Monkey Review: Pedego Ridge Rider
We ride the new Pedego mountain bike up one of the steepest climb in Utah and throw it around in the snow. Here’s what we think:
Pedego has been working on their new electric mountain bike, the Ridge Rider, for a while now. As with all Pedegos they don’t start selling a model until everything is just right. During the Ridge Rider’s design, we even helped out a few times over the phone since Utah is known for some epic mountain biking.
Since Pedego does not have model years, the Ridge Rider was introduced late summer 2015 and we couldn’t wait to get it out on the trails for some fall mountain biking. Initial impressions were favorable. The bike handles well, has good balance and is pretty nimble on the trails. 27.5 is an excellent wheel/tire size: more nimble than 29ers and better rolling than traditional 26s. Way to go Pedego!
Paul Auclair, Technical Manager at Pedego Electric Bikes took great care to give this EMTB the right components. Magura hydraulic brakes are a first for Pedego along with the Shimano SLX 20 speed drivetrain. An air assisted Suntour XCR suspension fork is a nice touch as well. The electrical cables have threaded metal connectors that will withstand the rigors of off road riding. The bike has a little more upright riding position than other mountain bikes but it strikes a good balance between upright riding and trail handling confidence. Customers have asked us to raise handlebar stems on other bikes in the past but we haven’t had that request with the Ridge Rider.
Pedal Sense® Technology
Pedego has come up with something new in the ebike pedal assist arena: Pedal Sense® Technology has 6 levels accessed by pushing buttons on the LCD display. Level 0 is completely off so you can ride this electric bike as a regular bike but still have the electric system on at your fingertips. Level 0 is great for flying down technical hills. Levels 1-4 have a torque sensor that delivers power from the motor proportional to how much pressure you apply to the pedals. We’ve ridden many pedal assist systems out there and the Pedal Sense torque based system is very smooth and delivers assistance without feeling jerky. We’re really impressed. Level 5 is the traditional Pedego cadence pedal assist which means that as long as the pedals are moving, you’re getting equal assistance. Level 5 is a great level for fast riding and commuting. Level 6 is pure throttle. You can pedal along to help the throttle but you wont get any electronic pedal assist help other than twisting the throttle yourself.
The Fun Stuff!
Now that you know all the technical stuff, we’re going to tell you about the fun stuff. We put the bike on our Kuat bike rack and carried it high up into the mountains above Salt Lake City. The Wasatch Crest Trail is an awesome single track trail that flows on the top of the ridge between Brighton Ski Resort and the Deer Valley – Park City area with epic views of each side of the mountain.
Absolutely fantastic views! But in order to experience these views, one must mountain bike or hike from the Guardsman Pass road up Scott’s pass or whats affectionately known by the locals as ‘Puke Hill’. There are many assorted stories out there on this steep climb. 382 feet of elevation gain in just over a half a mile and you end up at almost 10,000 feet above sea level. Even seasoned mountain bikers have been known to push their bikes up the last part of the climb. Skim through the video below to get a feel for it.
Keep in mind, this video shows a regular mountain bike climbing this steep hill, NOT the Ridge Rider. We want you to get the feel for this steep climb on a conventional mountain bike but know that the Ridge Rider made it simple. See below for results.
Okay, now that we’ve established the steepness of this climb the best we can on the Internet, we know you’re dying to know how the Ridge Rider did, right? Remember the pedal assist levels we spoke of previously? The Ridge Rider climbed Puke Hill in Level 2 up until the final stretch where we switched into Level 3 for the rest of it. Didn’t even touch Level 4 and we weren’t in the lowest mechanical gear yet either. And the motor was not even warm when we arrived at the top! It was a joy to climb with. Still a bit of physical work (which we were hoping for) but we were definitely not out of breath and could enjoy the scenery too.
Verdict: If the Ridge Rider can climb Puke Hill, it can climb your hill!
Having so much fun on this bike, we decided to try it in the snow. Even with the stock Kenda tires we were able to blast through several inches of snow and even make it up powder covered hills.
As you’ve seen, this is a very capable electric mountain bike that will happily tackle any terrain you throw at it. If you can handle the ride, this Pedego will handle the trail. Being a Pedego, we knew that it would be a great ebike but the Ridge Rider has exceeded our high expectations.
We’ve really been enjoying the Ridge Rider. It is a fun, capable, well-built eMountain bike but also does great in the urban commute arena. It’s fast, smooth and sure footed. If you were to have only one bike in your collection, the Ridge Rider is the all around winner.