Jackrabbit e-bike review – Tom’s Guide

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Where are the pedals? The Jackrabbit e-bike is conspicuously lacking a key feature of just about every bike out there. In place of pedals, the Jackrabbit e-bike features foot pegs where you can rest your feet while you rely solely on the throttle to control the motor.

It’s a unique take on mobility, one that doesn’t concern itself with adhering to specific labels (is it a bike or isn’t it?) and rather focuses on solving a problem. This diminutive two-wheeled e-bike is meant to offer convenient, no-frills transportation for anyone short on storage space like apartment dwellers or office workers living the cubicle life.

The Jackrabbit is comfortable being a niche solution, and is a lot different than many of the best electric bikes. As such, it does come with some limitations that only make it the right choice for certain types of riders. Read the rest of our Jackrabbit review to see if it fits your needs.

Jackrabbit e-bike review: Price and availability

The Jackrabbit costs $1,200 and is available for purchase through Jackrabbit’s website. The bike will ship directly to you and requires very little assembly out of the box. In fact, the only thing you’ll have to do is secure the handlebars using the quick-release lever.

There are four color options to choose from: black, white, yellow, and blue. Jackrabbit only offers one size.

Jackrabbit e-bike review: Design

This tiny bike is unlike anything else on the market. And by technical definitions, it may not be a bicycle at all. There are no pedals; instead, you rest your feet on the foldable footrests and let the motor do all the work.

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The rear hub motor offers 300 watts of power. It gets the Jackrabbit up to speed very quickly on flat terrain.

The Jackrabbit rolls on an aluminum frame and 20-inch wheels. The rear tire is wider at 2.5 inches compared to the front’s 1.95-inch tire. The rear wheel is equipped with a mechanical disc brake; there’s no front brake.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The handlebar collapses via a quick-release lever on the stem. A plastic clip allows you to secure the handlebars out of the way when you’re storing the bike or carrying it. The seatpost adjusts with a quick-release lever as well.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The bike measures 48 inches long and 29 inches high in its ‘ride’ configuration. That’s very small, especially given Jackrabbit’s advertised rider accommodation, which notes this bike will work for riders up to 6’2”.

Jackrabbit e-bike review: Performance

The novelty factor ramps up the second you hit the throttle. Smiles are inevitable. The Jackrabbit is undoubtedly fun to ride. But it also takes a fair bit of attention to ensure you don’t lose control.

Since the wheelbase is so short, and the rider’s weight is more focused on the front wheel than it would be on a longer bike, small handlebar inputs translate immediately to front wheel movement. You’ll need to pay close attention to the ultra-responsive steering, especially once the bike gets fully up to the 20mph max speed.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

It took me a couple of rides to get used to the Jackrabbit’s unique handling characteristics. And it would certainly be all too easy to get yourself into trouble at max speeds. But once you get a feel for the Jackrabbit’s handling, it isn’t too much of an issue. Still, I wouldn’t recommend riding with no hands or turning at high speeds. (As with all bikes, we recommend you wear one of the best bike helmets).

Fortunately, the rear brake offers plenty of power and modulation to slow you down before you go barreling into an immovable object.

The Jackrabbit’s motor gets up to speed quite quickly on flat terrain. But it does get bogged down on hills. Jackrabbit says its bike is equipped to handle slopes up to 12 percent grade, but starting from a dead stop on such a pitch is all but impossible.

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To counter that, Jackrabbit recommends a ‘kicking’ start, much like you would do with a skateboard or scooter. But even then, the motor does get overwhelmed quickly on steep pitches. This would be less of an issue if the Jackrabbit featured pedals; as such, you might find yourself walking if the road kicks up too steeply.

Riding the Jackrabbit is a surprisingly comfortable affair — at least it was for me. I am 5’11”, and while the bike feels almost comically small, the handlebars rise up enough that I could sit comfortably for several miles. If you’re much taller than me, you might not find this bike to be as comfortable.

Jackrabbit e-bike review: Battery life and range

Jackrabbit says the battery is a Li-Ion, 36V, 4.2 Ah, 151.2 Wh. You can remove it with a key, but it’s possible to charge the Jackrabbit’s battery without moving the battery too.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Jackrabbit advertises its bike has having a 12-mile range. That’s generally much smaller than other e-bikes, but since you’re completely reliant on a throttle and there are no pedals, this short range isn’t surprising.

The battery indicator features three lights: green, yellow, and red. Green means full charge and red means you’re just about at the end of your battery’s life.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

I rode about three miles before the battery life indicator dropped from green to yellow. I was not judicious about my throttle use; I basically pinned it all the way down as much as possible to see how fast the battery would drain.

Based on my riding, the advertised 12-mile range seems accurate. The Jackrabbit is therefore best suited to short trips. It may be best to plan your charging routines accordingly. Jackrabbit says it takes about two hours to fully charge the battery, which was the case in my testing.

Jackrabbit e-bike review: Accessories

The Jackrabbit website features ten accessories that work with the Jackrabbit. A rear basket, for example, costs $100 and mounts to the bike’s seatpost. An extra battery will cost you $200.

Some of the niftier accessories include a Shoulder Carry Sling for $25, and an Air-Sea-Land Travel Bag that protects the Jackrabbit during travel. There’s also an Ultra-Fast Charger for $75, which will likely come in handy if you’ll be a daily user of the Jackrabbit.

Jackrabbit e-bike review: The competition

While there are other small e-bikes on the market, there are very few that are similarly missing the pedals. SwagCycle makes the Pro Pedal-Free Electric Scooter Bike, which costs $700 and is similarly quite small. Unlike the Jackrabbit, the SwagCycle’s footrests are connected to the front wheel axle.

Small e-bikes with pedals are far more common. Rad Power Bikes makes the RadMini 4 Electric Folding Bike, for example, which costs $1,500. Brompton makes a range of electric folding bikes as well, and Aventon recently released its Sinch Step-Through Foldable Bike, which costs $1,800.

Jackrabbit e-bike review: Verdict

The Jackrabbit is a ton of fun to ride, but it’s best suited to very short trips. It’s also tiny, which is great for stowing in the trunk of the car but not so great if you’re a tall rider. If you’re over 6 feet tall, you probably won’t enjoy the diminutive stature of the Jackrabbit.

For the price, it’s definitely possible to get a good e-bike that also features pedals. So if you’re worried about getting up hills — something the Jackrabbit is not great at — you might want to shop elsewhere.

But the Jackrabbit would suit car campers looking for an easy way to get around the campsite, or city dwellers looking for a compact solution for short errand runs.

Regardless of how you use the Jackrabbit, just be sure to note the unique handling characteristics. Any handlebar input goes straight to the front wheel, so you’ll want to spend some time getting used to the bike before ripping around at high speeds.