JackRabbit is the hilarious ‘micro e-bike’ that simply could also be good for the town

JackRabbit is the hilarious ‘micro e-bike’ that simply could also be good for the town


The primary time I noticed a JackRabbit, I couldn’t assist however snort. For somebody that comes from the e-bike world, the proportions are simply so humorous wanting. However the extra I’ve considered it, the extra this humorous little “micro e-bike” looks as if it may remedy a number of issues for city commuters.

The San Diego-based mobility firm refers to its JackRabbit as a micro e-bike, although I’m certain that my most pedantic readers will likely be fast to level out that it’s extra precisely described as a scooter because it lacks purposeful pedals.

However similar to motorcyclists consult with their “bikes,” so too do the JackRabbit creators. And no matter what you name it, there’s some attention-grabbing functionality packed into this pint-sized electrical two-wheeler.

On the bike facet of issues, the JackRabbit options 20″ bike wheels with a wider tire on the rear to make up for its lack of suspension. There’s a inflexible bike fork up entrance and a single disc brake on the rear. A bicycle seat and handlebars add to the bike credentials, however then the fold-up foot pegs put us again in scooter territory.

There’s a small 158 Wh detachable battery within the prime of the body and a (barely bigger) 300W geared hub motor within the rear wheel. With a push of the thumb throttle on the handlebars, the JackRabbit will get as much as 20 mph (32 km/h) and carries a claimed vary of 12 miles (20 km).

That’s not a very massive vary in comparison with most e-bikes nowadays, however relatively is extra par for the course in comparison with scooters. Contemplating that is very a lot meant as an city commuter, 12 miles looks as if a pleasant steadiness for ample vary whereas sustaining a low weight.

And at simply 24 lb (10.9 kg), it’s tremendous light-weight. The JackRabbit additionally folds to a width of simply seven inches, that means you possibly can carry it simply to hold into an condo or dorm room, then fold it all the way down to relaxation towards a wall or beneath a dorm. “Folding” may not be the most effective phrase, since, regardless of the pegs really folding up, the handlebars pop off and clip inline towards the body. Both method you slice it, the JackRabbit undoubtedly tucks down into a skinny little kind issue when not in use.

That’s the entire thought, which got here to co-founder Tom Piszkin sooner or later when watching his college students present up late. As a coach at UCSD, he noticed his athletes usually struggling to navigate campus successfully. Parking was almost not possible to seek out, bikes have been repeatedly getting stolen, and skateboards/scooters have been solely good for clean, manicured paths. He wished to design a greater resolution that was small and light-weight so it may very well be introduced inside a classroom or dorm room to forestall it from being stolen outdoors, but nonetheless had the steady and speedy trip of a bicycle. With a little bit of ingenuity, the frankenstein creation he got here up with mixed points of bikes and scooters into the JackRabbit.

In the present day’s model is definitely the JackRabbit 2.0, which is the brand new and improved model that adopted a profitable crowdfunding marketing campaign on Kickstarter. Over 100 backers pledged funds to assist the JackRabbit crew deliver the brand new design to life, and now the brand new and improved model is in inventory and delivery throughout the US. It’s priced at $1,199, and add-on equipment resembling a rear rack, spare battery, and a fender set are additionally obtainable.

Whereas it definitely has limitations such because the brief vary from a small battery, the corporate says that it performs nice on the activity it’s designed for: brief city journeys. Most e-bikes have for much longer ranges than 12 miles, however most e-bikes are additionally designed for a mixture of leisure cruising in addition to city transportation. The JackRabbit is only designed to get riders from level A to level B, after which largely disappear towards a wall when not in use. That’s additionally helped it develop into standard with RV house owners, boaters, and others who require a lightweight, small kind issue transportation possibility when away from their primary trip. The battery is even sufficiently small to make it one of many solely “e-bikes” you possibly can fly with, for the reason that battery capability is under the 160 Wh restrict imposed by TSA and lots of airways.

I had the possibility to speak to JackRabbit’s CEO Jason Kenagy concerning the humorous little micro e-bike, and he helped shed some extra gentle on the design.

In response to my first response, which was an involuntary chuckle, he took it in stride:

“A brand new kind issue will at all times increase a number of eyebrows at first. Bear in mind when scooters got here out? Individuals laughed on the thought and thought they seemed dorky. However right this moment, you possibly can’t stroll down a block in most cities with out seeing a row of them. They’re now fully accepted by the mainstream.”

That’s completely true. Not solely are electrical scooters in all places in cities world wide, however they signify a multi-billion greenback trade. Heck, particular person scooter-sharing firms have achieved billion greenback valuations by themselves.

It’s about extra than simply acceptance although. As Jason continued, it’s about being efficient:

“However in all seriousness, the most effective half concerning the small measurement of a JackRabbit is its comfort. Our e-bike is just 24 lbs, so you possibly can simply throw one into your automotive or carry it up stairs. And since a JackRabbit can fold all the way down to 7 inches extensive, it could simply tuck inside a closet or a small house. Nevertheless, our “fun-size” doesn’t sacrifice efficiency or high quality. Our e-bikes pack a punch with a prime pace of 20 mph and are constructed with solely top-notch supplies, made to final.”

Electrek’s Take

I’ll admit that I laughed on the idea at first. However after a extra crucial look and talking with Jason, I agree there’s actual benefit right here.

Clearly, this isn’t the e-bike you select for a protracted Sunday cruise or to get in a exercise. However for light-weight, easy city navigation, this appears to be like nearly good. And should you actually wished to go additional, simply snag a spare battery for $199 and also you’re all set to double your vary. The spare battery even has somewhat holster so you possibly can retailer it beneath your seat. In the event you’re particularly fast and dexterous, you may even be capable to swap it in with out coming to a cease.

Usually once I write about standard electrical scooters, particularly ones that hit increased speeds of 20 mph or extra, commenters will point out how harmful the small wheels look. Hitting a pot gap with eight inch scooter wheels at 20 mph is a recipe for catastrophe, sending the rider over the handlebars and hurtling to the bottom. However 20″ bike wheels can cowl most obstacles you’d anticipate finding in an city jungle. And the brief wheelbase of this factor appears to be like so nimble that you would most likely toss out a handful of change after which weave via every coin like a slalom.

I additionally like that it is available in a shiny yellow shade possibility. These in-your-face colours are arduous to tug off for many any car, e-bikes included (it takes a uncommon breed of particular person to drives a shiny yellow automotive). However one thing as wild and fun-looking because the JackRabbit appears to rock it completely.

As our readers already know, Electrek has developed a popularity as a pacesetter in e-bike and e-scooter evaluations. So that you higher consider that I’m going to return again quickly with an in-depth overview of this superior little bugger. Till then, let’s hear what you consider the JackRabbit within the feedback part under!

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October 2022