I recently had the opportunity to test a really cool bicycle. It’s called the Pluto R Electric Bike, and today I’ll give you all the results of that testing, along with several photos and a video overview that together should give you all the information you’ll need to determine whether or not an e-bike might be for you.
Incidentally, a related model called the Pluto C2 Electric Bike is also currently available. While the Pluto R has the bar across the top (from just below the seat to the handlebars), the C2 is the slanted bar (or “female”) version of the bike, which many people, including older riders and anyone concerned about slipping off the pedals and landing on the bar, might prefer.
Read on for full details of my time with the Pluto R!
Pluto R Electric Bike Features and Specs
The Pluto R Electric Bike has a lot of cool things going for it, but what really makes it stand out from other typical bicycles is the fact that it has an electric motor that provides riders with a helpful pedal assist that tops out at an impressive 32 km/h and makes riding the Pluto R an absolute pleasure.
The Pluto R also incorporates all of its electronics very well—so well in fact that you can barely even tell that it’s an electric bike. With its 350 Watt Bafang brushless rear hub motor (shown below) and single cable design (just a tenth of the cables that most e-bike’s have), the Pluto R Electric Bike looks almost like any other bicycle.
What’s more, it features a lightweight aluminum alloy frame and 9 different pedal assist options. Of course, if you’d prefer to do all the hard work yourself, simply choose 0 and you’ll have your wish.
Other features of the Pluto R Electric Bike include a bell for warning pedestrians and other riders of your approach, a red light in the back so you’ll easily be seen when riding in the dark, front and rear hand brakes, and a trigger shift mechanism for easy gear shifting—just to name a few. We’ll get into more of the Pluto R’s features and specs as we work through the remainder of the review.
Assembling the Pluto R Electric Bike
The Pluto R does require some initial assembly. I was actually rather pleased with this entire process, though, as it took no more than about 45 minutes to complete and was rather straightforward. It also required very little in the way of tools (just a couple of Allen wrenches that I already had on hand).
Unfortunately, nearly half of my assembly time was spent looking for a part I misplaced when initially unboxing the bike and had eventually concluded wasn’t included. In other words, a more clever person would probably have assembled this thing in roughly half an hour.
All of the most complex parts of the bike come already assembled. For instance, the electric motor, chain and gear system, rear brakes, and the overall frame of the bike are already together in one large piece when you take everything out of the box.
All you really need to do is put the seat and handlebars on, attach the front wheel (including the mildly challenging front disc brake) and fender, screw on the 2 pedals, and inflate the tires.
One thing to note about the tires is that their air intake valve is a Presta valve (as opposed to the Schrader valve that most mountain bikes seem to have).
This meant that I had to go out and buy a valve adapter to be able to inflate the tires.
The adaptor cost all of $3 at a bike shop that was just a few blocks from my house, so it wasn’t a major issue, and it allowed me to pump the tires up at my local gas station with a standard air hose. Super easy!
Testing out the Pluto R Electric Bike
Once this task was complete, it was time to hit the road, and I must say, riding the Pluto R was really a lot of fun. This was largely owing to my strange fascination with its electronic Backlit Display (featuring an odometer and other information), which I just couldn’t stop watching (see photo above). It’s so much fun to know how fast you’re actually riding, which was frequently over 30 km/h in my case.
I rode the bike both on regular (mostly flat) streets and in a very challenging park that was full of steep hills. I definitely noticed the pedal assist whenever I put it into use, but alas, some of the hills I tackled were so steep that I just couldn’t ride all the way to the top—even with the extra boost.
For this reason, I would have to say that the pedal assist is mostly just that—an assist. It will help you out (especially on flat terrain), but this thing isn’t a motorcycle, and the electronics certainly aren’t going to do all of the work for you.
Oh well, it was still a lot of fun riding this thing, and I also found that the gears shifted very smoothly and easily, and the ride as a whole was rather smooth and sweet.
The only thing I really didn’t like at all about the Pluto R was it’s very uncomfortable seat. This seat isn’t a deal breaker, but I would definitely seek out some sort of soft (possibly neoprene?) cover or replace the thing entirely with something a bit softer. That is, unless you like having a sore posterior at the end of a long ride. I guess you can’t have everything.
However, with the Pluto R Electric Bike you certainly can have a lot. It’s a good-looking piece of machinery that any cycling enthusiast would certainly be proud to own, and I can easily recommend it to any such reader out there!
Examining the Video Evidence
Please take a couple of minutes to check out my brief video overview of the Pluto R Electric Bike. In this video I give a good up-close going over of the bike itself, discuss some of what I particularly liked (or disliked) about it, and show a bit of footage of me riding it:
Although I do have a complaint or two about the Pluto R Electric Bike, my overall opinion of it is extremely positive. In fact, I would love to have one of these amazing bikes myself. While e-bikes aren’t exactly entry-level bicycles, you sure do get a lot for your investment. And if riding a traditional bike is difficult for you (perhaps due to the constant hard work of pedaling), an e-bike might just be the answer. If so, you really can’t go wrong with the Pluto R!
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