When it comes to evolution and innovation, the bicycle category can provide some pretty drastic examples.
While the retro movement is inspiring a resurgence of classic bikes that borrow from the 1970s and ’80s, like the BMX-style Schwinn Tornado Krate EVO or the dragster-styled Krate EVO for smaller kids, the category is heading toward a powerful future sparked by the promise of greater mobility.
The 24-inch Schwinn Healy Ridge Electric Bike (e-bike) is a recent entry into the movement that families can use to help fuel greater adventures by riding farther, not harder.
By adding a battery-powered, 250-watt pedal assist hub motor to a sturdy frame, riders ages 8 and up can cruise at speeds of up to 16 mph and reach distances of up to 20 miles on a single, four-hour charge. “Assist” is the key word here because that’s exactly what it does — it cuts down on fatigue by adding some additional oomph behind the rider to help tackle steep inclines and long distances. Have you ever hit a hill where you have to pedal standing up on your bike while huffing and puffing to make it to the top? With this bike, you push the throttle and conquer the mountain!
Getting into the technical side of things, the Healy Ridge e-bike features an 18-speed drivetrain with a handle-mounted twist shifter that riders can use to adjust the biking experience. And when the time comes to slow things down or screech to a halt, the mechanical disc brakes will do the job.
Parents should be aware that there is a learning curve here. Supervision is required for new riders, and even adults should use caution (and wear a helmet) when operating the bike and learning all of its nuances. You’d be surprised how fast it can feel when you add some power to an old-school bike!
Overall, the ride is smooth thanks to the front shock absorbers and the size has been right for the riders in our house. While we evaluated the 24-inch Healy Ridge for the purpose of review, Schwinn offers a 26-inch version for taller riders.
I will note that the included instructions could be a bit clearer when it comes to the controls of the bike. There’s also an oddity in that the handle-mounted controller has a “light” button that does nothing because the bike has no lights. It’s likely that the controller is used on multiple bike models and that some of those do have lights, but even so, that should be pointed out in the manual.
Small quip with the instructions aside, the Healy Ridge e-bike is a perfect entry into the growing world of EVs for families that want to experience the latest way to ride. If only those old-timey folks on bikes with giant front tires could see us now!
SCHWINN HEALY RIDGE 24-INCH ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN BIKE
The battery in this bike lasts for approximately 20 miles and the 250-watt pedal assist hub motor amplifies the ride up to 16 mph. It features a durable alloy frame.