Ride1UP Portola Review: A Game-Changer in Affordable Folding E-Bikes
The Ride1UP Portola is the first folding e-bike from the direct-to-consumer brand. The Portola is positioned as a competitor to folders from brands like Rad Power Bikes, Aventon, and Lectric and is the company’s cheapest model.
Ride1UP is well-known for delivering some of the most reliable, functional, and competitively priced models on the market, and we’re confident this bike will live up to that reputation.
The Portola electric bike is ideal for those on a budget who don’t want to sacrifice quality and attention to detail. Despite its low price, this bike features components like a Shimano 8-speed drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, and a suspension fork.
Our Ride1UP Portola review will examine the components and features, its strengths and weaknesses, and offer our conclusion on who should buy it.
Ride1UP's first folding electric bike.
- Integrated rear rack with 130lb capacity and passenger kit compatibility
- 8-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- Comfortable and stable ride
- Handlebar stem isn't adjustable
Ride1UP Portola Specs
- Frame: Aluminum alloy
- Motor: 48V, 750W hub, 65 Nm torque
- Battery: 48V, 10.4Ah or 13.4Ah (500 Wh or 643 Wh)
- Class: 1-3, 28 mph
- Wheel size: 20″
- Tires: 3-inch cross-country, low-tread tires
- Fork: 80 mm travel, hydraulic lockout
- Drivetrain: Shimano Altus, 11-32t 8-speed, 48t chainring, trigger shifters
- Brakes: Dual-piston hydraulic discs, motor cutoff sensor, 180 mm rotors
- Stem: Folding
- Weight: 60 lb
- Weight Capacity: 300 lb (130 lb on rear rack)
Ride1UP Portola Full Review
Ride1UP electric bikes are known for their reliability in the entry-level market, so we expect the Portola to prove durable over time. The Ride1UP Portola folding e-bike also punches above its modest price tag with its design quality and level of components.
Folding e-bikes should be compact, easy to fold and store, relatively lightweight, and equipped for commuting. This model ticks all of these boxes except for the weight. At 60 lb, the Ride1UP Portola’s weight means it isn’t easy to lift or carry and doesn’t make a great option for multimodal commuters.
However, the Portola is ideal for taking on road trips, general commuting to and from work, taking your child to and from school, or running errands. The 130-pound maximum weight capacity on the rear rack is higher than on some of the best cargo e-bikes; for example, the RadWagon 4 only supports 120lb on the rack.
The choice of an 80mm suspension fork, 20″ wheels, and 3-inch tires means the Portola has a comfortable and stable base for carrying cargo and riding on bumpy pavement or hardpack gravel.
The following section will cover the features and components that make the bike stand out in its price category.
High-Capacity Folding Aluminum Frame With Clean Integration
The Portola has a one-size step-through frame with the brand’s distinct tubing profile and integration of battery and cabling. At this price, few bikes look as refined as the Portola. For example, the equally priced Lectric XP 3.0 is, in our opinion, much less appealing aesthetically.
When it folds, the Portola has a smaller-than-average footprint of 19″ x 29.5″ x 33″ and features a simple strap that holds the bike together so it doesn’t come loose.
The Ride1UP Portola sets a high standard in the folding e-bike category with its elegantly integrated design, compact folding size, and a versatile frame.
This frame has a low standover height and minimum seat height, meaning it’s very comfortable for shorter riders, and Ride1UP says it’s suitable for those from 4’10” to 6’4″. However, the folding handlebars aren’t adjustable for reach, so riders at the upper end of that range may feel cramped.
The most impressive feature of the Ride1UP Portola’s frame is the high-capacity integrated rack that can hold 130lb of weight and is compatible with the popular Thule Yepp Maxi kids’ seats and Ride1UP’s passenger kit ($125). Again, this capacity exceeds or matches many entry-level cargo e-bikes.
Solid Components That Outperform the Price Tag
Most sub-$1,000 e-bikes are equipped with non-branded or in-house components that typically aren’t very reliable or durable.
For this bike, Ride1UP has managed to use several brand-name parts, such as Chaoyang 3″ tires, a Shimano Altus drivetrain, and a Reention battery. The hydraulic disc brakes are from the lesser-known brand Gemma, and the suspension fork is unbranded.
Hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors are an impressive inclusion at this price but also a necessary one, given the powerful 750W motor and relatively high weight. The use of an 8-speed Altus drivetrain over the typical 7-speed Tourney setup is welcome, as it provides more gearing range for pedaling at low or high speeds.
The Ride1UP Portola distinguishes itself in the sub-$1,000 e-bike market with quality components, enhancing its value with features well beyond its price point.
The Portola’s e-bike system is basic, with a decent max range of 40 or 45 miles depending on the battery and respectable power for hills and riding with a loaded bike.
The Portola folding electric bike has LED lights, fenders, a kickstand, and the aforementioned integrated rear rack. We’d advise adding a horn or bell, and you can personalize the bike with a range of accessories from the brand’s online store, such as a passenger kit or pannier bags.
Who Is the Ride1UP Portola Best Suited For?
The Ride1UP Portola electric bike is ideal for those with limited storage space at home, riders who like to take their bike on road trips, or the average urban dweller who needs a cheap yet reliable e-bike for commuting, running errands, or for the school run.
This bike can handle light off-road terrain with its wide tires and suspension fork, and it’s equipped for riding in urban environments and all weather conditions. We’re confident anyone looking for a cheap, reliable, and functional folding e-bike will love the Portola.
Is the Ride1UP Portola a Good Buy?
The Ride1UP Portola e-bike is undoubtedly a good buy if you’re in the market for a folding e-bike under or around $1,000. Of course, at this price, there are sacrifices, but the company has done its best to minimize them and provide a well-rounded product.
The component and build quality are remarkable for this price point, and if Ride1UP’s reputation is anything to go by, the Portola should stand up to the test of time.
The Ride1UP Portola excels as a value-for-money choice in the budget folding e-bike segment, offering superior build that challenges more expensive rivals and promises lasting durability.
The main competitors are the RadExpand 5, Sinch.2, and XP 3.0, which are either significantly more expensive or lower quality in the case of the XP 3.0.
Overall, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal than the Ride1UP Portola in the budget folding e-bike segment.