After many miles of testing the Priority Embark it has proven to be a fun and lively eBike with a smooth and quiet ride style.
Like other Priority bikes it has a focus on being low maintenance so you can focus more on enjoying the ride.
The drive system combination of the new quiet Bosch Active Line Plus mid drive with the Gates Carbon Drive belt, and enviolo CVT hub is a big highlight of this eCommuter.
The Priority Embark is priced at $3,999 and that includes shipping and assembly from Velofix or a local bike shop.
In this second part of the full review you will get an idea of the ride characteristics, range test results, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this electric bike.
Make sure you check out part 1 of this review with large pictures and specifications to get a detailed look at this e-bike.
What you can expect from the Priority Embark:
To get acquainted with the Embark, checkout this video:
Riding the Priority Embark:
Overall there are some characteristics of the Priority Embark that really stand out when riding this eCommuter. To summarize they are:
- A sporty, light, and lively ride feel
- A smooth and quiet experience
- Clean and low maintenance drive system from Bosch, Gates Carbon Drive belt, & enviolo CVT drive system
The Look & Feel of the Priority Embark
The Embark has a sporty and efficient look that is based on the style of a mountain bike with smooth rolling commuter tires.
That look translates well into how the Embark feels when riding with its light and agile feel.
It is a performance ride style that feels very light when accelerating and the bike feels very quick when standing out the saddle and pedaling hard.
Similarly it cuts into the corners with a stable ride feel and it can maneuver crowded areas with ease.
The ride feel is also one of high quality because it is so smooth and quiet. Combining that with the focus on low maintenance components, the Embark lets you focus on just enjoying the ride.
Commuting and running errands with the Priority Embark is a good use of this bikes strengths.
It is also a good fit for longer exploration rides on the weekend or for eBike touring. Its accessory package is pretty well dialed in and adding a few more items can set it up well for longer rides.
Now let’s take a look at more of the details on the Priority Embark.
Hyfromed aluminum tubing is used to sculpt the frame to place material where it is needed at high stress areas and to provide a good fit for the rider.
You can see the mountain bike style in the frame with it’s sturdy tubing sizes and swooping top tube.
One of the most striking features is the large hydroformed downtube that has a nearly hexagonal shape near the headtube and then is opened in the center to house the Bosch PowerPack 400 battery.
The central and low location of the battery and Bosch mid drive is very good for the overall handling and balance of the bike.
Another highlight of the frame is the motor mount location that has a substantial connection from the downtube, seat tube, and seat stays. The downtube has a huge surface area connection and the seat tube cross section has been enlarged for a larger weld area. The rectangular seat stays also have substantial weld areas at the back of the motor mount.
This all adds up to an efficient feeling when standing out of the saddle and pedaling hard.
Another nice feature is the swooping top tube that allows for an improved fit with more stand over clearance. The Embark comes in 3 different size options: 17″, 19″, or 21″ frame size. The bike in this test is the 19″ frame.
The Gates Carbon Drive belt is another highlight of the Embark as it is smooth, quiet, clean, and it doesn’t require any maintenance.
There is a bolted connection at the seat stay and chain stay connection that can be opened for installation of the Gates Carbon Drive belt and the horizontal dropouts are used for tensioning the belt.
Internal cable routing is found on the top and down tubes of the frame to keep the looks of the bike clean and to provide some protection of the cables.
The fork has a very clean look that blends in well with the frame. It’s large blades match the large headtube of the frame.
The fork features a thru axle that gives the front wheel solid side to side stability and you can feel that when cornering quickly.
Now let’s take a closer look at the ride position of the Embark.
Priority offers 2 different options for the stem and seat. One is a performance style and the other is focused on comfort.
The performance style is the stock configuration and it is the one used in this testing of the bike. The stem has a longer and flatter position for more of an efficient performance ride position.
A WTB Pure saddle is spec’ed in the performance package and it has a narrow profile and center relief that correlates with a focus on efficient riding.
The comfort package uses a shorter and more upright stem that gives you a comfortable heads up position.
The Selle Royale saddle in the comfort package has a wider profile with a gel base for a more comfortable ride.
With the performance package in mind for the bike in this test, the Embark has that mountain bike style position to it with relatively flat and wide handlebars that give you a lot of leverage for steering.
The ergonomic grips has “wings” on the ends to provide a platform for wrist support and they further add to the feeling of stability.
As mentioned before the Embark has a light and lively feel that is somewhat attributed to its quick and stable steering.
It can easily navigate congested areas and it also carves into big corners well with its 650B/27.5″ wheel size.
Speaking of wheels the WTB Horizon 650B PLUS 27.5″ x 1.85″ tires are fast!
Their smooth profile provides a very efficient ride that just keeps rolling.
These tires also add a nice touch of style to the Embark with the tan sidewalls.
When they are run at the lower air pressure range of 35 psi they do provide a bit of suspension effect as well.
The suspension effect from the tires works well for average road roughness but if you frequently ride on rougher roads you may want to consider a suspension fork, suspension stem, and/or suspension seat post.
As mentioned before the drive system is a big highlight of the Priority Embark. The combination of the new Bosch Active Line Plus, Gates Carbon Drive belt, and enviolo continuously variable transmission (CVT) creates a very smooth and quiet ride experience.
The system is very easy to use and it is also very low maintenance when compared to a traditional chain, cogset, and derailleur system.
The new and improved Bosch Active Line Plus is extremely quiet and it doesn’t feel like there is any resistance when the assist is off or when pedaling above 20 mph.
At 250 watts of power (418 watts max) and up to 50 Nm of torque it has an easy going ride feel when compared to the Performance Line motors from Bosch.
It still has some kick in the Sport and Turbo modes and the motor fits the efficient ride style of the Priority Embark well.
There are 4 levels of pedal assist:
As you can see based on the percentages of assist, each level gives you a distinct difference in ride feel.
Eco gives you an easy going assist for maximum range and more of a work out. It is a good mode for navigating crowded urban areas.
At 100% assist, Tour is a noticeable increase in assist but it still provides a relatively mellow feel.
Sport mode at 180% begins to feel pretty sporty! This is a good mode for zipping around town while still getting pretty good range.
For the truly zippy ride, Turbo at 270% is good to use for a fast ride with minimal sweat. It can also be a helpful mode used occasionally for getting through an intersection quickly or for help with getting up a steep hill.
There is also the walk mode that will move the bike up to a few mph for help when walking with the bike up a steep hill or up stairs. The walk mode button is at the bottom of the display and once that has been activated you can add the walk assist with the (+) button on the control pad.
Like all Bosch motors, the Active Line Plus mid drive motor uses a torque sensor, cadence sensor, and wheel speed sensor to detect how much assist to provide and when.
Torque sensing motors blend the motor power with your pedal power in a very intuitive way by following your lead based on your pedal power.
If you are soft pedaling the system adds just a little assist and if you really pedal hard the system give you a lot of assist.
The transitions of adding assist and stopping assist is very smooth and its blend in well with your pedal power.
The combination of your pedal power and the Bosch motor power is transmitted to the enviolo CVT by the Gates Carbon Drive belt.
The Gates Carbon Drive belt is the next level for bike technology compared to the traditional chain. Belt’s are clean, smooth, quiet, and they don’t require any maintenance.
A belt doesn’t require any lubrication so it stays clean and keeps your pant legs clean.
The Gates Carbon Drive belt also contributes to the smooth and quiet ride feel. It is a significantly different riding experience when compared to a chain.
Also, Gates claims that their belts last twice as long as a chain.
Here is a video from Gates with a closer look at their Carbon Drive belt.
Continuing on the smooth, quiet, and low maintenance theme we will now take a look at the continuously variable enviolo Trekking N380 rear hub.
enviolo is a relatively new name but it is a rebranding of NuVinci who has been in the bicycle market for many years.
The enviolo has a look that is similar to other geared hubs but instead of specific gear ratios that are selected it offers a wide spectrum (380%) of ratios between the low and high; hence the continuously variable transmission.
A grip shifter on the handlebar is dialed in to your preferred pedaling cadence much like the volume dial on a radio.
You can make big or small changes with a simple twist of the grip and you can shift while pedaling or not pedaling. That is helpful for adjusting to the best gear ratio for accelerating from a stop.
The enviolo CVT’s are also designed to handle the additional power and torque that eBikes provide and they shift smoothly under power.
Here is a video from enviolo with more info on their CVT system:
According to enviolo, the N380 hub is a self-contained system and it does not require any maintenance.
A Bosch PowerPack 400 lithium (36V 11.1 ah) battery provides the energy for the assist and it also powers the front and rear lights.
As mentioned before it has an ideal location mounted low and centered on the bike. The Priority Embark has a very balanced and solid handling feel thanks to the optimal weight distribution.
The PowerPack 400 weighs 5.60 pounds and it is removed by unlocking it with the supplied key (2 keys are supplied with the bike) and lifting it up and off the frame.
The Priority Embark weighs 44.2 pounds without the battery and that makes it a little easier to load onto a car rack. The total bike weight is 49.8 pounds.
Next up is a closer look at the control center on the Priority Embark.
The Bosch Purion display and control pad is compact yet provides the basic info in a large format. There is a backlight on the display that makes it easy to see day or night.
The pedal assist level buttons (+) and ( –) are also easy to use being positioned very close to the left grip area.
The display provides info on the pedal assist level, current speed, odometer, trip distance, battery level, and estimated range.
It is nice to have the estimated range feature so that you can properly plan your ride. If you need more range you can adjust the assist levels to find the best level for your total ride.
The range is estimated based on the assist level you are using, the current battery level, and what kind of terrain you have been riding on.
If you have been riding for a while in a high assist level going up hill the estimated range will be given assuming those conditions will continue. Once you are over the hill and pedaling in a lower assist on relatively flat terrain it will recalculate the estimated range based on the assumption that those conditions will continue.
After some time with the system you can see the estimated range patterns and be able to estimate how the bike will perform on regular ride routes.
Slowing the Priority Embark down is handled by Tektro HD-M285 hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors front and rear.
The brakes have the solid engagement feel typical of many hydraulic disc brakes and they also modulate well from just a little braking to a quick stop.
The brake lever reach can be adjusted to fit your hand size with a set screw on the back of the levers.
Now let’s take a look at the assortment of accessories that come stock on the Priority Embark.
A highlight of the accessories is the LED lights front and rear that are powered by the eBike battery so you don’t have to worry about charging separate batteries.
The headlight is very bright and does a good job of lighting a dark roadway.
The tail light mounted to the rear fender has a flashing mode that is eye catching and helps with being visible on the road. That may seem like a small detail but there are not many tail lights powered by the eBike battery that have a flashing mode.
Full coverage plastic fenders with mud flaps are a nice addition for staying dry and the frame mounted kickstand has an adjustable height for varying the tilt of the bike when it is parked.
Okay, let’s see how the Priority Embark did out on the open road!
Priority Embark Range Test Results:
Here is the real world information on how the Priority Embark electric bike performed on a riding circuit that includes hills, flats, traffic, wind (when available) etc.
While testing these bikes I like to put them through the toughest conditions to see where their bottom line is in regards to range and speed. I tested the Priority Embark in the highest pedal assist level (Turbo) with average pedaling on paved roads.
Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the Priority Embark traveled 30.2 miles and did a total elevation gain of around 2,400+ ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled an average pace this is good range for a 36 Volt 11 ah battery pack (~400 Watt Hours) with a 250 watt motor assisting up to 20 mph.
Watt hours are the total energy in a battery pack and it is based on the volts x amp hours of a pack. This is a way to compare the size of the “gas tank” of electric bikes.
Please keep in mind that if you pedal more, weigh less than me, ride slower and/or you use the bike in terrain that is not as hilly you will get more range. These results are from tough testing.
Speed: The Priority Embark will assist up to 20 mph with pedal assist.
Weight: The Priority Embark tips the scales at 49.8 pounds which is on the lighter side for an electric bike. Removing the battery brings it down to around 44.2 pounds which makes it a little easier to load onto a car rack.
The weight distribution of the Priority Embark is very good because of the low and centered mid drive Bosch motor and frame mounted Bosch battery.
Light & Lively: The Embark has a very fun sporty ride feel that is light and lively. It has a stable platform that transmits your pedal power + assist into the efficient smooth WTB tires for a zippy ride! It cuts through the corners and it feels agile while maneuvering in crowded areas.
Good Range: 30.2 miles with total elevation gain of around 2,400+ ft. is impressive considering this was using the highest (Turbo) assist level. In easier riding conditions the Embark will go further and this can allow for a longer commute and fun adventures.
Smooth, Quiet, & Low Maintenance: This is one of the big highlights of the Priority Embark because it lets you focus more on the ride experience. The smooth and quiet ride feel is mainly attributed to the combination of the Bosch Active Line Plus mid drive, Gates Carbon Drive belt, and enviolo CVT hub. Plus there is really no maintenance to be done to any of these components.
Price: Considering the full package of the frame/fork, quality & feature rich components (Bosch, Gates, enviolo, Tektro, WTB), and accessories, the Priority Embark is priced well at $3,999.
Suspension: The suspension effect from the tires works well for average road roughness but if you frequently ride on rougher roads you may want to consider a suspension fork, suspension stem, and/or suspension seat post.
The Priority Embark is a lively and sporty eBike that lets you focus in on having fun while the details of the bike smoothly blend into the overall ride experience.
The smooth and quiet ride style combined with the efficient attributes gives it that light, lively, and fun ride feel.
At $3,999 (including shipping and assembly from Velofix or a local bike shop) the Priority Embark is priced well for the rich features and quality (Bosch, Gates, enviolo, Tektro, WTB) that it offers.
Please keep in mind that this is a relatively short term test. This testing can’t really give you the long term review of durability and reliability. My thoughts on the quality of this bike are from previous experiences with similar bikes. If you own this bike and have some input on the long term durability, please share your comments with the Electric Bike Report community below.
Where to buy a Priority Embark? Check the Priority website for purchase and delivery options.
Do you have any questions about the Priority Embark? Do you own a Priority Embark? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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.
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