however there are a couple things I think Propella could do to refine the bikes visuals even further.
For one, I think the exposed cable lines make the V4.0 look a little outdated, as lots of similarly priced bikes use fully enclosed cables, or internal cable routing. I also think that the white chain looks a little bit cheap, but I never had any issues with its performance. Both of these things are pretty minor, but I think changing them up would definitely improve the bike’s looks.
Propella offers a commuter bundle for $285.00. It includes a saddle bag, rear rack, tail light, fenders, water bottle, folding lock, and headlight. As I mentioned earlier I think the commuter bundle is a really good idea, and it’s a good bargain for all the accessories you receive. I think Propella is onto something with their bundle and I would like to see more companies do something like this with their bikes.
By the end of our review and test process on the Propella V4.0 I felt like we had a really good commuter on our hands, especially for those who aren’t looking to spend a fortune on an e-bike. The combination of the good looks and overall efficiency made for a fun reviewing process that left me pleased with the bike as a whole.
At the end of the day the V4.0 doesn’t try to be anything that it’s not, and it does what it’s supposed to do pretty dang well.