When we first heard about the Prodeco V3 Phantom X2, we thought to ourselves, “Wow, that’s a lot of letters and numbers… But what IS it?” The Phantom X2 is not only a folding bike – great for car storage on vacation or just to be polite to other passengers on public transit – it’s also an electric bike. We had to admit, we were a little bit impressed, or we would be if it did all Prodeco Technologies promise it does.
The Phantom X2 has a top speed of twenty miles per hour and a distance range of twenty-eight to thirty miles per battery charge. Unlike some other electric bikes, there is no pedal assist option like that found on the eZip Trailz. Either you engage the motor and do not need to pedal, or you don’t engage it, and you operate under your own power. That said, if you engage the motor but don’t turn it up to full throttle, you can still pedal to assist the bike’s movement. In a sense, you can set a pedal assist for yourself.
At fifty-eight pounds, this is not a light bike, but if you’re familiar with electric bikes or folding bikes, you know that both are fairly heavy machines. At just shy of sixty pounds, this is actually a pretty light option for either type of bicycle, let alone both. With the weight and electric motor, we were a bit concerned about braking power. However, Prodeco has spec’d the Phantom X2 with Avid BB7 disc brakes. These cable-actuated brakes are both responsive and smooth, giving you the stopping power you need at any speed. Our fears were allayed, and we felt completely confident, both stopping and going.
Unfold, Twist, and Go!
When you’re not using the motor, you can use the SRAM X7 eight-speed shifter to change gears for faster or easier pedaling. While most non-assisted commuter bikes have a wider range of gears, with twenty-one to twenty-seven speeds, most people usually only use the middle seven, eight, or nine gears anyway. Losing the front shifter and gears on this bike helps shave some weight without giving up anything essential. If you hit a hill that you just cannot climb in your lowest gear, just give it some “gas” on the throttle and let the bike help you to the top.
As with any electric bike, if you rely on the battery too much, you will wear it down, and you may find yourself “stuck” away from home. The good news is, you can always pedal, whether the battery is charged or not. The bad news is, if you haven’t been pedaling much, you’ll find that pushing your way home on a heavy bike is not that much fun. We recommend pedaling as much as you can when you’re using the motor, so that you’ll get a light workout and build up for the day that you forget to charge the battery or something goes wrong.
We were definitely impressed with the Phantom X2 at all. It folds easily to a compact size. If you’re splitting your commute between riding the bike and riding a train, you won’t have any trouble getting in other passengers’ way or taking up too much room. If you’re packing for a trip with the family, it should have no problem fitting between the cooler and the bags in your SUV or minivan. This is a really fun, utilitarian bike. We recommend it wholeheartedly.
Check out the latest price for the Prodeco V3 Phantom X2 8 Speed Folding Electric Bicycle, Matte Black, 26-Inch/One Size on amazon.com