Shimano Tourney FT55 SIS Index Thumb Shifter on Right Bar
3-Piece Aluminum Alloy, 175 mm 44T Sprocket
Pedego Aluminum Alloy Platform
Cruiser, Swept Back, 28.5" Length
SRAM Avid BB7 Mechanical Disc with 180 mm Rotors
Seat Post Length:
Seat Post Diameter:
12 Gauge Stainless Steel
Schwalbe Fat Frank, 26" x 2.35"
26 in (66.04cm)
Schrader Valve, Pre-Slimed
Single Side Kickstand on Left, Integrated LED Headlight and Tail Light, Integrated Bell on Left Brake Lever, Spring Latch on Rear Rack, Matching Chain Guard, Optional Matching Fenders
Locking Removable Battery Pack with Integrated LED Power Indicator, Sealed 68 mm x 127 mm Bottom Bracket, Tool-Free Quick Adjust on Brake Calipers (Red Twist Disc), Tire Colors: Black, Brown, Creme and Grey
For 2015, Pedego improved its Classic Interceptor model in several key ways. The LCD display panel and button pad were combined into one main interface to create a cleaner cockpit, a second frame size dubbed the “Miniceptor” with smaller 24″ wheels was added and an optional magnesium wheelset was introduced for managing heavier loads (up to 300 pounds). The original Interceptor models only came in size large with a high-step cantilever frame so shorter riders and those who didn’t want to swing their leg over the high rack and top tube ended up with the less powerful Classic Cruiser which also didn’t come with lights. As a medium sized guy, I’ve always appreciated the nice upgrades that the Interceptor offers beyond the standard Cruisers but wasn’t sure about the larger frame, now it’s a lot more accessible and I would probably opt for a step-thru version. It’s worth noting that relaxed cruisers like this tend to be less comfortable to pedal at high speed and they aren’t as nimble or light weight as “road style” ebikes. The Interceptor is however, very smooth, comfortable and zippy. It rides well as a scooter, you can override pedal assist at any time with the twist throttle and despite weighing in at ~60 pounds it climbs fairly well. With this bike you get to choose from six frame colors that include a matching rack, chain guard and optional full length fenders. There are also four tire colors available at no extra charge.
Driving the bike is a high quality 500 watt geared hub motor laced into the rear wheel. It’s made by Dapu, the same company that does motors for Easy Motion and in my opinion it feels stronger than comparably rated geared motors from other brands. It’s smooth, relatively quiet and small and light weight (given that it is geared vs. gearless). Concealed on one side by a 180 mm mechanical disc brake rotor and on the other by a seven sprocket cassette, the motor nearly disappears. I like that Pedego has included a quick disconnect in the power cable leading up to the motor because it simplifies maintenance but there is no quick release skewer on the rear wheel (just the front) which means you’ll need proper tools for doing tuneups. Thankfully, some flats should be avoided completely on both tubes thanks to the pre-Slimed inner tube treatment and premium Kevlar-lined Schwalbe Fat Frank balloon tires. These tires offer a nice plush ride and compliment the puffy padded grips, oversized comfort saddle and seat post suspension very well.
The battery pack powering the motor, LCD display and LED lights on the Classic Interceptor is a 48 volt rectangular brick that’s encased in plastic and slide-mounted inside the rear rack. It feels very well protected and doesn’t rattle when you ride. You get to choose from either a 10 amp hour or 15 amp hour size for the battery (the larger pack costs $300 more) and you can charge this thing on or off the bike. Considering that the pack weighs nearly nine pounds, I’d recommending packing the charger (which weighs ~2lbs) instead of buying an extra battery to take along. The battery consists of Lithium-ion Samsung cells that are warrantied for one year comprehensive and up to three limited (meaning you get a pro-rated discount on a replacement). The battery has a nice little LED power level indicator built right in which becomes handy if you’re charging it off the bike and need to see if it’s full (or close to full). The rear light is actually integrated into the plastic casing of the pack and the plastic is painted black to match the saddle, handlebars, grips and other hardware. It all looks very nice. As with many electric bike batteries, this one locks to the frame for security but now you can actually take the key out while riding which means there won’t be any jingling or potential snags (as with older models). Overall, the battery is fantastic in my view but it does put weight higher up and more towards the rear than I’d like for optimal balance. Given the functionality of the rack and stylish integration however, it’s just a tradeoff you make with this style of bike and it’s not a big deal for neighborhood riding in mostly smooth relaxed environments.
Operating the bike is fairly straight forward, just charge the battery, click the toggle switch to on (located under the pack at the rear right corner) and press the on/off button on the LCD display. The drive system comes to life and is even backlit (just tap the on/off button on the display a second time). From here you can read your speed, battery level, assist level, trip meter and set a timer. In level zero you basically operate the bike like a scooter by twisting the throttle to go. In any of the five levels of assist you receive increasingly powerful feedback as you pedal. The system uses a 12 magnet cadence sensor at the bottom bracket that measures your crank arms turning and tells the motor to turn on or off. I found it to be relatively responsive but like that the brake levers on the bike also send a hard “stop” signal when activated. The short story is that the new control system is more responsive and cleaner than the older ones. The display is still more permanently attached to the left handle bar (some ebikes have removable displays) but it does swivel forward and back to reduce glare. By combining everything into one interface there is probably less potential for connection issues and it likely keeps the price down as well. The plastic buttons (power, set, up and down) are still easy to reach while keeping your hand mostly seated on the left grip and I found that the advanced menus were very easy to adjust if you wanted to switch from Kilometers to Miles etc. as shown in the video review. You simply hold set then use the up button to edit sub-menus like wheel size, top speed, trip meter reset and speed/distance unit change.
The Pedego Interceptor isn’t a perfect electric bike, it’s rear heavy and uses less advanced sensors than you can get from systems like Bosch, Impulse or Shimano but it also costs less. I see a lot of value in the classic frame style, relaxed geometry and quality customer support that Pedego has built its reputation on. It’s almost like a Harley Davidson, the brand carries some weight and the shops that sell it are well trained and focused. Pedego Interceptors are often used as rental bikes and seem to hold up well in rough environments. Having spoken directly with many individual riders who compared this with other similar electric bikes, there seems to be a consensus that Pedego offers extra power and quality. I like that the new display includes a USB charging port, that the rack is so sturdy and usable, that the brake levers have an integrated bell and the calipers have a tool-free quick adjust and that the new frame styles allow riders of different sizes or body types to “upgrade” and get the extra power and lights vs. the traditional Classic Cruisers. I see this electric bike as a top contender in the cruiser style e-bikes space right now. If you are considering ebikes for relaxed rides, maybe cruising along the beach with friends, or are someone who doesn’t plan to pedal as much but also needs extra power for hills or wind or to carry additional weight then the Classic Interceptor could be an excellent choice.
Sturdy cantilever frame design with welded battery rack, now available in step-thru and a “mini” design with 24″ wheels vs. standard 26″
Powerful 500 watt geared hub motor by Dapu paired with 48 volt Samsung battery pack (available in 10 or 15 amp hours for increased range)
Premium Schwalbe Big Ben tires offer cushion and are protected by Kevlar liner, they compliment the padded grips, oversized saddle and suspension seat post nicely
Available in several colors which coat the chain guard, rear rack and optional fenders, the tires are available in four colors as well
Upgraded Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes with 180 mm rotors for excellent stopping power, they don’t squeak as much as lower-end brakes and they include a tool-free adjustment
Integrated front and rear lights that run off the main battery, the display is now combined with the button pad for simplicity and a cleaner cockpit
Cables and wires are run through the purpose built frame for a clean aesthetic and “snag free” function
Offers “throttle only” mode while riding in assist level zero, you can also override any of the five levels of assist for a burst of energy while climbing
Neat integrated USB charging port built right into the LCD display panel mounted to the left bar, charge your portable electronics while riding
The battery locks to the frame for security but is removable for convenient charging and to reduce the overall weight of the bike during transport
12 magnet pedelec sensor is quick to respond and will activate or cut off the motor power as you pedal along, much better than the older six sensor designs
The battery has a built in fuse to help protect it, you don’t have to leave the key in the battery pack while riding to operate the bike (as with older models)
Standard rims with 12 gauge spokes can support 250 pounds and the new magnesium rims can support up to 300
Rear heavy design with the hub motor and battery both mounted on the back half of the frame, the battery is also positioned higher up which isn’t as stable while parked or riding
The battery pack must be activated independently from the LCD display, this might deter tampering but requires extra time and may be forgotten (leaving the battery pack on to drain slowly)
The display panel is fixed which means you cannot easily take it off the bike for storage, this may increase exposure to weather elements or vandalism, thankfully it does swivel up and down to help reduce glare
On the step-thru and Miniceptor design the chain guard is a bit exposed and easier to bend than some plastic guards I’ve tested
The extra wide cruiser style handle bars can be tricky to fit through some doors or tight spaces
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Ric Durant7 years ago
Thanks for another excellent review. Just window shopping for an E-bike (Christmas maybe) for the wife and I.Reply
Court Rye7 years ago
Sure thing Ric! I really enjoy the Interceptor, it’s one of the best cruiser style electric bikes on the market… the fenders, lights and rack are well done and the bike is sturdy (but large) so it’s nice that they now offer a smaller Interceptor too :)Reply