Pedego Stretch Review - better than an Interceptor?

RealDeal

New Member
Today I rented a Pedego Stretch for a few hours and I thought I'd offer a quick review in case anyone is interested. I haven't found many reviews out there for the Stretch, probably because it's rather new.

The bike I rode had the larger battery (48 V, 17 AH). I rode 22 miles with a total elevation gain/lost of 1,300 feet.

First off, this bike is much, much more than just a cargo bike! It is very stable at high speeds. I hit 34 mph peddling like crazy going down a hill. I've also ridden the Pedego Interceptor and the Stretch is much more stable. It may be due to the smaller tires or maybe it's the different handlebars. It could also be due to the fact that the battery is lower and more centralized than on the Interceptor. But whatever it is, it makes a huge difference. I almost felt unsafe on the Interceptor going down a hill at 28 mph with a few small bumps. But on the Stretch, it felt very stable. The Stretch also seemed to have a smoother ride on rough trails than the Interceptor. Especially on concrete bike paths with the small gaps between each concrete section. Those felt more bumpy on the Interceptor, almost enough to be annoying. On the Stretch they were much less bothersome.

I'm 6'4" and weigh 210 lbs and the Stretch fit me better than the Interceptor. We had to raise the handlebar quite a bit from the head tube and then use the built in handlebar adjustment mechanism to raise it even more. I also had the seat up about as high as it will go. Once we did that, the Stretch offered a very comfortable and upright riding position. That's why I say this is much more than just a cargo bike. It's very comfortable as an everyday cruiser or commuter. I'm not quite sure how Pedego could market this...I'm assuming they will miss a large part of the market that would love this bike. But because people think it's a cargo bike, they may never even take one for a test ride and won't realize how comfortable it is.

There were a couple of negatives. The battery meter fluctuated quite a bit between 2 bars and 4 bars (of 6 bars total). Then it fluctuated between 1 bar and 3 bars. This is quite a big deal considering the bike weighs 85 pounds with the racks on. The idea that I may have to manually pedal the bike back to the shop did not sound like fun. If I really had 3 bars, I would have continued to enjoy the nice day and ridden farther. If I really only had 1 bar, it was time to head back. I was too nervous to keep going so I headed back. I would expect a much more accurate battery meter for a bike that is this expensive. As I mentioned earlier, this bike had the big battery and I rode 22 miles. It's hard to really know how much further I could have gone. I was using the pedal assist quite a bit, mostly setting it on 4 or sometimes even 5 but I was pedaling almost the entire time. It was fun to go fast but obviously I used quite a bit of battery in doing so. At least according to the gauge.

I also noticed it struggled quite a big going up hills. I was only doing 8 mph on a hill that I felt like I went much faster on with the Interceptor. This bike is very heavy. And they claim it will carry 400 lbs plus a 225 lb rider. I can't imagine it even being able to move with that much weight. Has anyone loaded it up with a couple of people and tried to go up a hill? I was surprised that it couldn't accelerate very much when going up hills. But on flat ground and downhill it felt like it had loads of power to spare.

Overall though, it was a great bike and I'd love to own one someday. Even if I don't plan on ever carrying cargo with it, it would still be my first choice over the Interceptor.

Dave
 

Tara D.

Active Member
Great review @RealDeal Thank you for sharing your experience with the bike! If you haven't already watched Courts review or if any one else is interested here it is:

 

George S.

Well-Known Member
An explanation of the variation in the battery meter is fairly simple. The meter measures voltage, and voltage drops as the battery is discharged. Unfortunately, when the motor is working hard, the voltage will sag, and that shows up on the battery meter. Normally you would use the meter reading when you are not applying power.

Interesting about the stability of the bike. People want to go faster, but the bikes don't always seem like they are designed for high speeds. The Interceptors are back heavy, motor and battery location. The Juiced Rider cargo bike is even lower in stature. The people who buy the Interceptors locally are not that interested in speed.

There's no question that hills and weight are trouble for a hub motor. You have to go with a mid-drive that uses the bike gears to climb with heavy loads.
 

Jim123

Member
George S, I saw your article you wrote at electricbike.com, wow, that is neat! Lately it is on the front of Luna cycles webpage also. Plus you have the nice new photo for your posts here, looking good. I think heavier bikes get a "cadillac" feel just from their weight, despite no suspension Cheaper suspension adds a lot of weight anyway, but just using weight alone is probably not the most efficient way to a smooth feel.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
but just using weight alone is probably not the most efficient way to a smooth feel.

I think people should use the motor to build somewhat inefficient bikes that work in other ways. The fatbike is a pain without the motor, same for the cargo bike. I bought a basic cruiser bike to convert, but I rode it a couple of times before installing the motor. Just not a good design for efficiency. But, with the motor, it goes about the speed I want, under 20, and I pedal the amount I want to pedal. Very basic low cost bike that does exactly what I want. The bike in the profile pic.

With DIY you can get what you want. Starting another bike, more for performance, but mostly to experiment. That article was interesting, just thinking it through. It's been on their home page for a while.