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Priority E-Coast Review: America’s Best Electric Beach Cruiser

Priority E-Coast Review

Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more about it.

updated: May 12, 2024

As a Florida man, I grew up with balmy tropical weather, beautiful beaches, and a culture that values riding throughout our coastal communities on our rock-solid beach cruisers. Unfortunately, moisture, sand, and rust will chew up and spit out lesser bikes, which is why Priority set out on a mission to craft a premium electric beach cruiser–one designed to effortlessly survive the environmental hazards of seaside living, incorporating a convenient “low-maintenance” design, an impressively long range of 60 miles, and the ability to reach speeds of 28mph.

Sure, Priority nailed the gorgeous, classic beach cruiser style, but I took the Priority E-Coast out for a spin for two months to see for myself if the beauty was just skin deep, or if there was something special about this deceptively simple e-bike. After cruising through parks, roadways, and of course, the beach itself, I can safely say that it is the best electric commuter bike for anyone who lives by the ocean.

Priority E-Coast

Priority E-Coast

From the premium parts, swift acceleration and high top speed, rugged construction, and just how enjoyable it is to ride, there are plenty of reasons why the E-Coast won me over this summer.

Priority E-Coast first impressions

Although seasoned cycling enthusiasts shouldn’t have too much trouble assembling this e-bike, Priority Bicycles was kind enough to have my test model assembled and delivered to me by a local bicycle shop via Beeline Connect. I know it would’ve taken me a while to assemble the E-Coast myself, so I was extremely thankful to enjoy my new bike as soon as it arrived. If you’re not completely confident about assembling a new e-bike piece by piece, I highly recommend investing in this service to skip the hassle.

Between its classic beach cruiser frame, gleaming colors, and elegant overall design, the Priority E-Coast is an impressive-looking bike. As someone who has ridden beach cruisers all his life, one of the first things that stood out was that the 56lb E-Coast is noticeably heavier than what I was used to. This is not a negative aspect, but its bulkier fat tires, battery, and small motor certainly add a little bit more weight than the average beach cruiser.

I should also note that just like a regular beach cruiser, the E-Coast takes up some room. Since it does not have a folding feature, it’s difficult to recommend this model to anyone short on space. However, I have plenty of indoor space for my E-Coast, and if you have a garage or shed to shield it from the elements, you’ll be fine, too.

Priority E-Coast pros and cons

Pros:

  • Zippy acceleration makes it easy to get to desired/top speeds very quickly
  • Fat tires, upright posture, and cushioned seat make for an especially comfortable ride
  • Its impressive battery life provides a maximum range of 60 miles; excellent for commuting around town
  • Practically no maintenance needed; ultra-rugged design was made to last, especially in seaside conditions that would quickly degrade lesser bikes
  • Conveniently designed and easy-to-read LCD screen for setting speed, displaying current speed, monitoring battery life, etc.
  • Genuinely fun to ride

Cons:

  • This weighty e-bike is not fun to ride without any assistance from the motor or the throttle, so be mindful not to completely run out of battery during your commute
Priority E-Coast

Priority E-Coast

Priority E-Coast price

The Priority E-Coast is available for $1,999.99, and buyers have the option of selecting either a diamond or step-through frame style, as well as their choice of four glossy colors: White, mint, charcoal, and the gloss indigo edition featured here.

Key features:

Specifications:

  • Weight: 56 pounds
  • Range: Up to 60 miles
  • Maximum speed: 20mph (Class 2) but can be reprogrammed for 28mph (Class 3) depending on your area’s e-bike laws
  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Tires: 26″ x 3″ Fat tires
  • Features: Throttle, powerful motor, LED display, front and rear lights, water-resistant design

Throttle

The E-Coast features a twist-grip throttle on its right side, and while it will eat up the battery if you use it for extended periods, it is a blast to use (and what is an electric bike meant to be if not fun?) The throttle is responsive and gentle for those times when you want to ease up to a higher speed, and extremely zippy for whenever you need to hit your set top speed in seconds.

Not only is the throttle swift and a joy to use, I was glad to hear that the E-Coast’s motor runs silently–although relatively quiet, the sounds of pedaling and braking are much noisier in comparison.

Belt drive

Priority designed the E-Coast as the first (and currently only) beach cruiser with an electric belt, and once you’ve owned a bike that utilizes a Gates Carbon Drive belt, it will ruin how you view traditional bike chains forever. The E-Coast’s electric belt runs silently, is clean and grease-free, rustproof, and provides a much smoother ride than I was used to. Other than dusting away dirt and sand from the belt as needed, in fact, it’s practically maintenance-free.

chain

LED display

The E-Coast sports a small but easy-to-read display that highlights your bike’s current speed, battery life, and pedal assist level. It works well for noting vital information at a glance, and its intuitive design makes it a snap to make subtle, distraction-free adjustments while riding.

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Hydraulic disc brakes and stopping

Although it sports impressive stopping power, the E-Coast’s brakes are the noisiest element of this capable e-bike. The slight noise was never an issue for me, and in actuality, it’s a testament to how quietly this electric beach cruiser operates overall.

As a key safety measure, its motor automatically shuts off when the hand brakes are activated, and won’t start again until the rider pedals or the throttle is triggered. Even at high speeds and on uneven, grassy, or sandy terrain, the E-Coast’s hydraulic brakes are tight and responsive.

Padded and railed saddle

While the matching tan seat, handlebars, and tires are a stylish attention-grabber, commuters will appreciate the plush and genuinely comfortable saddle seat. In addition, I noticed that the E-Coast kept me in a natural upright position, which felt cozy and urged me to ride for longer than I would on less comfortable e-bikes.

wheela

Tires

Speaking of its tires, the E-Coast features 3-inch fat tires that provide a dependably smooth cruise across pavement, compacted sand, and grass, and are especially adept at absorbing mild shocks as well. Sure, the extra-large tires caught my attention, but even more importantly, I was glad to feel how their tall and wide design goes a long way towards providing a more comfortable ride.

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Front and rear lights

The E-Coast incorporates a bright white LED headlight and a matching red rear light that illuminates even more brightly when its brakes are activated.

Rear rack

The E-Coast includes a rack that houses its integrated battery, and while it’s certainly not made for an additional passenger, it is an efficient way to haul up to 50 pounds of cargo.

Kickstand

I’ll admit that its two-legged kickstand was a bit awkward at first, but not only did I get used to it quickly, I realized the hefty E-Coast relies on this center-mounted kickstand to keep it securely upright.

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Locking battery

The E-Coast’s battery includes an integrated lock and a pair of keys, so you can walk away from the bike racks without worrying about thieves running off with your battery pack.

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Priority E-Coast: Is it for you?

If you love the idea of riding an essentially no-maintenance e-bike around your area for fun or your daily commute, the E-Coast is more versatile than you’d expect. It’s fast and fun to ride but genuinely comfortable, and with a maximum range of 60 miles, it’s easy to cruise wherever you need to go. 

Even if you live far from the sea, this speedy, well-made, and cozy cruiser of an e-bike might be your best option. The frame and components are far more durable than you may expect from an electric beach cruiser, and caring for it is rarely more complicated than keeping its battery charged and cleaning it up as needed. 

The E-Coast is at its best on tightly packed sand, pavement, and roadways, but its powerful motor easily climbs small inclines, too. However, If you’re looking for a rugged off-road model, something to carry hundreds of pounds of cargo, or a slim, foldable e-bike for a small apartment, the E-Coast is absolutely not for you.

Priority E-Coast

Priority E-Coast

Priority E-Coast ride and comfort

The E-Coast’s fat tires, well-cushioned seat, and upright positioning all sync together for a consistently comfortable cruise. The oversized tires easily glide over everything except for soft sand and especially bumpy or uneven pathways, and its relaxing overall feel will make you want to ride for commutes, fun, and just to get back on the ultimate electric cruiser.

Priority E-Coast Performance

Ease of use

Even if Priority’s E-Coast is your first experience with an e-bike, its cozy feel and intuitive controls make riding a breeze. Simply set your preferred level of pedal assist on the display screen, and its motor will silently kick in as you pedal, but if you need an extra boost, a slight twist of the throttle will speedily yet smoothly kick it up a notch. Braking feels smooth and responsive, its positioning feels comfortable and relaxed even at higher speeds, it glides over most environments like butter, and if the most “negative” thing I can say about the E-Coast is that its heavy build doesn’t feel great to pedal without its battery backing you up, Priority did an excellent job of making this electric beach cruiser an all-around joy to ride.

Maintenance

Although maintaining other high-end bikes can be a chore, the Priority E-Coast is almost maintenance-free due to its brilliantly designed Gates Carbon Drive belt. Unlike other models, this e-bike is grease-free, and its rust-resistant frame is tailor-made to look and drive its best in seaside environments, despite the constant exposure to sea spray, moisture, and sand. In my experience, as long as the battery was charged, I was always good to ride at a moment’s notice.

If you enjoy riding but hate the idea of regular bike maintenance, the Priority E-Coast is for you.

Priority E-Coast design and build quality

While many modern e-bikes lean towards a utilitarian or modern aesthetic, Priority clearly prioritized beauty and function in equal measure. Its charming classic beach cruiser frame and retro color options may grab your attention, but its impressive durability and intuitive design will keep it. The E-Coast’s belt, frame, and other parts were clearly made to last and extremely easy to care for, and although it isn’t invincible, owners should expect to ride this model for a long time before something needs to be fixed or replaced.

Alternatives 

Although I’m admittedly a fan of the Priority E-Coast, there are a few alternate e-bike beach cruisers out there if you’re on the fence, or simply need to see what else is available before you commit:

Schwinn Mendocino

Although the Schwinn Mendocino’s maximum speed is capped at 20mph and sports a lesser range of up to 45 miles per charge, it fully charges within four hours and is a far more affordable pick, especially if you aren’t in the market for an e-cruiser with a throttle.

Gazelle Ultimate C380

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is the Gazelle Ultimate C380. This premium e-bike cruiser was designed to travel up to 65 miles per charge and features an impressive suspension system that turns the bumpiest of pathways into an extra-smooth cruise. Despite its excellent performance, its sky-high price tag will keep this e-bike out of the average commuter’s garage.

Priority E-Coast final verdict

An electric beach cruiser may not immediately jump to mind as the best electric bike for first-time owners, but if you need a comfortable and smooth ride, a premium battery life for commuting around town, and a dependable model that’s always fun to ride, the surprisingly versatile and fairly priced Priority E-Coast is well worth your consideration.

Priority E-Coast

Priority E-Coast

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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