Review: Propella’s Mini Is an Affordable, Easy Ebike


For years, the query of the way to get extra folks out of vehicles and onto bicycles has baffled environmentally aware metropolis designers. As a small girl with babies who bikes day by day and lives in a really bikeable metropolis, I’ve an reply: Design bikes for me.

This isn’t purely self-serving; it’s just true. Getting extra girls on bikes helps get extra folks on bikes, interval. Women are extra risk-averse. We want protected lanes the place folks can’t gun their vehicles at our youngsters. We want lanes to go to colleges and the grocery retailer, to not meander by rivers. Most of all, we want secure and maneuverable bikes that we will carry into and out of our vehicles and onto racks.

This is why I’m an enormous fan of the small-ebikes motion. Yes, huge fats tires and massive Dutch bakfiets are helpful, however they’re onerous to maneuver and just a little scary to make use of. Our favorite affordable ebike manufacturer, Propella, just lately launched a mini ebike. I’ve been driving it for 3 weeks now, and it positively matches the invoice.

Built to Spill

Photograph: Propella

Like many direct-to-consumer bikes, Propella’s ebikes requires meeting once they arrive. For apparent causes, the Mini’s field is smaller and simpler to maneuver in my storage than others. The guide recommends that you simply take it to a store for meeting, but it surely’s positively doable to do your self, particularly in the event you watch the corporate’s assembly video.

I used to be really just a little stunned by the bike’s measurement. When I measured the wheelbase—the axle-to-axle measurement that’s used to specify a motorcycle’s size—it was 39 inches. For comparability, the Jackrabbit that I reviewed last year had a microscopic wheelbase of 26 inches. At 39 inches, the Mini’s body is just an inch shorter than my extra-small highway bike’s. It additionally weighs 33 kilos, which is gentle for an ebike however nonetheless 10 kilos heavier than the Jackrabbit.

Like Tern bikes, the Mini reduces its size by subbing tiny 20-inch wheels for the traditional 28-inch measurement. Thus, it’s a smaller bike that doesn’t really feel small. I’m 5’2″, and my 5’10” husband didn’t really feel bizarre driving it both. If you’re above 6’1″, you may begin to really feel cramped.

Unfortunately, some ebikes do value much more than others (though they in all probability wouldn’t if we may get satisfactory tax credit when buying them). It’s often due to the drivetrain. Propella makes use of a Bafang rear hub motor. That’s an ordinary reasonably priced electrical motor, powered by a Samsung battery (a reputation model that hopefully won’t catch fire) and triggered by a cadence sensor, somewhat than a throttle.


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