The Model Y from Electric Bike Company is one women’s e-bike that I’ll happily ride anytime, anywhere. And so will my wife.
That’s the impression we came away with after getting the chance to test out a beautifully-outfitted Model Y electric bike recently in California.
I say “beautifully-outfitted” because that’s exactly the point: Electric Bike Company’s e-bikes are designed to be ultra customizable.
They build them locally right there in Newport Beach, California. That local touch means that riders get to customize just about every part of the bike, from paint and metal trim color to choosing from a million and one accessory options.
Electric Bike Company graciously invited us out and put us on a decked out Model Y so we could get the full experience. And wow, was it an experience!
Get a load of this awesome e-bike in my video review below. Then find even more detail in my complete written account further down the page.
Electric Bike Company Model Y video review
Electric Bike Company Model Y Tech Specs
- Motor: 1,000W peak rear geared hub motor
- Top speed: 45 km/h (28 mph)
- Range: Up to 80 km (50 mi) with moderate pedaling, higher range with only low pedal-assist, less with throttle-only
- Battery: 48V with either 9Ah (432 Wh) or 18Ah (864 Wh) options
- Weight: 26 kg (58 lb)
- Max load: 136 kg (300 lb)
- Brakes: Tektro Dorado hydraulic 2-piston disc brakes on 180 mm rotors
- Extras: LCD display, LED head and tail lights, thumb throttle, front basket, heavy duty kickstand, wide cruiser saddle, option for suspension fork, platform pedals, wide balloon tires (multiple tire choices), custom paint selection, incredible array of accessories
Comfort and class, all in one
The Model Y may be known as a women’s bike, but that’s largely marketing speak. What it really is, in my opinion, is just a great step-through cruiser e-bike that exudes cruisery good vibes.
The one I tested had a beautiful powder blue paint job, fuzzy basket liner, drop-dead gorgeous wooden fenders with matching wooden chain guard, leather carry pouch, super wide cruiser seat with matching bar grips and so much more. As someone who doesn’t actually live in California, it absolutely screamed “California beach cruiser” to me.
This is great, because my wife and I happened to be visiting during an unseasonably cold and foggy period, so I could use all the warm Cali-vibes there are to offer.
Even ignoring all the fun accessories that were added onto the bike, all of the standard equipment feels top notch from the moment you throw a leg over (or through, rather) the e-bike.
The hydraulic disk brakes are strong and crisp, offering confident stopping power with nearly zero maintenance. The ultra-large 58T chainring makes it easy to pedal up to the bike’s top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h), though we both often got lazy and relied on the throttle for extra help.
That wide and comfy saddle I mentioned above? It is included standard. As are the high power lights, with the tail lights even mounted on either side of the bike to make them extra visible.
Coming from a beach community, EBC knows how rough the salty environment can be on a bike.
So all of the hardware is made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel and all of the bearings in places like the pedals, crank and headset are entirely sealed.
The powerful 1,000W motor offers plenty of boost when you need it and even comes with a 10 year warranty.
The basket battery that comes in multiple sizes also features an industry-leading warranty of five years. That kind of long term backing is nearly unheard of in the e-bike industry, and its very confidence inspiring to see EBC offer such long term support. A big part of it comes down to just how much oversight they have over the production of their bikes since they handle it all in-house right there in Newport Beach.
We toured the various factory buildings where EBC builds its e-bikes and got an up-close and personal view of just how much effort goes into building these high quality rides locally in California.
You can check out our inside look at the company’s factory in the video below.
And you better believe that all of that attention to detail translates directly into the ride experience. The wide bars of the Model Y give you that old-school cruiser feeling as you whip around the boardwalk or the city.
The big ol’ tires combine nicely with the front suspension to offer a surprisingly plush ride (and I suspect that giant saddle was also part of the equation).
One note on the suspension fork though – while I enjoyed it, the fork made the front end of the bike a bit taller than it would be with the rigid fork option, which combined with the large wheels and big tires to create an even taller bike for my petite wife. She likes to be able to flat foot it at stops, which the pedal-forward design of the frame usually would allow. But for short riders like her (she’s 5’3), I’d recommend either opting for the 24″ wheel option or sticking with a non-suspension fork to keep the bike nice and low – if that’s your thing.
Speaking of which, it’s pretty cool that you can choose your wheel size, so shorter riders or anyone who likes smaller wheels can get those factory installed on the bike.
Extreme levels of customization
Even if the e-bike only came in a few set styles, it’d already be a great ride. But the ability to customize everything on the Model Y makes it that much more appealing.
The base-level 432 Wh battery in the front basket will give most recreational riders plenty of range, but the option to double up on the battery for a full 864 Wh means riders can go even further without having a funky-looking extra battery bolted onto the frame.
In fact, the battery being hidden in the basket is a big part of what gives the Model Y that classic look.
It does make the bike a bit more front heavy, which you mostly tend to notice during slower speed maneuvering. When it comes time to lift the bike, the front battery offers a bit more balance for that rear hub motor, making a center lift possible. Well, possible for the strong armed. My wife couldn’t throw the nearly 60 lb. bike in the back of a truck if her life depended on it, but again, she’s pretty small. Compared to other cruiser-ish e-bikes, the weight is par for the course.
Electric Bike Company even goes above and beyond in other ways. While we tested the bike on site and didn’t experience a delivery, I’ve had a bike shipped from EBC in the past, and the experience is night and day compared to every other e-bike company.
The bike is boxed up completely assembled and wrapped in custom designed foam blocks that are cut to fit the exact shape of the bike.
That means it not only arrives without damage, but you just roll it out of the box and can start riding right away (well, after you turn the handlebars straight). Most e-bikes arrive and require 30-60 minutes of assembly time, which can be daunting for new riders who aren’t used to bolting together bicycle parts. And considering these are machines that get ridden around cars at fast speeds, putting together an e-bike correctly is pretty important.
That’s why its nice to have the peace of mind that comes from professional assembly at EBC’s factory – something you just can’t get from an e-bike shipped directly from Asia.
Wrapping it up
All in all I have to say that I’m very impressed with the Electric Bike Company’s Model Y e-bike. It can hit those faster Class 3 speeds while still being a fun low-and-slow electric bicycle for leisurely cruises.
The motor is powerful without being overpowered, and the ride is comfortable without feeling sluggish.
It’s a great balance, and it’s quite fairly priced at $1,949. Sure, it’s more expensive than many budget e-bikes, but you’re paying American wages to produce the bike locally, and you’re also getting local support with a 5-year battery warranty and a 10-year frame and motor warranty.
You get what you pay for – these good quality components combined with local manufacturing and support make a huge difference. And it’s a difference that I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing!
What do you think of the Model Y from EBC? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
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