Ride1Up Rift review: New fat tire adventure electric bike from a leading budget brand

Just in case you were worried that the myriad of adventure-style fat tire electric bikes hitting the market lately wasn’t enough, here comes one more. But the new Ride1Up Rift isn’t just an “us too!” e-bike, it’s got some great features that help set it apart from the rest of the pack. And perhaps most importantly, it does so while maintaining Ride1Up’s signature low pricing.

Ride1Up has set a name for itself as a high-value brand. The San Diego-based electric bike maker isn’t the largest e-bike company in the US. It’s not the most famous and it’s not the flashiest. But time and time again, Ride1Up has rolled out well-thought-out e-bikes that combine effective design with high-value pricing.

Now the company has done it once again, yet in a new category. Most of Ride1Up’s e-bikes have focused on urban commuter-style bikes, but the Rift XR brings the company into fat tire adventure territory.

Check out my video review below to see my complete thoughts on the Ride1Up Rift XR. Then keep reading for all of the nitty-gritty details on this fun-loving fat tire e-bike.

Ride1Up Rift e-bike video review

Ride1Up Rift tech specs

  • Motor: 750 W rear geared hub motor with 95Nm of torque
  • Top speed: 20 mph (32 km/h) on throttle, 28 mph (45 km/h) on pedal assist
  • Range: 45-60 mi (72-96 km)
  • Battery: 48V 20Ah (960Wh) frame-integrated, removable
  • Frame: 6061 aluminum
  • Tires: 26″ x 4″ puncture resistant
  • Weight: 84.5 lb. (38 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 350 lb. (159 kg)
  • Brakes: Four-piston hydraulic disc brakes, 180 mm rotors
  • Extras: Color LCD display with speedometer, wattmeter, battery gauge, PAS level indicator, odometer, tripmeter, left side thumb throttle, included front and rear fenders, frame integrated rear rack with 150 lb. weight limit and optional passenger seat, integrated headlight and tail lights, kickstand
  • Price: $1,895
ride1up rift XR e-bike

Big fat value in an e-bike

For a fat tire e-bike with excellent performance, the Ride1Up Rift XR launches with some serious value. As I road through a mix of city riding, sandy trails, and open grass fields, I couldn’t help but wonder how the company was able to stuff this much value into a modestly priced model.

At a price of $1,895, you’re getting a highly capable e-bike that is ready for both on-road and off-road adventures.

The fat tires and powerful motor mix with the front suspension to allow this bike to handle off-road trails with both power and comfort.

When you’re back on manicured paths, the fenders and built-in LED lighting make this into a commuter-ready electric bike for any weather or time of day.

And don’t forget about that big battery. With nearly 1 kWh of capacity, you’ll have more range than you likely need for any daily ride. Throttle-heavy riders should be able to make at least 30-35 miles (48-60 km) per charge, while those that enjoy the exercise benefits of pedal assist can probably double that range.

Plus there are even nicer components like four-piston hydraulic disc brakes with brake fluid sight window and an 8-speed transmission that make the ride that much better. Those brakes look more like something you’d find on a light motorbike, and they offer some of the best braking on a budget-level fat tire e-bike I’ve ever seen.

What sets it apart?

With so many fat tire adventure e-bikes hitting the market, new models have to do something to differentiate themselves.

Admittedly, many of the Ride1Up Rift XR’s features match those of other e-bikes in its class. They all have LCD screens, front suspension, Shimano transmissions, removable batteries, etc.

But the Rift XR’s design that includes a frame-integrated rear rack is a major differentiator. That rear rack isn’t bolted on; it’s part of the frame. That means it is extra sturdy, to the tune of a 150 lb. (68 kg) weight rating. You could easily carry two adults on this e-bike, if you get the additional passenger package.

The Connect+ system makes it easy to put a passenger seat on the rear rack or swap it out for cargo baskets.

The rear rack is also a great way to integrated a rear tail light into the bike. Nearly all e-bikes come with headlights these days, but many don’t have tail lights due to the lack of a good place to mount them. I’d argue that a tail light is even more important than a headlight, especially if you’re riding on the road where cars will be coming up behind you to pass. The inclusion of a built-in rear rack gives Ride1Up the perfect place to install a bright tail light, making sure you’re seen from the rear as well as the front.

ride1up rift XR e-bike

Is the Ride1Up Rift XR worth buying?

I’ve ridden a lot of e-bikes. In fact, there’s a chance I’ve ridden the most e-bikes. And I’ve yet to throw a leg over a Ride1Up e-bike that I wouldn’t recommend buying.

The company just has such a keen sense of value, outfitting their models with the right combination of parts to achieve a quality ride at an affordable price. And now that Ride1Up has entered the fat tire market, I’m ready to recommend this one as well.

Is it perfect? Of course not. A torque sensor would have been a major addition here for even smoother pedal assist. And some nicer colors would have been welcomed. None of the color options are particularly thrilling (white, grey or dark green), but bright colors has never really been Ride1Up’s hallmark.

But at least you get some very nice parts (I love those quality brakes!) and you also get two frame styles to choose from. The XR that I’m testing is the step-over version, though there’s also the Rift ST with a step-through frame that will be more accessible for many riders.

So all told, the $1,895 Ride1Up Rift fat tire adventure e-bike absolutely hits the mark for value with an excellent ride for a fun adventure bike. I don’t know what’s in the water out there in San Diego, but something is making them produce winners with each new model.

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