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Electric Bike Company Model R Review 2023
Sep 19, 2023
Made In The USA – Made Your Way! Limitless Customization And An Appealing Large Frame Highlight EBC’s Model R
Before we get to the nitty gritty in this Electric Bike Company Model R review, take a closer look at the picture above. You probably will notice our branding on this bike. No, that isn’t an aftermarket sticker we slapped on, and we didn’t seek out a local detailer to help us get it there. That is one of the highlights of purchasing an Electric Bike Company bike: you can tailor this thing to yourself. In our case (and for other businesses), that means including our logo, while anybody can pick out a color scheme to compliment their personal style; frame colors, fork colors, basket colors, grips, wheels, tires, drivetrain and more are all options you can pick out when assembling your Electric Bike Company e-bike. That’s only scratching the surface of the available customization. There’s plenty of ride quality elements and performance highlights here too.
The Model R comes with a 750W motor that’s a workhorse. It helps support and move the bike and its 420 lbs rated weight limit. It’s powerful in the sense that it’ll reliably get you up to the 20 mph class 2 speeds (or beyond if you change to class 3), and get you to the top of most any hill in a controlled manner. Not only that, it’ll get you where you’re going in great comfort riding atop the brand’s famously thick and plush saddles, and letting the 80mm front fork absorb rougher roads for you.
The Model R is part of a larger family of cruiser e-bikes made by the Electric Bike Company. This model gets its “R” for being known as the rugged model among the other Electric Bike Company (EBC) models. It’s one of the larger frames EBC makes and it has a commanding presence on the standard 26″ X 3″ EBC-custom Rhinoceros tires, but it’s still easy for a lot of riders to hop on thanks to the step-through frame. In other words, it’ll appeal to larger riders, or smaller riders who want a larger ride they can still control and manage.
The ride and look are great, but EBC also has a few unique elements as a company that set it apart.
Buying an Electric Bike Company bike means you get a bike that’s largely made in America. Frames are made and shipped from overseas, and plenty of the componentry hails from various countries too, but the bike assembly itself and all the minutiae that it encompasses will pass through the hands of the California-based company’s employees. Battery packs, wiring, brake cables, etc. all go through their team’s assembly, installation, and inspection. That results in them feeling confident in extending one of the (maybe THE best) warranties in the industry. You get ten years on the motor, ten on the frame, five on the battery. That level of stateside involvement and backing is both rare and pretty cool.
On top of all that, this bike is shipped fully assembled. A few bits need straightening and tightening, but you’re ride-ready within five minutes of unboxing, since it received a builders stamp of approval before shipping out. No tuning should be needed.
There’s a lot that EBC and the Model R do differently. With plenty more worth unpacking, let’s dive deeper into our Electric Bike Company Model R review.
Class 2:Throttle up to 20 mph, pedal assist up to 20 mph. (can adjust to class 3, 28 mph pedal assist)
Electric Bike Company Model R Video Review
See How Electric Bike Company Makes Their Bikes
You decide the look! Near-limitless customization on the colors of the frame, fork, baskets, and more
You decide the ride! You’re largely be picking the Model R for its frame size, but you can choose handlebars, drivetrain, wheel and tire size, and more
A very comfortable ride. The custom EBC saddle is as padded as you’ll find, and the tires and fork to a good job adding to the soft-feeling ride
The 750W motor makes for easy traveling. It provides good speed, and has the muscle to carry the 420 lbs weight-limit of the bike with some pedaling
You’ll have a hard time finding better warranty coverage. 10 for the motor and frame, and five for the battery against manufacturer defects
EBC is about as American made as you’ll find in e-bikes. If you have a customer service issue, the rep can literally talk to the person that built your bike to sort out the problem.
Super charger (3.5 amp) charges the standard battery in 2-3 hours, not 6-8 hours like most other e-bike battery chargers (2 amp).
Unique accessories like the anti-theft alarm (with keyfob) and the ability to put turn signals and highbeams on.
At 78 lbs (standard battery w/ optional front basket) it’s one of the heavier cruisers you’ll find.
ELECTRICAL SPECS & FEATURES
Motor: 750W, 48V motor, 60 NM, 10-year warranty
Class: Shipped as a Class 2, throttle & pedal assist up to 20 mph (re-programmable)
Battery: 48V 12 Ah, Samsung, with NMC cells, 5-year warranty (available upgrade to 14, 21 or 30Ah battery)
Range: Between 17-41 EBR tested miles (up to 120 miles with upgraded batteries)
Charger: 3.5 Amp super charger, 2-3 hours charge time
Throttle: Thumb throttle (optional twist grip)
Display: Color LCD screen with USB outlet
Lights: Front and rear safety LED lights, controlled from LCD screen (upgraded tech package with turn signals, high/low beams)
Weight & Dimensions
Total weight (w/battery): 77 lbs (your customizations will vary in weight)
Max weight capacity: 420 lbs
Rack/Basket capacity: Up to 65 lbs in the front basket,
Recommended rider height: 4’6″ – 6’8″
Wheel end-to-end: 74.6″
Components & Accessories
Brakes: Tektro Dorado E-530 hydraulic disc, 180mm rotors, with motor safety shut-off
Drive Train: Optional Shimano 7-speed, (Standard single speed 56/18t)
Crank Set: 56T, 170 mm forged alloy
Frame: 6061 aluminum ally, 3mm thickness average
Fork: Hydraulic, 80mm travel, quick release with lockout
Stem: Integrated 120 mm, adjustable from 0º- 60º
Handlebar: Aluminum cruiser style – 685mm/27″ wide for upright riding position (BMX, Chopper, and Flat Riser bar all available)
Grips: Locking hand stitched leather (optional rubber grips available)
Chain: Stainless Steel for longevity
Pedals: Wellgo aluminum, integrated bearing pedals with comfort non slip rubber
Tires: Rhinoceros 26″ x 3″, premium puncture resistant (optional 24″ X 3″ available)
Seat: Custom, 300 x 300 x 100mm thick, high density foam
Cargo: Rear rack and front basket available
Electric Bike Company Model R Review: Options Overview
There will be no better way than to see for yourself all the ways you can trick out the Model R, so click the button below to see all the things, and have fun with the bike builder!
If you saw it all for yourself, move on down to the performance section. If you’re reading this sentence without having clicked the button above, alright, I’ll try to give you SOME idea of what you can do.
Let’s first talk colors: there are a plethora of fun colors to choose from on the frame and fork that won’t raise the price of the bike – most places give you maybe three to pick from, so this is more exciting right off the bat. Want something more exotic? Or something not on the menu? They can cook up any color combo you like if you chat with their customer service team. Those color options extend to the front basket and its mesh liner, the rear rack, and fenders too should you choose to equip them.
You even have some options on things like the rim color and spokes. You’ll get options of black or brown saddles, grips and tires too.
It’s a bike with a large presence, but the step-over height and optional wheel size makes it a good bike for taller and shorter riders alike (5’0″ – 6’10”).
The rear rack gives this cruiser the ability to carry a lot of additional cargo and is MIK compatible for quick on/off accessories.
This rugged and stylish basket can carry your extra battery and cargo – You can pick the outer color and the mesh lining color.
Let’s talk spec and performance options next.
The roots of the company are in cruisers, but you can spec it with a bmx, mountain, or chopper style handlebar which will change up the feel. Want to make the center of gravity lower or fit a smaller rider? 24″ tires will help there.
Single speed or 7-speed: that choice is yours too, as is thumb or twist throttle. Want brighter lights? turn signals? Three words: add to cart.
The standard battery is a 12 amp hour frame integrated one. You have three sizes to choose from, all the way up to a whopping 30 Ah battery (in the frame, second in the front basket). Pick what you feel works best for you.
Speed Test: Electric Bike Company – Model R Review
On the performance side of things, let’s talk speed. We tested our Model R as it shipped as a class 2 e-bike. For a heavy bike, it moves pretty well, and in nicely controlled increments.
As the chart above reveals, the Model R’s 750-watt motor engages consistently and at balanced points in between each PAS level. We liked the motor’s performance when it came to its engagement and acceleration – it’s nice and manageable.
The cadence sensor (the part that counts how many revolutions you’re pedaling, and decides how much the motor should help you) clicked in at about the first one-quarter cadence, which is great compared to other sensors we’ve seen. When changing the PAS levels on the display, this bike’s motor engaged well with my pedaling at each level. The increments were balanced, with each increase happening about 2 mph faster than the previous level.
Balanced power output from the motor makes for a better ride on streets, paths and trails.
EBC has a custom tire that gives you nice traction, a comfortable feel, and solid puncture resistance.
The 58-tooth chainring may look daunting but it actually made pedaling easy – and with no ghost pedaling in class 2 speeds.
Range Test & Battery Performance: Electric Bike Company – Model R Review
A common question we get about e-bikes is, “ how far will this bike go before the battery needs recharging?” As the test description explains in the chart above, we do two tests to help us get a more complete picture of the battery’s performance. The minimum PAS test lets us know the longest distance this bike can travel with constant pedaling in PAS 1. This bike went 41 miles on a single battery charge in this test. In the PAS 5 test, this bike went 17.42 miles. Both results were pretty close to the bike company’s range prediction, so we were happy with the outcome.
There are certain factors that influence the results of our range test, namely weight of the bike, weight of the rider, road conditions, and rider participation in the pedaling process. The test course we use features an elevation gain of 800 to 1000 feet. This elevation gain uses battery power more quickly than riding on flat ground, but most riders face some level of incline in their rides, and that gives our test more validity.
The beauty here is that if this seems like enough range for you, awesome! Enjoy your riding! If you’re looking at this test result and not liking what you see, you can upgrade the battery to something with a bit more capacity, or a ton more.
While we had a 12Ah battery model sent in for review (576Wh) you can pick from a few different size options topping out at a 30Ah (1440Wh) which would, in theory, stretch our range test results up to 45 – 103 miles… Talk about some serious range!
Hill Test: Electric Bike Company – Model R Review
Typical cruiser rides don’t normally involve difficult hill climbs. Our hill climb test can be seen as an anomaly, but we put this bike to the test to see its limits under extreme conditions. Fortunately, the Model R passed both parts of this test.
The Throttle-only test is the more difficult of the two tests because every bike needs some pedaling to help it move. The Model R’s time and average speed were one of the slower results we’ve had on a bike that passed the throttle test, but it still passed. In 2:29 at an average speed of 7.3 mph is managed to reach the top.
In the Maximum PAS test, this bike did considerably better, showing that if you put in a smidge of effort, you’ll receive a much greater reward. The Model R reached top of the Hell Hole Trail nearly a minute quicker than before, the Model R made it in 1:32, averaging 11.8 mph.
At the end of the day, e-bikes hold a lot of appeal for making life on a bike easier, and the Model R can do just that. The fact that it can get to the top of the hill in both tests is a great thing. I would advise people add the 7-speed drivetrain though so you can help on hills as you encounter them, and I wouldn’t be too upset if EBC changed up the programming a bit to allow for a slightly faster hill results too for those needing a break from pedaling.
Don’t be surprised if you turn some heads with the unique paint job.
The motor dishes out extra juice while pedaling vs just relying on the throttle. We advise you spring for the 7-speed gearing for a nice pedal experience.
EBC nails the little details. The grips have their logo printed on there: not too in your face, but feels cool.
Safety and Brake Test: Electric Bike Company – Model R Review
There was one noticeable component you couldn’t change out on Electric Bike Company’s Model R, and I loved that.
The bike comes standard with Tektro Dorado 4-piston hydraulic brakes. It’s a few steps up from what the average bike has, and I think it’s the right call. Our bike with all it’s extras weighed in just under 78 lbs. For such a heavy bike, a more robust set of brakes as the only option seems like a good call to me, and proof was in the brake test results.
With a stopping average of 19’9″ it stopped better than 3′ shorter than other beach cruiser e-bikes we’ve tested. And of those bikes I used for the comparitive results, the Model R was the heaviest.
Rest assured, this bike has all the stopping power you’ll need and then some.
Ride Quality: Electric Bike Company – Model R Review
As a cruiser the Model R is super comfy to sit on for extended periods. EBC seats tend to be wider than other brand cruisers, and they feature a unique curvature designed to fit the contours of most butts. You can still actively pedal on this bike, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself sitting more than usual.
The upright posture and easy handlebar reach are made possible by the geometric design of the frame, handlebar and seat. Oftentimes, when a new rider hops on a bike someone else was riding, that new rider merely adjusts the seat height, by loosening the quick release on the seat post, to size him or herself to the bike. That’s part of the sizing process but there’s more.
You’ll also want to take advantage of this bike’s adjustable stem to give you the proper handlebar height and reach. When I took over riding this bike after a shorter rider, I found adjusting the stem made a big difference. If you’ve ridden cruisers before, you’ll know that comfort is imperative.
The mustache handlebar definitely has the classic look, but for those out there wanting something different, remember, you have four handlebar options to choose from. For folks who prefer rubber grips, the Electric Bike Company has optional rubber grips you can get.
Good stability and control with the 27” 685mm handlebar. It will turn fairly wide though, so check the other handlebar options if you wish.
The adjustable stem, step over height, and adjjusting seatpost help a lot of riders find their fit. You can even swap out for 24″ wheels if you want a lower center of gravity too.
The saddle is the Lay-Z-Boy of cycling. This thing is VERY cushioned.
Shimano Tourney over-the-bar 7-speed shifter, worked reliably when we needed to make that occasional shift.
The LCD display is color and uses decent sized fonts that help you read the data on the screen. There was one exception: the message that says the PAS is turned off each time you turn on the display. This is a safety measure that’s meant to make sure riders are aware when they take control of the bike.
Finally, remember, you have a silly amount of options for enhancing the ride quality. Upgraded tech package, torque sensor for motor engagement, MIK compatible accessories on the rear rack, and a matching customized EBC helmet are all there – you’ll pick nearly every aspect of your ride quality, and you can phone EBC’s stateside customer service team should you encounter any issues in quality.
Summary / Where to Buy: Electric Bike Company – Model R Review
The takeaway for me after several days riding around our Electric Bike Company Model R review bike was this: This bike is seriously comfortable, endlessly customizable, and as one of my twenty-something coworkers often says, is a “total vibe.”
The standard tires, fork, and seat make for a plush ride. I burned about an hour of time just playing with all the different customization options, and was beyond floored when we opened up our review bike and saw that Electric Bike Report logo looking clear as day. I see company cars with branding all the time, why not a company bike?
There is enough performance here to be happy about. The brake tests and speed test were particularly good, with nice results from the range test (and knowing how easy it is to GREATLY increase that range at checkout) too.
If you’re looking for a a larger cruiser e-bike that you want to customize, then the Electric Bike Company’s Model R is definitely one to look at. No other e-bike company offers as much customization as they do.
And let’s not forget that all of their e-bikes are assembled at their factory in Orange County, California. They have a special team of workers who are very skilled at what they do, and workers who care deeply about the products they are producing and the people who buy those products. Their ability to ship you a fully assembled e-bike, and the fact that they can get the person who built it to directly answer questions if anything is off, is ridiculously cool.
To learn more about how you can get your own Model R e-bike, please click the link below.
Happy Riding! Make sure to let us know if you have any questions down in our comments section or if you think we left anything out in this review of the Electric Bike Company – Model R.