Trek’s New $2200 “Ride+” Electric Bike Costs About $500 Too Much, It Seems

Well, here they are – they’re the new (to America, anyway) Ride+ electric bikes from Trek.

First off, check out the SF Streetsblog to see yesterday’s scene of San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Eric Mar test driving these rigs at City Hall in the presence of Marin County biking legend GaryBury My Heart At Pine Mountain” Fisher.


Via Gary Fisher’s Twitter

See? It looks exactly like an electric bike, right?

EuroElectricBike2_LRG copy

So let’s talk about what this Trek E-Bike is not. It’s not a ridiculous, overweight, overpriced electric bike from Ultra Motor. Witness that yellow full-suspension rig on the left in this photo from Golden Gate Park? That’s an A2B:


The A2B is, basically, an electric moped. That means the whole concept is kind of an insurance/regulation scam where the pedals are mostly there to show regulators how this thing is not an electric motorbike. So, the A2B is limited to 20 MPH under Da Law.

“Electric Bicycles are defined by the California Vehicle Code. In summary, electric bicycles are to be operated like conventional bicycles in California. There are several exceptions to this. A person must be at least 16 years old, and anyone riding an electric bicycle must wear a bicycle helmet. The e-bikes must have an electric motor that has a power output less than 1,000 watts, is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on level ground, is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to propel the motorized bicycle faster than 20 miles per hour, operates in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged or ceases to function when the brakes are applied, or operates in a manner such that the motor is engaged through a switch or mechanism that, when released, will cause the electric motor to disengage or cease to function. Driver’s licenses, registration, insurance and license plate requirements do not apply. A motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle. A motorized bicycle shall only be operated by a person 16 years of age or older. Drinking and driving laws apply. Additional laws or ordinances may apply to the use of electric bicycles by each city or county.”

So, most people using an A2B would never really pedal. Personally, I’ve never seen an A2B in the wild, being used by somebody for something more than a test drive or a day rental. Oh well.

But the new Trek bike is different in that it requires you to pedal – it will kick in power based upon how much work you yourself are doing. So, select the switch on your handlebar-mounted dashboard to have it add 50%, 100%, 150%, or 200% more power – just like the $899 electric bikes they sell at the Costco. And yes, the Ride+ has regenerative braking.

But here’s the thing – the bike itself, a 7.3 FX, costs $600-something and the electric bits from Bionx or someplace similar go for $1200 retail, so why doesn’t this ebike cost $1700 instead of $2200?

The World Wonders.  

Is this bike 140% better than a Costco eBike? We’ll see.

In other notes, the 32 x 700c Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase tires will probably keep you relatively free from flats on the mean glass-strewn Streets of San Francisco but you might want to get rid of those quick-release skewers. And no front (see comments) fender and no disk brakes, Trek? For $2200, really? (And what would a new battery go for, pray tell? Well, I s’pose we’ll get all the deets soon enough.)

Let’s leave the last word for Gary Fisher:

  • The new bata bike will go on sale in only a few shops in aug for $2200. This bike hauls ass and can be Luged up stairs.5:41 PM Jul 14th from Twitterrific
  • Perhaps you could “luge” it downstairs, but certainly not up. As far as lugging is concerned, GF is correct. Unlike the heavy A2B, the new Trek is luggable.

    All’s that left to do is to see how many supes buy these things when the test drives are over.

    Stay tuned…

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    14 Responses to “Trek’s New $2200 “Ride+” Electric Bike Costs About $500 Too Much, It Seems”

    1. Jeffrey W. Baker says:

      The picture of Supervisor Chiu riding this bike at City Hall yesterday shows a rear fender.

    2. sfcitizen says:

      Good point, as always. Corrected. Muchas

    3. Alisha says:

      I agree that the cost is too high. The Pedego Comfort Cruiser is only $1495 and it has a bigger motor and a 36 volt lithium battery. And it looks cooler!

    4. Brent Meyers says:

      Just curious to know if this “blogger” has ever ridden an A2B. Chances are he has not. If he had ridden an A2B, he would know that it’s quite easy to pedal, and the wide tires combined with the full suspension gives the A2B a more comfortable feel and provides much better handling on urban roads. This blogger should do his readers a favor and properly research something before he writes about it. Check your facts Serpico.

    5. ken sanders says:

      is this not a trek bike with a bionx system on it ?

    6. sfcitizen says:

      Hey, is that an Ultra Motor employee messing with this “blog”?


    7. sfcitizen says:

      It’s being held out as a new model. Fundamentally, it appears to be an FX 7.3 Trek Bike with electrics added on but Trek will sell it as a separate model, Ride+ or some other name starting next month. Gary Fisher says it has parts from Panasonic but I don’t know the all the details. It sure looks like the Bionx system, especially the dashboard.

    8. ken sanders says:

      sfcitizen i found it on another site it is a teaming up of bion x and trek

      Iam a dealer for bion x in canada this is the first i seen of it

      For any one interested a 250watt bion x kit added to a trek navigator is a excellant choice

    9. LEH says:

      No, not Bionx, their system looks completely different. Let’s take GF at his word that this is basically a Panasonic pedelec system since there’s no reason to believe otherwise (and Trek would not be so stupid as to misrepresent a new offering).

      Re price, I’d submit the $500 difference is in the battery pack, which looks a lot like the one Schwinn is offering, made I think by Hitachi and offering very fast recharge capability as well as long life.

      Bottom line: quality lithium battery packs don’t come cheap, and IMO this bike may be a great deal at $2200 IF the pack (and drivetrain) are winners and the battery pack is warrantied accordingly.

    10. Paul says:

      I think they are slightly behind with the prices, new models are coming out every month getting cheaper and cheaper quite rapidly. The difference between $1999 and $2000 is huge to a consumer.

    11. FAAJJ says:

      The battery by itself will cost $1000 extra on the Schwinn

    12. Joe says:

      Eric and Ross are my friends. I also have friends at trek. I’m not biased at all. ok. well just a little. I just test rode the bike. It is well worth $3000.

      Before anyone says anything bad. Take it for a test ride. This bike will change the world this year or next.

      Love it. Love, Joe

    13. ken sanders says:

      so have we found out if this is a trek with Bion X pedal assist on it ?

    14. CD says:

      Yes, this is clearly a BionX-Trek partnership. Se the Trek site for other models.