Alright, it’s time for a look at the Electric Bike Company Model X ride performance in this second part of the full testing & review!
Electric Bike Company has done a good job of creating an economical eCruiser with a comfortable, balanced, and fun ride feel with the Model X.
The beach cruiser style and relaxed ride feel with impressive performance and range make the Model X a good fit for casual cruising and everyday commuting.
EBC designs and assembles their electric bikes in California for quality control and customization.
That attention to detail and quality selection of components results in the solid and stable ride feel of the Model X.
The Electric Bike Company Model X & Y starts at $1,499 (including tax & shipping) with many customization and accessory options to choose from.
In this second part of the full review you will get an idea of the ride characteristics, range test results, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this electric bike.
Make sure you check out part 1 of this review with large pictures and specifications to get a detailed look at this e-bike.
What you can expect from the Electric Bike Company Model X:
To get acquainted with the Electric Bike Company Model X, checkout this video:
Riding the Electric Bike Company Model X:
Overall there are some characteristics of the EBC Model X that really stand out when riding this eBike. To summarize, they are:
- Lively, balanced, and fun ride style
- Easy going and comfortable ride position
- Variety of ride performance options with pedal assist & throttle
The Look & Feel of the Electric Bike Company Model X
Electric Bike Company is well known for their beach cruiser eBikes that blend in the classic style and comfortable ride position with a fun and sporty ride feel.
The new economical Model X & Y eBikes follow in the footsteps of the premium Model C & S eBikes while providing a more accessible price point that still maintains the quality focus of design and assembly in California.
Like the other Electric Bike Company eBikes, the Model X arrived almost completely ready to ride out of the box.
Once the packaging was removed it was a matter of rotating the handlebars 90 degrees, adjusting the seat height, and the Model X was ready to ride.
This turnkey quality comes from assembly at their facility in California. EBC even builds their own wheels for extra quality control.
These eBikes have that retro and fun beach cruiser look with the curved aluminum frame design, wide and upright handlebars, wide balloon style tires, and the super comfortable seat.
Adding the performance electric assist system creates a fun and comfortable cruiser that can casually cruise the neighborhood while having the power to zip around town and over steeper climbs.
One of the big highlights of the Model X is the balanced ride feel that comes from the low and centered battery on the downtube of the frame.
In addition to the Model X step-over frame in this testing & review, there is also the Model Y that is a step-thru frame design for easier getting on and off the bike.
The Model Y comes stock with the front basket because the battery is housed in the bottom of the basket.
EBC states their Model X & Y eBikes will fit people in height from 4′-8″ to 7′-0″ with the adjustability of the handlebar stem and adjustable seat post.
Electric Bike Company focuses a lot of attention on making durable eBikes with their frame design and selection of components.
That durable 6061 aluminum frame design translates well into a very sturdy and stable ride feel.
The frame tubing is stated to be significantly thicker than many other bike frames on the market and from the ride feel it appears that the increased thickness creates a solid feel with minimal flex.
One area of the frame that is especially stout is the headtube that can support the optional metal basket that can carry up to 65 pounds of cargo.
Another frame highlight is the large ovalized top tube that adds style and strength to the frame.
The seat tube of the frame has a similar ovalized shape that also acts as a cable run to protect the cables and to create a clean look with minimal cable clutter.
Internal cable routing is also found in the top tube.
True to the beach cruiser styling is the curved down tube that supports the 48V 11.6ah Samsung lithium battery.
The down tube battery location is very good because it is a central and low location which is ideal for overall bike balance and handling.
The Model X frame comes equipped with attachment points for optional fenders, a front basket, and a rear rack that Electric Bike Company sells separately.
The steel fork has the curved tubing look that continues the classic beach cruiser look.
Now let’s take a look at the drive system of the EBC Model X.
Like other EBC bikes, the Model X uses the simple single speed mechanical gear with 5 electric assist levels and a thumb throttle.
The 500 watt geared rear hub motor can peak at 1,000 watts and it is controlled by pedal assist and/or throttle.
The 5 speed levels for the pedal assist are as follows for the Class 2 configuration:
Level 1 up to 11 mph
Level 2 up to 13.5 mph
Level 3 up to 16 mph
Level 4 up to 18.5 mph
Level 5 up to 20 mph
There is also the option to set the bike to a Class 3 configuration with ~25 mph max pedal assist and 20 mph throttle.
The single mechanical gear ratio is made up of a 56t chainring with 18t rear cog. EBC offers a 16t rear cog if you regularly ride on flat terrain.
If you want a 7 speed cogset with derailleur the bike is designed to accommodate that but I found the pedal assist and throttle with the single speed mechanical gear work very well.
The thumb throttle is a great way to get up to a few mph when your pedal power and the pedal assist kicks in.
The cadence sensor pedal assist system starts after about a quarter turn of the cranks so it’s helpful to have the throttle for accelerating from a stop.
I generally used just the pedal assist after using the throttle to get up to a few mph.
The throttle can be used with or without pedaling if you want to just cruise along. Using the throttle without pedaling will drain the battery faster though.
The 56t chainring x 18t rear cog works well for up to around 20mph and for hilly terrain.
If you ride on relatively flat terrain with the Class 3 setting of ~25mph pedal assist then the 16t rear cog would probably be the way to go.
There is a lot of power variability with the 5 pedal assist levels and thumb throttle.
In pedal assist levels 4 & 5 the Model X has a fast performance style ride and it can maintain a good clip (~15 mph) on the steeper hills.
Pedal assist levels 1, 2, & 3 are good for casually cruising around the neighborhood or town and they provide more range than the higher assist levels.
The pedal assist transitions in and out of power are pretty smooth for assist levels 1 through 4.
Level 5 has some kick and it is good for quick accelerations. There are brake sensors that will stop the assist and this is a good way to keep the acceleration in check if you are maneuvering in crowded areas.
The combination of the throttle and pedal assist levels really do a good job of working with the single speed mechanical drivetrain.
Some of the advantages of the single speed drivetrain are; no adjustment of derailleurs, lighter weight, the chain should not fall off, and a quieter system without the chain bouncing around on rough roads.
And one of the big highlights is that you don’t have to think about shifting. It’s a simple and easy going ride style that makes the Model X a fun eBike to zip around on.
The geared rear hub motor does create some noise that is in the medium range when compared to other eBikes.
Now let’s take a closer look at the battery.
Electric Bike Company did a nice job of creating a battery mount on the curvey downtube of the Model X for an ideal low and central battery location on the bike.
This battery location gives the Model X a very balanced feel when picking the bike up and it also makes the bike feel very stable when cornering.
The stock Model X battery is a 48V 11.6ah lithium battery with Samsung cells. Electric Bike Company provides a 5 year warranty for their batteries.
Electric Bike Company offers a higher capacity 48V 14ah battery for an additional $299.
The charging time for a full charge is 5 to 6 hours.
Now let’s take a look at the controls and display.
The large center mounted LCD display is easy to read day or night with its backlight option.
The LCD display provides the following information:
- Battery level
- Current speed
- Average speed
- Max speed
- Pedal assist level
- Trip distance
- Battery voltage
- Motor power
- Ride time
The important info is easy to see at a quick glance and the other detailed stats are easy to review at a stop.
It is nice to have the motor power info so you can adjust your pedal power or assist level for more range if needed.
The USB port under the display is nice for giving your phone a charge while out and about.
The pedal assist control pad and thumb throttle are easy to reach near the left and right grips.
There is a lot of variability in power for the thumb throttle and it is easy to quickly adjust the power when needed.
With the single speed mechanical gear set up there are no shifters and that keeps the overall look and feel of the handlebars simple and clean.
Now let’s take a closer look at the ride position of the EBC Model X. Comfortable and easy going is a good summary!
The frame has relaxed geometry that makes the bike handling stable and predictable.
The wide and swept back handlebars with a few inches of rise add to the classic look of the Model X.
They give the bike a feeling of stability and the upright position is great for seeing everything around you.
In addition, the adjustable stem helps to dial in exactly the handlebar height and reach that is best for your position on the bike.
Electric Bike Company leather lock on grips have a solid connection to the handlebars with a high quality look and feel.
The leather grips do feel a little slippery compared to rubber grips. This is an easy change if you would prefer rubber grips.
The beach cruiser style leather seat has a wide profile with double springs for a very comfortable ride.
Schwalbe Fat Frank 26″ x 2.35″ tires are a great match for the Model X with their balloon style profile.
They have a large air volume design that helps to absorb some of the bumps and cracks in the road when they are run at the lower pressures.
If you want more suspension, Electric Bike Company offers suspension seatposts as an optional upgrade.
Another focus on quality is that Electric Bike Company hand builds their wheels at the California assembly facility.
They use 2″ wide Jetset aluminum rims with 13 gauge stainless steel spokes and nipples. The wheels have a very sturdy feel and they roll very well.
Slowing the Model X down is handled by the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear.
The Tektro hydraulics have the solid engagement feel and powerful braking typical of hydraulic disc brakes.
The brake lever reach can be adjusted to fit your hand size and there are sensors in each brake lever that will stop the assist when either brake lever is engaged.
Electric Bike Company offers many accessory options that include front and rear baskets, leather saddlebags, Woody’s wood fenders & chain guard, suspension seat posts, surfboard carrier, trailers, and more.
You can really dial in the Model X or Y to fit your riding needs.
Okay, let’s see how the EBC Model X did out on the open road!
Electric Bike Company Model X Range Test Results:
Here is the real world information on how the EBC Model X electric bike performed on a riding circuit that includes hills, flats, traffic, wind (when available) etc.
While testing these bikes I like to put them through the toughest conditions to see where their bottom line is in regards to range and speed. I tested the EBC Model X in the highest pedal assist level (Level 5) with average pedaling on paved roads.
Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the EBC Model X traveled 29.8 miles and did a total elevation gain of around 2,400 ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled at an average pace this is pretty good range for a 48V Volt 11.6 ah battery pack (557 Watt Hours) with a 500 watt motor assisting up to 20 mph.
Watt hours are the total energy in a battery pack and it is based on the volts x amp hours of a pack. This is a way to compare the size of the “gas tank” of electric bikes.
Please keep in mind that if you pedal more, weigh less than me, ride slower and/or you use the bike in terrain that is not as hilly you will get more range. These results are from tough testing.
Weight: The EBC Model X tips the scales at 52.6 lbs. Removing the battery brings it down to around 45.6 pounds which makes it a little easier to load onto a car rack.
The weight distribution of the Electric Bike Company Model X is well balanced with the low and central battery and the rear hub motor. Overall the Model X handles very well with the overall weight relatively low and centered.
Fun & Comfortable with Performance: The Model X has that fun classic beach cruiser style that is easy going and comfortable with electric assist that really gives this eBike a performance feel with impressive range. The upright position is very comfortable and the handling is balanced, stable, and predictable.
Durable: Like other Electric Bike Company eBikes, the Model X has a durable ride feel that is a result of their attention to high quality components and assembly at their California facility. EBC offers an impressive 10 year warranty on the frame and motor and a 5 year limited warranty on the battery.
Economical: $1,499 (including tax and shipping) is a very impressive price for the quality of the Model X component spec: sturdy hydroformed aluminum frame, 500 watt motor, 48V 11.6 lithium battery, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Schwalbe tires, etc. In addition, Electric Bike Company offers the ability to customize and accessorize the Model X to fit your needs.
Motor Noise: Like many geared hub motors there is a whirring noise from this motor. It’s in the medium range when compared to other eBikes.
Leather grips: The leather grips have a nice look and feel but the surface is a bit slippery when compared to rubber grips. It’s easy to change to rubber grips if that is preferred.
Overall the Electric Bike Company Model X is an impressive economical eCruiser that has fun performance ride characteristics with a comfortable ride feel.
The Model X shares the durable and stable ride feel of other Electric Bike Company eBikes with the quality selection of components and assembly at their California facility.
It’s a great all around eBike for cruising the neighborhood to racking up many miles on the daily commute.
For $1,499 (including tax & shipping) the Model X is an impressive value for everything you get with this electric bike.
In addition, you can customize and accessorize the Model X to fit your riding needs with the wide variety of options that Electric Bike Company offers.
Please keep in mind that this is a relatively short term test. This testing can’t really give you the long term review of durability and reliability. My thoughts on the quality of this bike are from previous experiences with similar bikes. If you own this bike and have some input on the long term durability, please share your comments with the Electric Bike Report community below.
Where to buy a EBC Model X? Check with the Electric Bike Company for purchasing online.
Do you have any questions about the EBC Model X? Do you own a EBC Model X? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Review Note: Each company pays a fee for a review on Electric Bike Report because of the considerable amount of time that it takes to provide an in-depth review of each eBike. A lot of time is spent on the full range test with distance & elevation profile, the wide variety of detailed pictures, in-depth video, and the write up with the specifications, ride characteristics, pros, cons, and overall thoughts. The reviews on Electric Bike Report are focused on providing you with a detailed “virtual” look at each eBike to help you determine if it is the eBike for you.
P.S. Don’t forget to join the Electric Bike Report community for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips!