Priority E-Classic Plus E-Bike Review 2023

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I was excited to test out the E-Classic Plus from Priority Bicycles because this summer I rode their flagship e-bike, the Current, 215 miles from Seattle to Portland and thoroughly enjoyed that experience. I was curious to see what their take on a relaxed cruiser e-bike would be. In this post, I’ll review the E-Classic Plus from Priority Bicycles, telling you what I liked about it and where it fell short.

I met the Priority Bicycles team at a test ride event in Seattle this past September and took the E-Classic Plus for a spin. I test rode the step-thru version in Blush. It was nice to see a refreshingly different color compared to most other e-bike models that are usually some combination of black or grey.

The TLDR is that this is a great e-bike for flat leisurely commutes in the city, but I wouldn’t recommend it for someone looking to tackle a 20+ mile commute on hilly roads. With that said, let’s get to it.

Key e-bike details


  • Base Price: $1,699
  • Class: 1
  • Max Speed: 20 mph
  • Estimated Range: 20 to 60 miles
  • Weight: 49 lbs

Motor & Electronics

  • Motor: 36V 250W Hub Motor
  • Torque: 40NM
  • Motor location: Front hub
  • Battery: 374Wh, 36V, 10.4Ah, Downtube-Integrated, Removable
  • PAS Sensor: Cadence
  • Throttle: No
  • Display: LCD


  • Brakes: 174HUDSON hydraulic disc brakes w/ motor cutoff
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Nexus SG-3D55 3-Speed Disc Brake Hub with Gates Carbon Belt Drive
  • Belt Drive: Yes
  • Tires: 700c x 38mm


  • Recommended Rider Height:
    • Step-through (18″): 5’2″ – 5’10”
    • Diamond (18″): 5’6″ – 5’10”
    • Diamond (20″): 5’11” – 6’3″
  • Max Rider Weight: 275 lbs
  • Payload Capacity: not given

What we like about it

  • Low-maintenance belt drive: One of the biggest selling points of the E-Classic Plus is that it features a Gates Carbon Belt drive, synonymous with quality and durability. This belt drive is a huge plus for reducing maintenance needs.
  • Sufficient motor power: With its 250 watt front hub motor with 40nm of torque, you’re looking at sufficient power for flat routes. When I took it up a hill it gave me a good boost, but started to get slightly bogged down by the top.
  • Rain fenders included: Priority knows that weather can be unpredictable. The included rain fenders are a nice touch, keeping you dry from street splashes and unexpected puddles.
  • Integrated lights: Safety first! The integrated lights are a big win for visibility during those early morning or late evening commutes, enhancing both your safety and the e-bike’s practicality.
  • Decent range: Offering an advertised range of 20 to 60 miles, the E-Classic Plus caters well to short and flat city commutes, ensuring you can get around efficiently without constant recharges.
  • Lightweight(ish) design: At just 49 pounds, this e-bike is on the lighter end of the spectrum. This makes it easier to handle, transport, and store – a real bonus in urban living.
  • Versatile for different riders: Catering to a range of rider heights from 5’2” to 6’3” means this bike can comfortably fit a wide audience, adding to its versatility.
  • Natural ride feel: The low-drag motor and seamless integration of the removable battery mean the E-Classic Plus offers a ride that feels natural and intuitive, without the bulky feeling some e-bikes have.

Where it falls short

  • Lacks suspension: Without suspension, those bumps and potholes can be jarring. This is something to consider if the streets you commute on aren’t the smoothest.
  • Limited gearing: The Shimano Nexus 3 drivetrain, with only 3 gear ratios, might feel restricting, especially if you’re used to more versatility in your ride options.
  • Optional rear rack limitations: While the add-on rear rack is useful, its 35 lbs max weight limit is a bit low. Especially for those planning to attach a toddler seat, this means you will outgrow this feature sooner than expected.
  • Best for flat terrains: The E-Classic Plus is really designed with flat city commutes in mind. If your journey involves more challenging terrains or steeper hills, this is not the e-bike for you.

In-depth review

Let’s start with the design and color, the E-Classic Plus brings a sleek, modern look while retaining that classic cruiser feel. Priority Bicycles has focused on creating a ride that’s as stylish as it is functional, appealing to those who value aesthetics as much as performance. I really like e-bikes that don’t scream “electric” with a big bulky battery and the E-Classic Plus fits this bill with a minimalist, clean design that hides its tech under the hood, so to speak. It also comes in some nice colors that are refreshingly different than the dark colors more common in the industry. The one I rode was the “blush” color scheme and it looked great.

side angle view of the E-Classic Plus step-thru e-bike in Blush color

The battery is well integrated and it can be removed by unlocking it at the top of the frame, shown here.

The heart of the E-Classic Plus is its 250-watt front hub motor. While testing this e-bike, I found the motor provided sufficient power on flat routes, making for an easy and enjoyable ride. When I took it on a short hill it gave me a strong initial boost, although it began to struggle towards the end. Priority says that it has a max of 40NM of torque, but it felt like it was starting to get bogged down a bit, indicating that while it’s capable for mild inclines, it might not be the best on steeper or prolonged climbs. This characteristic positions the E-Classic Plus as an ideal companion for flat city landscapes rather than hilly terrains.

A close up of the front hub motor

When it comes to rider comfort and convenience, Priority has incorporated several thoughtful features. The inclusion of rain fenders is a practical touch, recognizing the unpredictable nature of urban weather. These fenders ensure you remain splash-free during your commute, no matter the surprises along the way.

Additionally, safety is enhanced with integrated lights – a must-have for any urban e-bike, providing visibility during those early morning or late evening rides. The integrated rear light is a big win.

One of the standout features of the E-Classic Plus is its Gates Carbon Belt Drive. Belt drives are renowned for being low-maintenance compared to traditional chain drives, and Gates is a leader in this category. This means less time and money spent on upkeep, and more on enjoying the ride. A year or so ago I made the switch from a chain drive to a belt drive and couldn’t be happier. The E-Classic Plus was so quiet and smooth to peddle.

Along with this, the e-bike’s range is commendable. Offering 20 to 60 miles on a single charge, it’s perfectly tailored for short city commutes and ensures most riders can complete their daily routes on a single charge.

Its lightweight’ish design is another plus. Weighing in at 49 pounds, the E-Classic Plus is on the lighter end of the spectrum when it comes to e-bikes. This lighter weight is a significant advantage in an urban environment, where carrying your bike up stairs or lifting it for storage can be a common requirement.

Furthermore, the E-Classic Plus caters to a wide range of rider heights. This versatility in accommodating different body types adds to its appeal as a bike suitable for a variety of users.

The handlebars have a nice curve to them giving you an upright relaxed posture.

The cables coming off the handlebars are nicely wrapped giving the e-bike a clean look.

However, not all aspects of the E-Classic Plus are without critique. The lack of suspension was noticeable. Riding over bumps and potholes, I felt each jolt, suggesting that the e-bike could benefit from added shock absorption for a smoother ride. I’d recommend adding on a suspension seat post. This might be a crucial factor for those who frequently traverse rougher city streets.

The gearing system, consisting of a Shimano Nexus 3-speed drivetrain, does present limitations. With only three gears, it’s not the most flexible for adapting to different terrains or speeds. While sufficient for flat urban environments, this limited range could be a hindrance for riders used to more gears. This limited range combined with the front hub motor that struggled on the hill suggests to me that this e-bike is best suited for commutes that are flat and leisurely. The Shimano Nexus 3 drivetrain is shifted using this right-hand grip shifter.

Another area of potential concern is the optional rear rack. Though a useful addition, its maximum weight capacity of 35 pounds isn’t ideal. This limitation is particularly noteworthy for those looking to use the e-bike for family outings, as attaching a child seat and toddler could quickly approach this limit.

In summary, Priority Bicycles’ E-Classic Plus is an excellently crafted e-bike for city commuters and leisure riders. Its sleek design, low-maintenance belt drive, compact motor, and thoughtful features like rain fenders and integrated lights make it a top contender in its class. However, its suitability falls short for rough terrains, or for those needing more gear variety or power for steep hills.

It’s a splendid choice for the urbanite seeking a dependable, stylish, and enjoyable ride for their daily city jaunts.

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