Vanpowers UrbanGlide Ultra: 500W Mid-Drive eBike That's Ready to Conquer the Streets and Trails

After being impressed by the stealthy design and unique style of the Vanpowers City Vanture, we were eager to explore its newest sibling, the Vanpowers UrbanGlide. While the UrbanGlide may not boast the same visually striking aesthetic as the shiny Vanture, it compensates by being the more capable of the two. With increased power, larger tires, front suspension, and a rear cargo rack, the UrbanGlide is designed to tackle the challenges of urban streets and even some adventurous trails.

The UrbanGlide is offered in three configurations, with Ultra, our review model, being the top-end model.

The UrbanGlide offers riders an incredibly comfortable and relaxed ride. From its upright ergonomic design to its dampened suspension combined with a very plush seat, the Glide eats up bumps and keeps you going effortlessly. Featuring a powerful 500W mid-drive motor, the UrbanGlide Ultra gives you instant power and acceleration which feels very natural, and can help you conquer even the steepest inclines with ease. It's worth keeping in mind, however, that this does come at the expense of size and weight, making it less than ideal if you frequent public transportation or stairs during your commute.

Vanpowers Glide - Left View

Beyond this, Vanpowers has also included some more practical tech not seen on the Vanture. While it may not offer some advanced features like GPS tracking, the Glide offers one of the best built-in displays for monitoring your ride stats that is bright and easy to read even when in direct sunlight. You'll also find the optional digital code feature, which adds an extra layer of security to safeguard when powered off, an automatic front headlight that turns on when it's dark, and rear brake lights. Nothing too fancy, but it all works extremely well.


The Glide arrives mostly assembled out of the box.

Vanpowers Glide - Unboxing

The remaining steps are mostly straightforward and intuitive, particularly if you have prior experience assembling bikes. The bike has a rear fender already installed, but the front fender needs to be installed along with the front wheel and handlebars.

Vanpowers Glide - Assembly

Including a front suspension on the UrbanGlide significantly enhances the overall riding experience, especially when encountering uneven surfaces or bumps. While most of my rides were on pavement, navigating the streets of NYC, known for its potholes and obstacles, required a bike capable of handling such conditions. The suspension on the UrbanGlide proved to be a godsend. When encountering cracks, bumps, or minor road imperfections, the suspension system effectively absorbs the impact, making the ride smooth and comfortable.

Even when hitting speed bumps at higher speeds, the front suspension mitigated the impact, although it's still advisable to stand on the pedals to further minimize the jolt. The front suspension also played a crucial role when dropping from curbs. The suspension system helped to dramatically reduce the initial impact, providing a more comfortable and controlled descent. This feature particularly benefits urban riders who frequently encounter curbs during their daily commutes.

Display and Controls

The controls found on the left handlebar offer additional functionalities.

Vanpowers Glide - Left Handlebar 2
  • A single press of the up and down buttons cycles between the bike's power assist modes.
  • Holding the up button will turn the front light on or off.
  • Holding the down button activates the walk assist mode, which helps when walking alongside the bike.
  • A long press of the up and down buttons together enters the settings menu, where riders can reset riding stats, switch between mph/kph units, pair with Bluetooth devices, enable automatic headlight activation in low-light conditions, and enable or disable the 4-digit lock code for added security.
Vanpowers Glide - Menu

A Relaxed and Capable, but Very Large Commuter eBike

While the Vanpowers UrbanGlide may not captivate with the same visually striking design as the City Vanture, it compensates with its more powerful motor, larger tires, front suspension, and built-in rear cargo rack. This e-bike offers an incredibly comfortable ride, making it a pleasure to navigate city streets or venture off-road. The UrbanGlide Ultra's 500W mid-drive motor delivers impressive acceleration and power, allowing riders to conquer steep slopes easily. However, unfortunately, it lacks a dedicated throttle as found on its cheaper brushless motor models.

While its larger size allows for its more capable design, weighing in at 32 kg, it can be challenging to carry and store. Although this is primarily marketed towards urban riders, it may not be the most practical choice for commuters who rely on public transportation, use stairs, or have limited storage space at their final destination.

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