The Model E offers an excellent balance between quality parts and economical prices. It’s right there in the name: Model E. The “E” is for everyone, as Electric Bike Company founder and CEO Sean Lupton-Smith explained as I tested the bike by a cool winter morning in Newport Beach, California. This is where EBC builds its e-bikes, assembling them locally from a combination of US and international components.
Not only did I get a chance to tour the company’s factory and see how the e-bikes were built right before my eyes, but I got to spend a few days riding around Newport on the Model E, to have an idea of what makes this e-bike special.
Model E Technical Specifications
- Motor: Industry-leading 1000W rear geared hub motor
- Top speed: 40 km/h (25 mph)
- Vary: Up to 80 km (50 mi)
- Battery: 48 V with 12 Ah (576 Wh) or 14 Ah (672 Wh) options
- Weight: 25 kg (56 lbs)
- Maximum charge : 158 kg (350 lbs)
- Brakes: Tektro Dorado twin-piston hydraulic disc brakes on 180mm rotors
- Supplements: LCD display, LED front and rear lights, thumb throttle, heavy-duty kickstand, wide cruiser saddle, suspension fork option, platform pedals, wide balloon tires (multiple tire choices), custom paint selection, range amazing accessories
Electric Bike Company Model E Video Review
Cruise on a city cruiser
Technically, the Model E is a cruiser e-bike, because that’s EBC’s specialty. But it feels a bit more like a city cruiser, like in something I could use for both lazy rides on the boardwalk and faster commutes around town. Even the inclusion of the battery in the frame instead of a battery rack helps give it that sleeker, more laid-back look.
The bike is powerful when you need it, but it doesn’t feel overpowered in an “I’m going to get in trouble” sense. 1,000 watts of power from that rear hub motor is certainly peppy, but the bike feels very controllable.
Part of the comfort comes from the wide handlebars that provide confident steering, and part comes from the high-quality hydraulic disc brakes that make stopping quick and easy. Even the platform pedals contribute to this laissez-faire attitude; if it hadn’t been so cold when I visited, I might have wanted to pedal barefoot!
And at 56 lbs (25 kg), the bike is even lighter than I expected. It looks massive, but it only feels semi-massive. Any e-bike over 50 lbs will definitely feel heavy, but that’s practically slender for a fat cruiser e-bike.
Basically, it’s a powerful e-bike but wrapped up in a manageable package. You can get a decent 25mph (40kph) when you need to go fast, or you can take a relaxing, easy ride. It’s all up to you and how you want to drive it.
I really like the step-in design of the Model E, which adds to the laid-back feel of the bike.
My wife joined me for testing, and while she spent most of the time on a Model Y, she also got a feel for the Model E when we turned off. As a short rider (5’3 or 160cm), she could easily lower the Model E saddle to a point where she felt perfectly comfortable on it. This is not the case with many electric bikes, so I have to give them EBC accessories. It is difficult for my wife to find a bike that suits her. But the E model is suitable for both adults and children.
In fact, they say it fits riders 4’6″ to 6’8″ (137 to 203cm), which seems like just about everyone.
The touchpoints all felt good too. From the wide cruiser saddle to the comfortable leather grips, the bike didn’t feel like what you’d expect from the most entry-level model in an e-bike company’s lineup, that’s for sure. It definitely has a higher quality feel.
The only comfort thing that struck me as odd was how trendy cruise bars were. They sweep waaaay back, and I’m definitely a straight bar guy. I got used to it, but having my hands back so far and my wrists angled isn’t the most comfortable ride for me. But everyone has their own handlebar style.
The E-model obviously delivers good performance from that big 1000W motor, and comfort is there too. But the real advantage of EBC is quality.
Electric Bike Company has perhaps the best quality oversight of any US-based e-bike company, as they assemble the e-bikes on-site themselves. This means that he can ensure that every component is perfect before entering the e-bike, and that no parts have been swapped out along the way for cheaper materials or installed incorrectly. You can learn more about the attention to detail afforded by assembly in the USA by checking out my tour of the EBC factory here.
Even the packaging is top notch. The bikes are shipped fully assembled, which means you just need to take the bike out of the box, straighten the handlebars and go. Most e-bikes require between 15 minutes and an hour of final assembly by customers, installing items such as pedals, handlebars, fenders, lights and other components. But EBC uses its own custom packaging to ensure the bikes can be delivered fully assembled and undamaged.
This means that everything from dual taillights to optional brackets or other accessories are already configured and ready to go, right out of the box.
The E in the E model can be for everyone, but it is also for economical.
At $1,799, the Model E offers a very reasonable price for an e-bike made in the USA. Not only are you paying for local assembly and the best quality control such close monitoring can provide, but you also get a lot of good parts.
The powerful motor, color display, hydraulic brakes, and quality hardware like stainless steel fasteners and sealed bearings all add to EBC’s cost, but the end price is more than reasonable compared to the rest of the market. And when you factor in the company’s five-year battery warranty and 10-year frame warranty, that price is even more impressive.
Depending on how sophisticated you want the customizations to be, the price may increase, however. EBC has its own in-house paint facility which allows customers to create truly unique e-bikes with custom paint jobs. Then there’s a huge range of accessories from baskets and stands to cup holders, GPS trackers, and more. Even components like a one- or seven-speed transmission or an upgraded suspension fork can be customized.
So don’t be surprised if the price goes up several hundred dollars if you fancy your customization options. But for the $1,799 base model, you’re getting a well-made, excellent e-bike built by fellow Americans earning living wages, and all for a fair price.
It still amazes me that you can build such great e-bikes in the US for less than two grand, but I’m not going to start complaining!
Whatever formula EBC landed on, it definitely works for them.
But enough chatter. Let’s hear what you think of the Model E in the comments section below.
And before you go, check out my video below giving a behind-the-scenes look at EBC’s Newport Beach-based factories to get a better idea of every step of the production process.
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