We received an exclusive preview of the new Pedego Mountain Bike, the Ridge Rider, courtesy of Pedego Irvine owner Bob Bibee. This trail blazing model was more than equal to any ascent we attempted.
The office was agog recently when Bob Bibee, owner of Pedego Irvine, invited five staff members to sample Pedego’s most trail-worthy offering, the Ridge Rider. Bob, a former aerospace senior executive, who had “retired” several years ago to open Pedego Irvine, intimated that he might bring along a bike that was in R & D. Needless to say, this added to our excitement. Those of us who had previous interaction with Bob knew that we would be bombarded with information from the tech-savvy owner as well as regaled with a barrage of interesting stories.
The Ridge Rider is a mountain bike powered by an impressive 500 watt Dapu brushless geared rear hub motor. Pedego is the largest e-bike company in the US and one of a few holdouts which haven’t produced a mid-drive yet. The geared motor is much lighter than its direct drive predecessor and one of the most powerful rear hubs available. The bike has five levels of pedal assist (PAS) with a throttle override for full power on demand at each level plus a throttle-only mode.
The frame comes in one size, medium, which accommodated our group of riders who ranged from 5’4″ to 6’4″. We were surprised to see a Shimano SLX drivetrain and Magura hydraulic disc brakes with 180 mm rotors since this is where many manufacturers “cheap out” on their offerings. The 27.5 inch bike had a Suntour XCR 120 mm travel fork with lockout for those occasions when traveling on smooth terrain, a 48 volt 14 amp-hour battery nicely integrated into the downtube of the frame and an LCD display which provided information about the ride as well as a USB charging device.
The crew rode the Ridge Riders on a variety of terrain from smooth bike path to very bumpy dirt road. The rear motor seemingly disappeared as we scampered along unlike many rear hub models that we’ve tested in the past which exhibited a “tail wagging the dog” behavior. The motor was more than equal to any ascent that we attempted and the drivetrain and brakes performed with the excellence we expected of them. A summation of the ride is that it was a hoot.
We stopped along the way and were entertained by Bob’s humorous anecdotes and e-bike philosophy. When we looked quizzical at his statement that he was retired, he stated “Believe me, I know work and this isn’t it”. Sadly, the mid-drive full suspension bike that we drooled over isn’t on Pedego’s list of products for the near future.