Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Review

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Ride1Up has seen a lot of success in the ebike world, and I attribute that to one of their main goals; build and deliver a quality ebike at very reasonable price. And they did just that with the Core-5 ebike that we tested last year. With that success they are now expanding their lineup beyond their primary ebikes with the launch of a moto-inspired moped ebike called the REVV 1 and an upright casual electric cruiser bike called the Cafe Cruiser. We will be checking out the Cafe Cruiser in this review and should have the REVV 1 lined up for a Summer review – stay tuned for that one. Lets dive in and see what this classic design has to offer.

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Unboxing

The Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser comes shipped in a standard ebike box. The entire bike was well packaged and parts had plenty of padded and were securely tied together, allowing the ebike to arrive in perfect condition.

Assembly was straightforward and required about 10 minutes to build out the bike. All of the tools needed to put together the Cruiser were included. The parts that needed assembly were the front tire and fender, headlight, pedals and handle bars.

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Build

The Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser has a lightweight but stout alloy frame with an ergonomic build that is designed to deliver a comfortable and relaxed upright ride. Beyond the swooping design, Ride1Up has added a Plush Comfort Cruiser Saddle, VELO Faux-Leather Grips and a Mozo Hydraulic Lockout Front Fork that offers 80mm Suspension Travel to further enhance the luxury of this ride.

The Cafe Cruiser is equipped with SandStorm 26″x3″ Chaoyang tires that deliver smooth riding on the road and offer just the right amount of grip on gravel. To keep mud and water sprays to a minimum Ride1Up has added front and rear hardened alloy fenders.

The Cafe Cruiser is fitted with a Shimano transmission, which includes an Acera 8 speed trigger shifter, M360 derailer, 11-32T cassette. Shifting with the Shimano kit is flawless and the power to speed ratio gear is perfect for tackling hills or cruising the strip.

Ride1Up went with 180 mm Zoom Hydraulic Brakes which provides superb stopping power. Choosing hydraulic over mechanical is always the right move when it comes to ebikes.

For rider viewability at night and visibility during the day, the Cafe Cruiser is equipped with a Buchel Shiny 80, an ultra-bright 80 lux headlight and a Velo Edge 48V rear light. Both of which do an admirably job to allow the rider to see and be seen.

For cargo the Cafe Cruiser has a rear rack welded right onto the frame. The rack is load rated to carry 150 lbs. and has mounts built in to allow for the addition of side panniers.

Ride1Up also offers a passenger kit for the Cafe Cruiser which can carry someone up to 130 lbs. The kit comes with a quick connect seat, two wheel covers and two foot pegs that can be threaded into the chain stay bar.

While we didn’t get to test the passenger seat kit, I can see where it would come in handy for a quick trip to the beach with a kid or even letting a couple of teens loose for an afternoon cruise. However I don’t know how much faith I would put into a fully loaded Cafe Cruiser making it up a steep hill on solely throttle/motor power alone, I am all but certain it would need some human pedal power to get it to the top.

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Motor

Here is where things get strange. On the Ride1Up website the Cafe Cruiser says that it comes with a “48V Geared Hub Bafang Motor 750w Sustained”. The Cafe Cruiser that I have does not have a 750 watt motor. As you can see by the picture above, it has the model number RM G040.500.DC 10 1 stamped into the motor which tells me that this a 500 watt motor. This either means that I got a one off model with a 500 watt motor, Ride1Up has an error on their website or they are implying that the 500 watt motor can run at a sustained 750 watts. We will reach out to Ride1Up to see if we can get some clarification on this and will edit this portion of the review once we have it.

With the 500 watt Bafang motor the Cruiser offers a torque rating of 45nm, which isn’t the 60nm claimed, but is still plenty adequate for snappy starts and getting up hills. As I mentioned above, if you fully load the Cruiser with either a passenger or gear, the 500 watt motor will need a little pedal powder assistance to tackle any steep inclines. But for straightaways, bike paths and rolling hills this motor performs well. Top seed for throttle hits just under the 20 mph mark and with a concerted effort on pedaling the claimed 28 mph is doable. As for range the 500 watt motor is actually beneficial since it doesn’t pull as many watts as a 750 watt motor would, and the claimed 30 to 50 miles can easily be reached. Range of course depends on many variables, such as rider’s weight, terrain, elevation, assist level, tire pressure, wind, temperature etc.

Overall, Bafang motors are some of the most reliable and high performing ones on the market and a great choice for almost any ebike. The 500 watt motor on the Cruiser is definitely the right call for a single rider with minimal gear, but add a passenger or a large gear load and a true 750 watt motor would be more suitable, especially on steep hills.

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Battery

Powering that motor is a 48V 15ah Reention Rhino battery. It is built with 39 Samsung cells equating to 720 Wh, which falls into the upper end for battery life on most 48 volt ebikes. With all of the testing and ebikes that I have gone through the Samsung celled batteries always fair the best for longevity and ride time. This battery can be charged on our off the bike and takes about 6 to 7 hours to fill up from empty.

Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser Motor Ride Experience

The Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser is one of the most comfortable ebikes that I have ridden on. The widespread handlebars on this ebike provides that nice upright riding posture that keeps the shoulders and wrists in a comfy and relaxed position, eliminating any strain or fatigue that sometimes comes from riding other bikes.

The hydraulic suspension on the front fork and 3″ wide tires furnishes a smooth ride and alongside the plush and wide saddle, the Cafe Cruiser just gives you the experience of gliding down the road in comfort.

The eight speed Shimano gears combined with the cadence sensor and five pedal assist levels makes riding fun. Hills become easy, straightaways can be fast and cruising becomes a playful adventure. Everything about the Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser is designed for a comfortable, smooth and enjoyable riding experience and it delivers. Ride fatigue is practically non existent with this ebike, which allows for longer ride times and great distances. The Cafe Cruiser is great on paved roads, bike paths, boardwalks, gravel roads and even handles non technical trails just fine, so long as the trail is not so tight that those wide handlebars catch something.

Features of the Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser

  • Class 3 electric bike with 28 mph pedal assist and ~20 mph throttle
  • 30-50 miles depending on rider weight, terrain, incline, level of assist, etc.
  • Lightweight Alloy Frame with internal protected & locked electronics
  • Customizable Pedal Assist (PAS) Settings
  • Integrated LED Headlight and Taillight
  • SandStorm 26″x3″ eBike Tires
  • Offered in ST and XR frame versions
  • Colors: Matte Carbon, Matte Indigo, Gloss Latte

Final Thoughts on the Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser

The Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser offers up some serious comfort in the form of smooth riding and casual convenience. This classic design paired with an electric motor really takes bicycle cruising to another level of enjoyable. If the timeless design and relaxed riding form of the beach cruiser bicycles appeal to you, the Ride1Up Cafe Cruiser is a great choice for daily rides, commuting, touring and everyday fun. For more info on the Cafe Cruiser and other Ride1Up ebikes, visit www.ride1up.com.

Mark Ranum: Mark is an outdoor adventure seeker, living in the beautiful state of Michigan. He loves trekking hundreds of miles through the wilderness, whether on two feet or two wheels, always looking for the next new trail or road to see where it will take him.
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