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Ridgeback Errand review: A nippy, practical and compact e-bike

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1800
inc VAT

Quick, light and practical – the Errand is a brilliant electric run-around for hopping in and out of town


  • Small light hub motor is a great hill climber
  • Lightweight for an e-bike
  • Big capacity front rack


  • No rear rack
  • Power delivery could be a little smoother and more efficient

The Ridgeback Errand is a great compact city e-bike. The 20-inch wheels make it nippy and manoeuvrable, and the lively-performing motor is an ideal combination for whisking quickly and affordably around town.

It’s not perfect – the lack of a rear rack seems silly for this kind of bike – and the motor could provide a little more refinement, but these minor quibbles don’t overshadow what is otherwise a great little run-around. If you simply don’t have room for a bigger bike, the Errand is a capable alternative. 

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Ridgeback Errand review: What do you get for the money?

Apart from that missing rear rack – a truly bizarre omission given the name of the bike – this is a very well-specced e-bike. Gears and brakes go beyond the level of many e-bikes that cost a similar amount, with a Shimano Acera 8-speed derailleur gear setup and Clarks hydraulic disk brakes (hydraulic disc brakes are generally the smoothest and most powerful e-bike braking solution available).

The Errand also features powerful LED lights, mudguards, frame lock (easily removable if you want to shed a bit more weight) and an adjustable handlebar stem. This is a bike that’s ready for riding in just about any conditions, day or night.

The rear hub motor is from a Danish firm called Promovec. It’s not a particularly well-known brand, but it has an established track record of making numerous types of e-bike systems, and this little lightweight motor certainly helps keep the weight down on the impressively lightweight Errand. The bike itself weighs 20kg, which is respectable for a fully equipped e-bike at this price. 


The 317Wh battery has a relatively modest capacity (500Wh is about the average), and this is a good compromise for a bike designed for short urban trips as it helps keep weight down. It’s not sleek, sticking out like a sore thumb on the downtube, but it’s quicker and easier to remove and replace than frame-integrated batteries. Practicality is the order of the day here.

There’s no display to show you speed and other ride data as there often is on e-bikes, just a small thumb control unit for flipping between the five power levels. Blue light bars on this show the current battery level and green bars briefly show the motor level you’re in when you tap the button. It’s minimalist but practical.

There’s no suspension, but that’s no great loss for a city bike – the large volume 2-inch wide Schwalbe Big Apple tyres roll quickly and soak up lots of road chatter. They should also allow you to tackle light off-road riding in comfort.

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Ridgeback Errand review: What’s it like to ride?

The motor power kicks in shortly after you begin pedalling and stops pretty much when you stop. It lacks the rapid reactions of torque-sensing systems found on much pricier e-bikes, but the less sophisticated crank motion-sensing technology is well implemented here – it’s certainly among the better ones I’ve tried.

My only niggle is that the power is delivered a little too strongly and could be much smoother. That’s a minor criticism, though. The Errand performs its core tasks really well, enabling me to nip in and out of traffic, and it’s a surprisingly impressive hillclimber given its diminutive size.

I managed a range of around 22 miles in hilly Pennine country – slightly disappointing given the bike’s relatively light weight – and this is possibly related to its over-eager power delivery. Sadly, turning the power level down to save battery juice isn’t a solution: the lower power levels only limit how fast you can go rather than actually delivering less power over the whole legally assisted speed range (up to 15.5mph).

All other aspects of the ride are impressive. The gears shift quickly and crisply, and go low enough to spin up 15% gradients and occasionally even steeper ones. Gearing might not sound like a key concern for an e-bike, but the crank motion sensors cut off the power if you’re not spinning the pedals quickly enough.

The brakes are strong without feeling grabby, and the bike feels stable and comfortable to ride despite the rapid acceleration and manoeuvrability. Those wide Schwalbe tyres work wonders on the road. Last but not least, the hardwired LED lights are powerful and the rear light in particular can be seen from a very wide range of angles.

Despite being a one-size frame, the Errand should fit a wide range of riders. The handlebar stem is adjustable back to front and there is a good amount of height adjustment on the seatpost. Ridgeback suggests that it’s suitable for riders between 153 and 194cm (5′ – 6’4″).

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Ridgeback Errand review: Is there anything it could do better?

The lack of a rear rack is inexplicable on a bike such as this: a good-sized shopping trip isn’t really an option until you fit an aftermarket one. This seems a missed opportunity for Ridgeback – it could have fitted one that was readily child-seat-compatible, for example, immediately widening the appeal of the Errand.

My other minor gripes are that the power delivery is unrefined and range is slightly disappointing. Given the core purpose of the bike, though, you could argue that a lighter battery and lower price justify the compromise.

Ridgeback Errand review: Should you buy one?

There are other e-bikes out there in the same weight and price category as the Errand, but they are most certainly not compact. Foremost examples are the folding Raleigh Stow-E-Way and the cargo-specific Velosta.

For a lively, nimble e-bike, though, the Errand tops the lot. It stands pretty much on its own as a lightweight, affordable, compact e-bike, and if that’s what you’re after it’s a great buy.

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