As an avid cyclist I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Ridgeback Errand ebike to test out this highly versatile urban utility ebike.
With a punchy performance, remarkable handling, and a well-equipped setup, the Ridgeback Errand is an ideal choice for those looking to replace short car trips or commute with ease.
A Brief Introduction to Ridgeback
Ridgeback has been a well-established name in the British commuter bike market since 1983. Originally specializing in classic-style touring bikes, the brand made a successful transition into the growing urban bike segment with the introduction of the original flat-bar Ridgeback Genesis Day 01. Today, the Ridgeback Errand is their latest offering, designed to cater to the needs of urban utility bike enthusiasts.
Design and Appearance
The Ridgeback Errand features a low-slung frame with a generous front rack and 20-inch wheels, giving it the appearance of an electric cargo bike. However, don’t let its looks deceive you. The Errand is lighter, nimbler, and yet still a very practical ride, making it perfect for mid-length commutes and short trips around town.
Available in black, blue, and red color options, the bike has an attractive design that’s sure to turn heads as you ride through the urban jungle.
Frame, Motor, and Specifications
The Errand comes in a single frame size, but its extra-long 400mm seatpost and adjustable stem, ranging from 0 degrees to a 40-degree rise, make it suitable for riders between 5ft (153cm) and 6ft 4in (194cm) in height. This adaptability makes the Errand an excellent option for a household bike or shared office transport.
At the heart of the bike’s electric system lies a rear-hub motor from Danish e-motor company Promovec. With a 250W output and 54Nm of torque, I was impressed by the snappy performance of this compact electric bike motor. The motor assistance ranges from minimal in levels 1 to 3, with level 4 offering enough power to conquer steep ascents without breaking a sweat. Level 5 is best reserved for quick getaways at traffic lights or when you’re in the mood for some fun.
Controlling the motor is a breeze with the small ring-shaped bar-mounted controller, featuring an on/off button and up/down buttons to cycle through the five modes. The controller displays five blue bars to indicate battery level, which switch to green as you shift through the modes. However, the glossy black curved screen can be challenging to read in bright sunlight due to reflections.
The battery also has five LEDs to show the charge level, and the Promovec system comes with a free accompanying app (available for iOS and Android) that provides a more accurate battery level. The app also displays information on speed, distance, range, light control, and mapping. Additionally, you can customize the motor settings to match your riding preferences—an impressive feature for an electric bike at this price point.
The external battery label states a 316.8Wh capacity, slightly lower than the 500Wh capacity of similar Bosch-equipped bikes such as the Cube Compact, Benno RemiDemi, and Tern Quick Haul. However, these alternatives come at a higher price.
Range and Charging
Initially, I was concerned that the Errand’s range might be its Achilles’ heel due to its lower battery capacity. However, my worries were unfounded, as the bike managed a respectable 34.8 miles (56km) over rolling terrain with an elevation gain of 1,952ft (595m).
The charger for the Errand is compact, measuring 12x6x3.5cm, and a full charge takes just under four hours. The battery can be easily removed with a turn of a key, making it simple to charge at work or home.
Comfort and Handling
The Schwalbe Big Apple tires provide a comfortable ride, even on rougher surfaces like towpaths and unpaved roads. While I wasn’t a fan of the squishy gel saddle, my partner had no issues with it, proving that saddle preference is a personal matter.
The textured handlebar grips work well with ungloved hands, and the Errand comes well-equipped with solid mudguards, front and rear lights powered by the battery system, and an AXA frame lock.
Geometry and Ride Impressions
The compact wheel size of the Errand makes it easy to handle at low speeds and navigate tight turns with ease. It also feels lighter than its near-20kg weight would suggest, making it easy to manage when walking beside it.
The long wheelbase ensures stability, even when the front rack is loaded with cargo. I would have preferred the Errand to come with a rear rack for added capacity, and it would have been helpful for Ridgeback to include bungee straps for securing items on the front rack.
The 8-speed SunRace cassette (11-32t) paired with a large 44-tooth Prowheel chainring, Shimano Acera derailleur, and Microshift trigger shifter may be budget components, but they work together seamlessly. I experienced accurate gear changes and a suitable range of gears for urban and suburban miles, all while being easy to use. The Clarks hydraulic disc brakes are equally impressive, offering plenty of power and control.
Despite its practical, simple appearance, I found the Errand to be enjoyable to ride and easy to live with.
The Ridgeback Errand is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a versatile bike that multiple riders can use, providing a viable alternative to car trips or expensive public transport. With its fun handling, powerful motor, and decent practicality, the Errand is a fantastic option for communal office or family use.
If Ridgeback were to add a rear rack and a more comfortable saddle, the Errand would be nearly perfect for its asking price. Despite these minor shortcomings, the Ridgeback Errand ebike is a solid investment for those seeking a reliable urban companion.