This electric bike is for young urbanites: Riide

Jeff Stefanis and Amber Wason's electric bike, Riide, is specifically designed for "city-proud" millennials. The company recently won backing from the district's Digital DC Tech Fund.

Photo by Brady Dale

An unpredictable metro system, perennially clogged roads and those endless, daunting hills. No wonder D.C. helped inspire two small-town transplants to create Riide, an electric bike for busy millennials.
Most electric bikes out there “are selling exercise for babyboomers,” said COO and cofounder Amber Wason. “We sell transportation.”
This is not your uncool uncle’s electric bike. In fact, it does not look and feel like one. The battery and controller are hidden inside the downtube, which is topped with the sleek Riide logo. Yes, the seat is rainbow-colored.
Onto the bike’s functionality. The codes and settings of the controller allow for a smooth ride, even on pockmarked roads, as this reporter can attest to.
It’s also fairly lightweight: at 35 pounds, “it’s lighter than the Capital Bikeshare bike,” said Wason. The battery takes a couple hours to charge and will take you about 25 miles.

Boxes and boxes of frames.

Boxes and boxes of frames. (Photo by Cortney Jackson, courtesy of Riide)

For those who don’t want to crack open a toolbox, Riide is also “virtually maintenance-free,” said Wason.  The bike doesn’t have gears, because they’re the “most common thing on a bike to break,” she said.
Wason has taken other stabs at helping improve D.C.’s transportation flow. As a D.C. Department of Transportation employee, she helped launch the Circulator.
But, when she lived in Glover Park and worked in Dupont Circle — “all day with high heels” — she could not muster the courage to ride her bike home, opting for the bus instead.
“It’s really frustrating and not the life we’re trying to live,” said Wason. Riide, she says, is for the “city-proud” crowd.
She and cofounder Jeff Stefanis both have failed startup cred. Wason’s was Ride Bliss, an upscale van and commuter bus service.
Riide launched on Kickstarter in January and has pre-sold approximately 120 bikes, with about a third of all orders coming from the West Coast. Riide has also designed a limited Kenneth Cole edition with retro-reflective paint.

Stefanis and Wason are currently assembling the parts — batteries, assembled wheels, frames and so on — in a temporary warehouse behind Union Market. (As recipients of a $172,500 Digital DC Tech Fund grant, their offices must be located in the so-called Opportunity Corridor.)
On a recent Thursday afternoon the Riide facility was stocked with boxes waiting to be unpacked by the two founders, along with mechanic Mike Diamond — all to the beat of MGMT and other millenial-friendly tunes.
The Riide bike costs $1,799 plus shipping.

Companies: Riide

Before you go...

Please consider supporting to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


How to encourage more healthcare entrepreneurship (and why that matters)

Howard University’s Black Commerce Conference doubles in size for its return on Juneteenth

Find out what type of heat wave you’re really in for with NOAA’s HeatRisk dashboard

How AI can revolutionize education's quest for truth

Technically Media