Customer Reviews: Prodeco V3 Stride 500 8 Speed Electric Bicycle, Black Pearl Metallic Gloss, 26-Inch/One Size
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on October 21, 2013
I commute to work 10.5 miles each way on mostly bike trail. I wanted to do it every day, but was always wiped by Thursday. Enter my electric bike. I researched a lot before I bought the Stride 500. I did not want a step-through model, but I am 5-2 and didn't really have any other choice if I wanted a Prodeco with a 500 watt motor. These bikes are built for tall people. There is conflicting information about how tall you can be for step-through model. On the Prodecotech website it says 5-3, but then I received my manual and it said 5-6 to 6-6, which is what it feels like.

It is a very heavy bike. If you want to mostly bike without the assist it will be challenging, about four times as hard as on a normal bike for me. I also wanted to not worry about charging my bike at work so I needed a minimum of 21 miles per charge. It turns out that there was no getting around charging it at work. Coming home the first time I came up about two miles short. That was a workout! So 25-30 miles per charge isn't accurate, though admittedly the manual says that if you ride more than 10 miles you should fully charge your battery. I do that now and bought another charger for work. It wasn't available on the Prodeco site or on Amazon, so I had to get it through a third party on Ebay. It was about $40.

I'm on my third week riding it and the bell has broken. I wasn't too surprised when it happened because another reviewer experienced the same thing. So I'm yelling "on your left" until my new bell shows up. They probably should have either skipped the bell or used one that was durable.

I ride in the dark often so I like that the battery has a built in rear light you can turn on. I did not see that anywhere in the specs or reviews, so that was a nice surprise. Since you can't have a rack on the back I use a front basket. I also use a small LED camping light inside the basket as a headlight since a full basket obscures a traditional handlebar-mounted headlight.
I'm still figuring out my bike computer with this bike. It's been a bit of a process. The spokes are thicker than normal spokes, so the magnet that came with my bike computer didn't fit. I bought a replacement magnet that screws on instead of snaps on, and it is working in tandem with the sensor now. However the wheel size is not standard. So I estimated what number to input and currently it is giving me a little more miles than I am actually biking, but I will be able to fine tune that from trial and error.

Side note about delivery. It was a mess. Google search "Amazon and Ceva" and see what I mean. I ordered my bike on a Tuesday morning and it would have come as early as Friday. I didn't want to miss a day of work over this bike so I scheduled it for Saturday, which was easy enough with the Amazon check-out interface. It was scheduled to arrive between 8-11am on Saturday. Ceva calls at 9:35 to tell me "Bad news, your TV isn't coming today." I told them I didn't order a TV, I ordered a bike. "Well it's not coming." Nice.

They said they would see if they could deliver the next day even though they don't deliver on Sunday. Well that's sketchy. I never get a call back. I call on Sunday and they say they aren't able to do it and that "residential delivery" will be in touch with me. I call back Monday afternoon, and we schedule the delivery for Wednesday. My husband graciously works from home that day since I can't take off. They call on Wednesday to tell me they don't have the bike period! For some reason they couldn't figure out on Saturday that the bike had disappeared entirely. I end up on the phone with Amazon for 25 minutes while two different reps call Ceva to confirm that Ceva didn't deliver the bike. My Amazon interface says it was delivered so I am really nervous I am out $1299. Amazon finally does accept that I didn't get my bike and sends me another one which arrives about a week later. So total wait time for my bike was over two weeks. But Amazon gave me a $30 credit. So that's nice. At any rate, don't be surprised if delivery is a major pain. And if this is a time sensitive item for you, forgo Amazon completely.

So far I've taken 10 round trips at 21 miles each. The brakes have started sounding noisy. Adjustments on a new bike a few weeks later is normal. They aren't regular brakes, they are Avid BB5 disc brakes. So I still have to figure out how to adjust them. Googling it makes it seem like it should be easy.

The tires are nice and wide, with deep groves. I won't need to worry about changing them out for the winter. The PSI is much lower than my old commuter bike, which isn't an issue performance-wise thanks to the motor.

The motor noise isn't very intense. I'd compare it to the sound of a remote car, except a deeper hum. Other reviewers have compared it to a blow dryer, but I don't get that comparison at all.

I live west of Minneapolis and use Cedar Lake Trail and West River Road Trail to get to work. I'm hardly on the road at all. Biking saves me about $225 a month based on the calcs below. So I will have broken even in 6 months.
$100 parking ramp
$70 gas
$40 MnPass (fast lane)
$15 wear and tear (conservative estimate)

Also riding one way to work on my regular bike took 50-75 minutes depending on direction and wind, ...on my Stride it's 33-38 minutes. That's as long as it would take to drive...with evening traffic sometimes much faster. We are blessed with a great biking system here in the Twin Cities :-)

I am very happy with the purchase so far, though it's still early, and I do wish the bike wasn't too big for me. Hopefully they will start designing some of their bikes for shorter people, but keep the 500 watt motor. According to Wikipedia the average female in the U.S. is 5-4, so maybe they just don't care to market to women. Beats me.

Update 10/22/2013: I forgot to mention that if you don't wear gloves, you will cut your hands when taking off the battery. I've added a picture to the gallery to demonstrate what happened to me without gloves. I haven't had any issues since I started wearing leather gloves to take the battery off.
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on December 24, 2013
I am 66 year old XL sized male and was having difficulty using my old standard mountain bike. Hard to swing my leg over it and needed to angle it down towards me to do so, not as stable on my feet any more so this was difficult. Also my knees are not what they used to be and were easily strained with too much exertion, so I stopped riding. The step through Stride 550 eBike (I call my Elvis) solved my problems and I am riding again ... not off road which I never did but streets and occasional fire roads. Two best features: (1) I can start off in low gear with a bit of motor assist instead of pushing off and trying to get the peddling going before I lose my balance, and (2) giving it a little motor boost when I feel even the slightest pressure on my knees be it from a headwind or slight uphill. I still raise a bit of a sweat after a ten mile ride so I know I getting some enjoyable exercise in which is my main objective. And everything on the bike works! Took a few mile riding to become accustomed to it but now it feels just great.
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VINE VOICEon July 14, 2013
I bought my white Stride 500 locally on Friday and have ridden about 25 miles since then. Seattle (and its burbs) are very hilly, and I only use the motor to give me a boost up the big hills, not for cruising. So far everything is fine; I did have to do some seat adjustments but otherwise I love this bike. Rides well, no noise except when the motor's at full throttle (and then it sounds like a quiet electric lawn mower, or a hair dryer, or some other low-power motor). My only complaint is that the way the battery's mounted means there's noplace for a rear rack, which means if I have to carry anything it will have to be on the handlebars, or in a bag that I'm carrying.
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on May 6, 2013
We got two of these bikes for our Florida home and we absolutely love them. It's great to see a USA product that is fantastic quality and beats everyone else on quality vs. cost. We road 11 miles the second time out with sometimes pedaling and sometimes pure electric. After a pleasant smooth and very quiet ride we returned with only have used 1/4 of the battery’s power.

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on September 9, 2014
The Stride is a pretty good electric bike at any price. At $1300, it's a bargain. After having an entry level e-bike by EZip, I wanted something a little lighter and with better range. After looking at about every e-bike made, I kept coming back to the Prodeco. It was relatively affordable, had a great warranty, and the specs on the Stride were impressive. A 500 watt hub motor, big disc brakes, a 36 volt system with 9 Ah lithium battery, and the bike was a relatively light 55 pounds. By comparison, the EZip had a 450 watt motor, side pull rim brakes, a 24 volt system with 10 Ah lead acid battery and weighed 68 pounds.

I live in Monterey, CA with a mixture of hills and flats. The maximum distance I went with the EZip was five miles, with pedaling. I ended up adding another battery to the bike bringing the weight up to 83 pounds. I maxed out at nine miles with this set up, plus the bike was incredibly heavy. By comparison, I rode the Stride a little over ten miles and the battery was only half empty.

I ordered the Stride 3.0 through Amazon and it took a week to get here. The box came torn, but when I opened the the box, nothing had been damaged. I was impressed with the fit and finish of the a Prodeco and nothing needed adjusting. By comparison, when the EZip arrived, it had a bent rim that needed a bike shop to make true again. Also I found Prodeco had shipped me the Stride 3.5 with the 3.0 battery. You get a few upgrades with the 3.5, like a better front shock and four bars supporting the battery box instead of just two.

Here are my likes:
-Riding Range
-Build Quality
-Quiet Motor
-Center Kick Stand

My dislikes:
-The Pedals
-The Battery Gauge
-No Rear Battery Rack

While you can spend a lot more money for an ebike, none come close to the Prodeco Stride for the price.
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on June 9, 2013
I have had this bike for a little less than a month and though I do like the ride and the speed, I am not entirely pleased. The amount of clattering/rattling, scraping, flicking noises make it sound like an old junker. It mainly seems to be the brakes fault. They need to be adjusted PERFECTLY, and even then they still make some noise.

I contacted Prodeco and they said it was all normal and I should just take it to a bike shop for adjustment. I have done that twice now already and it still makes some of these noises. The first time I had the rear wheel trued because it was wobbling and the spokes were loose, the second time I had them work on the brakes since my own tinkering did nothing. The scraping noise is gone but the other two sounds persist, the rattling to a somewhat lesser degree.

Maybe I am being too picky. There are far more expensive electric bikes, but my last bike was a $400 e-Zip and I didn't have any of these kind of issues. Since this was $1300 I was just hoping for perfection, at least at first. Are these kinds of off putting sounds just a reality of disc brakes? The components of this one are clearly much higher quality than the e-Zip, but I am thinking these brakes are just not a good match for this bike. That or I just got one that is slightly off somehow, despite Prodeco's assurances otherwise.

Also I find the locking mechanism for the battery poorly made. It gets stuck sometimes when the battery isn't quite lined up over the peg. Putting the battery on and taking it off is awkward too. It gives you no indication by feel or sound that it is in place. If you push it on too hard because you think it's not on all the way, the pin won't engage and the key wont turn. I think a built in handle would make it easier to manage. Additionally I don't like that the key must stay in the bike for it to run. It just means that I can't keep it on my key ring and will very likely lose it eventually. It's a good thing they give you three.

I really want to like this bike and I partially do. None of the brake noise issues effect it's performance which is great by my standards, they just bug me. The hub motor is not as whisper silent as they make it out to be either. It's by no means loud, just a bit louder than I had hoped.

Overall I think three stars is fair.

(Update) Okay, now another month into ownership and I feel I must take another star away.

A couple weeks ago the motor seemed to simply die. In the end it was just that the quick release power cable came lose. Not a huge deal, but it has already worked itself lose again since then. I expect this will continue periodically. One positive is that Prodeco was pretty helpful and quick to respond to my email.

2 new noises:
The handle bars are now creaky and the left pedal clicks. The handle bars creak whenever I put pressure on one or the other. The left pedal clicks on the downside of each revolution. The only thing I can think of blaming is the adjustable nature of both components. Having adjustable handle bars and folding pedals is nice, but not worth adding to the cacophony of other bad sounds this bike makes.

The worst of the sounds (the brake rattle) has gotten even worse. It only took a couple of days after getting it professionally adjusted before returning in full force. Am I supposed to take it into the shop every week?

Now, in addition to the loud rattle when gunning the motor, it resounds constantly (although not as loudly) when I am up to speed. I am embarrassed when throttling from a stand still around people. The noise is a dead giveaway that it is not a normal bicycle. Seems like it needs an anti rattle brake clip, like a motorcycle. Unfortunately I don't think anyone makes them for normal bikes.

I would give it 2.5 stars instead of 2 if I could because I still like things about it. The range is more than double the i-Zip with it's heavy lead acid battery. LiFePO4 is awesome.

(ANOTHER UPDATE 6/4/14) After less than a year of use I have had even more issues. First the tail light on the battery went intermittent so that it will no longer stay lit. Then the middle light on the handlebar read out died. Then the battery stopped charging properly. It would go for a minute then die and it would never say fully charged on the battery itself even though the charger showed green. I let it sit on a shelf for a month because of the $150 (government mandated) shipping cost to have the battery sent back to Prodeco under warranty. I've just been riding around without power. Now I have come to think it was the chargers fault and I let it sit mostly dead for a whole month. I wanted to lower the rating again, but I still can't quite bring myself to give it only one star.

I must note again also that Prodeco customer service is very responsive, though when I had an Ezip battery die prematurely, they didn't make me ship the bad battery or charger back, they just sent a new one. To be fair, I think they are a bigger company and can better afford such losses. Just something to keep in mind when buying.

CONCLUSION: Don't buy an electric bike if you are going to ride it every day, unless you like fixing bikes. Also, expect that you will have to put more money into it after purchase, and it will almost certainly be out of commission sometimes.

PS: This may actually be the best electric bike you can buy for $1300, but that isn't saying much. I am hopeful for future versions of this bike though. Most of it's problems could be fixed with minor design tweaks and component upgrades.
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on September 4, 2014
Bike is great but my experience with customer service is a bit slack. I reported a tight headset issue with them upon the day it was unboxed, they requested proof so I sent a quick video showing the handlebars hanging up when you turn from left to right. They implied that they would setup an appointment with a dealer but they didn't, in addition they blocked my calls to the support person. On another Prodeco bike It took 2 months to replace a pedal that had a bad bearing. Luckly a local Prodeco dealer steped up and adjusted the headset eventhough it wasn't purchased from them. We got a flat after about 50 miles because there was a gouge on the inside of the rear rim that punctured the tube. This is just sloppy quality controll. Two of our Three bikes have about 600 miles on them now and those are the only issues so far.
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on May 28, 2014
I had already bought the Phantom 2X for myself and after seeing the quality and realizing my wife would not be able to keep pace with me, I bought her the Stride 500. The bike is easy to ride and the battery life has been outstanding. We rode over 2 hours last Saturday in some hilly area and still had 3/4 charge when we returned. The bike always draw attention as well. I highly recommend you check any of these out if you want to extend your biking.You still get plenty of exercise you just have an assist on hills.
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on October 19, 2013
We bought two of these electric bikes to evaluate for a tour business on Maui. The only reason they do not get 5 stars is because one of the bikes would not power up out of the box, it was a minor problem, and easy fix, the rep at Prodeco was less than nice to me because I shipped the bikes to Hawaii. After the problem was found and fixed (5 minutes) We did a shakedown cruise for 20+ miles over hills and valley's, these bikes are really sweet. Customers of EV Smart tours in Maui are very lucky to be able to rent these hi-tech cruisers. The motor pulls great the disc brakes stop it on a dime, they are built solidly and get stares wherever you go!
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on March 19, 2016
Have had now for over two years. Bought for wife who had double knee replacement, but still great for anyone who would enjoy taking the sting out of hills or just wants to cruise with less effort. Plenty of power (500 watt motor) and with moderate but fairly constant use the 9aH battery will consistently last 32 miles beginning with a full battery charge. She loves it. It's been 100% trouble free and wouldn't hesitate to buy again. Price has crept up but still the best value I know of in ebikes.

I should add that, despite the large frame, my wife is 5'1" and it works fine for her since she likes an upright seating position.

Also I have had the mechanically equivalent Prodecotech Genesis 500 for three years and have had no problems. MANY hundreds of miles on both of our bikes. We both prefer the "twist throttle" versus "pedal assist" found on other brand's ebikes after having extensive experience with pedal assist. Twist throttle is much more flexible for varying conditions. The front disc brake pads do click on occasion but many disc brakes are prone to do that - and there is NO functional problem. A quick but light grab of the brake lever will often stop the noise. Plus, it's a bike, not a living room or a $80K Mercedes so noises should be expected!
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