- Powerful combination of 500w motor and 48v Lithium battery
- Durable and proven frame is borrowed from the Pedego Comfort Cruiser
- Soft Schwalbe balloon tires add comfort but include Kevlar lining and Slime for durability
- No pedal assist mode, only 6 gears to choose from but simple design is tough and easy to ride
This review is for the original Pedego Interceptor I which ended production in 2013 and was replaced with the newer Pedego Interceptor II. If you happen to find this bike used at a garage sale or new at a discount from an ebike dealer please continue reading! It’s a wonderful bike that received a great rating when I first rode it and has only been improved with the latest version.
The Pedego Interceptor takes the time tested Cruiser frame and components then adds 12v of extra power! You get a bike that’s durable, easy to ride, easy to fix and service with shared parts all for a very reasonable $2,495. Now, you may not need that extra 12v but I can guarantee almost everyone out there will enjoy it. If you’re a larger rider, someone planning to mount a baby seat or pull a trailer or a police officer looking for a great ebike to use on patrol, this bike is for you. And it also comes in a smaller, easier to mount step-through style.
Let’s start with the motor. This thing is 500 Watts, brushless and gearless. It’s super durable because there aren’t any gears rubbing in there and while this does leave it with slightly less torque, the 48v battery makes up for that and you’ll have no problem getting up hills. The best part about a gearless hub motor is that it coasts silently and frictionlessly. If you decide to pedal the bike, that’s a real plus. It’s also an advantage if you’re a police officer going for stealth.
The battery used for the Interceptor is fully encased in aluminum, includes a built in handle at the back for easy removal and can be charged on or off of the frame using the wall charger that comes with the bike. If it ever breaks or you decide to get a second pack, you can simply pull one pack off and slide the other on. It’s very easy and universal feeling compared with some other ebikes. The downside is, this battery pack is mounted on the rear end of the bike frame meaning the weight of the bike is distributed towards the back, and that can make it easier to slide out going around corners and harder to lift evenly. The Classic Comfort Cruiser models from Pedego only come in 36 volt options. For the money, the performance is well worth the upgrade in my opinion and even required in some situations. The picture below shows the power indicator on the back side of the battery pack. It that lights up to tell you how much is left.
To get this bike going you simply insert the included key into the battery pack and turn (you have to leave the key in when riding). Then you press the red button on the twist throttle and an LED gauge shows whether the battery is at green, yellow or red status representing charge remaining. Next, you twist the throttle and go! Easy, probably the easiest design of any electric bikes out there. The downside is that you don’t get a clock, a speedometer, a precision graph of how much power is being used or how much juice is left… But at least there’s less to break or get confused with.
Speaking of durability, this bike is tough. Aside from the somewhat flimsy chain guard, this bike can be tipped over, tossed aside and even crashed and then get back up with no problem. Even better, if you do break an electrical component, fixing it is easy because they are all modular. Each portion of the system is connected with a male to female wire adapter and that makes changing the throttle, controller unit or rear wheel much easier. Note that this bike does not include any built in lights, it doesn’t come with fenders (though you can add them in matching color for $50) and the handlebars aren’t adjustable on the fly like the City Commuter, but that’s part of what makes it rugged. Even if you don’t choose to purchase fenders, the rear battery mount keeps the stripe off your back pretty well so it’s not a big deal.
In conclusion, this bike is fun to ride and offers lots of power at a good pricepoint. You’ll be sitting more upright and that’s nice for city riding, alleviating pressure on wrists, shoulders and neck. You won’t have to worry about learning a new computer interface or having one get messed up if you let a friend ride it. Practically anyone who can ride a bike can also ride this and be just fine. The bike will last and even if something does break, it shares parts with the time tested line of Cruiser bikes put out by Pedego over the past several years and the parent company itself is very responsive and supportive (so I’m told by their dealers and other customers) and their warranty is great. It’s hard to go wrong with this bike and even for someone lightweight like myself, it’s fun to have that extra power! Just don’t expect to easily lift it up stairs or even pass through doorways without a little bit of maneuvering.
- Good price for high end battery and motor that will last
- Fun to ride, smooth over bumps due to larger tires and upright handlebars
- Proven frame and components, shared with Pedego Cruiser line
- Great for larger sized riders or those with trailers or extra gear
- Comes in both step through and classic cantilever frame designs
- Easy to ride, simple twist throttle system, only six gears
- Comfortable seat comes with rubber bumpers and is available in leather and colored options
- Wide Schwalbe Fat Frank tires are soft but durable, built in Kevlar liner and pre-Slimed for protection against thorns and glass
- Modular electronics are easy to replace individually
- Disc brake combined with rear hub brake work well for stopping
- Brushless, gearless motor is super quiet and durable but still powerful combined with 48v battery
- Battery locks to bike and can’t be removed without key, also can’t start the bike without key which deters theft and tampering
- Wires integrated through frame, well organized and kept out of the way
- Rear hub is lockable, keeps bike from being ridden off, be sure to unlock it before riding again
- Uses a motorcycle style double-sided kickstand that holds bike well on or off a rack
- No lights built into the system, have to add your own
- No water bottle mounts, have to use a velcro cage or wear a camelbak
- No fenders built into the bike (can be added for $50), the rear rack keeps stripe off your back when riding in the rain
- No pedal assist mode means you have to constantly twist the throttle to go
- Limited color options compared to cruiser line: black, red or brushed aluminum only
- Battery and hub motor position weight at rear of bike, can increase potential to slide out, makes it harder to cary up steps or mount to car racks
- Integrated chain guard is nice to keep pants clean but easily bent out of place if stepped on
- No computer features like speed, distance, battery graph or integration with heart rate monitors etc.
- Heavier bike than most at 60 pounds total
- On bigger bumps the kickstand can bounce a bit and get in the way going up curbs