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JackRabbit Micro Electric Bike Review, 2023
Jan 03, 2023
Many e-bikes we review attempt to be one-stop shops; e-bikes often try and be versatile enough to be a commuter, cargo vehicle, leisure ride, etc. all at once. But when we got the JackRabbit to review it was apparent that this was a product that knew to lean into what it is: a quirky and fun little mobility solution that is designed to be highly portable and save a lot of collective time by getting you around quickly on shorter trips.
Billed as a micro e-bike, the JackRabbit at first glance could be mistaken for an e-bike for kids, but in fact, it’s intended for adult use as it accommodates riders from 4’10” up to 6’2” (seriously!). The JackRabbit’s short wheelbase and minimal frame make this easy to toss in a trunk or keep in a closet. Heck, they even sell a shoulder strap for the JackRabbit which makes sense given it’s only 24 lbs., making it simple to move around and you can store it almost any place.
While the JackRabbit does have two wheels, a seat, and handlebars it’s readily apparent that it has pegs where pedals should be. There is no drivetrain so the JackRabbit is a throttle-only option. In truth, it’s closer to an e-scooter than an e-bike, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll evaluate it similarly to how we evaluate e-bikes.
In this review of the JackRabbit we will take a look at answering basic questions about how it performs, what it’s good at, what it’s not good at, what use case it serves and whether or not we feel it accomplishes what it sets out to do.
Bike Category: Micro e-bike / E-scooter
Bike Class: Class 2: Throttle assist up to 20 mph
JackRabbit Video Review
It packs away more easily than a folding bike with the ability to drop the handlebars and shorten the wheelbase
It’s nimble as a cat
At just 24 lbs., it’s very light and wouldn’t deter apartment dwellers and others who deal with stairs on the regular
It’s surprisingly powerful for getting around on flat terrain and it goes uphill better than anticipated if you have a little momentum
The use case is a little specific, but it really is a great option for quick little jaunts be it lunch breaks or traveling around a college campus
We were skeptical of the 240 lbs. rider weight limit, but it performed admirably for our riders up to 230 lbs.
Simply saying “it’s fun!” feels like a lazy pro to give out, but seriously, there’s a goofily enjoyable element to the JackRabbit that is unique across bike’s I’ve tested
One brake is the right call given the wheelbase, but it might require a little foot drag to help on quicker stops
The short wheelbase is fun, but it was difficult to prevent the front wheel from rubbing shoes in turns for my size 12 shoes. Operating it requires some conscience thought of where to place your feet on the pegs while riding
ELECTRICAL SPECS & FEATURES
Battery: Li-Ion 36V 4.2Ah 151.2Wh
Display: 3 colored LED lights
Motor: 300 Watt rear hub brushless electric motor
Peal Assist: N/A
Range: 9.5 mi.
Throttle: Thumb-activated variable speed control
Weight & Dimensions
Claimed weight: 24 lbs.
Maximum rider weight: 240 lbs.
Maximum load on rear rack: 22 lbs.
Components & Accessories
Brakes: 1 Mechanical rear disc caliper with 180 mm rotor
Fork: Monocoque 6061-T6 aluminum alloy
Frame: Monocoque 6061-T6 aluminum alloy
Tires: 20” x 1.95” all-terrain front tire, 20” x 2.5” all-terrain rear tire
JackRabbit Review: Bike Overview
The JackRabbit is no ordinary bicycle. As a matter of definition, the more accurate term for it might be scooter, because it includes no pedals or drivetrain. Defining the JackRabbit is easy enough, but assessing its real strengths and weaknesses takes a deeper consideration.
Lots of e-bike purists will roll their eyes at an e-bike that won’t even let the rider pedal – so yes this is a bit more of a scooter or moped. We believe that anyone looking with the right eyes won’t roll them though. The JackRabbit isn’t a perfect machine by any means, but as a matter of fresh thinking, it is very creative.
The reason the JackRabbit came into being is that it was designed to fix the problem of accomplishing shorter trips in less time. Part of the inspiration came from a JackRabbit founder who noticed college students were frequently late getting about campus. What if there was something small enough and portable enough that you could carry with you and make it easier to zoom from the poli-sci building over to your calculus class all the way across campus? This general trail of thought lead to the JackRabbit.
Now with a microbike moniker comes a few micro componentry selections: the battery is smaller at 151Wh, end to end you’re looking at 48” of bike so not much frame material to house a battery, but given that this is more built with sprints in mind rather than a marathon that isn’t a huge drawback to me.
The battery is paired with a 300W motor which does mean that you might not see much more than 30-60 minutes of operating time per charge (more on that in our range test), but you’ll quickly be surprised by the punch that the JackRabbit has while riding it. The thumb-operated throttle lets you find your right cruising speed, but it can definitely flirt with the max 20 mph allowed class 2 speed.
The star of the show here is the 24 lbs. of weight the JackRabbit has. You can take it to work or college and find some place to stash it by your desk. It makes running a quick errand on a brake or heading to a favorite lunch spot a couple of miles away all the easier. The goal is to get from A to B in less time without working up much of a sweat, and the JackRabbit helps you accomplish that. No relying on public transportation, finding a place to stow your bike, using gas for your car, or of course walking/jogging/running to your destination. Again, do what you need to do more conveniently and save time in the process.
At 48” X 21” X 39” the JackRabbit is one of the smallest adult e-bikes we’ve ever tested
Instead of pedals and a drivetrain you simply rest your feet on the pegs while you cruise
The JackRabbit’s thumb-lever throttle offered speed modulation for finding your right cruising speed
JackRabbit Review: Motor Performance, Speed and Acceleration
Our circuit test usually requires us to to make six passes our one-mile circuit—one without assistance and then one for each PAS level. With the JackRabbit our test was necessarily different; we did one lap with the JackRabbit at full throttle.
Even in such a simple test we managed to be surprised by the result. We weren’t sure how it would perform on the hill due to the fact that it is powered by a 300W rear hub motor. It’s easy for us to forget how much more a small motor can accomplish when it is installed in something that weighs less than 50 lbs., and in the case of the JackRabbit, a lot less than 50 lbs.—only 24 lbs., in fact.
The JackRabbit performed admirably, all things considered, coming in with an average speed of 17.6 mph. The bottom line here is quite simple: The JackRabbit is capable transportation.
Circling around this fountain was easy with the quick responding handling of the JackRabbit
300 watts in the hub motor is plenty to make this microbike move
The tread of the tires provided good traction while out on the pavement
JackRabbit Review: Range Test & Battery Performance
In our range test, we normally go for two different rides, one on a low PAS level and another on the e-bike’s highest PAS level. In our test of the JackRabbit we went for just one ride—with the throttle wide-open. Our ride wasn’t particularly hilly, but it also wasn’t bowling alley flat.
The JackRabbit performed close to what the manufacturer promises; they claim a range of 10+ mi. In our testing we saw 9.5 mi. That’s a very modest range, but we don’t see that as a knock against the JackRabbit.
So why isn’t a range of slightly less than 10 mi.—one of the shortest we’ve ever tested—not a strike against the JackRabbit when we would certainly criticize other e-bikes for such a short range? Simple. We don’t see the JackRabbit as being the sort of vehicle for long-distance trips. We could easily be wrong about that, but as a mobility solution, its strength seems to be in shorter trips and getting around in situations where a car is a liability rather than an asset.
City planners are finally beginning to address the notion of “the final mile.” That is, they are considering that public transportation like light rail systems aren’t much of a solution if someone gets off the train and has to walk a mile to work from the train station. The final mile conversation has been addressed by cycling advocates more than anyone else, and we see the JackRabbit as being a viable option for people. The JackRabbit would be a welcome alternative to walking nine blocks from a bus stop.
The folks at JackRabbit claim that it can be charged in just two hours. We’ve yet to time the charging beyond noting that it charges reasonably quickly. Quick charging is a great rebuttal to a short range.
Now range anxiety is very real in the e-bike world so you can double it at checkout with a spare battery. The battery comes in a pocket that can bhe stored just under the seat so it’s nearby and at the ready at all times.
JackRabbit Review: Hill Test
In our hill test up Hell Hole, the JackRabbit came up short. Honestly, we’re not surprised. It’s also fair to observe that we aren’t really disappointed, either. We see nothing in the JackRabbit’s marketing to suggest that it is intended to be a hill-dominating performance machine.
Hell Hole is meant to take an e-bike to its performance limits, to show just how robust it is. Not everything is made to be robust. The JackRabbit did not complete the climb up Hell Hole.
Here’s one way to frame the JackRabbit’s performance on Hell Hole: Crazed adventurers aside, no one uses a dinghy to cross the Pacific Ocean. Were the JackRabbit equipped with a 500W motor to propel it up Hell Hole it would be overpowered in some of the circumstances where it is otherwise meant to shine. There really can be too much of a good thing.
So extreme hills aside here’s the general note on the JackRabbit and hills: it holds speed decently through modest hills. While riding around town it doesn’t slow down as much as you’d expect when you hit a hill with a full head of steam. 300W motors are seriously underrated in the hill department, and this thing often felt like the little engine that could.
Even larger hills are still technically managable if you scooter kick with the throttle. You get a nifty little floating sensation like you’re leaping through the water across a pool as you glide foot to foot while still sitting on the JackRabbit. It’s not as great as just being able to throttle or pedal with PAS to the top, but it sure beats walking unassisted up a steep.
Although not a tailored fit by any means, I was surprised how comfortable all 6’1”, 230 lbs. of me felt while riding the JackRabbit
The combination of micro novelty, and eye-popping colors will get you noticed while riding the JackRabbit
24 lbs. Is incredibly light for a mobility solution, and thanks to the seat and foot pegs the JackRabbit is a good standing scooter alternative
The simple reason being that the JackRabbit only has one brake; a mechanical disc brake and 180mm rotor is equipped on only the rear wheel of the bike.
You’re likely wondering “what gives? Only one brake!?” but it may surprise you to learn that’s the right call here. The wheelbase of the JackRabbit is short by design. What that means though is that a front brake would make it far too easy to send the rider flying over the handlebars if squeezed too tightly. So when we conducted our brake test and came to a stop of 27′ 9″ from the top 20 mph speeds (or close to that speed anyway) it’s not bad in the sense that it’s only got half the equipment to stop that most other tests we’ve ran have. We’ve had bikes with two brakes get similar distances.
Here’s my overall takeaway: the JackRabbit seems built with mostly flat areas in mind and if kept to flats and operated at slightly less than full throttle I think the brake works fine. It can lock up the wheel if you pull hard enough so it’s not as if more stopping power is needed. I’d avoid taking it down any long / steep grades unless your prepared to drag the soles of your shoes for a little more stopping ability.
But if you are operating it as intended you’ll find the JackRabbit brakes perfectly safe and you don’t have to sweat it.
JackRabbit Review: Ride Comfort, Handling and Cockpit
The JackRabbit takes a somewhat different approach to the idea of comfort. Their contention is that sweating is the least comfortable part of the bike experience, so they dispensed with the sweating. With no pedals, the rider will never, ever sweat—they take no responsibility for the dog days of August, though.
Many of our traditional concerns about rider comfort, such as a good fit that allows someone to pedal comfortably, go out the window. Again, we return to the idea that we think the JackRabbit rider won’t intend to be on this e-bike all day.
A highlight of the JackRabbit vs traditional standing scooters is thanks to the wheels. The 20″ tires (1.95″ in the front, 2.5 in the back where the rider’s weight really is) make a massive difference in going over bumps in the road vs the standard 8″ scooter wheels. And hitting those bumps from a seated position is far prefereable than standing in this rider’s opinion.
The JackRabbit has the single shortest wheelbase of any bike marketed to adults that we’ve ever tested. Its turn radius is just 33 in.—tight enough to do donuts around a trash can. People on roller skates can’t turn that tightly. Even so, the JackRabbit was surprisingly stable at speed.
That short wheelbase is a fundamental part of the JackRabbit’s appeal. It puts the Z in zippy. The JackRabbit’s videos showcase just how agile this thing is. Someone could ride a JackRabbit through a mall and not collide with the shoppers.
The throttle has a fairly short throw, but in testing our experience was that it seemed to offer essentially three speeds—slow, medium and fast—depending on how far down the throttle was depressed.
What might be helpful would be to take this idea a bit further. We would appreciate a series of settings comparable to PAS level that could serve as speed governors so that fully depressing the throttle would limit the JackRabbit to speeds of, say, 4 mph, 8 mph and 12 mph, before unleashing all of its wattage and freeing a rider to go 20 mph – food for thought for the future. But today just know that thumb modulation is what’s offered here and getting one of those three speeds is easy enough.
Last, while I’ve said a lot about how it handles, I haven’t mentioned enough about how it feels in the emotional sense: the JackRabbit is borderline silly, and that makes it a whole bunch of fun. I love the bikes that cause heads to turn, and you’ll turn a lot of them on this bike – doubly so if you’re passing people on the path riding on slower machines. The JackRabbit’s a novel idea and that has it’s own sense and charm which adds to the joy you get out of riding around on it.
You can’t ask for much more braking than the 180mm mechanical disc brakes provide
The JackRabbits seat is fairly comfortable for getting you to and from your destination
With the narrow handlebar and short wheelbase the handling on the JackRabbit is extremely quick
A huge part of the JackRabbit’s appeal vs traditional e-scooters is the 20” wheels’ ability to soak up bumps in the road
JackRabbit Review: Summary / Where to Buy
Here are my final thoughts as we conclude this JackRabbit review: one of the great facets of the human experience is the sheer diversity the world offers. The JackRabbit is an idea none of us here at Electric Bike Report would ever have dreamt up. And this e-bike or e-scooter or e-whatever, is a really creative take on getting around.
Mobility is where the JackRabbit has the opportunity to shine. Plenty of people will pick this up because it’s fun and reasonably practical. The 300W motor can get you around town in a hurry. The battery is modest, so yes the JackRabbit won’t run for a long time, but it’ll be an eventful time.
The fact that the JackRabbit is just 24 lbs. is a game changer for anybody who deals with stairs, and it’s overall footprint is so small it’s hard to imagine much difficulty finding a place to store it.
The JackRabbit is no ordinary e-bike, but why should it be? It holds plenty of potential for everything from fun to errands to freedom.
‘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 JackRabbit.