The Propella 9S Pro V2, unveiled late last year, is one of only a few low-cost torque sensor-enabled electric bikes to reach the market. And now the new model is officially shipping to customers.
Torque sensors are praised among electric bike riders who actually spend a significant amount of time pedaling their bikes instead of simply using the throttle.
While they’re fairly standard in Europe, lower-cost e-bikes in the US often use a simpler and more rudimentary sensor known as a cadence sensor. It works, but it doesn’t provide as intuitive or natural a pedaling experience as a torque sensor.
Propella has mostly been known as a minimalist e-bike brand, offering commuter and metro bikes in a single blue-on-black color scheme and with simple but effective components that keep costs (and maintenance) fairly low.
But the new Propella 9S Pro V2 comes with a number of major upgrades that make it hard to call the bike “minimalist” anymore.
The new bike comes in two frame style options, including Propella’s first-ever step-through design, though a step-over frame is also available. The battery is now integrated into the frame instead of being bolted onto it like a water bottle cage, though it is still removable with an included key like most e-bikes. The battery is also UL-compliant, an important safety factor that will ensure it can be sold in areas that are starting to restrict the sales of non UL-compliant electric bikes.
The 360 Wh capacity battery is still quite small compared to industry standards, but this 42.5 lb (19.3 kg) Class 1 e-bike is fairly efficient and thus still offers a maximum range of 55 miles (88 km) on lower power pedal assist.
Cranking the power up though will let riders get the most out of the Propella 9S Pro V2’s 500W peak-rated rear hub motor. It will also ensure that those riders can hit the bike’s top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h), which maxes out the legally allowable speed for Class 1 e-bikes.
And since this is a pedal-only electric bike, meaning there’s no hand throttle for non-pedaling power, Propella has included that much-favored torque sensor for the most natural and responsive pedal-assist experience. Torque sensors simply give a nicer and more traditional-feeling ride because the power is delivered based on how hard the rider is pedaling, which makes the experience feel more natural.
Other components that help the bike punch above its $1.2k price tag include a 9-speed drivetrain, included headlight that runs off the main battery, an adjustable stem, a color LCD screen, included fenders, a high-power charger for three-hour recharges, and hydraulic disc brakes.
There’s no suspension, but the 2″ tires give more air cushion than we’re used to seeing in Propella’s e-bikes.