JackRabbit has just launched a major update to its product line, unveiling the JackRabbit XG as a (slightly) larger version of its micro e-bike. The new model comes with a number of upgrades over the original pint-sized 25 pound (11 kg) two-wheeler.
When I first tested the original JackRabbit, I described it lovingly as a “silly little e-bike”. Sure, it looks odd with its short wheel base and diminutive stature. But a growing community of JackRabbit riders has demonstrated that there’s real demand for simple, lightweight yet speedy rides that optimize for convenience. The entire thing folds flat to only take up a few inches of space and was originally designed as an e-bike for college students that needed a small, simple and cost effective type of alternative transportation. At $999, it was hard to go wrong.
Now JackRabbit has found a way to take that same small form factor design and add in some impressive performance enhancements.
The new model is known as the JackRabbit XG (while the original has now been renamed the JackRabbit OG).
The JackRabbit XG sports two of the company’s signature tiny e-bike batteries, doubling the range from 10 to 20 miles (from 16 to 32 km) per charge. They’re about the same physical size as the battery in a power drill and can likely fit in your pocket.
The batteries (which are UL-listed) land just shy of the 160 Wh limit for carry-on batteries for most US airlines, meaning riders can actually take their JackRabbits on a flight with them to ride at their destinations.
In fact, I did just that with the JackRabbit OG earlier this summer.
In addition to the new second battery slot, the JackRabbit XG has a larger 500W continuous-rated motor. The top speed is still limited to 20 mph (32 km/h), but it should reach that speed faster and also climb hills quicker with the increased power.
A second disc brake has been added, offering both front and rear braking, though I never felt like the original was underbraked anyway.
The frame of the JackRabbit XG is now slightly longer with a reinforced downtube for extra strength, the 20″ tires are all-terrain, the front wheel has a new quick-release hub, and there’s a new digital display showing speed, range, and power level. The previous rubber footpegs are also replaced with all-metal pegs, or as JackRabbit describes them, “Siiiick metal footpegs.”
Speaking of those footpegs, they technically qualify this as more of a seated scooter than a true e-bike, technically speaking. That will be relevant in certain jurisdictions that have created separate scooter and e-bike laws, but most areas treat Class 2 e-bikes and seated electric scooters similarly, especially when they travel the same speeds and largely look the same. Be sure to check your local guidelines though if you’re unsure.
All of those additions did manage to walk the bike’s weight up a bit, increasing from 25 to 32 pounds (11 to 14.5 kg). But thats still pretty darn lightweight for a seated electric vehicle of any type.
The new JackRabbit XG comes in four colorways of black, white, yellow and gloss red, though I’m a brightly colored bike fan myself, and so I’d ride the yellow one all day.
The bikes go on sale starting today in both the US and Canada for US $1,749 and are available from JackRabbit’s site as well as the company’s dealers.
Oh, and if you’re worried that the bike looks too small for “real” use, then make sure you check the video at the end of this article showing pro riders jumping these things several feet in the air.
JackRabbit is always going to be a divisive brand due to its uniqueness, but I love this thing. In my opinion, the company has a somewhat similar ethos to Super73, albeit with very different execution. Basically, they offer an eye-catching design for an e-bike meant for a specific type of rider and have built a loyal community that doesn’t care what other people think about their choice of ride. It’s a very different bike than a Super73, but the underlying recipe is there.
I’ve always been more of an e-bike guy than a standing scooter guy, even though I’m often found on both, and so this seems like a great compromise. You get the simplicity of a scooter with a riding geometry that’s more stable like a bike. If you don’t want tiny scooter wheels falling into pot holes but also don’t want to deal with a pedal drivetrain (and the maintenance that goes with it), this is the ticket.
The price is unfortunately high here, especially if you’re looking at a per watt or per pound basis. But that’d be a silly way to judge a silly e-bike like this. The whole point here is that the bike is tiny and convenient. The batteries literally fit in your pocket and the entire thing folds flat so you can slide it behind a desk or under a dorm room bed if you needed to. There’s even a travel bag (coming soon, apparently) for flying/sailing/traveling with the bike.
I’m sure lots of people are going to smirk at this thing, and that’s understandable. It looks funny. It’s also not for everyone. There are hundreds of e-bikes and scooters out there, and none of them are right for everyone. This one is wrong for lots of people, but it’s also right for lots of others, in my opinion. And that’s coming from someone who actually rides one, not just someone who comments on the internet (though I do that a lot too).
If I could have had one more addition here, it would have been built-in LED lights for safety. But seeing the new higher power motor, dual UL-listed batteries, dual brakes and upgraded frame/footpegs is already making me excited. Now I just need to beg, borrow, or steal one of these soon for a full review!
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