High-end brand Priority Bicycles launches its lowest-priced belt-drive e-bike yet

Each time we’ve tested out an e-bike from Priority Bicycles, we’ve been impressed with the quality and craftsmanship. Now the company is bringing that commitment to bike shop build quality to a new model at a lower price point. Meet the $1,699 Priority e-Classic Plus.

Priority Bicycles began as a pedal bike company and has slowly grown its portfolio of high-quality e-bikes alongside its acoustic collection. The new e-Classic Plus follows the same game plan as the company’s other models like e-Coast: taking their popular pedal bike models and adding electric assist for more “oomph.”

The $1,699 Priority e-Classic Plus, which is launching with a promotional discount bringing it down to just $1,399, features a number of high-end parts rarely seen at this price point.

As Priority Bicycles founder and CEO David Weiner explained:

When we originally designed the Classic nine years ago, we set out to make a durable, everyday bicycle that was easy to own, ride, and maintain. With the rise in e-bikes, we wanted to deliver on that same promise with this new release. The e-Classic Plus has become my favorite daily rider because, like the original Classic, it is comfortable, lightweight, low maintenance, and just a joy to ride. If you want an easy-to-operate e-bike that can take you on errands, to the park with kids, or simply get you out of the car and off your feet, the e-Classic Plus is the right choice.

priority e-classic plus bike

Priority prides itself on a low-maintenance design approach, and the e-Classic Plus incorporates both a belt drive and hydraulic disc brakes to help reduce its required maintenance.

Belt drives are more efficient than chain drives over the lifetime of the drive, and they don’t require oiling to perform well. They don’t squeak, rust, or jam like a chain, but rather simply continue to work smoothly and quietly. Low-cost belt drive e-bikes are often single speeds due to the fact that a belt drive can’t hop between gears like a chain can. But Priority has fitted the e-Classic Plus with a Nexus 3 internally geared rear hub to give it a three-speed transmission.

Hydraulic disc brakes, unlike their mechanically operated cousins, don’t suffer from cable stretch and thus require significantly reduced maintenance. They’re largely maintenance-free until the brake pads eventually wear all the way down and need to be replaced. The hydraulic lines scarcely need to be bled outside of rare cases such as where the bike has been damaged in a crash. For most users, they’re a “set it and forget it” type of solution.

Between the belt drive and hydraulic brakes – the two areas of a bike normally known for the most maintenance – the Priority e-Classic Plus is nearly maintenance free.

priority e-classic plus bike

With much of the bike’s budget going toward higher-quality components, the electric side isn’t quite as impressive. It’s still fine for commuters, but it’s not going to win any stoplight races.

The 250W front hub motor is paired with a 374 Wh removable battery. The duo offers speeds of up to 20 mph (32 km/h) and a range of between 20-60 miles (32-96 km) depending on conditions. That longer range is possible because the Class 1 e-bike doesn’t have a throttle, meaning it only operates with more efficient pedal assist.

We’re used to seeing a battle of watts with many new e-bike manufacturers, especially Asian importers whose e-bikes have begun blurring the lines with mopeds. But the Priority e-Classic Plus takes a more European approach, offering modest power and battery designed for commuting around the city instead of laying down rubber snakes on the asphalt.

The bike includes fenders, LED lighting, extra-stable dual kickstand, and upright frame geometry with comfort saddle, and comes in both a diamond frame and step-through options.

Electrek’s Take

I’ve been a huge fan of Priority Bicycles since I tested their first e-bike back in 2018. The company simply operates under a different model, focusing on the bike part first instead of just trying to build flashier, faster electrics. That means they always perform great as bikes, plus have the added benefit of electric assist. It’s a nice change in an industry that sees so many low-end offerings that look great at first but can turn into creaky rust wagons after one season.

I’ve been riding around on the Priority e-Coast as well (pictured below and review coming soon!) and it’s simply a dream of an e-cruiser. The new e-Classic Plus basically looks like a similar approach yet now in a comfort commuter (and with the added benefit of an internally geared hub in the rear). This is going to be a great competitor in the commuter market for anyone who values quality over mere performance figures. If you don’t mind a 250W motor taking a few more seconds to get you up to 20 mph, then you’ll have a much higher-end bike under you while you get there.

Priority e-Coast, the last e-bike launch ahead of the new e-Classic Plus

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