The all-new Propella 9S Pro is an ultimate commuter ebike with all the speed of a road bike and gravel-style components that’ll stand up to the urban environment. A beefed-up version of the 7S road ebike that’s still impressively lightweight, this model is better equipped for unforgiving potholes and busy city streets. For urban riders who want extra pedal power in a sleek package, the 9S Pro may be exactly what you’re looking for.
After the success of their original 7S model, Propella has upped the ante and outfitted the 9S Pro with additional gears, extra power, and a more capable wheelset. As with each of their ebikes, the brand sticks to its city-oriented design and a commitment to low weight. Despite all the upgrades from the 7S, the Pro model is only 4 lbs. heavier at 41 lbs. which is excellent for an ebike.
The overall weight distribution feels natural even with the added heft from the rear hub motor and handles just like a standard bicycle. Riders will have no trouble lifting this bike onto a car rack or up a few stairs, tasks that can be extremely taxing with 70+ lbs. ebikes.
I appreciate that the 9S Pro is an ebike that doesn’t show its hand too much— at a glance, it could easily be mistaken for a standard, non-motorized bike. The road bike-inspired frame has tubing that’s just as slim as hybrid bikes, the only difference being the large battery positioned along the downtube. To my eye, though, the battery doesn’t disturb the sleek aesthetic, reminding me more of an oversized water bottle than those bulky external batteries installed on rival models.
350W Vinka Rear Hub Motor
One of the main upgrades on the 9S Pro is the 350W Vinka rear hub motor, up from 250W on the 7S model. Rated as a Class 1 ebike, the 9S Pro features five pedal assist levels and no throttle model. During our tests, we kept wanting to twist the grips as if there was a throttle which was curious, but not really anything to read into. It may have been a reflex since many ebikes at this price range come with a throttle mode, but this model is catered toward city riders who don’t mind pedaling in conjunction with the motor.
The top speed is 20 mph and there’s 45Nm of torque for a fast, zippy ride even on the hills. We noticed that there is a little lag between first pushing on the pedals and when the motor kicks in. The 12-magnet sensor isn’t so sensitive, but the motor does cut off when the brakes are applied which is a nice touch for such an affordable ebike.
How’s it Ride?
The Propella 9S Pro’s performance can be summed up in one word: efficient. Its lightweight build, road-ready tires, and extended gearing help the ebike roll fast and use its battery wisely. The lack of throttle mode is also a smart choice to keep riders on pedal assist and extend the range. The frame is rated for riders between 5’5” and 6’2” but I’d say there’s plenty of wiggle room on either side of that. The frame’s upright riding position is comfortable and the riser bars offer a great sense of control over the bike.
The large 9.7Ah external battery lengthens the distance on a single charge by 5 miles over the 7S, averaging out to around 35 miles depending on the assist levels. It charges fully in only 2.5 hours which is a crazy quick stat and makes having an extra battery pack on deck a legitimately practical idea. The removable battery only weighs 4.5 lbs. so you could easily store an additional one at home or in the office in case you need more juice.
Another big change from the 7S is the move to 650b (27.5”) wheels over standard 700c rims. The slightly smaller wheels mean there’s more tire clearance and the 9S Pro comes with CST Brooklyn 2.0” rubber that absorbs bumps and provides traction on gravel. The front wheel features a thru-axle for a stronger connection, too.
Combined with 160mm hydraulic disc brakes, it’s the perfect commuter setup and lets you explore off the beaten path. The matte paint job and black wheels aren’t as flashy as the electric-blue rims on the 7S, but there are still some cool blue accents on the locking grips, saddle, and battery.
Shimano 9 Speed Altus
If you didn’t know by now, the 9S Pro gets its name from the new 9-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain. That’s a quality setup with a few more gears than many rival models on the market which typically come with 7-speed shifting. The right side of the handlebar is for shifting while the left-positioned LCD display controls pedal assist modes and other settings.
It’s an interesting location choice— most ebikes put it in the middle— but I like it since it frees up space for a phone mount or ride computer if that’s your go-to device. The LCD display is in the same location as the 7S but is now full-color rather than dull black and white.
Designed around the specific needs of commuters, the new Propella 9S Pro ticks all the boxes. The more powerful motor and beefier tires are a city-proof setup that’ll soak up the bumps and get you to your destination sweat-free. I’m almost tempted to say this bike is an affordable electric gravel bike, but I’ll leave that adventuring decision up to the individual riders.
This model has fender and rack mounts so you can transform it into the ultimate daily rider and carry more cargo. For only $1,599, the 9S Pro is a lightweight city ebike that’s second to none when it comes to utility per pound.