Prodeco V5 Phantom X2 8 Speed Folding Electric Bicycle
Prodeco is about the closest thing you can get to an “old” electric bike company. Founded in 2010, Prodeco has a good reputation for crafting some of the best electric bikes on the market, and their USA-made bikes have been known as reliable, dependable, and better quality than some other imported models that can cost up to three times the price.
Prodeco manufactures a huge variety of electronic bicycles, with over 25 models offered in their store. This particular model is from their “Phantom” series, their most aggressively designed, easily adjustable, most durable series of bikes.
Not all of these bikes fold, but the Prodeco V5 Phantom X2 does, so as we take a look at the best 2018 folding electric bikes on the market, we’ll take a deeper look at this sturdy workhorse of a bike in our folding electric bike review.
Specifications and Features
This bike is built with a heavy-duty aluminum frame and tires, with a 26” frame and tires. This bike is made in a mountain bike style, and is quite nice to look at, with a well-designed top tube that curves gently, and supports the seat post and the battery, which is mounted on a rear cage above the back wheel.
Power is delivered to the bike via a 500-watt direct drive motor which is powered by 36v 11.6Ah Samsung Li-ion cells, giving it a top speed of up to 20 mph and a range of 30 miles. Power can be delivered with either the handlebar-mounted throttle or as a “power assist” to the pedals.
The Phantom X2 also features a front suspension to help minimize impact from potholes and rough terrain, and improve the overall smoothness of the ride. Disc brakes aid in stopping at high speeds – a welcome feature, given the 56lb weight of the bike – and the bike hardware consists of a SRAM X7 8-speed derailleur and gear shifter.
Overall, the bike is well-appointed, large, and sturdy. It can hold up to 300lbs, and the large frame makes it suitable for taller people – even folks up to 6’ 6”.
Let’s take a look at what makes the Prodeco V5 Phantom X2 8 Speed Folding Electric Bicycle such a great all-around electric bike.
Large, Sturdy Frame and Tires
- As touched on above, the build quality of this bike feels absolutely top-notch. The aircraft-grade aluminum frame is surprisingly lightweight and provides a durable and sturdy riding experience. The large size of the frame and tires is a welcome change for those of us who don’t enjoy smaller folding bikes.
Great Speed and Range
- The powerful 500w motor can easily propel you to speeds of up to 20mph on its own, and when you use it to augment your pedaling, you’ll be cruising around with almost no effort at all. The large battery cells also give this bike impressive range considering the power of its motor, and its range can be extended by using pedal-assist power only. And though it’s quite heavy, it’s certainly possible to ride this bike around without power assistance, so you won’t get stuck if you forget to charge it up.
- Some folding electric bikes miss the whole “bike” part of the equation and focus on power and electric capabilities over just having a great design assembled out of high-quality bike parts. Prodeco nails this in the Phantom X2, which uses SRAM X7 hardware for the derailleur and gear shifter, high-quality disc brakes, a RockShox XC28 100mm front fork for shock absorption, and even a top-notch Velo Plush Sport Vented saddle. Every single component on this bike is built for performance and comfort.
Capable Multi-Terrain Rider
- The mountain-bike stylings of this bike aren’t just for show. With a good suspension, heavy-duty tires, and a durable aluminum frame, you can easily take this bike off-road in grass, on trails, and on just about any trail short of a true mountain bike trail.
Even the best folding electric bikes aren’t perfect, and the Prodeco V5 Phantom X2 is no exception. Let’s take a look at some of the drawbacks you may run into if you buy this bike.
- Despite the lightweight aluminum frame, the 500w motor and Li-ion battery in this bike contribute to quite a heavy weight – over 56lbs. This can make it quite a challenge for some people to fold up and put in cars, or to walk up to apartments that aren’t on ground level, and should be considered when making your purchase.
Repeated Folding Can Damage Internals
- The Phantom has a great folding design, but some customers report that repetitive folding and unfolding – such as you would do when commuting daily for over a year – can damage some smaller wires and internal structures within the bike, and lead to poor performance – or even a broken-down bike. While this isn’t common among all users, it should be kept in mind if you plan on folding your bike a lot.
- If you want to ride this bike in the rain, you’d better have some plastic bags or other homemade waterproofing solution. In a light drizzle it will fare ably, but in heavier rain LEDs and other powered features can short out, so it should be kept indoors and can’t be ridden in downpours unless you’re willing to rig up some homemade solutions.
The Prodeco V5 Phantom X2 is another fantastic bike by this company and features a great design, tremendous build quality, and a powerful motor that combine with all-terrain riding prowess to make it a fantastic choice for an all-around folding electric bicycle.
While its weight and size may make it a poor choice for those who want a more mobile and lightweight folding electric bike, the X2 is a great choice for those looking for something a bit more robust, and its durable construction and great performance certainly justify its steep price tag, and it’s absolutely one of the best 2018 folding electric bikes out there.