Electric Bike Company Model Y Review

Electric Bike Company Model Y Electric Bike Review
Electric Bike Company Model Y
Electric Bike Company Model Y Single Speed Drivetrain Mxus Hub Motor
Electric Bike Company Model Y Front Basket Integrated Battery
Electric Bike Company Model Y Cockpit View
Electric Bike Company Model Y Grayscale Backlit Display
Electric Bike Company Model Y Integrated Headlight Fat Frank Tires
Electric Bike Company Model Y Hydraulic 180mm Dic Brake
Electric Bike Company Model Y Comfort Saddle Optional Fenders
Electric Bike Company Model Y Stitched Grips
Electric Bike Company Model Y Sealed 12 Magnet Cadence Senor
Electric Bike Company Model Y 3amp Charger
Electric Bike Company Model Y Stock Step Through White
Electric Bike Company Model Y Electric Bike Review
Electric Bike Company Model Y
Electric Bike Company Model Y Single Speed Drivetrain Mxus Hub Motor
Electric Bike Company Model Y Front Basket Integrated Battery
Electric Bike Company Model Y Cockpit View
Electric Bike Company Model Y Grayscale Backlit Display
Electric Bike Company Model Y Integrated Headlight Fat Frank Tires
Electric Bike Company Model Y Hydraulic 180mm Dic Brake
Electric Bike Company Model Y Comfort Saddle Optional Fenders
Electric Bike Company Model Y Stitched Grips
Electric Bike Company Model Y Sealed 12 Magnet Cadence Senor
Electric Bike Company Model Y 3amp Charger
Electric Bike Company Model Y Stock Step Through White

Summary

  • A value priced entry from EBC for just $1,299, available in 24 custom colors with an adjustable stem, bike can be made to order with other options for color and accessories
  • Powerful 48v 10.5ah battery pack cleverly designed to hide at the base of the front basket, powerful Tektro hydraulic brakes, impressive they were able to fit high end parts on such a low cost bike
  • Bright integrated lights help you see at night and keep you visible in traffic, smooth and responsive 12 magnet cadence sensor, easy to read backlit display with a deep dive menu
  • Bike is a bit heavy and the weight and cost goes up as you add accessories, some of the steel parts can get scratched so be careful with custom colors, and is only single speed

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Electric Bike Company

Model:

Model Y

Price:

$1,299 ($229 Shipping, Fully Assembled)

Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Cruising, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive, 10 Year Motor and Frame

Availability:

United States, Canada, Worldwide

Model Year:

2019

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

57.7 lbs (26.17 kg) (Fenders: 2.1lb)

Battery Weight:

5.9 lbs (2.67 kg)

Motor Weight:

8 lbs (3.62 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

17.5 in (44.45 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

17.5" Seat Tube, 25.5" Reach, 16.5" Stand Over Height, 33" Minimum Saddle Height, 32" Width, 75.5" Length

Frame Types:

Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Gloss White, (Optional Custom Color $399)

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Steel, 100mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

135mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Keyed Axle with 18mm Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Front Basket, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

1 Single Speed, 18 Tooth Sprocket, Derailleur Mount

Cranks:

Aluminum Alloy, 170mm Arms, Square Tapered Spindle, 56 Tooth Aluminum Alloy Chainring

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Headset:

Integrated Cartridge Bearing, Threaded Quill, 1-1/8" Diameter

Stem:

Aluminum Alloy Quill, Adjustable Angle, 0° to 60°, Adjustable Height, 100mm Length, 25.4mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Steel, Oversized Cruiser Style, 710mm Width

Brake Details:

Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc with 180mm Rotors, Dual Piston Calipers, Tektro Auriga e-COMP Four Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors, Adjustable Reach, and Ball Ends

Grips:

Padded Stitched, Locking

Saddle:

Grand Star, Oversized Comfort, Rubber Bumpers

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy, Forged Head

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.4 mm

Rims:

JetSet, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 36 Hole, 40mm Outer Width

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge, Silver or Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Fat Frank, 26" x 2.35" (60-559)

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

22 to 60 PSI, 1.5 to 4.0 BAR, K-Guard 3 Puncture Protection

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Paint-Matched Steel Chain Cover, Aluminum Alloy Front Basket with Steel Mesh Insert and Battery (50lb Capacity), Massload Center Mount Adjustable Kickstand, Spanninga BL3002 Blaze-Lite Integrated Headlight (2 LED), Smart Integrated 3-LED Rear Light, Optional SR Suntour NCX Suspension Seat Post, Optional Paint-Matched Steel Fenders with Reflective Mud Flaps, Optional Coiled 6 Foot Combination Lock, Optional Cell Phone Holder, Optional Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker and Speaker Holder

Other:

Fixed Front Basket Mounted Battery Pack with Replaceable Fuse, Smart BMS Overcharge Protection Limit, 1.8lb 3 Amp Charger, 360lb Max Weight, 20 Amp Motor Controller

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

MXUS XF15R

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

1000 watts

Motor Torque:

60 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung 35E 18650 Cells

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10.5 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

504 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

50 miles (80 km)

Display Type:

KT LCD-3 Fixed, Adjustable Angle, Backlit, 3.5" Grayscale LCD

Readouts:

Battery Charge Level (4 Bars), Brake Inhibitor Icon, Total Time, Trip Time, Assist Level (0-5), Current Speed, Average Speed, Max Speed, Motor Power (Watts), Trip Distance, Odometer, Battery Voltage, Outside Temperature

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad on Left, Buttons: Up, Power, Down, Hold Up to Activate Lights, Hold Down to Change Assist or Throttle Only, USB Type A Port on Back of Display (5 Volts), On/Off Toggle Switch on Left Side of Basket, Hold Up and Down Just After Powering On for Settings Menus

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (12 Magnet Sealed Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by Electric Bike Company. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of Electric Bike Company’s products.

Many of you might remember seeing my previous reviews for Electric Bike Company and watching me become impressed with their attention to detail and customization. You may also remember a quote from the founder of the company saying: “One of the main things that differentiate our company from other brands is that we 100% factory build custom ordered bikes in California, USA. We have our own factory with all of the parts, expertise, and knowledge to assemble, repair, troubleshoot, maintain, and replace parts. This also allows us to to do custom branding and graphics on our frames.” Well, since their line has been updated this year, I wanted to check them out as well as give you guys more of a ‘behind the scenes’ look as to really what goes on when you get one of these bikes made to order. Make sure to check out the tour in the video review if you have the chance to do so as well.

Previously, Electric Bike Company only offered the Model C and Model S. As the years have gone by, they have perfected those models and created a new entry level cruiser, the Model Y. The cost is very low at just $1,299. To help keep that cost down, it shares some components with the Model C and Model S. For that reason, you may see some parallel information as to my previous reviews, but I will try to call out newer features as we continue along. The Model Y comes in just one step-through frame size although it is very approachable with its 16.5” stand over height. The standard available color is whit, which I think is great for visibility. You can however choose one of several classy colorways. I was lucky enough to check out the actual local paint shop they use to get the custom colors on the bike frame and applicable accessories. I think it is cool that although some of the parts come from China, there is an entire group of US factories and employees that help make this bike a reality. At the paint shop, Electric Bike Company tells me they offer a massive selection of 24 colors to choose from! I think this is fantastic, but I did worry about what that means when you get the paint scratched or knicked. I asked one of the painters on the tour and they said “Touch up paint is your friend!”. In the main factory, they have a room dedicated to 3D printing new parts as well as a room for making spokes and rims. These innovations allow you to chose even the color of your spokes down to your kickstand! I was impressed by the many choices for colors and accessories, so it made sense when one EBC employee even described it using Burger King’s slogan “Have it your way”. You can see that with their optional choices like color matched steel fenders (that include reflective mud-flaps, really great detail!), cup holder, or suspension seat post. The little details definitely add up. I noticed the matching leather grips and saddle visually but also appreciated that the saddle is actually comfortable and forgiving with rubber bumpers below. Everything is branded… you see the Electric Bike Company logo on the display, the grips, the saddle… it really does communicate an attention to detail and customization that other brands seem to disregard or compromise on. One point of interest on the Model Y is the front basket. The Model S and C come with a rear rack that houses the battery and the front basket is optional. However, on the Model Y, that is reversed, where as the front basket houses the battery and the rear rack is optional instead (the prototype I reviewed didn’t have rear rack bosses, but I am told they will be adding those). More on the battery part later, but for now I do want to mention that the front basket has an impressive 50lb weight capacity. The front basket is also where the battery integrated light is, a great inclusion, but doesn’t point where you steer since that basket is head tube mounted for stability when turning with a load. In the rear, you have a small 3 LED battery integrated light as well. Also included are these nice Schwalbe 26” x 2.35” Fat Frank tires with both reflective sidewalls and puncture protection. None of that comes for free, but the $1,299 price point is amazing for such a quality and beautiful product. The one thing you really don’t get here, is gears. This is a single-speed electric bicycle with an 18 tooth sprocket and 56 tooth chain ring up front. With only one gear, the chain stays tight and on track, there’s less grease, less chain slap and noise, less weight, and a cleaner-simpler handlebar. With the fenders, this ebike weighs about 57.7lbs, which is not super light… but the double-tube design keeps it stable and minimizes some frame flex. You can purchase their models at the factory or you can order online… which comes with a bit of added cost. The flat-rate shipping for the USA is $229, but Electric Bike Company also sells to Canada and will work with international companies. This is where the shipping price can really start to rise. The good news is, I am told that the bikes come fully assembled and nearly ready to ride (I’m guessing that there is some handlebar adjustment to be done). And that is another important point to cover. The steel swept back handlebars provide an upright body position and dampen road vibration, and they even have an adjustable angle stem.

Driving this bike is a geared hub motor rated at 500 watt nominal and 1,000 watt peak. That is a little bit different than the Model C and S to keep cost down. On those, you have a 28mph top speed where as this is 20mph. Additionally, this uses a 20amp controller vs the 26amp on the higher end models. Being geared, the motor is compact and lightweight, but it does produce more zipping noises under full operation. The Model Y inherits a very smooth and responsive 12 magnet sensor, they sealed the sensor itself so debris and gruff doesn’t get caught inside creating potential problems with the electrical system. Stopping the Model Y is a set of Tektro Auriga brakes. These use large 180mm rotors hydraulic brakes with with dual piston calipers. The brake levers here are full 4 finger levers and even have ball ends, a safety and comfort cue taken from motorcycles. This makes them much more consistent and easy to pull, especially for people with limited hand strength. Both levers have motor inhibitors that instantly cut power to the drive system when activated. It’s the right choice, and adds to the sense of control and durability.

Powering these cruisers, their integrated LED lights, the backlit display panel, and an integrated USB port (below the display) is a 48v 10.5ah front basket mounted battery. To protect the battery in the basket as well as add some vibration dampening, they add this thick rubber piece. The battery is not removable and I do worry about it being left out in the elements. However, the batteries are one area where the Electric Bike Company has really positioned itself as a leader. Apparently they have a tight partnership with a manufacturer which custom builds each battery to have individually fused cells along with two temperature sensors. I asked Sean about this, and he explained that they wanted to make the best battery on the market so that it could hold up to extreme environments… like what they might face in parts of South Africa. That makes sense! My own experience and learning has revealed that batteries last the longest and perform the best in cool, dry environments. You want to avoid extreme cold or heat, and keep the pack charged above 20% whenever possible because the Lithium-ion chemistry is most stable there. There is an ON/OFF switch hidden behind the basket on the mount for that battery and the charging point is mounted on that same basket mount. Charging is done with a 3amp charger, it is nice that they went with a 3amp charger for such a low cost bike, typically companies go with a basic 2amp charger that is slower.

So, once the battery has been charged, you need to make sure the toggle switch on the basket mount is set to on (the I, not the 0 symbol). This is yet another safety feature, and a handy way to prevent tampering at bike racks. Next, you need to hold the center button on the control pad, which is mounted near the left grip. Now, the display LCD will boot up. At this point, the trigger throttle mounted near the right grip is active and offering full power. BE CAREFUL not to bump this trigger, or the bike will take off. You can use the little up and down arrows to raise or lower assist, but that doesn’t really do anything in throttle mode (unless you configure that as I will mention soon). You can click down to zero, and this will turn the throttle off, while leaving the display and lights accessible. You can activate the lights by holding the up arrow for a few seconds. This also turns on the LCD backlighting feature. And, as mentioned earlier, there is a full-sized USB port built into the backside of the LCD screen. This is a great way to keep your phone charged while using GPS or run the portable Bluetooth speaker that the Electric Bike Company sells separately. Getting back to the different ride modes, you can hold the down arrow for a few seconds to switch from throttle mode to pedal assist + throttle. You will see a little text appear with the word “ASSIST” when this has been completed, and then the 12-magnet sensor located at the bottom bracket becomes active. As mentioned before, the 12 magnet cadence sensor is a great upgrade…the real limitation is only having one pedal gear. Without a low gear, it can really take some time to get the bike moving, and the sensors won’t pick up for a moment because the cranks are turning so slowly. This is where throttle override really comes in handy. I found myself using the trigger throttle to get the bike moving at about five miles per hour, then switching to pedal assist so I could relax my thumb. By arrowing between assist level 1-5 I eventually found a comfortable support level that matched my pedal speed. At this point, the bike becomes a joy to ride. Even with the added weight of fenders, front basket, and cargo, the motor supports the bike easily. To enter into the settings and change units or lower the top speed of the bike, make sure the backlight is not on, and then hold the up and down arrows for a few seconds. Press the power button to confirm each menu and the up and down keys to make adjustments.

There’s a lot to say about this product, and I’ll admit that the successful stability of the company over the past several years, the emphasis on global empowerment, and the well-chosen components and accessories has won me over. There are a few trade-offs here with the lack of bottle cage bosses, mid-mount kickstand that gets in the way of the left crank arm if left down, and protruding power cable from the right side of the hub motor, but overall the bike just works, and these are not unique issues to EBC. It’s interesting that pedal assist is not enabled by default here, but perhaps that makes the bike safer to approach? Trigger throttles are very intuitive and less easy to activate by mistake (compared to half-grip twist throttles). It’s still best-practice to leave the bike powered off, until you are mounted and ready to ride. I just love how low that saddle can go, and appreciate how comfortable the bike felt, even without a suspension fork. Steel offers some vibration dampening qualities as well as durability… the chain cover and fenders are sturdy, but could rust if you get scratches over time, so touch up paint will come in handy. I do appreciate how nicely the wires and cables are organized at the head tube and that they are internally routed for protection and aesthetics. When you consider all that is going on here combined with a 2 year comprehensive warranty and a 10 year warranty on the motor and frame, it is easy to see why this is such a solid pick. I want to thank Electric Bike Company for giving me all access to show their factory and process, it has been really informative for both myself and the consumers, thank you!

As always, I welcome questions and feedback in the comment section below. Whether you own a previous version of the bike, have taken a test ride, or are brand new to the space, my goal is to provide an objective and honest resource. You can also join the Electric Bike Company ebike forums and share your own photos, videos, and review updates to help others! Have fun out there, and ride safe :)

Pros:

  • The founder of this company is super friendly and authentic, they are easy to get ahold of via phone or online (in my experience), their 2 year comprehensive/10 year frame and motor warranty is one of the best that I have ever heard of (and they have been around since 2013), they are working on an ebike program for South Africa based on the products being sold in America, and they are partnered with their battery supplier to bring a higher level of reliability and safety to each pack (cells have individual fuses vs. just one for the entire pack)
  • The price is very competitive, for $1,299, you get a throttle, 48v power pack, a 12 magnet cadence sensor for pedaling, thicker comfort tires and saddle, and hydraulic disc brakes
  • A lot of details can be custom chosen by the user, from 24 paint colors to even getting down the colors of your spokes or kickstand
  • I love the internally routed cables, they are bound with this really nice color matched wire wraps, great little addition
  • The backlit display panel is large, easy to see, easy to navigate (thanks to the remote button pad), and has an integrated USB port for charging your phone, the optional Bluetooth speaker, or another portable electronic device
  • The integrated lights work pretty well and run off of the main battery pack, so you don’t have to fiddle around with extra buttons or disposable batteries
  • Although there is only 1 battery option, it is no slouch since it is sitting at 48v 10.5ah, that’s around 500 watts of power and usually enough for any rider
  • The Model Y inherited the great and responsive 12 magnet sensor, they also sealed the sensor itself so debris and gruff doesn’t get caught inside creating potential problems with the electrical system
  • For as quick and heavy as this e-bike is, it’s really nice that they went with Tektro 180mm hydraulic disc brakes with dual piston calipers
  • The brake levers here are full 4 finger levers and even have ball ends, a safety and comfort cue taken from motorcycles, both have motor inhibitors built-in, so the motor will stop immediately whenever you need to stop or even start applying the brakes, that’s an important safety feature considering the 12 magnet cadence sensor and trigger-throttle
  • The stock tires are fatter than average (which offers stability and comfort), they have both puncture protection and reflective sidewalls to keep you safe, worry free, and visible
  • The saddle can go very low on this bike, making it easier to approach and stabilize for many riders, because the rear rack is pushed out a bit and doesn’t block it

Cons:

  • There are no bottle cage bosses, which is a shame because I think the frame could handle it, but they do however have a cup holder option to mount on the handlebar
  • You’ll probably rely on the throttle and electric assist more heavily because they only come with one gear, that keeps the bike simple but makes it difficult to start from standstill without a bit of help… and could be a real bummer if you drain the battery all the way down to zero
  • I like how the kickstand looks, appreciate the adjustable length, and feel that it supports the bike well, but it is positioned in the center of the frame so you could get pedal lock when reversing the bike
  • The fork, handlebar, chain cover, and optional fenders are all made from steel… which is strong and tends to be quiet, but can start to rust if it gets scratched, the optional front basket is aluminum alloy (along with the main frame and integrated rear rack)
  • Minor consideration, the headlight does not point where you steer because it’s mounted to the front basket by default, this can be a little disorienting when making sharp turns in the dark
  • The frame only comes in one size and one style (step-through), but it does help to adjust the seat and adjustable-angle stem to dial in fit
  • Despite the double-tube design of the step-thru frame, there is still some frame flex when you pedal hard or turn quickly
  • You can angle the display to reduce glare but it isn’t removable, this means that it could get scratched at the rack or take more weather wear when parking outside
  • The battery in the front basket is protected and I have not heard of any customer issues, but I do worry about loading up a bunch of weight on that battery since the basket is rated for 50lbs.
  • Be careful with the right side of the rear axle because the motor cable protrudes here and could get snagged or bent if the bike tips over, this is a design vulnerability than many hub motors experience and just something to be considerate of

Resources:

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Comments (8) YouTube Comments

allen breslow
4 months ago

Since the battery is not removable, how do you charge the battery? Are here any stores in South Florida?

  Reply
Court
4 months ago

Hi Allen! I believe that the battery is removable, just not without using some tools. The Electric Bicycle Company probably does sell replacements, and I know that they have put a lot of extra energy and thought into reliability and safety for their batteries (since they custom design them and partnered with the cell manufacturer in Asia). In short, this product should work fine for a long time… you just cannot remove the battery pack quickly with a lock and key like some competing ebikes. Even their high step Model X has a removable downtube-mounted pack, so that would be an option if you desire a slightly different configuration :)

  Reply
John Po
3 months ago

It looks like they’re already raised the price to $1500 on their website. Could you update the price here?

  Reply
Court
3 months ago

Thanks for the feedback, John! I leave the reviews mostly alone and try to capture what we saw, what it costs, etc. like a snapshot. Otherwise, I’d have to maintain everything here like a store, but we don’t sell anything. Comments help to fill people in a bit and one way that reviews come up to speed is with the next-year model.

  Reply
Eugene
3 months ago

FWIW, it looks like they have rolled shipping costs into the base price. So $1,499 ships for free (**FREE Standard Shipping** on their checkout page, **ARRIVES FULLY ASSEMBLED (Free Shipping)** elsewhere on the site).

Previously, the base price was $1,299 + $229 shipping (= $1,528), so there’s a modest savings. Looks like there’s no longer a local pickup discount, which is a slight bummer because I’m local-ish (San Diego).

This was probably done to simplify their pricing and actually makes things a bit more transparent rather than “discovering” the additional shipping cost at checkout.

  Reply
Court
3 months ago

Hmm, thanks for the clarification, Eugene :)

Colin
2 months ago

Are the tires really 3.5″? Would love that for handling snow/potholes, but I don’t think they are.

  Reply
Court
2 months ago

Great catch, Colin! I apologize for the mistake, the tires are Schwalbe Fat Frank, 26″ x 2.35″ (60-559) and we had written 3.5 in the full writeup. You can usually refer back to the specs to double check, our team has been moving a bit faster recently and that has left room for little misses. I’ve corrected it ;)

  Reply

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