ARIEL RIDER C-CLASS COMMUTER EBIKE REVIEW
Ariel Rider is famous for providing high quality electric bikes at very affordable price and their new C-Class is no exception to it. It is an affordable mid-drive commuter electric bike with high end configuration. It is a very good alternative to other commuter e-bikes such as Radcity by Rad power or Blix Vika. Let’s check it more in detail;
MOTOR OF ARIEL RIDER C-CLASS
Ariel Rider is using a powerful mid-drive motor produced by Dapu Motors. Dapu is a Japanese company and supplying motors to companies. First of all I have to admit that I am surprised to see a mid-drive motor at this price electric bike. It’s price is only 1799 which is slightly more expensive than Radcity but you get a very advanced mid-drive motor.
Most of e-bikes at this price range are using hub motors and even some are using entry level less advanced Direct drive hub motors such as Rad City.
MID DRIVE MOTOR GEARED HUB MOTOR DIRECT DRIVE HUB MOTOR
It is a 48V 500w mid-drive motor and it has 95 Nm torque. This is one of the most powerful mid-drive motors we have ever tested. You can check the comparison of this motor with other mid-drive motors such as Bosch mid-drive motors.
As you can see it is even more powerful than top of the line Bosch Performance Line CX motor in terms of torque. And it has same top speed with it 28 mph. But is it better than Bosch motor or other famous mid-drive motors. Unfortunately I can say it is more powerful but can’t say it is better. It is smoother to ride Bosch mid-drive motor but still you get all advantages of a powerful mod=drove motor at a very affordable price.
I tried to climb steep hills and Ariel Rider C-Class managed to climb all without letting me pedal harder. And you can even climb moderate hills by using throttle only. Yes you hear me right C-class is a mid-drive electric bike throttle mode. But in order to operate it you need to make the pedal assist level 0 and then use it. It doesn’t have throttle only mode.
I need to warn you about certain points about this motor. It has torque sensor and cadence sensor so motor is continously measuring your pedaling power and deliver the support whenever you need. But it lacks gear shifter sensor. So try not to pedal for half second when shifting gears. It can damage drivetrain as this e-bike mid-drive motor is way too powerful.
BATTERY AND RANGE
Ariel Rider C-Class has a standard battery pack of 48V 12ah capacity. It isn’t a big battery pack compared to other e-bikes such as Radpower Radcity.
But we have to keep in mind that it has a mid-drive motor. Mid-drive motors are famous for being efficient. On average a mid-drive motor is 60% more efficient than a hub motor. if you are going to compare the capacity of mid drive e-bike with a hub motor you need to multiply it by 160% to give you a fair idea.
Bosch has two battery packs 400wh and 500wh. Ariel Rider comes with 576wh battery pack which is around 15% larger than biggest Bosch battery.
Battery pack looks like a standard one that you may see on many e-bikes. That has advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantage is not looking unique. It looks like a standard e-bike that everyone has. But advantage is you can buy spare battery at very cheap price. You can order from Aliexpress or other 3rd party battery suppliers exactly same battery without paying premium to your e-bike supplier.
Ariel Rider’s range with full battery is 55 miles. This can be longer or shorter depending on pedal assist level you choose, terrain you ride, rider weight, wind direction, how many stops you make, whether you use throttle or not, tire pressure, etc… If you want to have a greater range you need ride on low pedal assist level and in that case you can maybe have longer ranges too.
Battery charger is very standard and has nothing to praise. It is a 2A charger so you may need 4-5 hours to fully charge your e-bike battery. If you need to charge your battery often and can’t wait that long I will advise you to invest for a spare battery charger. I personally have one charger at office as sometimes I forgot to charge my battery at home. So I can charge it at office and I won’t need to worry about whether I can return without running out of battery.
I need to tell another advantage of mid-drive motors compared to hub motors. If you run out of battery riding a mid-drive motor is much easier than riding a hub motor.
Battery and range is impressive for this priced e-bike but charger is really very standard and I wish It comes with a better charger.
Battery is the single most expensive part of your electric bike. They are highly engineered parts but still need certain care and maintenance so you can use them for longer duration.
- When not using your e-bike keep the battery level between 20% and 80%. If charge level stays over 80% for long duration they will have stress. And if you keep them below 20% for long duration your battery charge level can go down to critical levels. And you won’t be able to charge them again.
- Try to keep them indoors so they won’t be affected to outdoor environment. Also keeps them away from thieves.
- Extreme hot or cold are enemies for your batteries. Remember your high school chemistry courses. Temperature and humidity may affect chemical reactions. And as our batteries work on chemical reactions, extreme temperatures may change chemistry of your battery cells.
- High End electric bike batteries have lot of safety measures but still it is important to keep your battery away from inflammable liquids in case something bad happens. Having a smoke detector nearby the place you charge your e-bike is also highly advised.
BRAKE OF C-CLASS
Hydraulic brakes are becoming the industry norm as they have many advantages over conventional mechanical brakes. And Ariel Rider C-Class comes with hydraulic brakes. Unfortunately they are entry level Tektro brakes. So don’t expect the performance you will get from Magura or higher end Shimano hydraulic brakes.
Don’t get me wrong Tektro brakes are also very reliable but sure they aren’t Magura but I also don’t expect to see such high end brakes at an e-bike at this price point.
I think having Hydraulic brakes is a “MUST” if you are planning to buy a commuter electric bike as they are easier to operate as most of the work is done by hydraulic liquid in the system. In mechanical brake you need to apply high force to have a higher stopping power. But hydraulic brakes don’t need. This will make your ride safer especially in situations where you need to make sudden stops.
Besides hydraulic brakes have closed system in this way you don’t need to worry about mud or dust getting into the system. But in mechanical brakes you need to clean them. It isn’t that bad but I really enjoy having luxury of not needing to maintain and clean my brakes and they are still working perfectly.
Also brake pads are evenly pushed by pistons so you don’t need to do adjustments in your hydraulic brakes. But if your e-bikes are using mechanical brakes calipers push rotor on asymmetrical way and you will hear some quirky sounds once in a while. It means you need to adjust your caliper and rotor. Again it is pretty easy to do those adjustments in high end mechanical brakes but not needing to do is again better than doing once in a while.
I appreciate Ariel Rider offering hydraulic brakes but as said before they aren’t high end hydraulic brakes so I can’t give them a full point. You won’t need those high end hydraulic brakes on your e-bike unless you want to ride it downhill off-road. But still there are several hydraulic brakes much better than what you will have on Ariel Rider C-Class
DRIVE TRAIN OF ARIEL RIDER C-CLASS
When I look at the price I was expecting an entry level drivetrain such as Shimano Altus or at best mid-level one such as Alivio. But I am surprised to see a high-end drive train by Shimano, Nexus 8 Speed Internal Gear Hub.
Similar electric commuters at this price point are using Shimano Tourmey such as Radcity. When you look at the price of both drive trains, you can see the difference;
– Shimano Tourney 7 Speed : 20.00
– Shimano Nexus 8 Speed Disc Brake : 230.00
But why there is such big difference? One reason of price difference is material being used. Shimano uses cheap materials on entry level products to keep costs low. And those won’t last for long time. But there are other reasons why internal geared hubs are more sophisticated systems.
Why Internal Geared Hubs are better than conventional derailleurs?
Internal geared hubs starting be popular especially in commuter bicycles and e-bikes. Previously derailleurs were dominant drive-trains as older internal geared hubs lack the gear range that derailleur has. But current internal gears offer same or even better gear ratios than 21 speed cassette derailleur system.
Your expectation from a commuter e-bike is not different than a car you will commute with. You want it to be maintenance free, operate smoothly, able to use roughly and don’t create surprises. For those reasons most of the high-end commuter bicycles in countries like Netherlands and Denmark are using internal geared hubs. They are reliable, easy to operate, need little or almost zero maintenance and adjustment. Let me explain them in more detail
- Can Shift in Stationary position. This is for me the biggest advantage. As you may need to stop when climbing uphill such as stop at a red light. You can lower your gear and start your ride very comfortably.
- Reliability : As all moving parts are inside a sealed unit, they aren’t subject to exterior elements such as water, mud, dust or etc… You can always count on your internal geared hub.
- No Bend or Breaking : Derailleurs hang down from your e-bike and they are vulnerable to impacts. This happens to all of us when making sharp turns or loading our e-bike to car rack. If you bend your derailleur, you may need to adjust it again but if it is broken then you may end up changing it which will cost a lot.
- Maintenance free : You only need to maintain your chain and lubricate it. Also check tension on your chain. Other than that you don’t need to clean, lubricate or adjust your internal geared hub. Also as your chain isn’t moving from one cog to another, you can use your chain much longer compared to a derailleur system.
I appreciate Ariel Rider C-Class is using Nexus 8 speed as one problem that I see on internal geared hubs is limited gear range. You can feel it in e-bikes that has 3 or 5 speed internal gears. They can’t keep with the speed of the e-bike and you may end up empty pedaling. You won’t experience it on Nexus 7 and Nexus 8 drive trains. Nexus 8 Speed has excellent range of gears which is even better than 11-34 cassette derailleur. And shifter is like a throttle and very easy and smooth to operate.
COMFORT OF ARIEL RIDER
comfort of a electric commuter bike is very important. There are certain things that make Ariel Rider a very comfortable electric bike but also some points which I need to criticize.
It has a suspension fork which is Suntour brand. Suntour is making entry-mid level forks. And for a commuter e-bike you won’t need a fork with a bigger travel. As you won’t be using it on rocky trails. Most of us will ride our e-bike on pavement or easy trails and this fork will absorb all the shocks and let you have a very comfortable ride. For this fork my only disappointment is not having preload adjustment.
Ariel Rider C-Class also has a suspension seatpost on standard configuration. So if your commute road is not in perfect condition or you need to pass through speed bumpers you will appreciate having such suspension seat post. It won’t let you feel those shocks. It is measured that suspension seatposts are 7 times more effective in absorbing shocks compared to solid seat posts.
Saddle is pretty comfortable as it uses memory foam padding. Personally I prefer softer saddle padding such gel ones. So I am not extremely satisfied with the saddle but this is really a personal choice. I have friends who hate those gel saddles. So if you are like me, then I advice you to invest one of those gel saddles.
It is a step-thru electric bike and is easy to get on and off Ariel Rider but position of battery make this process little bit awkward. You need to be careful when getting on the bike. If you aren’t careful your leg may hit it.
Riding position is very comfortable as it has an upright riding position. Also it has an easy adjustable stem so you can adjust the position, height and angle of handlebar without any tool within few seconds. So you can change your riding position from sporty to more comfortable even during your commute
I can easily say Ariel Rider is a comfortable electric bike with fairly large tires, suspension fork, suspension seat post, upright riding position. Only complaints as said above is fork not having preload adjustment and position of the battery.
CARGO PRACTICALITY OF C-CLASS
It has an impressive cargo capacity. Rear rack is integrated and welded to the frame which has around 60 lbs capacity but I can easily see carrying heavier goods. The large tubes seem to be able to handle 100-110 lbs on rear rack. I don’t suggest you trying limits but rear rack seems capable of carrying heavier load.
It has an integreated front rack-basket which is good to carry small packages or your bags.
Rear rack has pannier bag hangers on both sides. Also it has bungee rope which comes standard with the e-bike and you can fix certain type of goods such as yoga mat.
It has cafe.frame lock bolts but seems it doesn’t come standard with C-Class. I am big fan of these locks on commuter e-bikes. During your commute you may need to stop for duration for different reasons such as buying your groceries or take away. And we don’t want to take off a big lock from our bag and lock our e-bike each time. With such locks you only need to turn the key and you are free to do what you want. These locks aren’t as strong as some heavy duty locks so don’t advice to count on only them when you park your e-bike for long duration.
Ariel Rider C-Class is very practical to use and has an impressive cargo capacity. Sure there are e-bikes with better cargo capacity such as Riese Muller but in the end it gets a very good score from me.
OTHER COMPONENTS OF ARIEL RIDER C-CLASS
c-Class is a feature rich electric bike and I can say it has everything I look in an electric bike and somethings even I don’t expect in such price e-bike. Let’s first list positive parts
- Easy Adjustable Stem
- Full Fenders
- Front and Rear Lights
- LCD Display
- Suspension Seat post
Now let’s talk about parts which I don’t like or can be improved.
- Doesn’t have any USB port
- Headlight can be stronger
- Bell looks very entry level. I advise you to replace it with better bell.
- Pedals are ok but not impressive. So if you are riding on wet days better invest in a non-slippery pedals.
I can give a solid 8 point here as it has almost every component that I am looking for. But as mentioned before I can’t give a full point if there is still room for improvement especially if it lacks a USB port.
PRICE AND VALUE OF ARIEL RIDER C-CLASS
It is an affordable e-bike with price tag of 1799. It is only 300 more expensive than Rad City. But to give a comparison it offers mid-drive motor, Internal geared hub, suspension seat post, hydraulic brakes and other higher end products. So in terms of value it can be the best value e-bike that I see this year.
Similar configuration electric bikes are sold around 3,500 and more.
TOP ELECTRIC BIKES FOR COMMUTING
You can also check our list of top electric bikes for commuting where we review several electric bikes such as;
- Riese Muller
- Trek Super Commuter
- Tern GSD
- Blix Aveny
- Rad City
- Magnum Premium Folding E-bike
- Ariel Rider C-Class
OVERALL SCORE OF ARIEL RIDER C-CLASS
- Mid-Drive Motor
- Internal Gear Hub
- Comfortable Ride
- Hydraulic Brake
- Suspension Seat post
- Affordable Price
- Battery Position
- No USB port
- No Preload on Fork
- Need to Order Online
If you are thinking to buy an e-bike for commuting, then Ariel Rider C-Class can be a perfect option for you. It is a very good e-bike regardless of the price. And when you count in the price of this e-bike then it is a very good deal. You get a high end mid-drive motor, high end internal gear and more only for 1799.
You can order or review more from the website of Ariel Rider.
Ariel Rider Grizzly Review: Conquer Any Terrain with Style and Power!
The Grizzly is the newest scrambler ebike from Ariel Rider, basically doubling the ride power of its predecessor, the Ariel Rider D-Class. It has the same, super fun design, with retro, ‘chopper-style’ handlebars, and e-moped build but it has been amped up compared to other moped style ebikes to offer dual motors, dual batteries and dual suspension. Not for the faint-hearted, it packs a powerful punch and more than earns its 3299 price point.
If you plan to purchase from Ariel Rider, using our affiliate link supports our efforts. Read on for our written review or check out our in-depth Grizzly video review below.
Ariel Rider Grizzly Video Review
click for larger view
Two custom-built, Bafang-hub motors each have 1000W nominal and 1850W peak power. This dual motor technology means riders can choose all-wheel, or front or rear drives, with a simple switch at the left handle. These options make for easy adaptations for terrain, riding styles or even conserving battery. But engaging both motors is what turns up the fun factor.
A front frame-mounted battery adds 15AH to the 20AH from the under-seat battery at rear, providing a total of 52V 35Ah of capacity (1820 watt-hours). Batteries can be charged on or off the bike and have useful LED meters on each casing, visible without removal. The included 5 amp charger is a major win, enabling full charge in 3 or 4 hours at front and back, respectively, compared with a wait of 7.5 to 10 hours for the standard 2 amp ebike charger.
Although the bike ships with the Class 2, 20 MPH limit, it is possible to switch it up to the Class 3 speed of 28 MPH and beyond. Our 225 lb tester easily cruised up to 36MPH, but be sure to ride responsibly and within the limits of local laws. Ariel Rider estimates a range of 35 to 75 miles, though this figure falls the more both motors and full throttle are used.
Battery and speed info is also shown on the attractive color LCD backlit display. Another nice feature is an access passcode.
Dual Shocks and Other Components
Mighty, dual, spring air shocks provide a nice, cushy rear. They can be adjusted to suit rider weight via air valves – which do need a shock pump, rather than regular bike pump – and small spanner wrenches. And the inverted, motorbike-style front fork – with a sturdy dual crown – give great dampening up top. Added ergonomics are even found in the cushioned, faux-leather grips.
It’s comforting to find quality, hydraulic Tektro brakes and levers on this capable ebike. The brakes include motor cutoffs which immediately cut power to the motor when applied. A guarded Shimano Altus, 7-speed, derailleur is fairly standard but, in reality, this is not a deal-breaker for such a powerful bike that’s not necessarily best suited for pedaling. Equally, although it would have been nice to see an 11/32 or 11/34 sprocket, the 14-34T “MegaRange” Shimano rear freewheel, with 52 tooth front chainring, is fine, again, in light of pedal-power use.
The impressive, moto-style integrated headlight is one of the brightest on the market. And the headlight and taillight can both be automatically activated via the display.
Custom seats are available, via suppliers like JB Seats (pictured above), giving more room for passengers – who have their rear pegs pre-installed. Be warned that the custom seat tested seemed to carry heat when operating at full throttle. Ariel Rider’s supplied single banana seat falls a little short but an extension can be purchased.
Puncture-resistent 20″x4″ CST tires with reflective sidewalls are also worth a mention. For such a high-performance ebike, it’s also worth considering supplementing them with a tire liner, such as those offered by Tannus (use code: TANNUSXEBE for a discount at checkout).
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The Grizzly is a beast of an ebike with dual motors and unheard of battery capacity. Its Rapid acceleration and power potential make it unwise for a first ebike ride however. Although the unadjustable seat compromises riding positions for pedaling as most moped style ebikes do, it’s all worth it for such a fun and stylish ride.
Be sure to check out all of our Ariel Rider reviews to learn about other offerings
Ariel Rider N-Class W-Class Electric Bike Review [VIDEO]
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The cruiser is one of the most beloved forms of bicycle. Visit any laid back community, resort or beach town, and you’ll see more cruisers than anything else on two wheels.
The bikes welcome less experienced riders with their smooth, forgiving shapes and fat tires. Most of the bikes are probably ridden less than a handful of city blocks at a time.
Heavy bikes with low saddles and limited gear ratios don’t make very good companions for long distances or getting places fast.
I once rented a cruiser in a foreign country to ride 30 miles each way to a trade show. Having the time, I thought “I can do this.” I returned the bike that night exhausted, chafed and aching.
Adding electric assist to a cruiser changes everything, though. Now, the right cruiser can cover distance at speed and opens up a whole new word of possibilities for the beloved ballooner.
Ariel Rider N-Class (left) and W-Class (right) electric bikes
Ariel Rider is an ebike brand started three years ago by brothers Arda and Berk Onal. Before that, they had three more years of experience in the ebike business. As a competitive triathlete, Arda brought passion and knowledge of cycling to the team.
The Ariel name was revived from the famous English company that started with bicycles and went on to produce motorcycles until 1967. Starting in Spain, the Onal’s have expanded through Europe and Asia and are now launching in the USA.
That Ariel Rider is a company formed by designers is evident in the bikes they’ve brought to the US market. The N-Class and W-Class machines are both richly dressed in style and ergonomics that demand attention everywhere they go.
I prefer to FOCUS reviews on the less tangible aspects of ebikes like feel and ride attributes, so let’s get the technical bits out of the way.
The Technical Bits
The bikes are pedelecs, with a twist-throttle override on the right grip.
Pedelec, in this case, means the assist will kick in when sensors in the crank let the system know the pedals are turning. When you want to sit back and get some boost without pedaling, just twist the throttle.
Their 500 watt rear hub motors are powered by 48 volt Samsung battery packs. The system generates 48 newton meters of torque.
Near the left hand grip is the digital display where the rider is able to toggle through six levels of assist.
The W-Class battery is removable, while the more integrated battery on the N-Class is not. The charger itself is a cell-balancing unit that gives full charge in about four hours, giving either model a range of 25-40 miles.
Drivetrains on the models are basically the same. The Shimano Altus 7-speed hardware should last through years of heavy use on bikes like these. To cruise in style you want to pedal slow and feel the flow. There’s never a need to grab a fistful of shifter. Spend your time in the tall gears and let the other riders struggle for a change.
When it comes time to slow down, Avid BB7 disc brakes supply all the stopping power a rider of any size – going any speed – requires.
This takes us to heart of the Ariel Rider bikes – their frames. The frame is the skeleton of a bike and gives it shape, structure and strength. Like any active machine, you can’t add a bunch of muscle to a weak skeleton and expect results.
The Ariel Rider’s 6061 aluminum frames are built plenty stout for their intended purpose. The quality of their welds look top notch – especially for bikes in their price range. Perhaps even more important, they are welded up straight.
The bikes tracked well at all speeds and passed my “No Hands Over 40mph” test with flying colors. It may sound silly, but that’s a really important test.
I’ve had to flunk bikes at the 22mph mark. Whether you ride no handed or not, you want to be on a frame that runs straight and true and these Ariel’s did.
The front fork does gives the bikes a totally unique, soft, springer-style look from it’s paralever design. It’s only for looks and does not provide any spring.
The bikes don’t need any spring in the fork and it’s probably better in the long run that they don’t. I do like the looks of the design and it performed perfectly well in the ride testing.
Topping off the lines of the fork is a wonderful looking headlamp that Ariel Rider designed with a company named Spanninga. Powered by the main system battery and delivering a strong 20 lux, the lamp is another example of efforts of the Ariel Rider design team.
On the subject of lighting, both bikes have red taillights integrated in their rear fenders. The lights function as brake lights too, turning brighter under braking. Another nice touch and a safety feature Ariel Rider is the first company to use on an ebike.
The N-Class and W-Class are both available in either Comfort or Premium build kits. Both bikes in this review were Premium builds. Premium gets you a springer fork and genuine leather saddle and grips.
The standard fork for Comfort N-Class is a hydraulic suspension for we didn’t get to test, and a solid fork on the W-Class. Upgrading to Premium tacks on about 200 to the N-Class and 250 to the W-Class model.
Is it worth it? It depends how far you want to take the classically vintage styling of these rides. I can’t say that going Premium added ride comfort, but it does graduate the looks of the bikes beyond what the additional price tag indicates. If it were my personal ride, I would undoubtedly go Premium Class.
On to the Riding
This is where the balloon rubber meets the road. While I’ve owned plenty of cruisers over the years, they’ve been for friends and guests to ride. If I can’t easily go at least 20mph on a bike, especially on the street, I don’t feel engaged and it feels like it’s taking too long to go from point A to B.
The Ariel Riders can be limited to 20mph, but they can also be set to dial all the way up to about 28mph. Somewhere in those ranges riding a cruiser becomes a lot more fun – and practical. Distance and time is shortened and the bike becomes a realistic form of transport.
I have to wax poetic on styling once more. I’ve always been into aviation. Watching World War II footage where a siren goes off in the barracks at an allied air base and pilots scramble to their planes by bicycle never gets old to me. I feel inspired by the romance of the period and the use of the bikes.
The Ariel Rider models invoked similar feelings. Whether they’re in the form of bicycles, ebikes or motorcycles, part of a cruiser’s job is to stir something from the past. Somehow it helps the imagination come along for the ride.
On this day our test route took in some amazing scenery and some ideal cruiser paths. We eventually veered off on a route I doubt any cruiser bike has attempted. I want an ebike cruise to feel as close to flying on a bike as possible.
On a curving, narrow path at along the Deschutes River in Central Oregon, the Ariel Riders were at home. The ergonomics of the bikes allowed for comfortable, upright viewing. Lower saddle and bars helped the bikes settle in and take corners like they were on rails.
The up-tempo pace brought on smiles as we ate up the miles. It wasn’t hard to imagine popping off brisk, 10 mile jaunts to grab coffee and run errands. Just one trip like that could see one of these bikes go as far as most standard cruisers probably travel in a year. The use case for electric assist cruisers like these has been dramatically expanded.
Turning off the curves of the bike paths, we pointed the Ariel Rider’s toward the sky. The 8% grade coiling up the volcanic butte provides a solid test for any bike. Both Ariel Rider machines gnawed their way up the climb without protest.
With a 200 pound test rider aboard, the rear hub motored Ariel Rider bikes aren’t exactly going to set time records up such an ascent. The fact that such a climb was handled on cruisers – I would guess for the first time ever – shows that the boundaries for what a cruiser ride can be have changed.
These may not be bikes you want to load 80 lbs. of groceries and go climb 12% grades, but urban cruisers with a messenger bag or backpack won’t need to shy away from the climbs.
The N-Class bike offers another unique feature that sets it apart. The plastic tank/battery cover can be customized. Resorts and hotels that have brought in the bikes have chosen to customize with their colors and logos.
Ariel Rider sources these materials from BASF. Logos and colors go on flawlessy and are extremely durable. These aren’t stickers. The BASF process infuses the designs into the plastic.
The N-Class Comfort is priced at 2,899 and 3,099 for Premium. The W-Class comes in at 2,300 in Comfort and 2,550 in Premium. Compared to other ebike cruisers in their class, both Ariel Rider’s represent solid values. Attention to those subtle design details adds up.
Some cruiser brands cut too many corners shooting for the sub to mid 2,000 range of the market. Any bike consistently ridden at 20-28mph needs to be built to higher standard than run-of-the-mill pedal cruisers. Ariel Rider is bringing a high level of build quality to the US cruiser market.
The bikes are well spec’d and offer unique features that do help them stand apart. They nailed the styling and ergonomics on these bikes. The fact that they are put together well and handle their top speeds in stride.
Those are qualities no amount of styling can make up for. The N-Class and W-Class are a solid foundation for Ariel Rider to carve a deserved spot in the US ebike cruiser market.
Ariel Rider N-Class Specs
Stated Range: 25-40 miles
Frame: Aluminium frame.
Frame Size: One size, fits riders 155-205cm tall.
Motor: 500 Watt Brushless Hub Motor
Battery: Integrated Samsung 48V 11ah (528 Wh) lithium battery.
Assist Options: 6 pedal assist options; throttle
Display: LCD display with information on: battery level, current speed, pedal assist level, trip distance, odometer.
Drivetrain: Shimano Altus 7 speed system with rear derailleur.
Brakes: Avid BB7 Disc
Weight: 62 pounds / 28 kilograms
Color Options: Beige, Black, Red
Price: Comfort Series: 2,899 USD / Premium Series (reviewed): 3,099 USD (Premium upgrades to genuine leather grips and saddle and Springer style fork)
Ariel Rider W-Class Specs
Stated Range: 25-40 miles
Frame: Aluminium frame.
Frame Size: One size, fits riders 155-205cm tall.
Fork: Comfort Series: Rigid fork / Premium Series: Steel Springer Style
Motor: 500 Watt Brushless Hub Motor
Battery: Removable Samsung 48V 11ah (528 Wh) lithium battery.
Assist Options: 6 pedal assist options; throttle
Display: LCD display with information on: battery level, current speed, pedal assist level, trip distance, odometer.
Drivetrain: Shimano Altus 7 speed system with rear derailleur.
Brakes: Avid BB7 Disc
Lights: 20 Lux, Spanning front lights, Spaninga Rear Brake Lights
Weight: 62 pounds / 28 kilograms
Color Options: Beige, Black, Red
Price: Comfort Series: 2,300 USD / Premium Series (reviewed): 2,550 USD (Premium upgrades to genuine leather grips and saddle and Springer style fork)
Review Note: Each company pays a fee for a review on Electric Bike Report because of the considerable amount of time that it takes to provide an in-depth review of each eBike. A lot of time is spent on the full range test with distance elevation profile, the wide variety of detailed pictures, in-depth video, and the write up with the specifications, ride characteristics, pros, cons, and overall thoughts. The reviews on Electric Bike Report are focused on providing you with a detailed “virtual” look at each eBike to help you determine if it is the eBike for you or not.
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
looking for reviews/ availability of bikes suitable for those of us who because of age or injury etc cannot lift over the high bar to mount the bike? (i.e. looking for ‘girl’ bikes- no offence to women riders who don’t care about the bar) also looking to buy in Canada and need repair parts easy to find here
Buy a good step through bike that fits you and your needs and add a Bionx hub motor. There appear to be a lot of bike shops (at least in BC) that can assemble the two, or you can follow the instructions and do it yourself.
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Some things simply never go out of style. The classic bicycle is one of those things, and while the traditional model is always appealing, it’s hard to argue with an updated version that adds an electric motor for an extra burst of speed and power.
When it comes to Ariel Rider, you get the best of the bunch – a beautiful blend of the comfort to be found on classic beach cruisers, along with the classiness of café racers and the style and quality of old-school craftsmanship that you might have thought went out of fashion long ago.
Ariel Rider Ebikes started after the Onal brothers visited Holland and realized bicycles could provide a daily commute option instead of cars. Other countries, though, did not have the same terrain, climate or infrastructure to support massive bike use, so the brothers decided electric bikes would expand the available options for commuters. Most current models lacked any sense of style, so they created their own versions, where old-school charm and style meets new-school technology.
As a company, Ariel Rider believes that electric bikes offer an efficient – and enjoyable – means of transportation for busy professionals. Stress release is much more fun on an Ariel Rider!
As citizen of Earth realize the damage they are causing to the environment, they are looking for sustainable options for the products they use, but they don’t want to (and shouldn’t have to) give up style points as they do it.
That’s where Ariel Rider comes in. With distribution in 26 countries and one of the only electric bike companies with the “Green Business Seal,” Ariel Rider is making a difference in the world while designing innovative new bikes according to their riders’ needs.
Ariel Rider is available in three different classes of models. The flagship N-class is styled in comfort like a classic beach cruiser. It’s the most powerful Ariel Rider Ebike, with a 500 W motor producing the highest torque and power in its class – 45 NM and 50 km/hr top speed.
The W-Class is a classic California cruiser with intricate details and a creative design. It includes a hydroformed aluminum frame, spring forks and a 7-speed drivetrain that gives you a simple, maintenance-free ride.
The C-Class (for City and Commuting) is built especially for daily city commuters – it eliminates all the excuses you might have for riding a bike to work. It includes your choice of utilitarian front baskets on the ebike – you can stack pizza boxes, carry a suitcase and gym bag, and more. The company has even designed an ingenious coffe-cup holder for those who can’t wait until they reach the office to get their caffeine fix.
Ariel Ebikes feature lightweight but robust double heat treated frames. Their innovative Japanese motor technology causes the bikes to reach speeds of up to 50 km/hour. From Ariel Riders’ skilled welders to stitchers for leather accessories, employees pay close attention to every detail that goes into every part of the bike. They take pride in providing the best e-bikes anywhere.
Ariel Riders’ Smart displays don’t just measure your distance travelled and current speed – they also show you how much battery power you have left and they do double-duty as control panels where you can adjust the level of pedal assistance needed, find the speed limit and more. The bike’s advanced self-diagnosis system will automatically tell you if the bike needs to be checke.
Other features that set Ariel Rider apart include extended battery life and unparalleled safety measures to make sure you are ready for any situation that may arise on the road.
Buy Ariel Riders EBikes
If you are interested in the most stylish, best-performing electric bikes around, it will pay to look at Ariel Rider. range from 1,899 to around 3,000, with several makes, models and options available.
Shops are located around the world. Check out the company’s website for locations and to contact the company through the form on the contact page.
Saracen Ariel 50E Elite review
Saracen’s Ariel 50E Elite is the brand’s only electric mountain bike and is aimed squarely at the all-mountain and enduro categories. It features 29in wheels front and back for sizes large and extra-large or a mullet setup with a 27.5in rear wheel for small and medium frames.
Its single-pivot linkage-driven suspension gives 150mm of rear-wheel travel, damped by Fox’s heavy-hitting DHX2 Factory rear shock and paired with a 160mm-travel Fox 38 Factory fork. It’s fitted with a host of descent-ready parts, including Shimano’s 12-speed XT M8100 drivetrain and four-piston brakes.
Shimano’s latest EP8 drive unit, with 85Nm of torque, is powered by Shimano’s 504Wh battery, giving it the smallest capacity in this year’s Bike of the Year category.
Saracen Ariel 50E Elite frame and suspension
Built from Saracen’s Series 3 custom-butted hydroformed 6013 aluminium, the Ariel’s straight tubes look slender compared to other electric bikes, helped by the straight line drawn along the length of the top tube and seatstays. The frame features internally routed cables, bottle cage mounts on the top side of the down tube and in-built chainstay protection. From the factory, the large and extra-large frames are fitted with 29in wheels both front and back, while the small and medium bikes get a 27.5in rear-wheel mullet configuration. However, the bike’s linkage is convertible, which means either wheel-size combination can be run on any of the frame sizes. The rear axle uses the 12x157mm Super Boost spacing rather than the standard 148mm Boost width.
Saracen’s Signature TRL suspension layout uses a single-pivot design with a linkage to drive the shock. It features 150mm of frame travel delivered via a coil-sprung shock. According to Saracen’s shock force graph, the Ariel 50E has a rate of progression that increases in an almost linear fashion through its travel, indicating that it’s well suited to the fitted coil shock. Anti-rise is high, sitting between 125 per cent at full travel and just over 95 per cent at bottom-out. This means the bike’s suspension is more likely to compress or stay neutral when the rear brake is applied. At sag, which is roughly 30 per cent of its travel, anti-squat sits at 107 per cent and 124 per cent in the 10t and 51t cassette sprockets respectively. This means the bike should resist suspension compression, known as bob, caused by pedalling forces.
Saracen Ariel 50E Elite battery and motor
It’s powered by a Shimano EP8 and 504Wh battery, the smallest in this year’s Bike of the Year test. Andy Lloyd / Our Media
The Ariel 50E Elite is fitted with Shimano’s EP8 motor, with 85Nm of torque and 250W of power, and is powered by Shimano’s own 504Wh-capacity battery. Identical to all other EP8 motors, it has three riding modes (Eco, Trail, Boost) and a Walk mode. The modes’ outputs can be tuned in the Shimano e-Tube Project smartphone app when it is connected to the bike via Bluetooth.
Saracen Ariel 50E Elite geometry
The geometry looks impressively modern on paper. My size-large test bike has a 505mm reach figure – the longest of all the bikes on test – and lengthy 465mm chainstays with a 1,304mm wheelbase. These are coupled with a steep 76-degree seat tube angle and a 65-degree head tube angle. Bottom bracket height sits at 343mm, which is low for a 29in-wheeled bike. These figures should make the Ariel 50E a hard-charging, highly capable descender better suited to enduro riding rather than trail-centre laps. However, the head angle is a bit of an outlier; I’d usually expect to see a slacker number mated with the bike’s other figures.
|Seat angle (degrees)||76||76||76||76|
|Head angle (degrees)||65||65||65||65|
|Seat tube (mm)||370||410||460||510|
|Head tube (mm)||115||115||125||140|
|Bottom bracket drop (mm)||25||25||25||25|
Saracen Ariel 50E Elite specifications
For the most part, the 50E Elite is built using top-spec branded parts. Fox’s Factory 38 and DHX2 dampers are welcome, highly capable choices, and the XT M8100 drivetrain and brakes are well-suited to the bike too. The DT Swiss HX 531 rims, built on XT hubs are good, reliable wheels. The 50E Elite features a Race Face carbon Next R bar and alloy Turbine stem combo, and the KS Lev Integra dropper has 150mm of travel.
We had to replace the rear EXO casing tyre with a DoubleDown version after ripping its carcass beyond repair. Andy Lloyd / Our Media
The dual-compound EXO-casing Maxxis tyres seem an odd choice, however. I suspect they’ve been specced to keep weight and cost down, but the thin casings aren’t suited to ebike use and the dual-compound rubber isn’t as sticky as the Maxxis 3C, although the Minion DHR II tread pattern is a top performer. My large test bike weighed 24.03kg without pedals.
Saracen Ariel 50E Elite ride impressions
The Ariel has long reach and chainstay figures, but lacks outright stability on steep descents. Andy Lloyd / Our Media
I tested the Ariel on my home trails in Scotland’s Tweed Valley, also used for the UK round of the Enduro World Series. Testing happened over a period of several months in conditions ranging from full-winter wet through to blown-dry dust including one of the driest Januarys on record.
Saracen Ariel 50E Elite setup
Thanks to the Fox 38 fork and Fox DHX2 rear shock, the 50E Elite was easy to set up. I inflated the fork’s spring to 98psi, installed three volume-reducer spacers and turned the compression and rebound adjusters to fully open. The rear shock’s stock 450lb/in spring gave 16mm of shaft sag (24.62 per cent), which, thanks to the linear spring rate, is slightly less than I would run on an air shock with a volume-adjustable spring to increase progression.
However, on the trail the 450lb/in spring felt as though it offered a good balance between a supple beginning stroke, impressive mid-stroke support and plenty of bottom-out resistance. I inflated the EXO casing tyres harder than I would compared to versions with sturdier casings in order to increase tyre stability and protect against pinch-flat punctures.
Saracen Ariel 50E Elite climbing performance
The coil-sprung shock helps the rear suspension flutter over small and mid-sized bumps with a super-responsive feeling, improving climbing traction and seated comfort. This makes the Ariel 50E great fun to blast around on riding worn-out trail centre runs because the rear end does a large portion of the heavy lifting in smoothing out the trail. Thanks to the suspension kinematics, it doesn’t blow through its travel on larger hits and compressions. This made it possible to pump and flow my way down trails where speeds exceeded the assistance limit, and also reduced the see-sawing feeling that bikes that blow through their travel can create when ridden through successive compressions at speed.
The hard-compound tyres dug into soft mud well and rolled quickly on hardpack surfaces. However, they struggled to provide grip on slick rocks or roots, where the motor’s power quickly overwhelmed the traction on offer. The higher pressures required to improve carcass stability also contributed to some pinginess on particularly rough trails – a trait easily mitigated by upgrading to heavier-duty, better-damped tyres. Its generous wheelbase, created by a long front centre and chainstays, augments the Ariel’s climbing prowess. Pointed uphill, only the biggest weight shifts upset the front-to-back balance, and I was surprised at just how far back my weight needed to be to make the front wheel lift or the steering become vague.
With the amount of bike that was both fore and aft of me, my weight was distributed evenly between the wheels, improving the amount of easy-to-apply grip. This also helped reduce fatigue, because I had to do less work to keep the Ariel tracking in the right direction compared to shorter bikes. If I was being picky, the seat tube angle could be marginally steeper to improve ascending performance further, especially given the lengthy top tube means there’s more than enough room inside the front triangle to adjust the angle.
With the smallest battery out of the ebikes in this year’s test, the Ariel’s range was disappointing. Although it was possible to crack 1,000m of elevation change on a single charge of the 504Wh unit, care needed to be taken with mode usage, and I found myself constantly keeping an eye on the battery charge display. Riding in groups where others had larger-capacity batteries was frustrating, because I was often in a lower assistance mode, either going slower than them or working harder to keep up.
Saracen Ariel 50E Elite descending performance
The Ariel shows masses of potential on the downhills. As on the climbs and flat sections, the rear suspension provides excellent smooth traction, absorbing small bumps with total proficiency, while also providing enormous amounts of bottom-out resistance to cushion harsh landings. There’s also plenty of mid-stroke support to pop and push down the trail. The nodding effects of under-damped or unsupportive suspension were resisted, and the bike’s chassis remained stable over undulations down the trail. My body’s weight distribution remained balanced and was easy to maintain in its central position, helping boost grip and control.
Thanks to the long wheelbase, combined with the supportive suspension, on faster, less steep tracks the Ariel remained calm and composed, and only the chunkiest, roughest terrain really destabilised it. Despite that, its low overall weight helped improve nimbleness, and changing direction quickly was much easier than the wheelbase and chainstay figures would suggest. This is helped by the incongruous – in the context of the rest of the bike’s geometry – head angle, which is steeper than I would have expected. However, the head angle also proved to be one of the Ariel’s Achilles heels. When the trails became steeper, the front end was surprisingly easy to overload with weight in sharp, steep, on-the-brakes turns, or when riding off large, slow-speed drops to flat.
Despite the frame’s long reach encouraging a forward-biased riding position, and the Fox 38 fork being more than up to the job of providing plenty of support, I ended up compensating for the relatively steep head angle by pushing my weight off the back of the bike. While this helped reduce the feelings of an overloaded front wheel, it also made the Ariel’s steering become skittish and harder to control, increasing the chances of the front end tucking underneath me in high-load situations. A slacker head angle would increase the amount of load a rider could put through the front wheel and would match the rest of the bike’s figures.
Finally, the thin sidewall, harder-compound tyres accentuated an occasional lack of control and grip on steeper trails. They struggled to provide enough chemical grip on wet, slippy roots or predictable mechanical bite on softer trails, thanks to the higher pressures required to support the carcass, which was all too easy to deform. I punctured the rear tyre multiple times during the test period, eventually replacing it with a Maxxis Minion DHR II with MaxxGrip compound and DoubleDown casing.
How does the Saracen Ariel 50E Elite compare?
Most of the Ariel’s geometry figures make it seem closer to a thoroughbred electric enduro bike, such as the Whyte E-180 RS or Giant Reign E, rather than a trail bike. However, the Ariel doesn’t quite offer the same levels of competence on the steepest and gnarliest terrain as the category’s leaders. That’s mostly down to the comparatively steep head angle and compromised tyres. When ridden back-to-back with these bikes, the Ariel feels more suited to trail riding rather than enduro thrashing. In terms of travel, it’s got the same figures as the Specialized Turbo Levo. And although its geometry is longer in all other aspects than the Spesh, the Turbo Levo has a slacker head angle.
This drives home the point that every one of a bike’s figures needs to be spot-on for it to ride well. The small 504Wh battery is disappointing and unless Saracen changes its frame’s design, it can’t be swapped out for the bigger 630Wh unit, due to a considerable difference in battery size. Bar the tyres and battery, the rest of the bike is well-specced and needs no upgrading, representing good value for money.
How we tested
Despite this being the inaugural edition of our eMTB Bike of the Year test, we’ve had plenty of experience testing ebikes to their absolute limits. That means finding out which of these eight bikes is the best electric mountain bike currently on sale was made a little easier. Although that’s not to say our job was simple, and choosing a winner came down to the wire, where the second and first place bikes swapped positions more times than we checked our tyre and shock pressures. The majority of the ebike testing happened in Scotland’s Tweed Valley, home to the legendary Glentress trail centre, Golfie enduro tracks and Innerleithen downhill runs. The terrain we tested the bikes on, therefore, was wide in scope and representative of what a modern enduro bike should be able to handle, whether that was gravity-fuelled laps on the DH tracks, epic enduro missions with long descents or gruelling trail rides with hours in the saddle. To win this year’s test, we were looking for a bike that offered the best all-round package with fewest compromises and was able to perform on every type of riding we could throw at it. In an ode to a bike tester’s cliché, it had to descend like a downhill bike, pedal and climb like a cross-country bike and be as comfortable to ride as an enduro bike.
Saracen Ariel 50E Elite bottom line
The Ariel has most of the ingredients needed to create a top-performing bike.
It’s good value for money and is fitted – for the most part – with a host of drool-worthy parts, including Fox suspension and Shimano’s EP8 motor.
It nearly scores a home run with its geometry, thanks to a lengthy reach, wheelbase and chainstay figures, but these are let down by an unfittingly steep head tube angle, which seemed to cause issues on the steeper and gnarlier trails the Ariel is claimed to be designed for.
Unsuitable tyre casings and compounds for the bike’s weight and intended use, along with the small battery, tainted usability and were a compromise too far.