Propella 9S Pro V2 review: A low-cost torque sensor electric bike for the masses

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Commuter electric bikes are a key segment helping reduce America’s dependence on cars for navigating cities. The Propella 9S Pro V2 is designed squarely to get people to work, school, the coffee shop, or just navigating town on their own schedule. But compared to many other electric commuter bikes on the market, Propella does it with some outstanding value and several features we rarely see at this price level.

Want to watch the Propella 9S Pro V2 in action? Check out my video review below. Then keep reading for all of the juicy details!

Propella 9S Pro Video Review

Propella 9S Pro Tech Specs

  • Motor: 350W (50 W peak) rear geared hub motor
  • Top speed: 32 km/h (20 mph)
  • Range: Up to 80 km (50 mi) depending on pedal assist level
  • Battery: 36V 350 Wh
  • Charge time: 3 hours
  • Weight: 19.7kg (43 lb)
  • Frame: Aluminum alloy
  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Extras: Color LCD display with speedometer, battery gauge, PAS level indicator, odometer, tripmeter, 5 speed settings, included fenders, alloy bar ends, metal pedals, LED headlight, high-power fast charger, step-over/step-thru frame options, torque sensor, and kickstand
  • Price: $1,299

What you see isn’t all that you get

A lot of e-bikes make it fairly obvious what features you’re getting. But there’s one important feature that you usually can’t see: torque sensors.

The Propella 9S Pro V2 includes a torque sensor, which is a major upgrade over the cadence sensors that most budget-level electric bikes use to activate their pedal assist.

We’ve talked about this before, but the summary is that torque sensors basically make the bike more comfortable and responsive since they better mimic real-world pedaling. Instead of the bike feeling laggy and then lurching forward, like with many cadence sensor e-bikes, an electric bike with a torque sensor will usually feel much more natural to pedal with responsive motor power.

But of course there’s more than just a torque sensor that makes the Propella 9S Pro so nice – even if that one single component is a great value-added piece of kit that we rarely see at this price.

Other nice components include the color LCD display, adjustable handlebars, hydraulic disc brakes, the 9-speed transmission, the built-in LED headlight, and the included fender set.

One note about that transmission: it’s great to have gear options, but ironically I found that I just left it in the highest gear all the time. I live in a flat city though, and so the advantages of constantly higher gearing make sense. If you have hills in your city, you’ll enjoy the gear options and not just treat it like a single-speed as I did.

Some folks will surely bemoan the lack of suspension, and I get it. A lot of people feel they need suspension for the added comfort. But if you can give it up, you’ll get a stronger and longer-lasting bike with fewer places for failure. In this case, the 2″ tires offer more cushion than most city bikes, and the fork even uses a 12mm thru-axle for the strongest connection compared to most cheap city e-bikes with quick-release skewers.

One downside of the bike though is that its 36V battery simply isn’t very big, measuring just 350 Wh. Though on the other hand, the lack of a throttle means that the bike will work more efficiently thanks to the pedal assist operation (they claim up to 50 miles or 80 km of range per charge). Despite the smaller size battery, at least it is removable with the included key, meaning you can charge it off of the bike when convenient. And it even comes with a fairly fast charger, filling the battery from empty in just 3 hours. In most cases though, the charge time will be even quicker since you’ll rarely ride the bike all the way to empty. That battery and bike are also SGS-certified to UL 2271 and UL2849 standards, which is becoming an important differentiator as concerns of battery safety propogate.

What’s the takeaway?

As an urban-oriented Class 1 e-bike that can hit 20 mph (32 km/h) quickly and easily thanks to that 500W peak rated motor, the Propella 9S Pro V2 is an ideal commuter e-bike. And at just 43.5 lb (19.7 kg), it’s pretty darn lightweight too – at least as far e-bikes go.

The company has added more and more features to their bikes over the years, giving us the 9S Pro V2 with just about everything that most commuters want – except for the throttle. Though if you’re really hung up about having a throttle, they did just release another Propella model that will quench your throttle thirst.

So all told, at US $1,299, the Propella 9S Pro is a steal. If you want a commuter e-bike with a great selection of parts for the price, you just can’t go wrong here. Well, not unless you want a colorway other than blue-on-black.

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