- High torque 600 watt geared hub motor paired with a strong 48 volt battery capable of climbing hills and moving larger riders without pedaling, relatively quiet to operate
- Artistic frame feels very sturdy, wide sprung saddle and long adjustable handle bars offer support and comfort
- Rear heavy design, rack is not very useful (basically just holds battery), no pedal assist mode or lights, expensive
The Ford Supercruiser is a chopper style electric bike with fully adjustable handlebars, a cush oversized seat and sturdy gusseted aluminum frame. Driving it is a capable 600 watt geared rear hub motor running off of a 48 volt 10 amp hour Lithium-ion battery pack using Samsung cells. By comparison, most mainstream ebikes use 350 watt motors and 36 volt 10 amp hour packs. This bike is capable of moving larger riders and is designed with comfort in mind over storage or range. It lacks pedal assist mode, does not include an integrated LCD display unit and isn’t setup to work with panniers or a rear rack. What it lacks in features it makes up for with accessibility and fun.
In 2011 Ford teased a prototype electric bike at a conference in Germany but never rolled it out in the US. The Supercruiser is its first offering and is slated for a January 2014 debut at Ford and Pedego dealerships across the US and Canada. The electronics and drive system powering the bike are produced by Pedego, a leading electric bike manufacturer in the US based out of Irvine California. Pedego is known for their colorful beach cruisers that are approachable and reliable. The Supercruiser runs on the same motor and battery pack as the less expensive Pedego Trail Tracker but features upgraded paint, fenders and frame design by Tony Ellsworth. The Supercruiser resembles “The Ride” which is a design Ellsworth created in 2007.
The benefit of having a 600 watt geared hub motor is two fold, torque and power. It’s capable of moving more weight and will get up to speed faster which makes it a lot of fun to ride, even for larger people or those living in hilly areas. Despite its power, the motor is relatively small and lightweight. It’s built right into the rear wheel of the bicycle and connects to the controller located just behind the crank shaft or bottom bracket.
The battery pack driving this monster delivers 48 volts of power and 10 amp hours of capacity. That’s enough for about an hour of cruising and the pack can be charged on or off the frame which makes commuting easier. Just bring the pack into your office or friend’s house and plug it in to any standard wall outlet. While the pack does lock to the bike frame, you are required to leave the key in when riding which could be annoying if you have a keychain connected.
The mounting point of the battery pack is the rear fender itself which looks amazing but had me wondering about integrity and durability. I pushed down hard and even hammered with my fist on the rear pack to see how the frame would respond and it actually felt pretty solid. Unlike some bolt-on style racks, the integrated fender will not rattle loose over time and offers some flexibility that should absorb shock when riding. While the fender is reinforced and sturdy enough for the battery, one of the downsides of this design is the lack of a rear rack for cargo bag or panniers. I’m sure it was an aesthetic choice and you can always wear a backpack but this bike doesn’t strike me as a commuter as much as a fun neighborhood cruiser.
All things considered, this bike stays true to itself and is a pleasure to ride. It feels solid and endures bumps and cracks well thanks to the oversized tires and soft plush seat. It takes off when you twist the throttle and is easy to understand. Even when you’re not using the throttle it’s fun to ride with seven gears to choose from and a simple twist-shifter on the left bar. Everything is modular so even if the throttle, motor or battery do break or wear out they can be easily replaced. I’ve ridden a lot of Pedego bikes, even crashed and dropped them, and they hold up well. This would be a great bike for someone looking to get outside, cruise with friends and enjoy the ride.
- Can charge the battery on or off the bike
- Strong 600 watt geared hub motor
- Relatively light weight (60lbs) considering oversized tubing
- Independently adjustable handlebars go up and down and also swivel in
- Oversized Schwalbe tires absorb bumps and smooth out the ride
- Integrated bell works very well and keeps the handlebars clean
- Integrated wires stay out of the way, frame looks great
- Quality chain guard keeps pants clean, metal pedals work well and don’t slip, fenders keep down higher splashes
- double legged kickstand stays out of the way and works well
- Twist throttle drive only, no pedal assist
- No shock absorbers, larger tires and seat bumper only
- More expensive than similar non-Ford branded offerings from Pedego
- Limited storage, no rear rack for panniers or basket (could stack on rear battery but may compromise fender strength?)
- Have to leave the key in the battery ignition when riding
- Rear-heavy design with battery weight located higher on frame
- No LCD display offering speed, battery life or range only a three color LED indicator
- Front fender doesn’t extend down far enough to keep splashes away from feet and shins