Bicycles

Propella e-bikes look casual and power up via throttle or pedal assist

Propella e-bikes look casual a...
The Propella e-bike offers a classic look and a mix of pedelec and full throttle power
The Propella e-bike offers a classic look and a mix of pedelec and full throttle power
View 11 Images
Propella seeks to bridge the gap between the bicycle and the electric bicycle
1/11
Propella seeks to bridge the gap between the bicycle and the electric bicycle
Propella estimates weight to be around 36 lb
2/11
Propella estimates weight to be around 36 lb
The Propella bike comes with Avid brakes
3/11
The Propella bike comes with Avid brakes
Propella updates the classic bike design with a bit of extra color
4/11
Propella updates the classic bike design with a bit of extra color
Propella is currently the subject of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign
5/11
Propella is currently the subject of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign
The pedal assist system offers five modes of motor power
6/11
The pedal assist system offers five modes of motor power
Propella updates the classic bike design with a bit of extra color
7/11
Propella updates the classic bike design with a bit of extra color
The Propella is powered by a 250-watt Bafang motor
8/11
The Propella is powered by a 250-watt Bafang motor
Power comes from a 36-volt Samsung lithium-ion battery
9/11
Power comes from a 36-volt Samsung lithium-ion battery
The battery takes about 2.5 hours to charge and offers a range up to 28 miles
10/11
The battery takes about 2.5 hours to charge and offers a range up to 28 miles
The Propella e-bike offers a classic look and a mix of pedelec and full throttle power
11/11
The Propella e-bike offers a classic look and a mix of pedelec and full throttle power

As we see each year at events like the North American Handmade Bicycle Show and Eurobike, bicycle designers will experiment with just about any style of frame. But they always seems to come back to the tried-and-true classic – the diamond frame. Perhaps, it's no wonder, then, that the e-bike industry is following suit. Propella is the latest startup to disguise its e-bike as a simple diamond-frame bicycle. Unlike a regular diamond-frame bicycle, this one has a versatile electric drive with both a throttle and a pedal assist system.

With its diamond frame-contained battery, 26.5-lb (12-kg) weight and small hub motor, the Freygeist Classic we looked at last month stands alone as the most classic, inconspicuous retail e-bike we've covered. But at €3,990 (about US$4,500), it's definitely not the most affordable.

Seattle's Propella Bikes shares a basic vision with the German folks at Freygeist – an e-bike that's more like a traditional pedal bike – but at a much more affordable price point. Its externally secured battery lacks the seamlessness of Freygeist's internal battery, but the rest of the Propella design is similarly clean and traditional. The small 250-watt rear hub motor blends in naturally, and the remainder of the bike looks the part of an everyday urban commuter, albeit with brightly colored rims and components.

Propella updates the classic bike design with a bit of extra color
Propella updates the classic bike design with a bit of extra color

The Propella e-bike has both a handlebar-mounted twist throttle and a pedelec system. The throttle, of course, lets the rider directly activate the motor, while the pedal-assist system offers five modes of motor assistance, selected via the onboard LCD computer. At a relatively light 36 lb (16.3-kg), the bike is also designed to be pedaled without any motor assistance at all, should the rider run out of battery power or want extra exercise.

Propella offers a broad range estimate of between 15 and 28 miles (24 and 45 km) and a top speed estimate of 20 mph (32 km/h). The 6.6 Ah Samsung lithium-ion battery takes about 2.5 hours to charge.

The Propella bike's aluminum alloy frame is dressed with a steel fork, Avid brakes, and 700 x 32 Kenda tires. Propella offers both single and six-speed drivetrain options, three frame sizes and four rim color options.

Propella is working to raise money on Indiegogo, with pledges as of writing starting at $699 (42 percent off estimated retail). The six-speed option is available as a $50 add-on. Shipping is available in the US only, and deliveries will begin from July/August, assuming everything moves along as Propella hopes.

Source: Propella Bikes

5 comments
Milton
this bike looks nearly identical to the E-Glide electric bike I own. I wonder if this is a knock-off?
Daishi
BTW the first known case of cheating in competitive racing happened recently where someone had a hidden electric motor. It wasn't the Tour de France or anything but still interesting to hear.
Bob Flint
Are the batteries easily replaceable, or welded into the frame like another competitor?
BartyLobethal
"Externally secured battery". I'm guessing that's the thing that looks like a water bottle, so it should be easily replaceable.
JoshuaPutnam
Hard to see a commuter bike succeeding in Seattle without real fenders. That half-fender in back is better than nothing, but in Seattle, no front fender means your feet and your chain are bathed in grit, car drippings, and banana slug guts 9 months of the year.