With an ever-growing market of e-bikes to compete with, it’s getting harder and harder for brands to stand out – especially with so many now coming with similar motors, batteries, and features.
Style and brand recognition go a long way, but what else can a new e-bike brand do these days to stand out from the rest?
Well, in the case of Freebeat and their MorphRover, it means creating a 2-in-1 bike that can function as both a stationary exercise bike and an electric road bike.
Yup, this 2-in-1 bike functions both indoors and outdoors, basically filling any biking need that may arise.
This idea is pretty unique in its own right, but Freebeat takes it a step further and allows you to even charge your e-bike’s battery while riding indoors.
A self-charging e-bike can help lower your power bills, but it’s better for the environment too, making it a win for everyone.
This all sounds great, but if the MorphRover can’t perform as a stand alone e-bike, then riders are going to be disappointed – fortunately, I don’t think this isn’t going to be an issue.
With a 750W hub motor, a 720Wh battery, a 7-speed shifter, and hydraulic disc brakes, the MorphRover can hang with most e-bikes in its price range.
But there’s a lot going on here and you should know the full story before you decide.
And that’s where I can help.
In this review, I’ll go over everything this 2-in-1 bike has to offer, including any areas where there’s room for improvement.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not the MorphRover is worth investing in.
Off we go.
The Freebeat MorphRover 2-in-1 eBike
Freebeat was founded in 2018, making them one of the newer players to join the streaming fitness cycle game.
Their initial playbook was to create an affordable alternative to streaming cycles, with an emphasis on gaming-inspired, instructor-led workouts.
But with the MorphRover, Freebeat is venturing into uncharted territory.
Not only is this their first e-bike, but I can’t think of any other exercise bike/electric bike brand either- well, I guess Schwinn does, but they’re a huge company with different departments and whatnot.
Regardless, the MorphRover is still unique in the fact that it’s the first e-bike that’s been designed to act as a stationary exercise bike too (at least as far as I’m aware).
And as a website that specializes in both exercise and e-bikes, this makes the MorphRover the perfect product for me to write about.
Let’s start things off by looking at the MorphRover as an outdoor e-bike, than we’ll switch gears and go over it as an indoor exercise bike.
- 750W rear hub motor
- 85Nm of torque
- 720Wh integrated battery (48V, 15Ah)
- Up to 60 miles of range
- Heavy-duty frame
- 400 lb weight capacity
- Can be used as indoor cycle
- Bike trainer included
- Connects with Freebeat fitness app
- Automatic resistance control
- Riding indoors charges battery
- LCD console
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- 8-speed shifter
- Thumb throttle
- Front suspension fork
- Large, puncture-resistant tires
- Comes in 2 frames
- No rear rack
When looking at traditional e-bikes, I always like to start with a rundown on the top performance specs, so I see no reason to treat the MorphRover any differently.
And when it comes to performance, the motor’s the first thing that comes to most of our minds.
E-bike motors come in a lot of different varieties, but we can sum most up by thinking about their strength and their location on the bike.
In terms of strength, we can look at the watt output and the amount of torque the motor can create; with location, it’s all about whether the motor is positioned with the rear tire (hub) or with the crankset (mid-drive).
The MorphRover comes with a 750W rear hub motor that can create 85Nm of torque.
That’s a mouthful, so let’s break that down a little.
As a rear hub motor, the motor is located with the rear tire, which is the norm for this price range.
Rear hubs work great, but they don’t get to take advantage of the different gears like a mid-drive motor does, so they aren’t quite as efficient.
But this is why bikes with mid-drive motors usually cost more.
Anyway, at 750W, the MorphRover is about as strong as any e-bike in its class.
Some brands (like Juiced Bikes) use stronger, 1000W motors, but not many in this price range – you also have to be careful because 1000W motors may not be street legal in all areas.
So, 750W is powerful, but the amount of torque this bike creates is impressive too.
Measured in Newton-meters (Nm), recall that torque refers to rotational force – and when it comes to e-bikes, more torque means more acceleration and better hill climbing.
For the sake of comparison, most respectable e-bikes in this price range come with 60 – 90Nm of torque, with anything over 60Nm usually being pretty good at climbing hills.
So, at 85Nm, the MorphRover scores highly and shouldn’t have any problems ascending steeper hills.
Now the MorphRover is a Class II e-bike, so it has a top speed of 20 mph regardless of whether you’re using pedal assist or the included (removable) thumb throttle.
Folks looking for faster top speeds may be disappointed it isn’t a Class III bike, but at least you can rest assured that you should be nice and legal everywhere you go.
Overall though, the MorphRover comes with a powerful motor.
Having a powerful motor is great, but without a large battery, you aren’t gonna make it far.
Keep in mind, stronger motors pull more power from the battery, draining them quicker than a weaker motor would.
Luckily, Freebeat knows this and equipped their MorphRover with a 720Wh battery (48V, 15Ah).
The “Wh” or “watt-hour” spec is what you get when you multiply the battery’s voltage (V) by the amp-hour rating (Ah) and it’s a handy spec to use when comparing different e-bike batteries.
Real world range will vary on things like rider weight, terrain, riding conditions, and how much motor assist you use but generally speaking, the higher the Wh rating, the longer the battery should last between charges.
And at 720Wh, the MorphRover is packing a pretty large battery.
For the sake of comparison, most of the best fat tire e-bikes come with batteries in the 672 – 995Wh range, so at 720Wh, this bike fits in nicely.
And according to Freebeat, a full battery could theoretically get you upwards of 60 miles per charge, but let’s be real – that would be with a small rider riding on flat terrain using pedal assist (PAS) level 1.
If you actually use that strong motor, expect to get somewhere more in the 20-30 mile range per charge, but that’s still pretty good for a fat tire bike.
At first glance, I’d say the MorphRover is an attractive bike.
I like that it comes in 3 different colors (midnight black is my personal favorite), but more importantly, it also comes in both a step-over and step-thru frame design.
According to Freebeat, the step-thru design should fit most riders between 5’1″ – 6′ tall and the step-over option will fit most riders between 5’6″ – 6’4″ tall.
So, between the 2 frames, folks of most heights will be able to find the right fit.
This e-bike also comes with an impressive, 400 lb weight capacity, allowing it to accommodate riders of all sizes.
But a strong frame, along with a big battery and strong motor, come at a cost – and that cost is added bike weight.
Yup, at 77 lb, the MorphRover isn’t a lightweight e-bike, so if you’ll have to haul your bike up/down multiple flights of stairs on the reg, this could be a real issue.
Especially considering this bike is designed to be brought indoors and used as an exercise bike.
If you live on the first level, this might not be much of an issue, but again – carrying a 77 lb bike up a flight of stairs everyday could become more trouble than its worth.
But on the plus side, it would certainly add to your workout.
The MorphRover E-bike comes with the following included features:
LCD console- this bike comes with a 3.5″ backlit display that allows you to see your speed, distance, PAS level, and battery levels while riding.
8-speed shifter- with 8 gears at your disposal, the MorphRover gives you a lot of control over your outdoor performance. Just keep in mind that since this bike has a hub motor, the motor won’t be taking advantage of these gears (but you can).
Cadence sensor- this electric bike uses a cadence sensor, which senses every time you start pedaling, thus telling it to turn the motor on to assist (depending on which PAS level you have it set to). This is opposed to a torque sensor, which measures how hard you’re pedaling and adjusts its output to match your intensity.
Thumb throttle- this bike comes with a removable thumb throttle, giving you access to full motor power anytime you want it.
Suspension fork- there’s also a front suspension fork that can be locked out, giving you more shock absorption when you want it. This comes in handy when riding over rougher terrain, but you’ll lock it out when using it indoors.
Hydraulic disc brakes- these are the preferred brakes for electric bikes and they offer superior stopping power, regardless of how fast you’re going.
26″ x 4″ tires- the MorphRover comes with large, fat tires, allowing it to handle nicely in any terrain.
Front lighting- there’s also an included headlight for added safety when riding in the dark.
Fenders- and finally, there’s front/rear fenders to help keep you clean as you ride.
OK, that’s more or less the gist of what the MorphRover has to offer as an outdoor electric bike.
I’d say it comes with some very respectable specs and features, but honestly, nothing that really stands out – I mean, there are a lot of similar fat tires bikes with pretty identical features.
Well, the MorphRover can also be used inside as a stationary exercise bike and that does set it apart from any other e-bike I’m aware of.
Freebeat includes a stand with purchase that allows you to stabilizer the MorphRover, transitioning it into an exercise bike.
They call it a stand, but it’s really an indoor bike trainer.
Indoor bike trainers are speciality stands that allow you to turn any road bike into a stationary bike – they come in different varieties, but they all essentially connect the rear tire to a stand that allows you to adjust its resistance.
So, even though I’ve never seen an e-bike marketed with a bike trainer before, technically speaking, I don’t see why you couldn’t hook most e-bikes up to an indoor trainer.
But there’s more to the MorphRover…
This bike is designed to pair with Freebeat’s streaming fitness app, giving you access to all their instructor-led workouts.
Freebeat’s workouts have instructors telling you what to do, but they’re also gamified in that you get points based on how well you stay in rhythm with the instructor’s cues.
And you can use your score on these workouts to compete with yourself, friends, or the leaderboard.
They also have more traditional instructor-led class and scenic rides as well.
There’s even a sensor in the MorphRover’s seat that detects when you’re sitting and standing for added bonuses during workouts.
What’s more interesting though, is that there’s an auto-resistance feature, allowing the instructors to automatically control the resistance you work against during workouts (much like iFit’s auto-resistance).
This is cool because all you have to do is keep up with what the instructor instructs – you don’t have to mess around with changing the resistance (unless you want to).
This is all pretty neat, but the coolest feature about indoor mode is that you can actually charge your battery while doing your workouts.
The MorphRover comes with a regenerative feature that allows you to use the energy you’re putting into the bike (as you pedal) to recharge the battery.
Not only does this put your hard work to good use, but it also means you could technically never have to pay to use your electric bike.
That all depends, of course, on how often you ride.
Charging rates will vary depend on how hard you’re working, but according to Freebeat, you can expect to charge your battery enough to get roughly 10 miles of e-bike riding for every 30 minutes you ride it indoors.
Honestly, this seems a little too good to be true, but the fact that it can be recharged at all is pretty awesome.
If you ask me, it would be even better if you could recharge the battery while riding outdoors with the pedal assist turned off – but unfortunately, the MorphRover can’t do this yet.
That would be a truly regenerative e-bike and that would really be something – but again, the fact that the MorphRover can be charged at all while using it as an exercise bike is pretty f’ing amazing.
And again, I’ve never seen another e-bike that can do this.
Oh, you need access to Freebeat’s app to use the MorphRover in indoor mode and that’s going to cost you around $39/month.
As I’m writing this, I think you get a free 45-day trial, but after that, you’ll have to keep up with the monthly subscription fee.
I like to include a comparison to other similarly-priced bikes in my reviews, but I’m having trouble doing this here because I’m not aware of any other e-bikes that are designed to double as indoor cycles.
Like I’ve mentioned a few times already, the MorphRover is kinda one of a kind.
So, I apologize for not having any comps to compare it to, but let’s talk about the price a little here anyway.
As I’m writing this, Freebeat is selling their MorphRover for $1,799 (and the price is the same for both frame styles).
There are tons of great e-bikes in this price range, so I’m going to save myself from trying to choose a few to talk about here, but I will say that the MorphRover’s performance specs can hang with the other top options in this price range.
I also want to mention that at around $1,800, the MorphRover is priced pretty competitively compared to the other top all-terrain electric bikes (whose prices range between $1,600 – $2k+).
And of course, this is without considering the indoor functions this combo bike can serve.
Ok, I think it’s about time to wrap things up here.
I’m gonna be honest – when I first heard about the MorphRover, I wasn’t expecting much.
And that’s nothing against Freebeat, it’s just that when we see combo equipment like this the performance specs for both are usually pretty lackluster.
But in the MorphRover’s case, I’m pleasantly surprised.
The fact that you can hook this e-bike up to an included bike trainer and connect it with Freebeat’s app to use it as an indoor cycle is really awesome.
But it’s even cooler that you can actually charge the battery while you exercise.
The indoor use mode makes the MorphRover unique, but I could see a lot of folks getting tired of having to hook it up to the trainer or get tired of having to pay the monthly subscription fee to access the workouts.
Luckily, the MorphRover’s a legit e-bike in its own right too.
As an e-bike, the MorphRover comes with a powerful, torquey motor, a large battery, large tires, and most of the features you’d expect on any sophisticated electric fat tire machine (the only real thing missing is the rear rack).
And again, I think it’s reasonably-priced for what you get.
All things considered, I think Freebeat has a winner on their hands here. So, if you’re looking for a unique e-biking experience, I think the MorphRover could be a great choice.