Price-point bikes, like those in the affordable price range face an inherent challenge. Manufacturers want to provide the best collection of features possible, but if they include too many premium features the price must increase. Just which premium parts an e-bike company chooses will tell a shopper much about what their priorities are.
We might compare the typical affordable commuter e-bike to a Toyota Corolla. Functional, affordable, but not exactly sexy. The Ride1UP LMT’D would be more comparable to the Mazda 3—zippy, fun, affordable, even if it’s light on trunk space. And that’s the thing about being on a budget; we must choose our priorities carefully.
In terms of premium features on a budget, we think Ride1UP did a great job on the LMT’D. The motor offers plenty of power and is good on hills. The battery offers terrific range without weighing 10 lbs. The suspension fork has an appropriate length of travel and features a smoother operating air/oil design. The 8-speed Shimano drivetrain means that riders can pedal at 28 mph without turning their legs like the Road Runner. Our favorite feature of this bike might be the torque sensor, though.
It can be difficult to convey to someone who has never ridden an e-bike with a torque sensor just how much a torque sensor improves the ride quality over a cadence sensor. Again, not only does the motor respond immediately, rather than after the better part of a pedal stroke, it responds in proportion to the rider’s effort. If the rider goes easy, the motor goes easy and if the rider goes hard, well the motor kicks into high gear.
Few e-bikes approach perfection much the way it’s hard to find a car that handles like a Ferrari, accelerates like a muscle car, gets the gas mileage of a Prius and has the carrying capacity of a Suburban. Perfection is a pipe dream, but considering the price point Ride1UP targeted with the LMT’D, they produced a very compelling e-bike.
One of the few knocks of this e-bike is the lack of standard fenders and racks, and the display ties in with the controller buttons. We like that it is color. However, we think the buttons should be on a separate component that is easier to reach from the handlebar and the display needs to be mounted near the stem—in line with the direction of travel.
Finding an e-bike that is sold in both a traditional frame and a step-thru design is easy enough to do. What is considerably harder to do is find an e-bike where the reach to the handlebar varies by more than an inch or two. There’s a 4-in. difference in reach between these two bikes, which allows Ride1UP to make a reasonable claim that the LMT’D will fit as broad a cross-section of riders as they say on their website.
The Ride1UP LMT’D is one of the more interesting e-bikes in the affordable price range. For someone who places the ride experience ahead of utility, the LMT’D is a very compelling e-bike. The combination of solid range, a powerful motor and a torque sensor governing the motor makes for one of the most capable e-bikes we have encountered in this price range. This is just the sort of e-bike that we would mention if a friend asked what e-bikes they should consider.
‘Happy Riding, make sure to let us know if you have any questions down in our comments section or if you think we left anything out in this review of the Ride1UP LMT’D.