Electric Bike Company Model Y review: A luxury cruiser ebike

Most of the ebikes we’ve tested at TNW have futuristic designs, ample smart features, or minimalist aesthetics. But sometimes you just want something a little more classic, and for that, the Electric Bike Company’s Model Y exactly fits the bill.

Made in the USA

Electric Bike Company is a relatively rare breed of an ebike brand in that its bikes are actually designed and built in the USA. Pretty much all of the company’s bikes are some variety of beach cruiser, and though some components are sourced from outside the US, the company builds frames to order in California. This includes optional custom paint jobs and wood trims on various parts of the bike, offering much more customization than any ebike I’ve tested.

That extra attention to detail also allows EBC to be confident enough to offer an exceedingly rare 10-year warranty on both the frame and motor, as well as a 5-year warranty on the battery. Most budget ebikes offer a one-year warranty, and while more expensive bike companies might guarantee the frame for that long, even the more expensive ones tend to top out at two or three years when it comes to crucial components like the motor and battery. The company even says each cell is inspected individually by experts before the battery is assembled, and it says the motors are rated to last 18 years.

I mention all this because the first thing to strike me about the Model Y upon unboxing it was the polish and attention to detail. It looks and feels like a bike that’s built to last. The bike retails for $1,949 in its base configuration (+$200 shipping within the Continental US, although free local pickup is available in Newport Beach, CA), and it feels like you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.

The bike comes almost fully assembled and very well packed. The paint job is clean and the welds are smooth. There are classy component choices throughout, like full metal fenders (a $79 option) and chainguard, corrosion-resistant stainless steel components, and bright integrated lighting. The vegan leather grips and saddle both look classy and feel great; the ginormous seat is the bike equivalent of a lounge chair. I normally want to change these two details right away after receiving a new bike to test, but not on the Model Y.

Even the basket is nicer than usual, with both rods to latch bungees onto and a mesh lining to prevent objects from falling out. That basket houses the battery, by the way, a really nice touch that helps evenly distribute the bike’s weight with the motor in the rear hub; I wish more companies took this approach.

Some other specs and highlights:

  • 504 Wh battery (48V/10.5 Ah), upgradeable to 1008 Wh (+$799)
  • A refreshingly fast 3.5A charger (3-4 hours for a full charge from empty)
  • Tektro hydraulic disk brakes which automatically cut off motor power
  • 500W (1000W max) rear hub motor
  • 12 magnet cadence sensor
  • Thumb throttle
  • 27″ wide cruiser handlebars
  • 25 mph max speed (comes configured at 20mph)
  • Single speed drive train (+$189)
  • Beefy kickstand
  • 58lb weight with battery
  • Large color LCD display with USB for powering accessories
  • Balloon tires available in 26 and 24-inch sizes (24-inch tested)
  • Optional suspension fork (+$189)
  • Optional GPS tracker (+$499)
  • Optional Anti-theft alarm with remote (+$129 upgrade)
  • Optional rear rack (+129 or more, depending on the color)

I tested the base specs with only the addition of fenders.

Absurdly customizable

As you can see, the bike offers plenty of customization options, but that’s before we even get to the myriad ways you can customize the paint job. There are dozens of color options for the frame, fork, fenders, chain guard, basket, components, rims, and rack. Each is separately customizable, leading to literally billions of possible color combinations. EBC even allows for some options not on its site if you contact its team separately, including matte finishes and 24″ wheels.

Painting the frame is an extra $300, while other components will run you $79-$209. If you customize every component, the paint job will bring the base spec configuration closer to $3,000.

Electric Bike Company Model Y Customization optionsY

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