2020 Electric Bike Company Model Y Review


Technical Specs & Ratings


2020, 2021

Model Y


Class 2, Class 3




Hydraulic Disc



504 Wh

504 Wh

58.2 lbs / 26.42 kgs


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

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

Steel, Oversized Cruiser Style, 710 mm Width

Padded Stitched, Inner and Outer Lock Rings

Aluminum Alloy with Tapered Top, Separate Single Bolt Saddle Clamp


Grand Star, Oversized Comfort with Rubber Bumpers

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Hydraulic Disc

Tektro Dorado Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Extra Thick 2.3 mm Rotors, Tektro E23 Quad Piston Calipers, Tektro Dorado Four Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors, Adjustable Reach, and Ball Ends

More Details

Upright Relaxed

5 Year Comprehensive, 10 Year Motor and Frame

United States, Canada, Worldwide



16.2" Seat Tube Length, 25.5" Reach, 17.25" Stand Over Height, 32" Minimum Saddle Height, 38" Maximum Saddle Height, 32" Width, 48" Wheelbase, 75.5" Length

Gloss White, (Optional Custom Color $399)

Rear Rack Bosses, Front Basket, Fender Bosses

Tektro Dorado Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Extra Thick 2.3 mm Rotors, Tektro E23 Quad Piston Calipers, Tektro Dorado Four Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors, Adjustable Reach, and Ball Ends

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

This review was provided for free, but the Electric Bike Company did organize delivery of a temporary demo bike and accessories to test. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of EBC products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the Electric Bike Company forums.


  • In my opinion, this ebike (and the high-step Model X) offer some of the best value of any cruiser style electric bike on the market right now if you just go with the stock build (white, no fenders or rack).
  • For those who are willing to spend a bit more, there are very few cruisers (or any ebikes for that matter) that offer so much customization! You can seriously choose any color, even metallic, and they will paint EVERYTHING. That includes the frame, fork (or suspension fork upgrade), fenders, chain ring, and even some of the optional basket accessories. You can get wood fenders, a water resistant speaker, a fancy cup holder, bags, a security system… it’s crazy, and it’s fun :P
  • For me, comfort is a big deal and I like the upright body position of a more relaxed ebike. The Model Y delivers on both points because the balloon tires provide cushion, the long swept back handlebars keep you upright, the adjustable angle stem improves fit for many different sizes of riders, padded grips, and the oversized comfort saddle offers a lot of support. For those who want to go even further, Electric Bike Company sells a suspension seat post and suspension fork with lockout and preload adjust! To me, that’s just awesome…
  • With a higher max weight capacity of 360lbs, it’s nice to see that they really overbuilt the frame. Notice the oval shaped main tubes, steel fork vs. aluminum, and frame-mounted basket. Each of these design decisions helps to reduce frame flex and improve overall strength. Also, they spoke the wheels in house and use 36 hole vs. 32 or 24 and they use thicker 13 gauge spokes with corrosion resistant brass nipples.
  • The stock tires are great, providing reflective stripes and puncture protection, but you can upgrade further to some high-speed rated CST tires (they only come in black though, vs. the brown Schwalbe Ballon tires with white walls).
  • Safety is an important consideration for me, so I’m glad that the stock color is white and I appreciate the reflective tires and premium integrated lights. Seriously, the lights are a big upgrade from what I usually see because the headlight has two LED’s and reflector and the rear has two 3-LED lights that are highly visible from the sides and rear. If you get the optional cargo rack, it comes with a built-in flashing light because the two smaller lights could get blocked by pannier bags. Very thoughtful, extremely good attention to detail here.
  • The stock single-speed drivetrain is super quiet and it’s highly unlikely that the chain will come off. This is not a drivetrain that will require much if any maintenance, and it’s workable given the strong 1,000 peak hub motor. For those who enjoy choosing different pedal speeds or plan to climb frequently, it’s great that you can pay just $149 extra for a 7-speed Shimano Altus derailleur with basic 14-28 tooth freewheel. They didn’t used to have this as an option, but it’s something that I personally would pay for if I were to buy one of these for myself.
  • Given the heavier build of this ebike and all of the cargo potential (50lbs on the rear rack and 50lbs in the front… though I’d go a little less than that up front), it’s great that offer such high quality brakes. To me, the 180mm hydraulic disc brakes with extra thick 2.3mm rotors and quad piston calipers are overkill, but you don’t see that reflected too much in the price, so why not? Large four finger brake levers offer adjustable reach to fit a range of hand sizes, and both brake levers have motor inhibitors to override assist and throttle instantly. This brake system is perfect.
  • The older Model X and Y used grayscale LCDs that I thought were fine. The new ones are color, making them a bit easier to read, and they have a USB A charging port built into the back right side so you could maintain your smartphone or the optional Bluetooth wireless waterproof speaker.
  • The pedal assist sensor is sealed, making it durable agains dust and water, and positioned behind the chainring for protection. It performed well, starting quickly as I pedaled and cutting out almost immediately. The trigger throttle behaved as expected and I appreciate that you can change how it works in the settings menu (offering full power override or being limited based on the chosen level of assist).
  • There are lots of options in the display panel including speed limit from 12mph up to 28mph, you can turn off pedal assist, change the units, or adjust how much power the throttle offers. Check their website for more info on which settings to adjust. Get into the menu by holding up and down immediately after powering the bike on.
  • I appreciate that the bike has two consecutive power switches for increased security and safety. The first is hidden near the basket bracket on the right side near the steer tube, and the other is the center button on the remote button pad (near the left grip).
  • Very powerful hub motor that looks great. This is an MXUS motor rated at 500 nominal and 1,000 watt peak. It provides up to 60 newton meters of torque and feels satisfying for flats or climbs. Of course, the best support for climbing is to gain some speed going in and then pedal along (or shift to lower gears if you get the optional 7-speed drivetrain). The motor isn’t super loud and it’s almost hidden behind the disc brake (and optional freewheel).
  • The battery technology for all EBC ebikes use high quality cells and have fuses built-in to reduce the potential for failure and short life. They actually partnered with their battery cell supplier and specify that each cell have an individual fuse vs. just one for the entire pack. Like the brakes, it’s almost overkill but hasn’t drastically increased their price compared to the competition.
  • The founder of this company, Sean Lupton-Smith, is super friendly and authentic. All of his team is based in America and they assemble and customize all of the parts domestically, sourcing locally whenever possible. The support team is easy to get ahold of via phone or online (in my experience), and their 5 year comprehensive 10 year frame and motor warranty is one of the best that I have ever heard of. The Electric Bike Company has been around since 2013, and I’ve covered many of their products. They are even working on an ebike program for South Africa based on the products being sold in America.
  • This is a bit of a sidenote, but the Model X can now be purchased with the same basket style battery if you wish. The alternative is a downtube mounted battery that connects to the frame and is removable. Note that the basket batteries can be upgraded from 10.5amp hours to 20 amp hours to increase your range if you pay extra.
  • Excellent charger choice for these ebikes, you get a faster 3.5 amp Constant Current Constant Voltage CCCV type charger with a metal case, fuse, and inbuilt fan. It’s another premium/reliable part.
  • While I was measuring the bike and studying for this review, I noticed that the minimum saddle height got 1-inch lower than the prior model. At just 32″ tall, this is a very approachable ebike, especially with the super low 17.25″ stand over height (the part you stop over to mount the bike).
  • Overall, very nice aesthetic with internally routed cables and clean wire wraps. They purposefully skipped bottle cage bosses and added a metal shield at the seat tube for strength and style.


  • These are heavy bikes, whether you get the Model X high-step or the reinforced Model Y step-thru. Electric Bike Company had to reinforce the frame for strength (to reduce any flexing) and to guarantee the maximum 360lb weight rating and support the front rack etc. but that puts the bike at ~60lbs without any racks or fenders etc. and I weighed the demo model from this review at 70.5lbs and you cannot easily remove the battery to reduce that weight for lifting.
  • I love how the battery looks, hidden in the front basket, but it’s not easily removable to reduce weight or to make charging easier. Since it’s stuck to the bike, and the bike is huge, you may have difficulty parking in a cool dry environment and near a plug. Note that extreme heat is hard on lithum-ion batteries and extreme cold will temporarily stunt their range (halving it usually).
  • The included charger is great in that it has a durable case and built-in fuse for safety, but it’s also really large and fairly heavy. This makes it less fun to tote around, but at least it offers 3.5 amp output for faster charging (most chargers I see are just 2 amp). Another trade-off is that the built-in fan can be kind of loud.
  • As great as the 2-LED headlight is, they mounted it directly to the basket vs. the fork or handlebar, so it doesn’t turn as you steer. I still think this is a good solution, because it won’t be low or get blocked by cargo in the basket… but it does compromise how your bath is illuminated. The headlight has a reflective surface and wide lens that spreads the light out pretty well, so it does a good job with safety.
  • This is a minor complaint, but the frame doesn’t have any bottle cage bosses. To bring a drink, you’ll either need to pay extra for a rear rack with some sort of trunk bag bottle holster or purchase their “Ultimate Beverage Holder Liquid Caddy” accessory. It clutters the handlebars a bit, but does tilt as you steer and brake, and it works best with cans or smaller cups vs. actual bike bottles.
  • This ebike was designed as a single speed, which has the benefits of reduced weight, noise, and complexity but limits how easy and efficient it is to pedal. It also uses more electricity because the motor has to work harder. Thankfully, they do offer a basic 7-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain upgrade now for $149, and that might be worth getting if you’re a more active pedaler :)
  • 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 can get pedal lock when rolling the bike backwards or if you just spin the pedals backwards as shown in the video review above.
  • The fork, handlebar, chain cover, and optional fenders are all made from steel (unless you buy the wooden fenders). Steel is strong, dampens vibration, and tends to be quiet, but it can start to rust if it gets scratched. Keep this in mind and use the touch-up paint on the fork, fenders, and chain cover if you do get a scratch. Thankfully, the front basket is aluminum alloy (along with the main frame), so they won’t rust ;)
  • The frame only comes in one size, but they include a 0-60 degree adjustable stem and the the handlebar can be swiveled up. The seat post also slides up and down to accommodate a wide range of riders. I was actually very impressed with how low the saddle could go, which makes it more approachable for people who want to put their feet flat on the ground when stopped.
  • Despite the double-tube design of the step-thru frame, there is still some frame flex when you pedal hard or turn quickly. This is especially true if the front basket or optional rear rack are loaded with cargo. Frankly, I think they did better than average with frame strength here, this is just a general trade-off for most deep wave step-thrus.
  • The weight of the basket and battery up front make the bike a little tippier thank products with a low center-mounted battery pack and mid-drive. The motor and battery on the Model Y balance out front to rear pretty well, I just noticed the tippier feeling when trying to ride with no hands. Thankfully, the wider tires and sturdy frame prevented speed wobble and overall it feels pretty good.
  • You can angle the display to reduce glare but it isn’t completely removable, this means that it could get scratched at a public bike rack and take more weather wear when parking outside for extended periods. It’s plastic.
  • The battery in the front basket is protected with a rubberized mat cover and I have not heard of any customer issues, but I do wonder about loading a bunch of weight on top, since the basket is rated for 50lbs. Remember that heat can be hard on batteries, so don’t put very hot things on top. The open mesh basket and aluminum alloy structure probably allows it to dissipate heat very well as-is.
  • 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 as the owner.
  • I don’t love that the default setup here is for the trigger throttle power output to be limited by the chosen level of assist. I prefer the when throttles let you access full power at any time, so that you don’t have to click any buttons on the display pad. This is because I like to save power and use lower assist when pedaling but then override with the throttle to climb hills or catch up with friends. Thankfully, this can be adjusted in the display settings (along with top speed). You can reach this menu by holding up and down immediately after clicking the power button.
  • It can be a little confusing when starting the bike because pedal assist may not be active. You have to hold the down arrow to activate it each time you start the bike. Many competing bikes just always have PAS active as well as the throttle, but I guess you could look at the EBC design as more options. I just wish it stayed put once you selected it ;)

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