To begin our Circuit Test, which you can read more about in the graphic above, we first pedaled the Ride1UP Rift ST with no assistance from its motor. As expected from an e-bike weighing nearly 85 lbs, the bike was a bit less-than-enjoyable to pedal with just leg power. Our average speed from this lap was nearly 11.5 miles per hour, which is appropriate based on the bike’s weight and overall weight distribution.
In our second lap using the bike’s lowest pedal-assist system (PAS) setting, we saw an impressive jump of 4 miles per hour! The small incline required some effort, but otherwise the AKM rear-hub motor pumped out enough punch to propel us faster than we commonly see on many of the e-bikes we’ve tested.
The speed data we gathered showed that the Rift’s motor increased its output at a consistent rate as we jumped through PAS 2 and PAS 3, and our circuit’s small hill became easier as we made additional laps. As reflected in the graph above, however, there wasn’t much difference between the bike’s speed in PAS 3, PAS 4, and PAS 5.
The pattern we see in the Rift’s average speed data is consistent with other e-bikes we’ve tested that ship as Class 2 e-bikes but can be adjusted to Class 3s. The Rift ST is not only capable of going faster, it wants to be able to in order to make use of the full scope of its pedal-assist settings.
We reached out to Ride1UP for the passcode so we could test the bike with Class 3 settings, and not only did we have a blast doing so, we found that it handled those speeds confidently. When unlocked, its motor output showed a much more linear progression in power and speed, which is exactly what we want to see.
We also noticed that the Rift’s settings menu offered a spectacular amount of customization. The bike can be adjusted to use between 3 and 9 levels of pedal assistance (with 5 being standard, of course) – and the percentage of motor output within each of those settings can also be tuned. This allows you to tailor the bike to your environment, comfort, and riding style. Serious kudos to Ride1UP for this feature!
We were greatly impressed with the bike’s responsiveness and acceleration; the cadence sensor that I discussed previously caused the motor to engage quickly both when starting up and also when resuming pedaling following braking or coasting. The bike’s 750W motor brought the bike up to speed quickly – but not too quickly – which made for some pleasant thrills regardless of Class 2 or Class 3 settings.