Pedego Ridge Rider E-bike—Fun Just Got Dirty.
Boy, things have sure steamrolled in the Pedego camp with a wide variety of models and types of E-bikes on the sales room floors. Back when they first started (and when I first started covering them) they had just the Custom Cruiser E-beach cruiser model. Before long that widened a bit as they added a 48 volt system to that bike to make the Interceptor model. Now with the Ride Rider E-mountain bike on the hilltop, their fans even have more reasons to climb to the clouds.
This bike was 3 years in the making, as Pedego strives to produce only E-bikes that thrill and excite each rider. I got a chance to test out a couple of the early prototypes, and as nice as they were, they still can’t hold a belay line to this powerful and strong contender. Just as a mountain climber trusts their tough and lightweight carabiner as they teeter on the edge, the Ridge Rider can take you to the market or to the peak of the highest range with confidence and style.
This is the first bike in the lineup to utilize their new Pedal Sense control system. This model uses a combination of pedal torque sensing, pedal cadence sensing and the throttle to activate the motor. Not all Pedal Sense systems for Pedego E-bikes will work as this one, as that name more lends to the fact that picking your level and type of motor control just makes “sense” when you use the controls. In a nutshell (for this bike at least), 0 (on the display) is no assist, 1-4 is varied levels of torque-sensed assist, 5 is full power whenever you are pedaling, and 6 is throttle control only. And to that, the throttle will override all that in levels 1-5
That control links to a powerful 500 watt geared rear hub brushless motor with 48 volts pulsing at your command. It is smooth when you want, and kind of brutal when you need. It has the power to take on some grizzly trails with all the undulations that might keep you home without a electric motor-assist. This E-bike is much more about a solid quality ride than just the assist system though.
They have speced the bike well to make sure the rough stuff won’t put you or your bike in a tailspin. The drivetrain is better than all that you will see on most mountain bikes without breaking the bank. That equates to quick shifts and all the gears you will need (20) to take on the urban jungle or the muddiest of single track. The thumb shifters are some of my favorites, allowing you to work the gears as you need them, not the other way around.
This also the first Pedego to centrally mount the battery, in the frame much less, to help balance out the bike. This makes climbing and jumping more controllable as the speeds rise. And those speeds will rise when you want, as it has some of the best power and torque in its class. In some ways it is in a class of its own, yet electric-assist mountain bikes are sprouting from more E-bike makers every month.
I was able to take the bike to several events to allow people their first E-bike ride. With no exceptions, each person was totally impressed with its rideability and smoothness (power too). Even though this E-bike will work the city streets well, it can pretty much handle any situation. I took it off-road many times, yet never quite rode it as hard as seen in Pedego’s own PR videos. This is not to say I didn’t run it hard and take some chances, but I am not as comfortable on the single track as others I ride with. I do like jumping and wheelies, so I made sure the Ridge Rider could handle those tasks just fine.
It is a hardtail, so the rough stuff pushes you around some. The fork is adjustable (and lock-outable when desired), so it soaks up the bumps the front end takes on. Like any bike I ride with hydraulic disc brakes, they are really too strong, but easy to modulate if you are quick at the levers. I do like to see the shorty single (or double) finger brake levers to keep the brake power better under control. This is really the only stab I can take at the Ridge Rider, and would like to see Pedego switch to those shorter levers in the near future.
As you check out the bike you can spot the details that help give this bike a solid and safe ride. Stuff like the through hub with axle skewers in the front—to the 27.5 wheels and tires that are beefy and grippy. The display unit is pretty much standard issue with many Pedego E-bikes, and with so much info coming through there, you can see why. You can even run your phone and audio devices from the USB power port included.
This is Pedego’s most sophisticated and quality E-bike they have offered to date. They keep upping the ante, and you, the rider are the one who benefits. Their after-the-sale service is second to none in the industry, and by making it right in the first place you may never have to concern yourself with that aspect of your bike. Like any E-bike (or bike), it will need scheduled maintenance, so it is nice to know they train their dealers to understand their product inside and out.
The last year has seen them expand their catalog with new bikes and improve on the existing ones. From what I’ve seen lately, and in the past, you can expect even more of that this year (and next?). I give this Ridge Rider the highest of marks, and if they change out those brake levers I can go even one step higher with that approval. Electric mountain bikes are gaining more acceptance, something I would like to see continue. Remember to stay safe, and respect the trail and those who you share it with.
And, let’s go get dirty, Turbo Bob.
“Wind is just a hill in gaseous form.”—Barry McCarty.
Look for them on the web and Facebook.
Here are four videos I posted that show the bike and some of the fun it offered me.