Affordable, easy to use and snazzy looking!

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The Propella 7S electric bike is many things. It is easy. It looks good. It’s affordable. The only thing it isn’t is overly complicated. This e-bike is as basic as it gets and that’s part of what makes it so appealing as a commuter e-bike.

If you remember our review of the Propella SS 4.0 last summer, you are already familiar with the key aspects of the Propella 7S.

The SS is simply the single-speed version of this bike and is otherwise mostly identical.

While I’ve enjoyed the SS as a great urban e-bike for flat cities, the 7S model has a 7-speed gearbox that’s sure to be praised by commuters who live in hillier areas and who want the option of mountaineering downshift or upshift flatland speed.

You can watch my Propella 7S test ride in my short video review below. However, for an even more in-depth analysis, read on afterwards for all the details.

Propella 7S e-bike video test

Specifications of the Propella 7S

  • Engine: 250W (400W peak) Bafang rear hub motor
  • Top speed: 30 km/h
  • Area: 32-64 km (20-40 mi) depending on pedal assist level
  • Battery: 36V 7Ah (250Wh)
  • Charging time: 2.5 hours
  • weight: 16.8kg
  • Frame: aluminum alloy
  • Brakes: Shimano mechanical disc brakes
  • Tires: CST XPEDIUM 700C x 35
  • Extras: LCD display with speedometer, battery level indicator, PAS level indicator, odometer, trip meter, 5 speed settings, rack/fender mounting points, alloy handlebar ends, metal pedals, compact charger
  • Price: $1,249 (but sometimes on sale for $1,099)

Everything you (almost) need and nothing you don’t need

When it comes to the Propella 7S, you need to get on this e-bike and know what it is and isn’t for.

This is an urban oriented e-bike, which means it’s meant to be light and efficient. Weighing in at 16.8kg, it weighs significantly less than many other urban e-bikes we’ve seen.

It’s not a powerhouse, as it has a relatively small 250-watt motor, but it still puts out a peak of 400-watts to give you that extra power you need when accelerating or climbing hills.

But this isn’t a motorcycle dressed up as an e-bike. This is the quintessential electric bike designed for pedaling. It’s a class 1 e-bike, which means it doesn’t have a throttle and only works with pedal assistance. You have five levels of pedaling assistance to choose from, ranging from level 1, where you get most of the work done, through to level 5, where you basically just spin the pedals lightly and let the motor do the work for you.

At full speed it gets you to 18.5mph, which might sound like an odd number but it’s probably there because it equates to 30mph. I would have loved to have seen them give us the extra 1.5 mph allowed under Class 1 e-bike laws as 20 mph would have felt perfect. But still, you don’t really notice that much of a difference, and the slightly lower top speed probably helps squish an extra mile or two in range.

The small and light battery might not sound like it has much capacity, measuring just 250Wh, but these Samsung cells appear to be sipping energy through a coffee stirrer rather than a milkshake straw.

If you keep it in level 1 or 2 pedal assist, you can pretty much ride all day. However, if you use the high-performance mode most of the time, you should expect your range to drop from 40-ish miles to closer to 20-ish miles.

Pedal assist at level 5 will yield even less, but I rarely ride around in level 5 because it just doesn’t require much pedal input. Instead, Level 3 seems to be my ideal spot to feel like I’m part of the process but not push myself so hard that I break a sweat.

Propella 7s electric bike

So, between the 400W top-of-the-line motor and the 250Wh battery, the bike seems to have a pretty decent electric side.

But what about the mechanical side? The minimalist aluminum frame is adorned with narrow urban street tires and sexy blue anodized rims. The blue bar ends match the rims and add a nice accent to a smart looking e-bike. Add in the 7-speed transmission and grippy Shimano disc brakes and you have some very nice and effective parts for a budget oriented e-bike (typically priced at $1,249 but currently on sale at the time of this review) . for just $1,099).

The two big things that I feel are missing from the bike are fenders and LED lights. To be fair, Propella has a line of fenders and rechargeable LED lights that they will sell you. You can also pick up a porter while you’re at it.

But I always love to see these parts in commuter e-bikes because they are such important components. I’ve also filed the same complaint against other popular lightweight urban e-bikes, so Propella is far from the only one I’ll mention in this regard.

The other thing I’ll ping Propella about is charging a $50 shipping fee. I’m not saying it’s not fair. To be honest, they will almost certainly pay more than $50 to ship the bike to you. But free shipping (i.e. shipping included in the price) has become almost standard across the entire e-bike industry in the US, so I would have liked to see that here to make it easier to compare the bike’s price to other companies.

But all in all, Propella still did a great job of creating an effective and attractive e-bike for the urban commuter. Not only is it one of the few e-bikes in this near-$1,000 price range that really looks good, but it comes equipped with name-brand parts despite the entry-level price. Shimano brakes and shifters, CST tires, Samsung battery cells, Bafang motor. All the big names are there in place of the cheaper knockoffs.

So props to Propella for making a sleek looking, easy to ride and easy to use electric bike that comes at an affordable price.

If you need the comfort of a multi-speed bike, but still want something minimal and classy, ​​you can hardly go wrong here.

The only riders I want to warn about are those who have their hearts set for either suspension or high power. For everyone else, this bike is definitely one to keep on your list.

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