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Ride1Up Prodigy V2 LX XR CVT Review

A stylish, high-tech hybrid that isn't short on technology but may find a narrow audience due to its size and lack of adjustability
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Ride1Up Prodigy V2 LX XR CVT Review (The Prodigy was down for exploration and up for adventure, if you're the right size.)
The Prodigy was down for exploration and up for adventure, if you're the right size.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens
Price:  $2,695 List
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Manufacturer:   Ride1Up
By Joshua Hutchens ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 11, 2024
69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 14
  • Ride - 25% 6.0
  • Range - 25% 6.0
  • Power - 25% 7.0
  • Interface - 15% 9.0
  • Assembly - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Prodigy V2 brings high-tech refinement to a value-priced electric commuter bike. Powered by a potent Brose mid-drive motor and a sleek gearless hub, this bike looks like it's from the future. The ride quality is typical of a hybrid bike, with excellent visibility and comfort provided by the air-sprung suspension fork. Complete with front and rear lights, a rear rack, fenders, and a high-end comfortable saddle. There is much to love about the new Prodigy, but there are also a few reasons we don't recommend it for everyone. The bike has limited adjustability, and some of the cool technology doesn't translate to real-world advantages.
REASONS TO BUY
Refined
Stylish
CVT shifting
Class 3 speeds up to 28 mph
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacks adjustability
Not throttle compatible
Narrow size range

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $2,695 List
$2,295 at Ride1up
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$999 List
$999.00 at Lectric eBikes
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$1,499 at Blix Bikes
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Bottom Line A rolling medley of cutting-edge tech that makes an excellent commuter - if you're the right sizeIt is one of the most practical and useful bikes we have ever ridden, all in a compact yet stable rideA fair price combined with class-leading performance across the board make this our favorite electric bikeIt's hard to argue with the value of this versatile and affordable folding electric bikeLighter weight and more easily portable, this is the most well-rounded folding model we've tested
Rating Categories Ride1Up Prodigy V2... Specialized Globe H... Ride1Up 700-Series Lectric XP 3.0 Step... Blix Vika + Flex
Ride (25%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Range (25%)
6.0
10.0
10.0
7.0
8.0
Power (25%)
7.0
10.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
Interface (15%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
Assembly (10%)
8.0
10.0
5.0
10.0
9.0
Specs Ride1Up Prodigy V2... Specialized Globe H... Ride1Up 700-Series Lectric XP 3.0 Step... Blix Vika + Flex
Wheel size 27.5-inch 20-inch 27.5-inch 20-inch 20-inch
Battery Size 504Wh 772Wh 720Wh 500Wh 614Wh
E-Bike Class Class 3 Class 3 Class 3 Class 2 (Can be configured Class 3) Class 2 (Can be configured Class 3)
Motor Power (torque) 250W 700W 750W 500W 500W
Number of pedal assist settings 4 5 5 5 5
Top speed throttle (mph) N/A 20 20 20 20
Top speed pedal-assist (mph 28 28 28 28 24
Measured Distance Range (miles) 19.4 32.4 32.4 24.51 27.5
Frame material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Weight Limit (lbs) 300 419 275 330 270
Measured Weight 62 lbs 5 oz 80 lbs 8 oz 63 lbs 11 oz 62 lbs 8 oz 51 lbs 14 oz
Folding? No No No Yes Yes
Drivetrain Enviolo Trekking Internal gear hub w/CVT MicroSHIFT 9 speed Shimano Acera 8-speed Shimano Tourney 7-speed Simano 7-speed RevoShift
Brakes Tektro Orion 4-Piston Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes Tektro Hydraulic Disc Hydraulic Disc iZoom Hydraulic disc
Additional features Fenders, front and rear lights, 100mm suspension fork, kick stand Fenders, front and rear lights, rear rack, bell Fenders, rear rack, front and rear lights Fenders, rear rack, front and rear lights, folding design, front suspension, mounting points for racks, baskets, and a bike lock, IP-65 rated for water resistance Fenders, lights, Rear cargo rack, bell, folding pedals, USB charging port, removable battery
Warranty One Year Lifetime (2 year on battery and motor) One Year One Year One Year

Our Analysis and Test Results

Ride1Up has been building value-oriented, consumer-direct electric bikes since 2018, many of which we've tested and recommended over the years. Their mission was to bring affordable electric bikes built with quality components and materials that would last. The Prodigy V2 takes the quality components aspect of its mission to another level. This electric commuter bike combines a host of cutting-edge, higher-end components with Ride1Up value and consumer-direct convenience. Powered by a German-engineered Brose mid-drive motor, the Prodigy eschews the typical geared hub motor and keeps its weight centered around the bottom bracket. The torque-sensing motor can provide up to 90Nm of assistance with 4 separate ride modes. The Prodigy V2 is available with a step-thru or step-over style frame and can be had with a standard drivetrain or an Enviolo Trekking Internal gear hub with a Continuous Variable Transmission like our test bike. With the CVT hub, there are no external gears, which gave Ride1Up the opportunity to replace the standard chain with a Gates Carbon drive belt. The belt requires significantly less maintenance than a chain and provides a smooth connection between the motor and the drivetrain, but you can still catch your pant leg.

Performance Comparison


ride1up prodigy v2 lx xr cvt - the ride1up prodigy is an attractive looking bike with a bevy of...
The Ride1Up Prodigy is an attractive looking bike with a bevy of modern features.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens
The Prodigy V2 frame has a short reach and moderately high stack, giving the rider an upright position conducive to being traffic-aware and taking in the views. The bike has an abundance of cool and interesting components, many of which contribute to a great ride. In other ways, the technology in this bike outshines the bike itself. At double the price of the Ride1Up Turris, the Prodigy has glitzy parts that contribute to the rider experience, but is the experience twice as good? Read on to find our thoughts and test results.

Starting with the mid-drive Brose motor, which is housed and sealed into the frame of the bike, it's complete with a built-in torque sensor. Hence, it detects the pressure you exert on the pedals and almost instantly sends complimentary power to the drivetrain. This system is revered for being smooth and instantaneous, which is a definite upgrade from a geared hub motor. The power engages rapidly, and it is smooth, but to a rider who doesn't spend their entire life riding, testing, and writing about bikes, it doesn't feel much different. This bike is available with two different drivetrains: a conventional 9-speed microSHIFT drivetrain on standard models, while the LX and LS models get the Enviolo CVT hub with “internal gearing.” On LS and LX models, the chain has been replaced with a high-tech Gates carbon belt. Gates is a huge company that has built an empire replacing chains in everything from cars to washing machines. Belts have numerous advantages, being stronger and lighter than chains while never needing lubrication. The belt can't be used with a typical externally geared hub, so the bicycle industry has found limited use for the drivetrain simplifier. The belt is also more efficient than a chain, but again, it doesn't feel remarkably different from riding a bike with a properly lubricated chain.

The Enviolo hub is a tremendous feat of engineering, the result of decades of research and development. We're accustomed to talking about bikes “shifting gears,” but the Enviolo neither shifts nor has gears. Sliding through the continuously variable resistance, the ball-bearing internals can be adjusted to infinite positions, providing a smooth resistance curve. It's a remarkable feeling, and being able to adjust the resistance while sitting still is a neat feature of the design.

Ride


Testing the bike's ride quality involves more than just riding it. Here, we'll look at the parts most responsible for the Prodigy's performance. As mentioned above, the CVT hub is incredibly high-tech and a new paradigm for bicycle “gearing.” Twisting the “step-less shifter” is smooth and fluid; no detents or resistance is encountered. When relying solely on leg power, being able to fine-tune your resistance allows you to keep a steady cadence, lessening your fatigue. Making those micro adjustments feels far less important on a bike with ample electrical assistance. It's still an amazing feeling to twist through the resistance, but the motor power pulsing through the drivetrain means you're generally less reliant on gearing. The Brose TF Sprinter motor that is the centerpiece of this bike provides up to 90Nm of torque at speeds up to 28mph. Power adjustments are made through a one-piece display/control unit placed next to the rider's left hand.

ride1up prodigy v2 lx xr cvt - the brose display is bright and easy to access.
The Brose display is bright and easy to access.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

27.5" wheels with 2.25" Maxxis Rekon Race tires give the bike a sporty look and a bit of capability off the pavement. These semi-slick XC race tires provide a nice ride but don't have any puncture resistance to protect the tubes; while we appreciate their versatility, we'd prefer more durable rubber. We got two flat tires during testing, which is quite rare. We would have converted them to tubeless and used sealant, but neither the rims nor tires were tubeless compatible. The tan sidewalls give the bike a classic look, but reflective sidewalls found on commuter tires would have been more sensible and potentially safer.

ride1up prodigy v2 lx xr cvt - unfortunately, this was a common occurence; the maxxis rekon race...
Unfortunately, this was a common occurence; the Maxxis Rekon Race tires look great on this bike but lack any puncture resistance and the tires and rims spec'd on our bike were not tubeless compatible.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

The front end is suspended with a 100mm travel, air-sprung fork that features a lockout, and while it gives the Prodigy a mountain bike vibe, this fork works to enhance comfort more than traction. If you prefer efficiency over comfort, switching the fork off requires just a quick twist of the lockout. The bike's alloy handlebar has a 45mm rise and a gentle 9-degree back sweep, giving your wrists a neutral bend that is quite comfortable for long rides. The stem is not adjustable in height or length, which limits the adjustability of this bike to seatpost movement. So many of the parts on this bike feel high-quality and look great, but they don't necessarily increase its comfort or versatility.

ride1up prodigy v2 lx xr cvt - with all of the mechanicals inside, this drivetrain its ideal for...
With all of the mechanicals inside, this drivetrain its ideal for wet and rainy conditions.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

As a hybrid bike, the Prodigy V2 has a fairly upright seated position and short reach. The rider looks like someone yelled “Posture!” as they were riding past. The bike comes with an impressively nice Selle Royal Viento saddle with an ergonomic channel down the center that we found reasonably comfortable, but saddles can be a personal choice. The Prodigy's aluminum frame looks overbuilt in places as it houses a 504Wh battery and the German-made Brose TF Sprinter motor. It also feels overbuilt; the large diameter tubes and support for the motor create a stiff bottom bracket juncture that transmits a bit more shock and vibration than other models. While one of the main benefits of the mid-drive motor is its smooth power delivery, the rigidity of the frame leaves you feeling some of the motor's vibration in the saddle. Additionally, the motor sits slightly off-center; it's not something you notice until trying to cruise without hands on the handlebars; the bike has a distinct lean toward its right side.


The Prodigy (XR) frame we tested has a step-over height of 27.6 inches, but it can also be had as a step-through (ST) with a 21.7" step-over height which is a bit more user-friendly. Neither model features much adjustability, Ride1Up recommends the XR for riders between 5' 6" and 6' 4" but our 5' 10" lead tester with a 30" inseam had the seatpost extended to its maximum height to find his proper saddle height. The ST model is recommended for riders 5' 1" to 6' 3" but consider us dubious. The measured maximum saddle height from the ground is 38.2" which is by no means tall. In some cases, taller riders could replace the seatpost with a longer model, but that would likely put the saddle above the handlebars. The bike's short reach also felt much better for our smaller testers than anyone above 5' 10".

Our 5' 4" tester aboard the Prodigy V2
Our 5' 4" tester aboard the Prodigy V2
Our 5' 10" tester with the saddle at full height.
Our 5' 10" tester with the saddle at full height.
Our 6' 2" tester aboard the Prodigy V2 with the saddle extended to...
Our 6' 2" tester aboard the Prodigy V2 with the saddle extended to its maximum height.
Showing the Prodigy XR with riders at 5' 4", 5' 10", and 6'2"

The parts chosen for the Prodigy are all pretty impressive. Tektro Orion 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes provide ample stopping power as they connect to 180mm rotors. The saddle and grips are high-quality touch points that feel impressive. The front belt ring is quite large, giving the bike plenty of top-end speed; pedaling at a standard 90-100 cadence put us up just over 40 mph. We wished for lower gearing for low-end torque, but the motor's abundant power generally bailed us out. A smaller belt-ring would have felt more appropriate for commuting or riding around town. Not having an external drivetrain and, specifically, a spring-loaded derailleur means this bike is much quieter than most, especially when riding over bumpy surfaces. The Enviolo twist shifter could hardly be easier, featuring an incline and rider that moves with your wrist. Shifting is a long continuous curve; the bike is never out of gear or between gears, and if you find yourself with too much resistance, you can shift while sitting still.

The Stepless shifter on the Enviolo CVT hub features a cool visual aid.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

An 80 lux headlight uses the built-in 504Wh battery, so you won't be caught without lights. The bike's battery also powers a tail light integrated into the rear rack. The high-tech lights operate more as lights to be seen with than to see with. Those wanting a nighttime riding experience would benefit from more illumination. The bike's included rack is capable of carrying 40 lbs and is compatible with standard panniers, but due to its square tubing and inset pannier mounts, it's not compatible with Ride1Up's panniers. The rack has a Connect+ interface, allowing for the addition of a quick-release basket.

ride1up prodigy v2 lx xr cvt - the prodigy's low profile and sleek rack has a built in tail light...
The Prodigy's low profile and sleek rack has a built in tail light and fender mounts but its square tubing and inset round tubes mean it's not compatible with Ride1Up panniers.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Range


We usually test the e-bike range using the bike's throttle; it helps eliminate the variable of rider-added power, but the Prodigy (as with most mid-drive bikes) is incompatible with a throttle. In order to test the range on this bike, we had to rely on an imperfect test, but it gave us a pretty good idea of the motor's power consumption. We pedal the bike using just enough input to trigger the built-in torque sensor but attempt to contribute to its propulsion minimally.


Using our e-bikes test course, we soft-pedaled the Prodigy through our course 4 times, once in each power setting. In the bike's most powerful “Boost” setting, we were able to ride 19.34 miles of our course with an elevation gain of 1224 feet before exhausting the battery's power. In the second most powerful “Sport” mode, we soft-pedaled the bike 22.91 miles with an elevation gain of 1411 feet. Using “Tour” and “Eco” modes, we hit the 25-mile mark with only slight differences in range. A threshold amount of torque is required for the motor to engage and keep it activated; as such, we didn't find much difference in feel or range in the lowest two modes.

ride1up prodigy v2 lx xr cvt - the power coming from the mid-drive motor is delivered via this...
The power coming from the mid-drive motor is delivered via this slick Gates Carbon belt.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Power


The mid-drive Brose motor delivers power that can be mistaken for a tailwind in the lower settings. In the Boost setting, the motor can generate up to 90Nm of torque, leaving the rider twisting the shifter to catch up to the drivetrain speed.


The four levels of power assist have some overlap and we found the level of support between the lowest two to be very similar. The Brose motor's built-in torque sensor gauges your input; its quick response is a highlight.

ride1up prodigy v2 lx xr cvt - the brose motor keeps the weight down low and the charging port is...
The Brose motor keeps the weight down low and the charging port is sits in a convenient spot.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Interface


The Brose Allround all-in-one control/display unit is on the handlebar's left side. The power button faces the front of the bike, and the remainder of the controls are at a thumb's reach. The current speed, state of charge, and pedal assist (PAS) mode are featured prominently, while the odometer, trip distance, cadence, average cadence, average speed, max speed, power, and clock are accessible by clicking through screens. The color screen has great resolution, but it's only 1.5 inches (about the size of an Apple watch) from corner to corner, and that can make it hard to glean all of its info at a glance. There is an app to connect your smartphone, but it's not currently available in the US, Canada, or Mexico.


The integrated 504Wh battery locks into the underside of the bike's frame but can be removed for storage or charging away from the bike. Removal is simple, and charging your battery off of the bike has many advantages. An e-bike without a battery is significantly less attractive to would-be thieves. The bike is much lighter without the battery and can likely be hung up or lifted for storage. Additionally, keeping the battery out of extreme temperatures will lengthen its lifespan. The bike and battery are certified to IP-65 weather resistance, which makes commuting in the rain no problem.

ride1up prodigy v2 lx xr cvt - charging the battery off the bike is more convenient than most...
Charging the battery off the bike is more convenient than most people realize.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Assembly


Assembling the Prodigy didn't require much time or mechanical aptitude. The provided instructions were clear, and the tools included are nicer than one might expect with an entire set of ball-end Allen wrenches. Ride1Up shipped this bike with eco-friendly packaging, and aside from a few zip ties, the packaging was free of plastic and styrofoam.


The Prodigy is a bit lighter-weight than other e-bikes we've assembled, and as such, it's a bit easier to move and assemble. Ride1up has a comprehensive build video on their website that will guide you through the assembly process. There are many important bolts and adjustments on bicycles that can put the rider in danger if not torqued or adjusted properly. If you don't feel competent or confident in your abilities, utilizing the knowledge and help of your local bike shop is highly recommended.

ride1up prodigy v2 lx xr cvt - the bike arrives in eco-friendly packaging with a fair amount of the...
The bike arrives in eco-friendly packaging with a fair amount of the assembly taken care of.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Should You Buy the Ride1Up Prodigy?


This premium e-bike has awesome technology, but we can't recommend it to everyone. Our foremost concern is the inability to make sizing adjustments. Putting aside the company's recommended user height range, we'd recommend this size of bike for people between 5' 5" and 5' 10". Users in this height range can expect a comfortable ride typical of a hybrid bike's positioning. We'd recommend most users swap the tires out for more durable rubber, as flat tires aren't worth the reduced weight or sporty looks.

What Other Electric Commuter Bikes Should You Consider?


There is no shortage of awesome electric bikes on the market. If the Prodigy doesn't seem ideal after reading this review, check out the Ride1UP Turris XR for a very similar-looking bike with more adjustability at half the price. If you want a bit more versatility and comfort, the Aventon Aventure.2 Step-Through comes highly recommended for its power, range, and value.

ride1up prodigy v2 lx xr cvt - the prodigy's front end is sleek and refined but there are no...
The Prodigy's front end is sleek and refined but there are no adjustments other than the sweep/rise trade off of the handlebar.
Credit: Joshua Hutchens

Joshua Hutchens
 

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