- One of the original, most proven, cruiser style electric bikes. With a lower price point, larger dealer network, and the addition of pedal assist in recent years... this ebike stands out from the crowd. Available in two frame styles (step-thru and high-step) two wheel sizes (24" and 26") and three colors (Coral, Blue, or Red).
- Beautiful aesthetic with premium paint on the frame, fork, chain cover, and even the rims! Whitewalled tires set off the white branding accents on the frame and improve safety by reflecting more light from the side. The battery pack has a 3-LED rear light built in that can operate even if the motor and display are turned off. The bike is pre-wired for an optional headlight too.
- Large 180mm mechanical disc brakes provide good stopping power, and the brake levers send a cutoff signal to the motor whenever they are pulled. Great 7-speed drivetrain with a wider 12 to 32 tooth cassette provides easier starts and climbing, the Shimano Acera derailleur is two steps up from the base and tends to be very reliable. Oversized thumb shifter is intuitive and easy to operate with gloves.
- Reliable Dapu planetary geared hub motor and Samsung battery pack. Optional battery capacity upgrade, matching fenders, suspension seatpost, puncture resistant tires, side mirrors, and more. Industry-leading five year limited warranty. Upgrade path to Interceptor with hydraulic disc brakes and even larger battery options. Trade-offs include rear heavy design, limited suspension, and center mount kickstand.
This review was provided for free, but Pedego Glendale Peoria supplied a temporary demo bike for me to test. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Pedego products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the Pedego electric bike forums.
- Pedego dates all the way back to 2007, when the founders began converting traditional beach cruiser bicycles into electric bikes by adding motors and battery packs. They maintain the fun vintage styles but have refined the offering year over year since I began reviewing them in 2013! The Comfort Cruiser was actually the first ebike I ever covered from them, and you can see that review here for comparison.
- The original Pedego Comfort Cruiser model used a gearless direct drive motor that weighed more, looked uglier, and added some drag when coasting. It used a double-leg center stand that hung down further and would sometimes collide with curbs and other obstacles. The rear rack was less sturdy, and did not surround the battery box. It only had one disc brake (in the front) and relied on a weaker band brake in the rear. And, it only had six gears with a much more limited 14 to 28 tooth freewheel, and no pedal assist!
- For those who wish to upgrade the brakes to hydraulic or add a suspension fork and seatpost, Pedego makes the Interceptor and Platinum Interceptor models, which are built around the same Comfort Cruiser frames. These bikes are also available in more colors. I’ve covered the entire Pedego line of ebikes here, but some of the reviews may be out of date.
- The combination of a proven, refined, purpose-built electric bike that is sold through a vast dealer network that offers demo rides, rentals, and support for just under $2k USD is pretty impressive… especially given the two frame styles, two wheel sizes, and three color choices.
- The vintage cruiser look may not appeal to everyone, but Pedego has really done a great job with it here. Notice the premium paint that spans the frame, fork, rear rack, rims, chain cover, and optional fenders. The fancy white walled tires and black accents complete the look, especially if you compare it with the older versions.
- These bikes tend to be very sturdy. Both the high-step “Classic” and step-thru models feature additional cross-member tubes that connect top tube and down tube. The rims have 36 holes instead of 32 or 28, and the spokes are extra thick 12 gauge. While the official maximum load is 250 pounds (113 Kilograms), I have regularly seen larger riders using the bikes successfully over time. The company even published a story about Rhonda Martin, who weighed 475lbs and lost 270lbs riding one regularly (though I believe that she was riding the City Commuter model).
- The Comfort Cruiser tends to be very… comfortable, despite not having a suspension fork or seat post suspension. The oversized saddle has elastomer bumpers, and the steel fork and handlebar offer some vibration dampening properties. Since the handlebar is so long, riders don’t have to bend forward as much, and some of the shake and jar is dissipated through the handlebar itself before reaching the grips. The 2.3″ wide balloon tires also act as cushions, especially on the larger 26″ wheel size.
- The bike is sold with 26″ or 24″ wheels, which change how high the frame is off of the ground. This is a great way to lower the stand-over height of the bike, making it easier to mount. For people who might struggle to swing their leg up and over the rear rack or step over the high top-tube on the Classic high-step frame, the step-thru and 24″ step-thru are excellent choices. The trade-off when using smaller 24″ wheels is a bumpier ride due to lower attack angle of the wheel… but it can be worth the trade for confidence.
- The bikes are surprisingly powerful, Pedego products have always impressed me with their zippy acceleration. The company uses trusted name-brand hardware from Dapu and Samsung, and I believe that their controllers run at higher amperage. You’ll get even more power when upgrading to the Interceptor and Platinum Interceptor models which run at 48 volts instead of 36 volts here.
- I appreciate that the battery packs on the high-step and step-thru Comfort Cruiser models are interchangeable. This is great for families or couples, and I believe that it makes replacement less expensive. Some ebikes use fancy color-matched shields that are proprietary to each make model combination. These packs are more generic… but still offer independent on/off switches for added security at racks and replaceable fuses to prevent damage.
- I love that the battery capacity can be upgraded by 50% for just $300, that these 15 amp hour packs are still interchangeable with the stock 10 amp hour pack, and that you can tap into this energy by using the USB charging port built into the base of the LCD display panel! I often charge my phone while riding, using it for GPS or music. To activate the USB port, hold the up and power button simultaneously for a few seconds once the bike is powered up.
- The display panel is intuitive, easy to reach while riding, easy to read, and has backlighting to use at night. To activate backlighting, just hold the up arrow for a few seconds once the bike is powered up.
- The battery charger for these bikes is nice looking and medium size and weight, but puts out more energy than average at 4 amps vs. just 2 amps. This means you will be able to charge the bike faster and spend more time out riding. I appreciate that the battery pack can be charged on or off the bike. It’s best to store the battery away from extreme heat and cold to help it last.
- The battery pack slides easily and clicks securely into the plastic box that is bolted into the rear rack frame. It is automatically locked there, you don’t need the key to lock it on the frame. I love that the key does not need to be left in the frame while riding, which was the case on some of the older models from Pedego. And, I love that they give you three keys with the bike and they are fairly small.
- Safety is an important topic for me, especially when commuting by bicycle or riding in a new location (perhaps with a rented Pedego Comfort Cruiser), so the highly visible white sidewalls of the tires, standard reflectors, and integrated 3-LED rear light are wonderful features. Furthermore, Pedego sells an optional headlight for just $50 and the bike comes pre-wired so it’s easy to add and won’t require disposable batteries!
- Great pedal choice, they are large, grippy, and sturdy. I also like how stable the kickstand is, how sturdy the rear rack is, that it includes bungee loops near the base, and that Pedego sells high quality trunk bags and panniers that look nice and have reflective fabrics for improved safety. Nice little upgrade with the rubberized brake levers and integrated bell on the left.
- I love that both frame styles include bottle cage bosses on the downtube for use with a water bottle cage, folding lock, mini pump, or other accessory. There are many handlebar mounted cup holders for those who do not want to bend down, or those with the step-thru that want to keep it clear and open, but it’s just nice to have this option.
- The internally routed cables are less likely to get damaged or snag your clothing, and they look beautiful. The steel chain cover keeps pants and dress ends from touching or snagging on the chain.
- Getting flat tires is no fun! This is especially true with hub motor powered ebikes, because of the added motor cable and bolt mounted axle vs. quick release. So, it’s nice that the bikes come with pre-Slimed inner tubes that are designed to self-seal minor punctures.
- Excellent five year limited warranty (basically three years comprehensive, and you pay a bit for battery replacement in years four and five). Most higher quality ebikes have two year warranties with lifetime on the frame or something like that, and very few have pro-rated battery replacement options like this. Keep in mind that Pedego has been selling their own products since 2009, they have a strong track record.
- Keep in mind that these bikes use older standards for their stem and handlebar, if you choose to replace it with a different style, look for 25.4mm vs. 31.8mm (which is popular on mountain bikes and hybrids).
- Weighing in at nearly 60lbs (for the 26″ Classic high-step frame) that I tested, this is a heavy electric bike. Furthermore, much of the weight is situated at the rear of the frame, with 7lbs to 9.5lbs of that being in the battery pack (depending on the battery size you choose). Ideally, weight would be as low and centered as possible. The rack battery design looks fairly nice, is easy to access for charging and removal, and allows for the approachable wave step-thru frame, but can increase frame flex.
- Steel is sturdy and provides some vibration dampening properties, but it can also rust when scratched. Keep this in mind because the handlebar, fork, chain cover, chainring, and optional fenders are all made from steel. Shops may have touch up paint, but you can also use fingernail polish and car paint to head off rust.
- The chain cover looks great, but I’ve noticed that it can get bent out of shape pretty easily if kicked. This is especially easy to do on the step-thru frame. Take a look at the rental models if you are at a Pedego dealer and you may see what I mean here. Just be careful, steel doesn’t flex and keep its form the way plastic does.
- The extra long, swept back, wide cruiser handlebar offers riders an upright body position and actually reduce vibration that can lead to hand, arm, and shoulder discomfort… but they also add weight (especially being steel in this case), and can collide with doorframes. The shop that I visited to conduct this review had visible scratch marks on the entryway doorframe, and your house and car doors may suffer the same fate if you’re not careful!
- The centrally mounted kickstand provides good stability and has an adjustable plastic foot, to help you find the best angle for the bike, but is positioned in the path of the left crank arm. This means that you may encounter pedal lock if the cranks are cycled backwards or you walk the bike backwards with the kickstand deployed. This can be very annoying if your bike is parked in a tight spot next to your car because the cranks do not cycle back forward when you walk the bike forward.
- If you choose the step-thru version of this electric bicycle, you may have to spend extra money on a crossbar adapter to hang it from some automobile racks. This adds to the cost and time required to move the bikes around. I have also found that it’s best to remove the battery pack when transporting and possibly the front fender depending on the type of rack you use. This will help reduce weight and provide the best grab point for platform racks with arms that grasp the front wheel.
- Mechanical disc brakes often require increased hand effort to operate, especially the rear brake (right lever). These brake levers do not offer adjustable reach, like hydraulic, but the levers offer four fingers for increased leverage, and they do have rubberized edges for comfort and motor inhibitors for safety. The larger 180mm rotors offer good stopping power. Consider upgrading to the Interceptor or Platinum Interceptor for hydraulic brakes if that’s important to you.
- The stock tires are pretty nice looking and offer hybrid tread, but do not offer increased puncture protection from what I can tell. Pedego does offer reflective puncture protected Schwalbe tires for extra money if you wish.
- This is a minor complaint, but the large Shimano SIS indexed thumb shifter requires a bit more reaching and movement than trigger shifters. I find that it’s slower and requires more dexterity to shift with, but understand that they chose this in part due to the limited space because of the twist throttle. Some ebikes resolve this by moving the throttle to the left grip, that that’s not super intuitive. At least it’s large, easy to read, and simple to use… even if you’re wearing gloves.
- I don’t think that these ebikes offer walk mode, which has become a common feature for many electric bicycles allowing them to be moved slowly without a rider mounted. It’s a useful feature for heavier models and can help you limp home with a flat tire or cut across an unrideable section of terrain without having to push. Instead, you may be able to carefully use the twist throttle to move the bike, simulating walk mode.
- This is a very minor complaint, but I did not see a slap guard on the right chain stay. Given how beautiful the paint is, it would be nice to have a clear plastic sticker here like many competing bicycles. It would reduce noise and chips, and you could create a makeshift guard with a strip of clear box tape like this.