Propella's first e-bike offering was a hit with backers and reviewers, and now the company is back with a new version of its affordable lightweight electric bike.
About a year ago, I covered the launch of Propella's initial e-bike model, calling it "the entry-level electric bicycle we've been waiting for," partly because of its lower cost and lighter weight, and partly because it looked more like a conventional bike than a lot of the other electric bicycles on the market. And the company did very well on the crowdfunding campaign for that bike, in terms of both hitting its own financial goals and in delivering the bikes to backers.
Now, Propella Electric is back with its second generation e-bike, which not only shaves a few pounds off of its weight, but which is also available with a 7-speed gearset (something the original bike didn't offer). The Propella 2.0 design adheres to the company's initial goals of simplicity and minimalist design, which is achieved by "eliminating unnecessary features and focusing on essential elements," and sticking to the credo that "A great electric bike must be a great bike in the first place."The new version weighs in at 34 pounds, which is 3 pounds less than the original, features a removable 36V 6.8Ah lithium-ion battery pack (which is 15% smaller in size than the original), and is driven by a 250W rear hub motor that is capable of speeds of up to 20 mph for a range of up to 40-miles per charge (depending on pedal-assist level used). A full charge takes about 2.5 hours from a standard outlet, which makes it a great contender for a daily commuter that can be quickly recharged for middle of the day errands or the ride home.
"Adding enormous battery capacity and power to an eBike can discourage riders from pedaling, reduce safety, and add excessive weight and cost - it becomes a motorcycle! The right amount of power, however, can transform a bicycle into an extraordinary electric vehicle." - Propella
The bike features a new frame design said to increase handling and ride quality, includes front and rear disc brakes, anodized blue 'deep-dish' rims running 700x32 tires for that classic singlespeed look, and the electric drive system has 5 levels of pedal-assist and incorporates a small LED display for viewing battery info and assist level. Although the streamlined look and feel of a singlespeed works well with an electric motor for many riders, the new model is also available with a 7-speed SRAM X3 derailleur and shifter system ($150 extra), which could offer additional benefits for those riding big hills or longer distances.
Propella is currently running a crowdfunding campaign for the 2.0 on Indiegogo, where it has already reached more than 60% of its goal with a month left to run. Backers at the $799 level can pick up one of the limited super early bird singlespeed models, and although the super early bird option on the 7-speed model is sold out already, those pledging at the $1149 level can reserve one of the Propella 2.0 7-speed models for delivery sometime in September of 2017. Find out more about the company at its website.