Today, we are reviewing a different kind of bike, the Pedego Ridge Rider, a hardtail mountain bike with RockShox Recon adjustable front suspension. Pedego likes to view itself as the Tesla of e-bikes, according to the CEO, Don DiCostanzo. Apparently, Elon Musk has a few in his garage. Unlike some other e-bike manufacturers, Pedego only makes electric bicycles. For them it is not some afterthought, it is their only thought. We had the Ridge Rider for a couple of weeks towards the end of the summer and after a few long rides, we can say that we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Meet the Ridge Rider
Mike Heslin, the owner of the Pedego store in South Norwalk, CT, greeted me when I picked up the Ridge Rider from his store. He was very helpful in providing information on the bike and explaining to me how to operate it. The bike also came with a Pedego Kit Box, which contained the black plastic charger, a set of keys to unlock the battery, a small tool set, a manual, stickers and warranty information. I ‘threw’ the bike in the back of the car and drove back to New York, anxious to try this baby out on our local trails.
One of the first things I noticed when riding the Pedego Ridge Rider is how much fun it is to ride the trails, you know so well, on an electric bike. It’s like a new world opens up. The same old trails are not the same at all when you are going 26 mph, instead of 16 mph. It was a blast and I will say it again, if you like to ride a bike, you’re going to love riding e-bikes.
I know some people may disagree and say that riding an e-bike is cheating or that e-bikes are for old people. I disagree. The only real downside I see for e-bikes, in general, is that they are more expensive and heavier. On regular trails, the added weight of the battery and motor is not really an issue, but when the trails get technical the weight becomes a disadvantage. Fyi – my regular mountain bike is a 2016 Trek Farley 9.6.
But before I get too far off track… Let’s start with the basics.
BUILD QUALITY – 8/10
Like commuter bikes, mountain bikes are going to get their fair share of abuse. Maybe not on a daily basis, but any mountain bike that is going to be ridden enthusiastically, better be sturdy and made of high-quality materials. Especially when the bike will be used at much higher speeds. The Pedego Ridge Rider did not disappoint. I don’t think, Pedego meant for it to be a hardcore mountain bike, the geometry is not aggressive enough. Although my length (6’4″) may play a role in this as well, forcing me to sit more upright than I would prefer. Either way, it is a rigid, well-built bike made of 6061 light-weight aluminum and high-quality components, offering a confidence inspiring ride. I rank it 8 out of 10.
VERSATILITY – 7/10
Versatility. Is the Pedego Ridge Rider a good all-around electric mountain bike? Yes, it is. It may not excel at the more extreme ends of mountain biking, such as downhill, but it wasn’t designed to do that. The Ridge Rider is more than capable to conquer most terrains. The tires are solid and offer plenty of grip. The front suspension with 100 mm of travel does a good job of smoothing out the ride and keeping you in control when the track gets bumpy. If there is anything that would make this bike more versatile, it would be to add fat tires. Luckily for us, Pedego has done that already and it’s called the Pedego Trail Tracker. We will post a review of that bike soon.
COMFORT – 7/10
The adjustable front suspension helped a great deal in making this bike comfortable, as did the throttle. The ability to override pedal assist at any moment and charge up that hill a little faster adds to the comfort of this bike. It makes it easy to ride and overtake slower cyclists. The somewhat upright riding position (for me at least) made the bike more comfortable, even though at the same time I felt, that it put me less in control of the bike. The handlebars and grips were great as well. If this was my personal bike, the only thing I would change is the saddle. On longer rides, it would start to feel somewhat uncomfortable but this would easily be fixed by replacing it with an aftermarket option. Also, the comfort provided by a saddle is a very personal thing and you may have a better experience than me.
HANDLING – 7/10
The Ridge Rider is a very capable e-bike. The adjustable front suspension (100 mm) keeps the front end planted during turns on bumpy trails. The tires are grippy and mounted on 27.5″ rims they allow you to maintain speed and roll over obstacles easily. Some people may prefer 29″ wheels but considering that this bike only comes in one frame size, I think Pedego made the right choice mounting these mid-size rims. The Shimano Deore shifters worked well and the Ridge Rider never missed a beat. The bike offers 20 gears and together with paddle assist and at times full throttle, this means that you can climb any hill or mountain for that matter. It worked very well and made things easy. Since e-bikes allow you to ride at higher speeds, brakes become more important. The Ridge Rider comes equipped with Magura MTE hydraulic front and rear disc brakes (180 mm rotors) and they provide more than enough stopping power. In my experience, the brakes were never the problem. The tires were, under heavy braking only. I’m used to riding fat tires and they allow you to brake later and harder into turns. The brakes on the Ridge Rider were more than adequate, however, and provided smooth and controlled stopping power. A big part of how an e-bike handles is determined by the motor, I will go into that a little later on in this review.
SAFETY FEATURES – 7/10
The Pedego Ridge Rider is a safe bike, in that it is well built and it is very controllable. It steers well, brakes well and handles predictably. The front suspension keeps the front wheel in touch with the ground and thus allowing you to steer and avoid obstacles. When the brakes are applied the pedal assist is automatically is turned off. All in all, it is a bike that handles very safely.
However, one important safety feature is missing. Visibility. I believe that all e-bikes should come with integrated lighting (front and rear) and reflective sidewalls on the tires (or LED lights in the frame). The battery is already there and because of the higher speeds that people achieve, visibility to other road users becomes even more important. This is not aimed at Pedego specifically as many other e-bikes do not have this feature either. Recently, I reviewed the VanMoof electric bike, which had integrated front and rear lights and the Serpent electric skateboard, which had LED lights along the side of the board as well as a headlight and tail/brake light. So it can be done! Btw – those reviews are coming soon.
THE ELECTRIC MOTOR – 8/10
The Pedego Ridge Rider comes with a powerful and quiet Dapu brushless, geared rear hub motor, providing 500 watts nominal output (peak output 864 watts) and 60 Nm of torque. This is a powerful motor and when you ride the bike from a standstill, it has no problem getting you to 25 mph on the throttle only. The bike provides various levels of support; level 0 is no paddle assist, levels 1 through 4 are increasing levels of support based on your pedal input, level 5 will get you to 20 mph right away as long as you pedal but regardless of how much power you put in and level 6 is throttle only. I’ll be honest, I had the bike almost always at level 5 and quite often used the throttle as well to increase the support from 20 mph to 25 mph. The throttle provides an extra power boost. Lot’s of fun, but of course the battery drains faster that way.
To use the power you first turn on the bike with the button located on top of the battery and then you turn on the control panel on the handlebars. Buttons on the left side of the backlit monochrome LCD panel, allow you to change the assist levels and the panel provides information on things such as; speed, torque sensing assist level (1-4), cadence sensing assist (5), throttle mode (6), battery charge percentage, battery charge cycles, battery voltage, time, odometer, trip meter. It also features a USB port to charge your phone.
The power delivery is smooth and the throttle is precise. The only thing I noticed is that when your speed went past 25 mph it felt as if the hub motor creates a spinning resistance and slows you down somewhat. In my case, this meant that going down Mount Airy (asphalt road) I would reach a top speed of 39 to 41 mph, instead of 51 mph on the Raleigh Redux IE. Granted these are two very different bikes with different tires, resistance, etc but my point is that at higher speeds the hub motor creates some kind of resistance. I suspect it may be the gears that do not spin freely? Not much resistance, but once you get to know the bike you can feel it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not think this is an issue and it wouldn’t stop me from considering the Pedego Ridge Rider. It is a mountain bike and I think most people will use it on trails and the may never reach these kinds of speeds. Overall the Dapu hub motor is very strong and very effective and the bike is a better bike because of it.
BATTERY – 7/10
Like all e-bike batteries, the Pedego’s batteries are too heavy, do not provide enough range, charge too slow and additional batteries are too expensive. This has nothing to do with Pedego. It simply is the best batteries currently offer us. I expect batteries to improve in all these areas and I think that the future of e-bikes looks very bright indeed.
The battery on the Ridge Rider is very nicely integrated into the frame. Once in place, it is locked and requires a key to be removed. The battery can be charged when mounted on the bike or when it is detached from the bike as the charge port is part of the battery housing. A smart solution for when the bike is parked outside or in a garage but the battery is brought inside to be charged. Think workplace or apartment. The energy comes from a 48 volts, 14 ah, 672 wh Lithium-ion battery pack made by Samsung. It can be fully charged in 6 hours and provides a range of 20-35 miles depending on terrain, assist level, throttle position, rider input and other conditions. I found these numbers to be accurate. However, riding an e-bike is so much fun that the range is never enough.
PRICE – 6/10
The Pedego Ridge Rider is priced a $3,695 which is less than offerings of some of the better-known mountain bike manufacturers. People, in general, seem to think that e-bikes are too expensive. I agree with them to a point and wish e-bikes would be cheaper. The Pedego Ridge Rider, however, is a very solid electric mountain bike, built with high-quality components for the front suspension, gears, and brakes. It comes with a battery pack and a hub motor, an extensive dealer network and a solid 2-year warranty. You get what you pay for.
Overall the Pedego Ridge Rider is a very capable electric mountain bike, with high-quality components such as the RockShox Recon adjustable front suspension (100 mm), Shimano gears, and hydraulic Magura MTE brakes. The Maxxis Ardent tires mounted on 27.5 in rims provide sufficient grip and offer a compliant ride. A smart balance between traditional 26 in wheels and the for some people too large 29 in wheels. The Pedego Ridge Rider comes with a Dapu brushless geared rear hub motor, providing 500 watts nominal output (peak output 864 watts) and 60 Nm of Torque. Together with the Samsung battery pack, this bike offers you between 20 to 35 miles worth of electric mountain biking fun and can be fully recharged in 6 hours. The bike is reasonably priced at $3,695 and comes with a 2-year limited warranty. Pedego has an extensive and exclusive dealer network. My experience with Mike Heslin from the store in South Norwalk has been very pleasant and I would highly recommend him.
Do you have a Pedego Ridge Rider or another e-mountain bike that you think is better? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!
|TYPE:||Urban, mountain, trail|
|ELECTRIC BIKE CLASS:||Class 2 – throttle on demand|
|WARRANTY:||2-year limited + 2-year limited on battery|
|AVAILABILITY:||United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Europe|
|TOTAL WEIGHT:||55 lbs (24.75 kg)|
|BATTERY WEIGHT:||8 lbs (3.6 kg)|
|MOTOR WEIGHT:||6 lbs (2.72 kg)|
|FRAME MATERIAL:||6061 Light weight aluminum|
|FRAME SIZES:||18.5″ (47 cm)|
|GEOMETRY MEASUREMENTS:||18.5″ Sseat tube, 23.5″ reach, 31″ stand over height, 73″ length, axle to axle 46″, handlebars 28 in|
|FRAME COLORS:||Matte black|
|FRAME FORK DETAILS:||RockShox Recon Front Suspension Fork, adjustable, 100 mm|
|FRAME REAR DETAILS:||142 mm Dropout width|
|ATTACHMENT POINTS:||Rear rack bosses and bottle cage bosses|
|GEARING DETAILS:||20 Speed 2×10, Shimano SLX Derailleur, 12-32 Deore HG62-10 Cassette|
|SHIFTER DETAILS:||Shimano Trigger Shifter Left/Right|
|CRANKS:||3-piece Alloy 203 mm black|
|PEDALS:||Wellgo, aluminum alloy platform, black|
|HEADSET:||VP sealed bearing|
|STEM:||70 mm Length|
|HANDLEBAR:||22 mm Rise, 720 mm width, low-rise aluminum alloy|
|BRAKE DETAILS:||Magura MTE hydraulic front & rear disc brakes – 180 mm rotors|
|GRIPS:||Flat rubber with lockers|
|SADDLE:||MTB brand, black|
|SEAT POST:||Aluminum alloy, black|
|SEAT POST LENGTH:||327 mm|
|SEAT POST DIAMETER:||30.9 mm|
|RIMS:||Weinmann 27.5” Rims|
|SPOKES:||Stainless steel, 13 gauge front, 12 gauge rear|
|TIRE BRAND:||Maxxis Ardent electric bike tires 27.5″ x 2.10″|
|WHEEL SIZES:||27.5 in (69.85cm) – Quick release front|
|ACCESSORIES:||Sturdy oversized kickstand, neoprene slap guard on right chain stay|
|OTHER:||Locking removable battery pack, Shimano HG 62-10 cassette, Dapu torque and cadence sensing bottom bracket with 11.75″ (29.845 cm) drop, quick release seat post and front axle, Shimano SLX M678 front hub centerlock disc, KMC chain with 116 links, air fork settings: 115 – 135 lbs (60 – 80 PSI), 135 – 155 lbs (80 – 100 PSI), 155 – 175 lbs (100 – 120 PSI), 175 – 195 lbs (120 – 140 PSI), 195 – 215 lbs (140 – 160 PSI), 215+ lbs (160 – 180 PSI), 180 PSI maximum|
|MOTOR TYPE:||Brushless geared rear hub motor|
|MOTOR NOMINAL OUTPUT:||500 watts|
|MOTOR PEAK OUTPUT:||864 watts|
|MOTOR TORQUE:||60 Newton meters|
|BATTERY VOLTAGE:||48 volts|
|BATTERY AMP HOURS:||14 ah|
|BATTERY WATT HOURS:||672 wh|
|CHARGE TIME:||6 hours|
|ESTIMATED MIN RANGE:||20 miles (32 km)|
|ESTIMATED MAX RANGE:||35 miles (56 km)|
|PEDAL ASSIST:||6 Levels of pedal assist with PedalSense™ technology & throttle override (throttle only at level 6)|
|THROTTLE:||Twist Throttle Variable Speed Control with Quick Disconnect Fittings|
|DISPLAY TYPE:||Fixed, monochrome, backlit LCD with USB charging port|
|READOUTS:||Speed, torque sensing assist (1-4), cadence sensing assist (5), throttle mode (6), battery charge percentage, battery charge cycles, battery voltage, time, odometer, trip meter|
|DRIVE MODE:||Twist throttle, advanced pedal assist (Dapu torque sensing and cadence sensing bottom bracket)|
|TOP SPEED:||20 mph (32 kph), 25 mph (41.6 kph) on throttle|
Upcoming reviews: VanMoof, Pedego Trail Tracker, Sondors X and Sondors Fold.
Btw – we will be giving the Sondors Fold away as part of our Electrek Rewards Program, probably towards the end of this month, so keep an eye out for that one on our site, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Disclaimer: like the Trek Super Commuter +8S review and the Raleigh Redux IE review, the Pedego Ridge Rider review is an unpaid review. We simply love riding different e-bikes and we write about our experience here on Electrek.