e-Coast launched as ‘hassle-free’ electric beach cruiser bike with belt drive

Entertainment

Priority Bicycles has just released an eye-catching electric version of the company’s Coast cruiser bike. Known as the e-Coast, the new e-bike is designed to be as “hassle-free” as possible, including weather protection, hydraulic disc brakes, and a Gates carbon belt drive.

New York-based Priority Bicycles is one of the rare pedal bicycle companies that puts just as much effort into its electric bike designs. Instead of white labeling generic e-bikes, Priority has launched nicely refined and high-end e-bikes sporting mid-drive motors and quality components.

Since the new e-Coast is designed to target more budget-friendly shoppers, this e-bike comes with a 500W rear hub motor instead of a mid-drive motor. But the rest of the bike is still replete with the same type of components we have come to expect from Priority.

The e-Coast is based on the company’s pedal version of the bike, but features several modifications as part of its electric upgrade.

As the company’s CEO and founder David Weiner explained:

After the success of our traditional Coast model, we began working to bring an electric version to customers who seek the beach cruiser aesthetic with the mobility of an e-bike. We purposely designed The e-Coast to be like a seafaring vessel; it is the perfect marriage of beach cruiser comfort, extended travel distance of an electric bicycle, and the hassle-free maintenance Priority is known for. It always feels good to be an innovator and bring something to market people have never seen before, especially for riders who want to focus more on enjoying the sand and water and less about how it’s creating wear and tear on their ride.

That hassle-free design can be attributed to three main areas. First, the bike is built to be weather-resistant by using non-corroding hardware and materials. Beach cruisers are often ridden in areas with significant salt spray, and so non-corroding hardware is a major differentiator to keep a quality bike working well for years.

Next, the Priority e-Coast comes with a Gates Carbon Drive, which is a carbon-fiber reinforced belt that replaces a chain on a traditional bike. A belt drive is essentially maintenance-free and lasts for longer than chains. There’s no need to oil it and it is actually more efficient over its entire lifespan than a chain (since chains may start out slightly more efficient but reduce their efficiency as they age and wear).

Lastly, the e-Coast is outfitted with hydraulic disc brakes. This is another nearly maintenance-free component that removes the need to adjust the brakes due to the stretch in mechanical brake cables. Hydraulic brakes also give stronger stopping power with less force needing to be applied to the brake levers.

That extra stopping power is a nice thing to have on a bike like this, which can be set into Class 3 mode with a top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h) on pedal assist. That requires user reprogramming though, since the bike ships in Class 2 mode with a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) on both throttle and pedal assist. Riders are recommended to check with their local e-bike laws before unlocking the full 28 mph top speed.

The e-Coast sports a pair of 26″ balloon tires and holds its battery in back as part of a rear cargo rack. That 500 Wh removable battery offers a range of between 20-60 miles (32-96 km), depending on how fast you ride and whether or not you’re doing more power-hungry throttle riding or just cruising along with battery-sipping pedal assist.

The new bike is priced at $1,799 for launch when using the code LAUNCH200. But that promotion only lasts a week, and the model is expected to increase to its MSRP of $1,999 after February 5.

Electrek’s Take

This is a beautiful e-bike, even if it does carry the battery in a rear rack. I get it, there’s just not a lot of place to hide a big battery on a beach cruiser.

I love low-maintenance bikes, and the combination of hydraulic disc brakes and a belt drive is incredible. If they had given me an internally geared hub then that would have been the trifecta, but of course most beach cruisers are typically single-speed. I can’t imagine this is going to be a comfortable pedaler at 28 mph, but it’s probably going to be a pleasure to pedal in the mid-speed range. Single-speeds are usually geared somewhere for the middle speed range so they aren’t too daunting to get rolling but can still provide some reasonably comfortable pedaling at higher speeds.

The price seems a tad loftier than what I’d expect, but then again there are some nice parts on here and some very high-quality construction. The price puts Priority right between the more affordable entry-level e-cruisers from Electric Bike Company and the costlier e-cruisers from Pedego, so they might be a nice Goldilocks solution for those wanting higher-end parts without spending a fortune.

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