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Ride1Up Roadster V2 Gravel Edition Review: Fantastic E-Bike in the Body of a Road Bike

With enough features to impress even experienced riders, the sleek, lightweight Roadster V2 Gravel Edition is my new favorite e-bike.

Sean Booker Video Producer
As a Video Producer at CNET, Sean has worked on more videos than he can count. He covers video games and video game hardware along with the occasional electric bike. He covers games both on and off camera, through livestreams, press events, and podcasts.
Expertise Video Games and E-Bikes
Sean Booker
4 min read

The Roadster V2 Gravel Edition from Ride1Up looks more like a regular bike than an electric bike. The design is so sleek it doesn't even look like it has a battery. Basically, it's everything I like about my single-speed road bike but with the benefit of being electric.

The $1,245 Roadster is extremely lightweight compared to many e-bikes, at around 33 pounds. Picking it up and carrying it up some stairs is a breeze. The brake cables are nicely integrated inside the tube instead of being fastened along the frame. It doesn't come with any extra accessories like a kickstand, lights or fenders -- another reason it's as light as it is -- and keeps the design nice and clean. There is a bell integrated into the left brake lever, though. 

Ride1Up Roadster V2 Gravel Edition electric bike standing in front of a person
Sean Booker/CNET

The battery is integrated into the frame, too, and because it's so thin, it's not a huge one. The 36-volt battery gets you around 20 to 30 miles on average, which varies on the terrain and how much pedal assist is used. The battery has been fine during my testing, but if you want even more juice, Ride1Up does offer an additional, external 7Ah battery for $375. It attaches to the water bottle screws and adds another 250 watts, doubling the total supply. The main battery can't be removed for charging, which is done via a flip-up cap near the pedals. 

The integrated battery is something of a double-edged sword. It's more difficult to charge since you'll need to park it near an outlet, which could be more difficult if it's stored outside or in a bike locker. The upside is no one can steal your battery when locking up in public, a prime target for bike thieves when they can't take the entire bike. You also don't have to remove it and lug it around for safekeeping. 

Ride1Up Roadster V2 Gravel Edition electric bike standing next to a tree
Sean Booker/CNET

The aluminum alloy frame is a lot skinnier than most electric bike frames. E-bikes tend to be significantly thicker than standard road bikes, so they can draw a lot of attention when in public. At first glance, you probably can't tell this bike is electric and I really appreciate that. The one thing that might blow the Roadster's cover is the LCD display on the handlebars. It's fairly low-key and could easily pass for a regular bike computer, though.

The display turns on quickly for cycling through info such as trip length, trip time and an odometer. Speed is front and center and the remaining battery sits at the top left so both are easy to monitor. Plus and minus buttons adjust the bike's five levels of pedal assist. The display illuminates when you press and hold the plus button and doing the same with the minus button activates the walk mode. This makes the bike propel itself forward at a slow speed and helps in scenarios such as walking your bike up a steep hill.

close up of logo on Ride1Up Roadster V2 Gravel Edition electric bike
Sean Booker/CNET

The Roadster is a class 3 e-bike and can reach up to around 24 mph with the pedal assist. This class also means there's a throttle; it's located right under the display unit. With a press of your thumb, the bike quickly accelerates up to around 19 mph with no pedaling required. As someone who exercises a lot, and bikes to and from my gym, I absolutely love when an e-bike has a throttle. There is nothing better than being able to just propel yourself home with no effort after a big day of weight lifting. 

close up of speedometer on Ride1Up Roadster V2 Gravel Edition electric bike
Sean Booker/CNET

Also, since this bike only has one gear, the throttle is handy on steep hills or to pick up more speed in a hurry. However, because it has five levels of pedal assist, it rides similarly to a bike with six gears. If you're approaching a hill, you simply increase the assist level, just like you would shift down to a lower gear. Even if you're new to single-speed bicycles, the electric motor helps make it a little more familiar.

What helps with all that pedaling is another feature I love on the Roadster, its gate belt drive. In place of a chain there's a belt with teeth along the inside of it. Belt drives are far easier to maintain since you never need to lubricate them and, as a result, don't need to worry about getting grease on yourself or your clothes. Since they only grip inwards, there's no need to roll your pant leg up to avoid it getting caught in the chain. Belt drives are also much lighter and usually provide a quieter ride. 

close up of gears on Ride1Up Roadster V2 Gravel Edition electric bike
Sean Booker/CNET

Considering the Roadster V2 Gravel Edition's design and features, its price is reasonable. However, if you want to save some money, Ride1Up has a standard Roadster V2 (just pick a different color) for a bit less, at $1,095. You lose a few features, including the 160mm disc brakes, and it has road tires instead of 700x42 off-road tires. I prefer the Gravel's disc brakes, but tire choice is going to come down to the rider, so make sure to check out both models and compare for yourself.

Ride1Up Roadster V2 Gravel Edition electric bike on white background

The Roadster V2 Gravel Edition is not only a great entry-level e-bike, it's a great bike for anyone. Its light weight makes it easy to carry and store inside while the gate belt makes upkeep clean and effortless. The Roadster's sleek design helps it blend in with a standard bike and the integrated battery cannot be stolen. Despite its one gear, the five levels of pedal assist should be enough for most people, and if not, the throttle helps out there. Plus, you get all this at one of the lowest prices I've seen on the market, with options to go even cheaper if need be. It's just a fantastic e-bike for the money.

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