Analysis: Electric Bike Company’s Model E is an affordable US-built e-bike for almost everyone

Model E delivers a good balance of quality parts and economic prices.  It is in the name of: Model e.  ‘E’ is for everyone, as Sean Lupton-Smith, founder and CEO of Electric Bike Company, explained to me on a cool winter morning bike in Newport Beach, California.  This is where EBC builds its e-bikes, assembling them locally with a combination of US and internationally sourced components.

I got a chance to tour the company’s factory and see how e-bikes were built in front of my eyes, but I got to spend a few days riding in Newport on the Model E to get a sense of what it does.  This e-bike is special.

Model E Tech Specs

Motor: 1,000W Peak Rear Gear Hub Motor

Maximum speed: forty km / h (25 mph)

Range: up to 80 km (50 mi)

Battery: 48V plus 12Ah (576 Wh) or 14Ah (672 Wh) options

Weight: 25 kg (56 lb)

Maximum load: 158 kg (350 lb)

Brakes: Textro Dorado hydraulic two-piston disc brakes on 180mm rotors

Additions: LCD display, LED head and tail lights, thumb throttle, heavy duty kickstand, wide cruiser saddle, suspension fork option, platform pedals, wide balloon tires (multiple tire options), custom paint selection, spare parts

Travel on a city cruiser

Technically the Model E Cruiser is an e-bike that specialises in EBC.  But it feels a bit more like a city cruiser, because I can use both for lazy boardwalk riding and brisk city travel.  Inserting the battery into the frame instead of the rack battery also helps give it a smoother, quieter look.

The bike is powerful when you need it, but it doesn’t feel as powerful as “I’m going to get in trouble”.  The power of 1,000 watts from the previous hub motor is certainly lively, but the bike feels quite in control.

Part of the comfort comes from the wide handlebars that provide confident steering and part of it comes with high-quality hydraulic disc brakes that quickly and easily stop.  Platform pedals also contribute to laissez-faire behaviour;  If it wasn’t too cold on my visit I might want to pedal it barefoot!

And at 56 lb (25 kg), the bike is lighter than I expected.  It looks huge, but it just feels semi-massive.  Any e-bike over 50lb is definitely heavier, but it is practically svelte for a larger cruiser e-bike.

Basically, it’s a powerful e-bike but packaged in a manageable package.  When you need to go fast you can get an honest 25 mph (40 km / h) or you can have a relaxing, easy ride.  It’s up to you and how you want to ride it

Fitment

I really like the step-by-step design of the Model E, which gives the bike a relaxed feel.

My friend joined me for testing, and when he spent most of his time at Model Y, He got experience for Model E when we switched off.  As a short rider (5’3 or 160 cm), she can easily drop the Model E’s saddle to a point and he’s completely comfortable on it.  This is not true of many e-bikes, so I have to give EBC Props there.  It is difficult for my friend to find a bike that fits him.  But the Model E is equally good for tall and short riders.

In fact, they say it suits riders from 4’6 ″ to 6’8 ″ (137 to 203 cm), which seems to be for everyone.

The touch points are very good.  From the wide cruiser saddle to comfortable leather grips, the bike didn’t feel like you’d expect the most entry-level model in the e-bike company’s range, that’s for sure. It surely has an excessive first-rate experience to it.

The only comfort that struck me was the fact that the cruiser bars were so cruiser-ish.  He leans back, and I’m definitely a straight bar kind of guy.  I got used to it, but so far, keeping my hands back and my wrists angled is not the most comfortable ride for me.  But when it comes to handlebar styles, everyone has their own.

Quality

The Model E certainly delivers better performance than the larger 1,000W motor, and the comfort is in spades.  But the real take-home from EBC is the quality.

Electric Bike Company probably has the best quality monitoring of any US-based electric bicycle company because it actually connects e-bikes to the site.  This means you can make sure each unit is perfect before you go to the e-bike, and that no parts have been replaced or installed incorrectly for cheap material.  You can learn more about the attention to detail enabled by the US Assembly by checking out my EBC Factory Tour.

The packaging is also top notch.  The bikes are fully assembled and shipped, which means you get the bike out of the box, straighten the handlebars and ride away.  Most e-bikes require a final assembly of 15 minutes to an hour, installing items such as pedals, handlebars, fenders, lights and other components.  But EBC uses its own custom packaging to ensure that the bikes are delivered in a fully assembled format and unharmed.

That means everything from dual tail lights to any optional racks or accessories is already set up and ready to go out of the box.

The right price

The E in the model may not be for everyone, but it is for the economy as well.

At $ 1,799, the Model E offers a very reasonable price for a US-made electric bicycle.  Not only do you pay for local assembly and good quality control, such close monitoring can provide, but you also get a lot of good parts.

Powerful motors, full-colour screens, hydraulic brakes and standard hardware such as stainless steel fasteners and sealed bearings all increase the cost of EBC, although the final price is reasonable compared to the rest of the market.  And while you think withinside the company’s five-year battery guarantee and 10-yr body guarantee, that rate is even greater impressive.

Depending on how sophisticated you want to go with customizations, the price may increase.  EBC has its own in-house paint facility that allows customers to create genuine e-bikes with custom paint jobs.  Then there is a large range of accessories, from baskets and racks to cup holders, GPS trackers and more.  Components such as single-speed or seven-speed drivetrain or updated suspension fork can also be customised.

So if you get fancy with your customization options, don’t be surprised that the price floats by several hundred dollars.  But for a base-level model priced at $ 1,799, you are building the best and best riding e-bike with your earning a living wage, and all for a reasonable price.

It still amazes me that you can build such good e-bikes for less than two grand in the US, but I’m not starting to complain!

While EBC is down on any formula, it definitely works for them.

But that sounds pretty yummy to me.  Let us hear what you think of Model E in the comments section below.

source Model E / Credited Micah Toll / Drivepilots

Drive Pilots

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