The Electric Bike Company is known for creating good looking, highly-customizable electric bikes and it would appear that their new ‘Model J’ fits their mold nicely.
This motorcycle inspired e-bike looks amazing, but it’s packing some legit performance specs too.
Highlights include a 750W rear hub motor, a top speed of up to 28 mph (after being re-programmed), hydraulic disc brakes, and the choice between 3 different battery configurations for some serious range.
And when it comes to the features, you can customize just about everything on the bike – from paint colors and upgraded components to loads of accessories, you have tons of options to work with.
Overall, the Model J has a lot to offer, but with a starting price of around $1k, it might just be one of the best deals in e-bikes at the moment.
So, if you’re looking for a snazzy looking e-bike that won’t break the budget, I think the Model J is a fine choice – but with so many e-bikes on the market these days, is it really worth investing in?
Well, that’s what I’m here to help you decide.
In this review, I’ll go over everything this electric bike has to offer, but I’ll also compare it to some of the other top options in its price range.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not the Model J is the right e-bike for you.
The Electric Bike Company’s Model J
Electric Bike Company (EBC) is a California based brand that’s made it their mission to provide affordable, customizable e-bikes to the masses.
They do this by keeping their prices highly competitive, but without skimping on quality.
All of their e-bikes are assembled in their Newport Beach facility and most are made to order, meaning you get to choose pretty much every detail that goes into ’em.
EBC has traditionally specialized in electric cruiser bikes, but the Model J we’re to discuss now is certainly a deviation from their normal style.
Yup, the Model J is definitely more of a motorcycle-inspired e-bike, a design that seems to be growing rapidly in popularity considering how many of these we’re seeing on the market now.
Anyway, let’s start things off with a rundown on the performance specs, then we’ll take a look at what features this e-bike has to offer and talk price.
- 750W rear hub motor
- 576Wh battery (standard)
- Can add additional batteries for extended range
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- 420 lb weight limit
- Fairly lightweight frame
- LCD console
- 5 levels of pedal assist
- Thumb/half-twist throttle
- Front/rear lighting
- Fat tires
- Motorcycle inspired design
- Tons of upgrades/accessories
- Highly customizable
- Great warranty
- Great price
- Only comes in one frame size
- Seat isn’t height adjustable
The Model J comes with a 750W rear hub motor and comes programmed as a Class II e-bike, meaning it can reach a top speed of 20 mph with pedal assist or by using the throttle alone.
It can be re-programmed to be a Class III e-bike, depending on your local rules and regulations, meaning it’ll be able to reach a top speed of 28 mph with pedal assist (still only 20 mph with throttle).
For starters, I think it’s smart that EBC gives you the option to choose between Class II and Class III programming because Class III bikes aren’t legal everywhere.
So smart thinking EBC.
I also want to mention that the Model J can technically go faster than these top speeds – these limits are only as fast as the motor will get ya.
Keep in mind this is still a bicycle that you can pedal and you can go as fast as your hard desires while pedaling.
I can also tell you from experience that 28 mph is really fast on a bicycle.
Anyway, with regards to power, 750W is as strong as you can expect to see on an e-bike in this price range.
You can find bikes packing more muscle (like Juiced Bikes’ RipCurrent S and its 1000W motor), but that same bike comes with a starting price that’s over $1k more than the Model J.
And again, depending on your local regulations, having a motor stronger than 750W might not exactly be street legal, so you really do need to know your local laws regarding e-bikes.
But you can rest assured that 750W is enough power to comfortably get up hills and power through rougher terrain when necessary.
The fact that the Model J uses a rear hub motor is expected for this price range as well because e-bikes packing mid-drive motors usually cost quite a bit more.
Ride1Up’s Prodigy is one of the most affordable mid-drive e-bikes around and it still costs about $1k more than the Model J.
And even though rear hub motors don’t offer the same level of balance as mid-drive motors, they still work remarkably well.
I should also mention that not all e-bikes in this price range come with such powerful motors – Aventon’s similarly-priced Soltera, for example, comes with a 350W rear hub motor.
Overall, I think the Model J is packing a lot of muscle for such an affordable e-bike and I like that you get the option to choose between using it as a Class II or Class III bike.
With the Model J, you get to choose between 3 different battery configurations- 12Ah, 24Ah, or 36Ah.
All batteries are 48V and the expected range will vary depending on which configuration you go with.
The 12Ah (576Wh) battery option comes standard and you’ll have to pay extra to go with the 1 or 2 additional battery options (each battery costs around $400, so the 36Ah option costs about $800 more).
With the standard 12Ah battery, you can expect a top range of 50 miles or so if you don’t use the pedal assist or throttle very much.
With the 36Ah configuration, that max range will be extended upwards of 150 miles – again, that’s with limited motor use.
And of course rider size and terrain will play a big part in how much real world range you get too.
For the price, a 576Wh battery is pretty generous.
For the sake of comparison, Aventon’s Soltera (mentioned earlier) comes with a 345.6Wh battery and an expected max range of around 40 miles.
There’s also Ride1Up’s similarly-priced Roadster V2, which comes with a 252Wh battery and a max range of around 30 miles.
So again, I think the Model J scores highly with its 576Wh standard battery and it’s always nice to have the option to expand that range with additional batteries as needed.
The Model J only comes in 1 frame size, so even though you can customize just about every other component of this e-bike, the frame itself is what it is.
Luckily, it’s designed to fit most users fairly comfortably though.
According to EBC, the Model J should be able to fit most riders who are between 5’3″ – 6’10” tall.
Personally, I think someone 6’10” would have a hard time riding this e-bike, especially considering the seat isn’t height adjustable, but all manufacturers tend to exaggerate a little when it comes to the sizing.
Well, I say that – if you didn’t pedal much folks that tall might be able to ride this bike.
Either way, I think the real takeaway here is that riders under 5’3″ should probably consider a different bike.
The Model J comes with a max weight limit of 420 lb, which is remarkable for such a lightweight, affordable e-bike.
And by lightweight, we’re only talking an assembled weight of 51 lb (including 1 battery), so it should be pretty easy to move this bike around.
Overall, the Model J probably isn’t the best option for shorter folks, but it comes with a great weight capacity and it should be easy to transport given its reasonable assembled weight.
EBC covers their Model J E-Bike with the following warranty:
- 10 year motor
- 5 year battery
- 30 day paint
Ok, so EBC offers a pretty long warranty for their motors and batteries, which is always great to see.
If you read the fine print though, it says you have to register your bike within 30 days of purchase for the warranty to be valid, so if you decide to invest in the Model J, make sure you do that.
It’s also worth knowing that EBC covers any cost due to malfunction for either the motor or battery within the first month, but after that you’ll likely have to cover the cost of sending the part back for repair.
And if a completely new motor is required, you’ll probably have to cover part of the cost for the new motor, but it’ll be discounted compared to full price.
So, if something goes wrong within these time periods, you may still end up spending a little cash to get things fixed, but it’ll still be a lot less than if the warranty wasn’t there.
Overall, EBC offers much longer warranties than most competitors, who simply offer a 1-2 year warranty for the entire bike.
The Model J comes equipped with the following features:
LCD console- this bike comes with a color display that makes it easy to set your assist level or check your speed and it even comes with a USB charging port so you can keep your phone charged up while you ride.
Hydraulic disc brakes- the Model J comes standard with hydraulic disc brakes, which are an upgrade over the mechanical brakes found on many e-bikes in this price range.
Rigid steel fork- this bike comes standard with a rigid fork, but if you want a little more shock absorption, you can upgrade to a suspension fork for added cost.
24″ x 3″ tires- the tires on this e-bike are large and fat, allowing them to coast comfortably over all kinds of terrain. And since this is EBC we’re talking about here, of course you can choose between black or brown tires.
5 levels of pedal assist- with 5 levels of pedal assist, you have a lot of control over how hard you work during your rides. You can keep the pedal assist low for more of a workout or crank it up to 5 for a more casual ride.
Direct drive train- the Model J comes standard with a direct drive train, but it is compatible with a 7-speed shifter if you’d like to upgrade.
Throttle- you can choose between a thumb or half-twist throttle.
Long saddle- this e-bike comes standard with a long saddle style seat, mimicking the look of what you’d find on a motorcycle or moped.
Front/rear lighting- the Model J comes standard with an LED headlight and tail light and you can upgrade for brake lights and turn signals if you prefer.
This bike is highly customizable and you can choose the color of pretty much every component that comes on the bike.
You can also add additional accessories, including front & rear racks, locks, and anti-theft alarm systems.
Ok, as I’m writing this, the EBC is offering the Model J at the introductory price of $1,199.
I’m not sure how long this price is going to last, but my guess is it’ll gradually go up a little with time… but who knows.
Given the motor, battery, and warranty this e-bike comes with, I think this is an amazing price, but keep in mind that upgrading components of features will bump that price up.
Regardless, I want to take a quick look at some of the other top e-bikes in this price range to see how the Model J holds up.
The first comp I want to mention is Aventon’s Soltera, which is priced identically at the time of writing this.
The Soltera comes with a 350W rear hub motor, a 345.6Wh battery with a range of up to 40 miles or so, and a 2 year warranty.
It’s a Class II e-bike and comes in 2 frame sizes and it does come equipped with a 7-speed shifter, but it isn’t nearly as customizable as the Model J.
Aventon also has the popular Pace 350.2, which is also priced identically and it too comes with a 350W motor.
The battery is a little larger on this model (417Wh), but it still comes with a top range of roughly 40 miles or so.
Finally, I want to mention Ride1Up’s Roadster V2, which is a very straight-forward e-bike that you might not even notice is electric at first glance.
This e-bike comes with a 350W rear hub motor, a 252Wh battery (30 mile range), and a 1 year warranty.
It’s a Class III bike and also uses a direct drive train.
Alright, I think that’ll about do it for the Model J.
Based on the specs and after taking a look at the comps, I think this e-bike is going to be a huge hit.
The Model J comes equipped with a powerful motor, a high capacity battery, and the ability to upgrade and customize as you much as you see fit.
And all its major components are backed by long warranties, which never hurts.
Oh yea, I forgot to mention it earlier, but it comes fully assembled too, so you don’t have to mess with putting it together.
The biggest downside I see is that shorter folks and really tall folks might have a hard time riding, since the seat isn’t height adjustable and it only comes in one frame size.
But otherwise, I don’t see much to complain about here.
If you’re looking for an affordable motorcycle-looking e-bike, I think the Model J is a great buy (especially with that special introductory price).