I’m particularly happy to bring up an electric bicycle (e-bike) that fits in the under-represented sub-$1,000 entry price level. The Populo Bicycles Urban enters this rare and illusive rarefied e-bike market rarely mentioned in mainstream news, and which is one the most hotly discussed items on the comment sections of almost any forums, CleanTechnica not withstanding. Why? Drum roll… price, doh!
The Sub-$1K Electric Populo Bicycles Champions Entry-Level Market!
Although Populo Bicycles might not be on the media’s most wanted list, and sadly the same can be said about the sub-$1K e-bike market segment, Populo Bicycles announced an exciting sub-$1,000 Urban e-bike that should raise a blip on the news media radar. Although the demand in the sub-$1K market has always been strong, it has never been well-represented, at least not the way the $1,000 to $2,000 and the $4,000 to $5,000 segments are. It has historically been dominated by news of battery fires due to wrong chargers, conversions, and other more efficient bang for your buck upgrades. One fine site to pick up on the e-bike world is the Electric Bike Review, which is geared toward user input rather than news feeds and marketing driven campaigns.
The Urban Populo E-Bike
If you hadn’t heard of Populo Bicycles, the company offers a lineup of no-nonsense electric two-wheelers, as well as three e-bikes the company calls the Urban, Scout, and Lift. With no derailleurs to tune and no shifting to tweak over time with the Urban, this almost maintenance-free e-bike gives you something you can ride without much maintenance worries. The Populo Bicycles Urban will most likely be ridden hard, all the time, under almost all conditions, anywhere, everywhere. It might find even more success if it makes its way into the fleet world where it would then be known as a workhorse.
With a choice of eight power settings accessible from the handlebar-mounted controller, available as soon as you pedal, the Populo Bicycles Urban e-bike is a perfect first-time buying experience for most people. This entry-level e-bike is a perfect buy for a budget-oriented first-time buyers, as well as for those wanting another more affordable e-bike as a spare. Have you ever been stuck without your e-bike? It’s a strange feeling, I tell you.
With a good choice of two-wheeled products, ranging from the Sport, priced at $999.00, the Scout at $1,200, and the Lift at $1,300, the company also has more to offer in the form of an electric scooter, which is more of a motorized Razor, as well as regular bicycles.
Urban Populo E-Bike, Technically Speaking
Although it’s easy to dismiss performance from first looks, the Urban actually offers a lot, with the price taken into consideration. The maximum level of help sets the pedal-assist of the e-bike’s Sport mode to 20 mph, according to the California Class I e-bike category. All of this is thrusted by a 250W electric motor, fed by a Panasonic Lithium-ion 36V, 8.7Ah battery pack giving this 36 lb (16.5 kg) e-bike a 30-mile range (48 km).
The HL 36V, 250W brushless direct drive RoHS Certified electric motor displays information via the Smart LED Screen where you can view it on the handlebar.
Although minimalist in approach and design, its essential, no-frills, no nonsense design looks might explain how it could seriously disrupt this sleeping entry-level market.
Urban Populo E-Bike, Amenities
A new feature that is a welcome addition is a new frame size increase, with now 4 overall sizes instead of the original 3. A water bottle was added on top of the seat tube. The Urban rides on 700×28 tires with cartridge brake pads for faster and more accurate pad changes.
Urban Populo E-Bike Finally Opens The Entry-Level Market
Price being what it is in this budget-conscious segment, shoppers in that market segment can expect the Populo Bicycles Urban to shake things up a bit, as well as hopefully jump-start the ever lethargic entry-level e-bike market, which is so crucial to helping e-bikes take off faster.
In the meantime, you can check out Populo Bicycle on its social media accounts on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest. The Electric Bike Review also offers a review of the Populo Bicycles Urban here by none other than Court.
The Populo Bicycles Urban, Scout, and Lift Raises Entry-Level Choice
Choice in the sub-$1,000 e-bike market is slim, and the Populo Bicycles Urban certainly strikes a high note in that under-represented market segment. Overall, the Populo Bicycles challenges your entry-level e-bike conceptions of quality and affordability.