Priority eClassic Plus Hands-On: A Beautiful eBike Without All the Hassle

E-bikes are cool and exciting and intimidating as… well, you get the idea. Except this Priority eClassic Plus isn’t intimidating at all, and it doesn’t really look like an e-bike.

I’ve been curious about e-bikes for a while now. The idea that I could ride longer distances was appealing, especially living on the Gulf Coast, where we have nice, long beach-front boardwalks and plenty of bike-enabled nature trails. The Priority eClassic Plus looked like I might have finally found the e-bike I’d been looking for—not too complicated, but with the features I wanted for those longer, lazier rides. I wasn’t disappointed.

An eBike, but Not Too Heavy
One of my concerns when considering an e-bike was the weight of the thing. I’d heard that e-bikes are super heavy. Weight introduces a couple of problems for me. First, there’s actually getting the bike onto my bike rack, which sits nearly shoulder height for me, to get it to a trailhead. Then there’s the question of whether the ‘over-the-tire’ rack on my Jeep could securely hold the bike.

Priority eClassic Plus on a bike rack on the back of a Jeep.
Priority eClassic Plus. Lifewire / Jerri Ledford
I was surprised to find that not only could I easily lift the eClassic Plus on my own, but it sat nicely in my bike rack and wasn’t so heavy that it changed the balance on the rack. It was secure enough that I felt comfortable making the 45-minute drive to a local-ish bike trail without concern that I would lose it.

Easy, At-a-Glance Controls
Don’t let the weight fool you, though. This is still an e-bike with pedal assist, and it offers three levels of assistance, each designed to help you on long rides, get up hills, or navigate less-than-flat trails. The thing I loved the most about it, though, was that I could choose when I wanted to use the classic features of the bike, versus the powered features, simply by turning the pedal assist on or off.

Priority eClassic Plus digital controls and speedometer.
Digital Controls and Speedometer. Lifewire / Jerri Ledford
The gears are controlled by a handlebar hub with manual controls, so when I want to use my own power to move, it’s easy to choose which gear suits the situation I’m in. But, when I got tired or needed a little extra boost, the powered option is as simple as a button push on the control box, which is mounted on the opposite side of the handlebars.

The control box lets you turn on the pedal assist, activate the front light, and monitor your speed, distance, and battery life. Once activated, the power feature of the bike gradually increases the speed and can reach up to 20mph, though I found I used the feature more for help in tough spots than to increase my speed or lighten the load when I tired of pedaling, which is pretty often since I’m a relatively new cyclist.

Less Maintenance Than a Traditional Bike
The other thing I have found intimidating when considering e-bikes is the level of maintenance that’s required to use them regularly. The eClassic Plus defeats that concern by being super easy to maintain. Basically, I charge it, use it, and put it away. There’s no oiling needed since it uses a carbon fiber belt rather than a metal chain, and nothing to adjust or care for between rides.

Priority Classic eBike downtube battery.
Downtube Battery. Lifewire / Jerri Ledford
The battery takes a few hours to charge, but it fits into the downtube on the bike and it pops right out (you’ll need the key to get it loose) and then back in when you’re ready to go. It outlasted me on every ride I’ve taken, so I never felt like I might get into the middle of a ride and run out of juice.

These are all great features in a mid-range e-bike. You can order the bike online for $1700, but I do recommend you have it delivered to and assembled by a bike shop unless you’re a pro with e-bike assembly because while this bike is simple to use, it does require a little skill to put together.

Overall, I love everything about this bike, from the classic styling that makes it look like a traditional bike to the easy controls and relaxed ownership responsibilities. For a first-time e-bike owner or someone who just wants the ease of semi-powered cycling without all the complications that can come with some e-bikes, this is a great choice.

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