Meet The Affordable, Lightweight Propella Electric Bicycle


The Propella electric bicycle could be just what the doctor ordered — an inexpensive, lightweight bike with up to 28 miles of range in a no-frills package. It came about because Ben Tarassoli, a civil engineer, couldn’t find an electric bike that “measured up to his expectations for range, weight, and design,” according to GeekWire. So he and his partners set out to build one. True automobile enthusiasts will recognize this story. Its why Lamborghini came into existence a couple of generations ago.

Propella Electric Bicycle

“Our focus is on affordability, reliability, and lightweight. We’re aiming for that sweet spot between electrically-assisted range and making the bicycle as light as possible. We’re not into bigger, stronger motors—that’s a motorcycle. If you’re calling it a bicycle, it should be minimal,” says Tarassoli.

The Propella has a 250 watt hub motor and a top speed of 20 mph. Its 6.6 aH waterproof battery is from Samsung and can be recharged in 2.5 hours. It is designed to be a single speed machine, but can be ordered with 6 speeds if desired. Best of all, it weighs just 36 pounds. That’s about 20 pounds less than most electric bicycles on the market today, thanks to its minimalist design and focus on providing everything a rider needs and nothing more.

The bike is available in three different frame sizes, all of them black. Four different color rims are offered to personalize each bike.  It comes with a 2 year warranty on the frame and a 1 year warranty for the battery and other parts. Now for the best part. You can order one online at Indiegogo for delivery in the fall of this year. The price?  A feather light $699 for early birds.  The crowd source campaign will be live for another month.

If you think that’s a lot of money, you haven’t checked out the prices some people are charging these days. Take this electric bicycle from PininFarina, for example. It’s price will knock your socks off.

Propella – Coolest Electric Bike Ever! from Propella on Vimeo.

About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.
  • evfan

    I think the low weight is a huge win. especially in one use case. I used to work in San Francisco and like many folks, took my bicycle with me on the train. Most of us had regular bicycles. Once in a while I would see somebody with an electric bike, and it was definitely a struggle getting the heavy bike in and out of the train.

    • Steve Hanley

      My wife and I were THIS CLOSE to buying a pair of e-bikes before Christmas, but they were so heavy, we would have needed a 2″ receiver and a heavy duty bike racks to carry them with us. The hitch and the rack came to almost $1,000. We decided to pass.

      The only reservation I have about buying something new like this is there are no customer reviews to guide me. I place a lot of trust in online reviews. Wouldn’t want to get stuck with a product that has reliability issues or poor customer service.

      • Maloo

        the ezip bikes are around $500 on amazon for the regular 15 pound battery but the upgraded lithium battery weighs about 5 pounds and adds range to around 28 miles, more with pedal assist. plus i like the real throttle.

      • kvleeuwen

        Most of the weight is in the battery, you can put that in the trunk and have a normal rack and hitch.

  • Maloo

    electric bikes are not cheap. i know because i live on an island where cars are not allowed and the only means of transportation, horse drawn buggy and bicycle and electric bicycles can only be operated here by residents with medical requirements.
    im not so sure about crowd funding projects though. i bought 2 electric bikes, one for me and one for my wife on amazon for $500 each, they are heavy but we only need trips of about 6 miles per day and they have lasted about 3 years now living outside 12 months of the year.

    • Steve Hanley

      If they have lasted you 3 years and only cost $500 each, they were well worth the money. Care to share with us the name of your island?

      • Maloo

        Mackinac island Michigan

        • Steve Hanley

          I hear Mackinac is quite beautiful in summertime.

      • Ross

        Propella will be at the Seattle bike show in March. I heard they are allowing people to test ride their bikes at the show.

        • Steve Hanley

          Great! Any Gas 2 fans going to be in Seattle in March? Maybe you could check the Propella out and send us a report? Would get to see your name in print, or the digital equivalent thereof. : – )

  • James Rowland

    That is indeed cheap! Decent e-bikes sell for thousands, and you can spend a lot more than $700 on a quality conventional bike.

  • Ross

    I love the fact these guys are creating a brand rather than just a bike with a motor.