While many electric bikes continue getting heavier and heavier, Propella has constantly bucked that trend with its lightweight electric bicycles. But the Propella Mini e-bike takes the brand to a whole new level with its smallest and lightest model yet.
The recently launched Propella Mini swaps out the wide-diameter 700c wheels of its big brothers for pint-size 20-inch wheels.
Combined with the small, minimalist frame design and low-power electronics, that helps drop the bike’s weight to a mere 33 lb. (14.9 kg). At just 59″ long, it’s nearly a foot shorter than Propella’s other e-bikes (which are already quite minimalist to begin with).
The smaller 20-inch wheels also help the bike generate more torque for better hill climbing.
That’s an important benefit when you consider that Propella bikes aren’t exactly brimming with excess power.
The 400W peak-rated Bafang motor is plenty for flat land riding, and can even handle hills of up to 10% grade. But the bike isn’t going to take the checkered flag any time soon.
The Propella Mini still offers a top speed of 18 mph (30 km/h) and fits into a Class 1 designation, keeping it street legal just about anywhere in the US.
It also gets rather impressive range for such a small battery. That little 3.5 lb. (1.6 kg) pack measures just 250 Wh in capacity yet scores the Propella Mini between 20-35 miles (32-56 km) of range.
That’s largely thanks to the pedal assist operation of the bike. Without a throttle, the Propella Mini uses a cadence-based pedal assist sensor to provide power.
When riders begin pedaling, the motor kicks in to offer assistance. When riders stop pedaling, the motor also stops and the rider simply coasts.
It’s not exactly cutting-edge technology, but it works well and is an economical, efficient solution to score more range out of a small battery. And the added benefit of such a small battery is that it takes up very little space in your bag if you pop it off to bring it inside for charging (or to remove it as a target for thieves).
Speaking of being an economical solution, the Propella Mini is priced at $999 but is currently on sale for just $899.
There are some obvious sacrifices to get it there, such as the single-speed drivetrain and that small battery we discussed. But compared to other e-bikes in its price range, the Mini comes in at around half the weight, which could push it over the finish line for riders looking for a light and compact e-bike.
The bike seems like a neat solution on the low-cost end, but we’ll know more once we have one in hand to perform a complete review soon.
Until then, feel free to peruse our review of Propella’s full-size V4.0 e-bike, which uses most of the same components yet on a larger road bike-styled frame. You can even see it in action in my testing video below.
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