Priority Cycle E-Coast
“The Priority Bicycles E-Coast is a gorgeous e-bike you’ll want to ride every day.”
Quiet, smooth carbon belt drive
Hydraulic brakes boost stopping power
Low maintenance components
With a gleaming white finish, stainless steel hardware, and rosy-tan-colored seat, grips, and tires, the Priority Bicycles E-Coast e-bike gets plenty of attention just for its looks. But its appeal doesn’t end there. The upscale components selected for smooth riding, low maintenance, and long life seal the deal on the E-Coast. You will pay a bit more than average for this sparkling e-bike, but if you can swing the cost, you won’t regret it.
If you’re looking for a durable, cruiser-style e-bike for daily errands and fun rides, the Priority E-Coast is an excellent choice. You should choose different e-bikes for off-road scrambling or fast e-bike commuting in the gritty city, but based on test riding the E-Coast, I’m convinced you won’t find a better choice for casual rides around town, on well-worn paths, or on hard-packed beach sand.
The E-Coast complements the belt drive with hydraulic disc brakes that clamp on 180mm disc rotors for smooth stops.
On looks alone
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Priority sells the E-Coast e-bike in two frame styles that the company calls Diamond and Step-Through. The Diamond frame has a conventional high tube and is rated for riders 5-feet-6-inches tall and up, while the Step-Through model accommodates riders down to 5 feet tall. I’m 5-foot-8-inches tall, OK for either style, but I chose subjectively, based primarily on looks.
When the E-Coast arrived, I wasn’t disappointed. Getting the bike ready to ride was relatively quick and easy. After watching a helpful video on the company’s website, it took less than 30 minutes for full assembly. If needed later, it’s easy to adjust the handlebar height and even easier to raise or lower the seat.
This belt sets you free
Beyond the E-Coast’s appearance, the Gates Carbon Drive belt is the e-bike’s most defining feature. Compared to conventional metal bicycle chains, the benefits of belt drives include quieter operation, no rusting, no lubrication, and a significantly longer useful lifespan. Priority claims the Gates Carbon Drive belt lasts two to three times longer than regular chains.
The E-Coast doesn’t have a multiple-gear cassette with a derailleur and a gear shifter on the handlebar. The e-bike’s single-speed rear hub 500-watt electric motor has five pedal assistance power modes. You select pedal assist modes using plus (+) and minus (-) buttons on a display control pad, located near the left handlebar grip. You can also control the drive speed with a half-twist throttle on the right grip.
Components: The major bits
As with any good e-bike, rider satisfaction depends on more than just good looks and an electric motor. The E-Coast complements the Gates Carbon Drive belt with hydraulic disc brakes that clamp on 180mm disc rotors with minimal pressure on the brake levers.
The combination of the E-Coast’s belt drive and hydraulic brakes removes much of the minor drama from riding and stopping e-bikes with metal bike chains, multiple gears, and mechanical disc brakes. Everything happens smoothly.
The E-Coast e-bike doesn’t have a front or rear suspension, but its solid frame, cushy seat, and 26-inch diameter by 3-inch wide street tread tires work together for a surprisingly comfortable ride. You won’t want to jump hills — even small ones — with the E-Coast, and you’ll feel it if you hit a curb or a roadway pothole, but in general, the ride is fine for the bike’s cruising focus.
Cruising as it was meant to be
Priority ships the E-Coast as a Class 2 e-bike, which limits the top speed to 20 mph, but you can use the display control buttons to unlock 28 mph, if Class 3 e-bikes are legal in your state. I pushed it to that speed just to make sure it would reach it, but I found Class 3 mode more useful to comfortably maintain a speed of about 24 mph as I cruised in town, in my neighborhood, and in nearby parks.
The 576-watt-hour battery that powers the E-Coast tucks under the rear rack. You can unlock the battery to remove it from the frame for security and you can charge the battery off or on the bike with the included charger.
How far will good looks take you?
Priority says the E-Coast’s should reach 20 to 60 miles with a full charge, but as usual, those numbers can vary drastically based on everything from terrain to rider weight. If you rely heavily on throttle use only and go as fast as the bike will take you, you’ll end up on the shorter side, while contributing some pedaling and sticking to slower speeds can help take you the furthest.
When you run out of battery power, you can of course still pedal the E-Coast manually. It’s easy enough on flat ground, but I quickly found that pedaling on even moderate grades wasn’t fun. The E-Coast weighs 57 pounds as tested, which is about 10 pounds less than average e-bikes, but you still won’t want to pedal it without power assistance. On the other hand, when riding with battery power, the E-Coast did an excellent job climbing our steep driveway.
A premium ride
It’s easy to recommend the Priority Bicycles E-Coast to anyone who wants an eye-catching e-bike that rides quietly and smoothly. The E-Coast’s $2,000 price will give some buyers pause, and you can certainly find excellent budget e-bikes for half the price. But the E-Coast’s good looks, low maintenance requirements, and long-lasting drive components are definitely worth the premium.