There aren’t many e-MTBs that fall under the $2,500 mark and certainly not ones you would want to ride.
So when the Ride 1UP Prodigy XC came out we had our reservations, particularly because it isn’t one of the more well-known names in the industry.
The bike is a budget trail bike and that doesn’t always spell magic – very cheap e-MTBs can often be rather dismal to ride.
However, this e-MTB on paper looked like it might come as a surprise to us and many others.
Time to find out if it impressed or depressed in our Ride 1UP Prodigy XC review….
An accomplished budget e-MTB, which handles like a much more expensive bike.
With a sleek design and tidy cockpit, this trail bike feels fun to ride, with nimble handling and a low weight.
You also get a powerful motor, a reasonable-sized battery, and it feels well balanced between offering playfulness, without losing out on electrical prowess.
The brakes need improving, as does the drivetrain and display, but for a budget hardtail under $2,500 we think this is a good bike.
Ride 1UP Prodigy XC Review
The Ride 1UP Prodigy XC has a lightweight aluminum frame, which isn’t always something you see.
The overall weight figure is impressive – the bike comes in on the scales at only 22kg and that allows it to remain reasonably playful.
The handling feels light to manipulate and the bike feels composed in technical, twisting trails.
It isn’t the most aggressive bike geometry-wise, but there is still enough of a fun factor to get you well out of beginner trails and forest roads.
It’s well balanced, allowing newbie riders the ability to hop aboard and feel comfortable, while also offering a little extra spice for intermediate riders to enjoy the bike too.
It’s a really good option for beginners who want a bike that will start them off, but also cope with your advancements in skill level in the months and years to come.
The bike won’t feel comfortable on wild downhill lines or big drops, but it can still feel comfortable on a fairly fun standard trail.
The design is another admirable factor, the bike doesn’t look like a budget model – it actually looks refined and sleek.
The e-MTB comes in one frame size, with basic adjustable options for your seat height and handlebars.
There are also two other versions of the Ride 1UP, a city bike version called the ST and XR, which is more of a touring-style bike.
ℹ️ We’ve reviewed the standard Wild M20 in this blog, but there are many added extras and upgrades you can introduce at the point of purchase to try and reduce the overall weight and increase the playfulness.
The Ride 1UP Prodigy XC comes with a Phylion battery – which we don’t see on many top e-MTBs, so we were curious to see how it would perform.
It certainly doesn’t have the seamless user experience of a Bosch or Fazua, but it isn’t terrible either.
The model on the Prodigy XC has 504Wh at its disposal, which won’t offer you all-day assistance, but we found we could push out around 80km on undulating terrain.
For most riders in the early stages of their career, that is more than enough and the battery coped well on the climbs too, without draining too rapidly.
There is also good news when it comes to recharging the battery – it only takes around 4 hours to juice back up from empty.
It’s a well-balanced offer from Ride 1UP. If they lumped a monster battery on there then the bike’s weight figure would suffer and the price would go up.
By going with a less expensive battery manufacturer they’ve also managed to keep the price down, without impacting the user experience enormously.
That provides enough juice to get you up some of the steepest inclines and given the bike’s reasonably low weight, it makes the bike an adept climber.
Thanks to the reasonably playful handling, the bike also feels nimble on technical climbs too.
The power output is phenomenal, but the delivery isn’t always the smoothest or most consistent, which can be an issue if you aren’t cautious.
Worth remembering if you’re riding on a particularly sketchy route or if there are any big hazards nearby.
It takes a little getting used to, but when you find the right balance of assistance, you can begin to harness its power.
There is only one mode of assistance, which is a downside and means you can’t opt for a lower power level, as you can with many more expensive e-MTB models.
Overall though it’s pretty decent.
We aren’t pleased with the display on the Ride 1UP Prodigy XC.
Our pet hate is a display that doesn’t provide your battery life as a percentage and the Brose Display Allround on the Prodigy XC falls into that trap.
You get 5 LED lights instead and that creates range anxiety because you never have a true figure or understanding of where your battery health is up to.
Other than that, you only get data for your speed and the amount of kilometers you’ve covered.
It’s underwhelming, but could be an easy fix if the company decides to upgrade to a better model and it won’t impact too much on price.
The Ride 1UP Prodigy XC is a hard-tailed e-MTB, which means there is no rear suspension.
At the front end, you get 120mm of travel in the custom-made forks, which allow you to cope with a degree of excitement on the trails.
Suspension components often come at a cost, so it’s understandable that Ride 1UP has opted for a fairly simple front-end set-up and a hardtail.
There are benefits to the fixed rear end – it makes bikes pacey and ensures you keep up traction on the climbs.
However, it does limit you when it comes to rowdier trails and it certainly keeps you well out of any technical descending.
Given this is an entry-level bike, we think the suspension set-up offers enough to suit most new riders and a level above.
ℹ️ If you want to venture into heavy-hitting terrain, such as downhill routes, jump parks or other rowdy trails, then this isn’t the bike for you. The suspension simply won’t cope.
The Ride 1UP Prodigy XC is fitted with a pair of 27.5-inch wheels.
The wheels are a custom product, which remains lightweight despite their aluminum compound.
The 27.5-inch wheel size is another factor that keeps the bike feeling playful – they allow you to nimbly twist and turn, without being cumbersome.
The bike is fitted with Maxxis Forekaster tires, which are reasonably simple in terms of performance.
They do enough to offer decent traction, but without excelling.
The Ride 1UP Prodigy XC is fitted with a basic pair of Tektro brakes.
It’s another obvious sign of where the company kept the price down – the brakes feel sluggish and slow to act at times.
Brakes can often be expensive, particularly if you go for a top-end SRAM or Shimano model, so we can understand why Ride 1UP has gone for the Tektro option.
For entry-level riding, they do enough and won’t be under too much pressure.
Ride 1UP Prodigy XC comes with an 11-speed Shimano Alivio drivetrain.
The 11-gear set-up is another limiting factor, which could hold back a less fit rider on some of the climbs.
However, with that 90Nm of torque in the chunky motor, it definitely takes the edge off the 11-speed issue.
We always prefer seeing a 12-gear bike though.
Price - $2,395
We think the Ride 1UP Prodigy XC is a decent bargain.
It’s a budget bike, which performs well above its price tag – offering a decent amount of fun, without being too complex for a beginner.
You also get some decent electrics, with a well-balanced battery and a powerful motor.
There are aspects that clearly perform like a budget bike, such as the brakes and display, but overall, you’re getting a bike that stands out from the competition in its price bracket.
Ride 1UP Prodigy XC Facts & figures
|RIDER HEIGHT RANGE
|MAXIMUM SEAT HEIGHT
|MINIMUM SEAT HEIGHT
|TOP TUBE LENGTH
|HEAD TUBE LENGTH
|SEAT TUBE LENGTH
|HEAD TUBE ANGLE
|SEAT TUBE ANGLE
|XC - Step-Over with Front Suspension
|120mm Travel, 32mm Stanchion diameter, Air Suspension, Hydraulic Lockout
|microSHIFT Advent SL-M819
|microSHIFT Advent RD-M619
|Shimano Alivio 11-34T
|KMC e9 EPT, Mid-drive Chain
|42T Narrow-Wide Alloy Chainring
|Tektro HD-M745 180mm Hydraulic
|ST & XR Frame: No Rise, 23° Sweep 31.8mm Ergonomic Bars
|Wake, Smooth Alloy 10° 50mm 31.8mm Bar Clamp
|Velo Locking Rubber Ergonomic Grips
|Selle Royal SRX
|Uno SP-719 350mm x 31.6mm Dual Bolt
|Buchel Shiny 80, Ultra-bright 80 lux headlight
|Maxxis Forekaster 27.5"x2.4"
|Maxxis Forekaster 27.5"x2.4"
|Black Stainless Steel, 13G
|Brose TF Sprinter German made mid-drive motor with 90nm torque
|36V14ah Phylion BN21, Samsung Cells, Smart BMS
|Brose Display Allround, 1.5" Color
|Brose Integrated Torque Sensor
How Does it Compare?
The Ride 1UP Prodigy XC is featured in our Best Electric Mountain Bikes Under $3,000 list, so we have decided to compare it to another bike that made the cut.
The bike we’ve gone for is the FLX F5 Trail.
The FLX F5 trail is another cheap e-MTB, made for entry-level trail riding.
Let’s start off looking at the weight comparison – the FLX F5 Trail weighs in at 27.67kg, which is considerably heavier than our Ride 1UP Prodigy XC, which comes in at 22kg. That’s a 5.67kg difference and you feel it in the handling.
The FLX is far more cumbersome to handle and move around. That makes it much less playful and nimble, taking away a lot of the fun factor that you get in our Ride 1UP.
However, it comes with a much larger 840Wh battery, which provides a big range, dwarfing the 504Wh model on our Ride 1UP.
The FLX also comes with a monster motor – with 120Nm of torque, larger than our 90Nm model on the Ride 1UP Prodigy XC VS XR. Both are huge motors and we think 90Nm is enough, however, the 120Nm on the FLX helps reduce the impact of its weight on the climbs.
The FLX has a better motor display too, with an exact percentage figure shown, unlike our Ride 1UP.
It also comes with 130mm of travel in its Suntour XCR forks, which you need to cope with the bike’s weight, but it isn’t too dissimilar from the 120mm custom forks we have on the Ride 1UP.
Both bikes come with a hardtail and both have 27.5-inch wheels.
The FLX Comes with a pair of Magura MT5 brakes, which are better than the Tektro components on our Ride 1UP. Meanwhile, the FLX only comes with a 10-speed Shimano gear set-up – that holds it back and makes it feel sluggish, compared to the 11-speed set-up on our Ride 1UP.
The FLX costs $2,699, $304 more than our Prodigy XC, which comes in at $2,395.
Both bikes have their pros and cons – if you want a monster range, go for the FLX. However, if you want a bike that feels more playful, handles better, and feels more fun to ride, then go for the Ride 1UP.
The Prodigy XC just shaves it for us.
The Ride 1UP Prodigy XC is one of the best budget e-MTBs out there.
It looks the part and has some outstanding handling qualities for a bike in its price bracket – it's nimble and playful on the trail, which opens the bike up to being ridden by a newcomer and an intermediate rider.
It’s helped by the bike’s low weight, without compensating too much in the battery department and it still has a powerful motor.
There are some corners cut to keep the price down, such as in the brakes, drivetrain, and display, but we would expect that on a bike at such a low price.
We’re impressed by Ride 1UP’s achievements and enjoyed test-riding it.
We recommend it as a decent option if you’re on a budget of under $3,000 – if that’s you, go out and give her a whirl.