An irresistible sub $1k folding ebike from Ride1Up: The Portola

Ride1Up has a well-earned reputation for well-made, budget friendly ebikes. With its latest model, the Portola, Ride1Up has delivered an irresistible, folding ebike for less than $1000. Catch up with the full range of Ebike Escape Ride1Up reviews here.

The Ride1Up Portola is also accessible to a wide range of riders, with a smaller-frame and step-through style. It has a standover height of just 15” and the seat lowers to 29”, making it a good fit for riders from 4’ 10” tall. The seat allows for a good height range, maxing out at around 6’.

At launch, Ride1Up are offering two price points, for two different battery types: $995 for 10.4AH; $1095 for 13.4AH. And there’s an additional $100 launch discount for the first 50 purchases.

Ride1Up Portola Video Review

Packed with Power

Photo of Ride1Up's Portola in profile
Full speed ahead with Ride1Up’s Portola in Indigo, Matte

There are three color choices: onyx black, sea turquoise and indigo matt. At 59lb the Portola is an average weight for a folding ebike, with an impressive 300lb weight capacity.

The 48V Reenton Rhino batteries offer 500Wh at the 10.4AH size and 643Wh for the 13.4AH. Ride1Up suggests a range estimate of 25 to 40 miles. They can both be charged on or off the bike, using the supplied 2A charger. 

A sustain motor advertised at 750W, 65Nm sure can move with the cadence sensor! In our tests it reached 1000W at times and is easily powerful enough for a smooth ride in most conditions, with throttle alone and using the five Pedal Assist levels. Another great feature is the easy access to all three ebike classes, via the display.  Simply hold the power button and the pedal assist down button at the same time to change between C1, C2 and C3.

  • Class 1: Top speed of 20 mph while pedaling (throttle disabled)
  • Class 2: Top speed of 20 mph while pedaling or using the left-hand thumb throttle
  • Class 3: Top speed of 28 mph (Throttle stops at 20 mph)

The monochrome display is fairly minimalistic, but clearly cycles through key information about battery level, speed, pedal assist and odometer. Using a combination of buttons opens a range of advanced settings, including changing the power output for each pedal assist level.

Impressive Gearing

At this price point, it’s amazing to see an 8-speed Shimano trigger shifter, with accompanying Shimano Altus rear derailleur. A 48 tooth front chainring, with 11-32 teeth in the rear is more than adequate.

Unbranded, hydraulic disc brakes with matching levers and motor cutoffs ensure a reliably sure stop. Rotors are a standard 180mm.

Although the suspension front fork is also pretty basic, it does provide 100mm of travel and enables some off-roading. Treaded 20” by 3” Chao Yang tires also allow for a variety of terrains. The front wheel is quick-release. And metal fenders front and back give ample coverage.

Easy Folding and More

The Portola has a pretty slick folding mechanism, via the handlebars, pedals and at the base of the frame. Ride1Up has also done a great job of wrapping the cabling so it won’t get trapped in the fold. A simple strap keeps the folded ebike together when moving the bike around.

Handlebar height is not adjustable, but there is added comfort from the supplied ergonomic grips. A rear rack is welded in, to support a hefty 120lb load. Ride1Up offers accessories compatible with their Connect+ system but the rear rack is also compatible with the Thule Yepp Maxi childseat.

It also includes pannier hanging hooks and an integrated rear, brake-activated light. The headlamp is also integrated and shines at 40 lux.

The Portola is the first in the lineup to include mounting points for a new front rack and basket ($100).

Ride1Up has appointed mounting points on the seat tube for a water bottle cage and even pegs at the back to be paired with the optional seat pad. There is a rear kickstand and basic saddle.

The accessory pack includes maintenance grease, a high quality allen key set, manual and a beanie hat.

In Conclusion

Ride1Up’s Portola is a great and affordable choice as a first ebike. It is certainly worth spending the extra $100 for the extra juice in the larger battery. And although taller riders will be comfortable on the Portola, the framing is ideally suited to those who are shorter.

This is a well-spec’d ebike that is extremely user-friendly. Assembly is a little complicated with the user having to install the stem, but the compact packaging from this direct-to-consumer brand is one of the key factors in keeping the price down.

Ride1Up Portola review
Electronics (Battery, Motor, Display)
Components (Shifter, Derailleur, Fork, Brakes)
Frame (Geometry, Sizing)
Ride1up portola pros
Amazing price
Shimano Altus 8-speed gears
Powerful and well tuned 750W motor
Solid hydraulic disk brakes
Ability to change between the 3 ebike classes and power in each pedal assist level
Sturdy rear rack
Easy and secure to fold
Suits riders from 4’10” up
High quality accessories
ride1up portola cons
Basic suspension fork
Non-adjustable handlebars
Standard seat
Home assembly
Not for tall riders