Propella 2.2 Electric Bike Review Part 2: Ride & Range Test [VIDEO]
After many miles of testing the Propella 2.2 is has proven to be an agile, light, and fun performance eBike with an economical price point.
At 38.4 pounds this “fixie style” eBike is one of the lighter eBikes on the market and you can feel that when you ride this efficient road style eBike that glides on the road and carves into corners.
The bike in this test is the 7 speed version that is priced at $1,199 and Propella offers a single speed version for $999.
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 Propella 2.2:
To get acquainted with the Propella 2.2, checkout this video:
Riding the Propella 2.2:
Overall there are some characteristics of the Propella 2.2 that really stand out when riding this electric bike. To summarize they are:
- Light, agile, & efficient ride feel
- Simple, clean, & stylish design
- Performance ride position
The Look & Feel of the Propella 2.2
The core of the Propella 2.2 is the aluminum frame & fork that are designed with the “fixie” bike style that is similar to a road/track bike.
Fixie bikes originated from track bike racing and became popular with bike messengers looking for a fast and simple bike for zipping around the city quickly.
The Propella 2.2 eBikes have taken a lot of style points from the “fixie” bikes to create this agile, efficient, and stylish eBike that is good for maneuvering the urban environment quickly.
Since these bikes are similar to a track racing bikes they have a performance design that is built for going fast.
The ride position is lower and somewhat stretched out for aerodynamics and handling of this road style bike.
The frame is built with aluminum tubing that has some internal cable routing for cable protection and cleaner looks.
The Propella 2.2 is offered in a 19″ frame size that Propella states will fit riders between 5-2″ and 6-4″ but it is ideally designed for riders in the 5′-4″ to 6′-2″ range.
The fork is also constructed of aluminum and it has an aerodynamic style with the blades tapering back.
The 2.2 comes in any color as long as its black. (Henry Ford reference)
What does add style and color to the 2.2 is the deep dish blue anodized rims that come from the “fixie” style bikes.
They are definitely a highlight of the 2.2 because of their style but they also add some additional visibility to the bike which is a good for being seen on the road.
Speaking of extra visibility, the Kenda 700c x 32 tires have reflective stripes on each side for help with being seen at night.
These tires have an efficient road tread pattern that really make the 2.2 feel like it is gliding down the road.
The Kenda tires are wide enough to feel stable on the road and the bike has a nice carving feeling when leaning into the corners.
Most road/track bikes have a drop handlebar but fixie style bikes usually come equipped with the straight handlebar.
The handlebar on the 2.2 is a straight with about an inch of rise for a slightly more upright position and the width provides enough leverage to easily maneuver the bike through busy areas.
The bike does have a comfortable ride position considering that it is focused on being a performance bike with an aerodynamic ride position that is somewhat similar to a road bike.
If you are looking for a more upright position an adjustable stem can help to dial in your preferred handlebar height.
Along the lines of performance riding is the narrow saddle that is good for pedaling efficiency but it is not the most comfortable saddle for casual cruising rides.
Adding to the style of the bike are blue accent lines on the saddle and the grips.
The combination of the 2.2’s performance design, narrow tires, and flat bars creates a very agile ride feel that makes it a fun bike for riding in urban areas.
It is also a good eBike for getting in the zone and racking up miles on the open road.
And like almost all bicycles, you generally trade comfort for a light and efficient bike.
With the rigid aluminum frame and fork, narrow tires, and performance style saddle you can definitely feel a lot of the bumps and cracks in the road.
There are options to help smooth out the ride if you want. For instance a suspension stem and/or suspension seatpost can be added to smooth out the ride on rougher roads.
Now let’s take a look at the pedal assist system.
A Bafang 250 watt (350 watt peak power) geared rear hub motor provides pedal assist up to 18mph.
There are 5 levels of pedal assist and the assist is based off of a cadence sensor located at the cranks.
Pedal assist levels 1 through 3 are good for casual cruising around the neighborhood or when riding in crowded areas where you may not want a lot acceleration.
Assist levels 4 and 5 definitely give more of a kick and help you up to the 18mph pretty quick and these are good modes for zipping around town.
There is also the walk mode that provides assist up to a few mph and it helps when you are walking the bike up a steep hill or stairs. It is activated by holding the down arrow button on the control pad.
The Propella 2.2 falls into the Class 1 category of electric bikes because it is pedal assist only (no throttle), less than 20mph of assist, and less than 750 watts of power.
Because of its riding efficiency it is easy to pedal above the 18mph assist limit on flatter terrain.
The Bafang motor is relatively compact in size and it blends in well with the overall look of the bike.
Like almost all geared hub motors this motor does create a whirring noise that is most noticeable at the lower speeds. The noise does dissipate a bit at the higher speeds when the wind noise over powers it.
Adding the pedal assist starts after about a 1/4 turn of the cranks and it stops the assist a second or two after pedaling stops.
It takes some time to get used to the assist continuing a little after pedaling has stopped. If you engage either brake lever the assist will stop immediately because there are sensors in each brake lever that will cut the power from the motor.
The drivetrain on the bike in this test is the 7 speed system with 46 tooth front chainring, 14t to 28t Shimano cogset, and Shimano Altus rear derailleur.
This gear range works well for all around riding that includes some steeper hills.
Propella also offers the 2.2 in a single speed version that can work well if you are generally riding on flatter terrain. The single speed version is priced at $999 and the 7 speed version is $1,199.
Propella has done a nice job of making the 2.2 look very much like a traditional bike and the battery is a good example of that design feature because it looks similar to a water bottle that is traditionally mounted on the downtube of a bike frame.
The lightweight 3.3 pound lithium battery is 36 Volt 6.8 ah (245 watt hours) and it uses Panasonic cells.
The battery’s relatively small size does keep the weight and the price of the 2.2 down.
The battery can be charged on or off the bike and it takes 2.5 hours to fully charge an empty battery.
The Propella 2.2 did surprisingly well in the range test (22.6 miles) as you will see below.
If you want additional range Propella does offer additional packs for $295. This is a nice modular option so that you can choose to add more battery capacity if and when you need it.
The central and low location of the battery is good for the balance of the bike which is also beneficial for the handling of the bike.
At a total weight of 38.4 pounds (35.1 pounds with the battery removed) the Propella 2.2 is easy to pick up and load onto a car rack.
Also, the 2.2 can be ridden well without the assist on because of its lightweight and efficient road style design.
The LCD display and control pad are located on the left side of the handlebar and they have a minimal appearance that follows the design of the 2.2 looking much like a conventional bike.
The control pad has easy to reach pedal assist adjustment buttons (up and down arrows) and the on/off button is just below them.
The display provides the traditional information like:
- Pedal assist level
- Battery level
- Current speed
- Average speed
- Max speed
- Trip distance
The important information like battery level, pedal assist level and current speed are easy to see at a quick glance while riding.
Braking is provided by Shimano TX-805 mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors front and rear.
They have pretty good braking power with a lot of modulation from just a little bit of braking to full stop.
The brake levers have sensors that will stop the pedal assist when the brake levers are pulled.
Okay, let’s see how the Propella 2.2 did out on the open road!
Propella 2.2 Range Test Results:
Here is the real world information on how the Propella 2.2 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 Propella 2.2 in the highest pedal assist level (5) with average pedaling.
Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the Propella 2.2 traveled 22.6 miles and did a total elevation gain/loss of around 1,900 ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled at an average pace this is very good range for a 36 Volt 6.8 ah battery pack (245 Watt Hours) with a 250 watt motor.
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.
If you want additional range Propella sells their battery packs for $295.
Speed: The Propella 2.2 will assist up to 18 mph.
Weight: The Propella 2.2 tips the scales at 38.4 lbs which is very light for an electric bike. Removing the battery brings it down to around 35.1 pounds which makes it a little easier to load onto a car rack.
The weight distribution of the Propella 2.2 is pretty good because the battery is relatively low and centered on the bike. The rear hub motor with the light front end does make it slightly back heavy.
Lightweight: At 38.4 pounds the Propella 2.2 is one of the lightest electric bikes on the market. You can really tell how light this bike is while riding and it is also easy to pick up. With its efficient ride design and lightweight it is relatively easy to pedal around without assist too.
Performance eBike: The 2.2 has a quick and agile ride style that gives it a fun sporty performance feel. The 2.2 glides along and carves into corners with its deep rims and efficient Kenda road tires. The flat handlebars give it a stable feel.
Price: $999 for the single speed and $1,199 for the 7 speed version is a great price for an electric bike!
Noise: Like many geared hub motors the motor on the 2.2 does make a whirring noise. It is on the lower end of the noise scale when compared to other eBikes and it dissipates a bit at the higher speeds.
Pedal Assist: The pedal assist continues to provide motor assist for a second or two after pedaling stops and it would be nice for it to stop the assist as soon as pedaling has stopped for a more intuitive ride feel.
Overall the Propella 2.2 is an impressive eBike with its affordable price point, light and fun performance ride feel, and impressive range.
The 2.2 is a good eBike for zipping around town as well as being an efficient bike for logging some mileage on the open road.
The bike in this test is the 7 speed version that is priced at $1,199 and Propella offers a single speed version for $999.
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 Propella 2.2? Check with Propella for a dealer near you.
Do you have any questions about the Propella 2.2? Do you own a Propella 2.2? 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 or not.
P.S. Don’t forget to join the Electric Bike Report community for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips!
[…] Part 2 of the Propella 2.2 review will give you info on the ride characteristics, results from the range test, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this eBike. […]
Gesmond farrugia says
How much is the shipping of the Propella 2.2, to (Malta) Europe ?
I have the version 2 of this bike (7 speed). Like it very much. What is the difference between the 2 and 2.2?
Have the single speed 2.2 for commuting to the office without getting sweaty. 100 miles on the bike so far and it’s great. Feels just like normal riding with less effort. Longest ride I’ve done between charges so far is 20 miles. Downside of singlespeed is with the chain ratio even at a fast cadence 20mph is about the fastest you can go, so on steeper downhills you wait to slow down enough to pedal rather than carrying the momentum.
Regarding the current version 3.2, What kind of bearings are in the wheels, headset, and crank? What level of waterproofing is everything including the motor, battery, display, cables/electrical connections, will 700X38 tires fit properly/whats the widest 700C tire that will fit and work properly? What is the installed tire iso size?, 38-622? Whats the make and model of the freewheel body? Are the gears inside the motor metal/nylon? Is the front chainring replaceable or does the entire crankset need to be replaced? The manufacturer website is lacking alot of info. Thanks
Where may I purchase this e bike I live in las Vea Nevada
Propella Team says
Thanks for your interest. You can learn more and pre-order a Propella E-Bike on http://www.propella.bike