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When is a bike a bike? Pedal-less JackRabit micro “e-bike” “unfolds” with minuscule range

JackRabbit eBike
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According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of the word “bicycle” is a vehicle composed of two wheels held in a frame one behind the other, propelled by pedals and steered with handlebars attached to the front wheel.

Then there’s this: the JackRabbit which claims to be a portable “ultralight, micro ebike”.

So when is a bike, a bike? Is simply having a seat suspended between two wheels with a handlebar enough? Or is calling the JackRabbit a bicycle a bit of a stretch? Is this more of a seated-scooter? We’re not sure, so I’ll just call this thing Jack for the rest of this story.

JackRabbit eBike YELLOW
Photo c. JackRabbit

The JackRabbit has no pedals, no front brakes, no gears, or even a traditional drivetrain for that matter. There’s a weird “no pedals and proud” kinda vibe on the website. Calling the “feature” of not having pedals “sweat-free” operation. You know, like “hey, we don’t have pedals so your commute and errand running will be sweat free.”

That may be the case but you’re errands better be within a 6-mile radius because the JackRabbit has a very small range of only 12 miles.

And none of that tiny 12-mile range better be up a hill… it won’t go up anything steeper a than 12% grade. At least not without using your feet, ala Strider or Fred Flinstone style. I don’t think we’ve ever seen “human-powered kick-stride assist” called out before as a feature.

This weird little Jack weighs in at 24 lbs and has a max speed of 20 miles per hour – which with this one-size-fits-some frame with a comically short wheelbase may get a little sketchy. I guess without pedals there’s no worry of toe overlap! But seriously, based on your foot position, that could actually be an issue…

They claim that the bike comes “fully assembled, just clip in the handlebars and start cruising”.

Hmm, “clip-on” handlebars, seems like a questionable addition to the already bizarre nature of Jack. Add the single, rear mechanical disc brake caliper that’s squeezing a 180mm rotor, and it makes Jack a good fit to ride to Sketch-A-Palooza.

Actually… zipping the JackRabbit around a music festival might be a good use for this thing.

JackRabbit on a plane
FAA-compliant, the JackRabbit is perfect for all of our private planes.

And you could get to that music festival by plane… it’s FAA-compliant! JackRabbit claims that Jack is just 7″ wide when folded – though by folded, they seem to mean removing the handlebar, folding up the pegs, and simply turning the fork backwards.

JackRabbit on your yacht
The JackRabbit fits on your yacht as well. Another exciting way to extend its 12-mile range.

Is it just me, or does the above photo have the vibe that they drove to the harbor, found a random boat, and when no one was looking, took two of their toys, staged them on deck, snapped the photo, and bolted without anyone being the wiser?

The JackRabbit comes in 4 colors, White, Electric Blue, Black, and Yellow.

Quick Look at the JackRabbit Techy Stuff

Retail: $999 (with free shipping)

  • Motor: 300 watt rear hub
  • Battery: Li-Ion 36v 4.2Ah 151.2Wh
  • Throttle: Thumb-activated variable speed
  • Charge time: 3 hrs
  • Dimensions: Ride mode: 48″ long x 21″ wide / Folded: 45″x 7″x 30″
  • Frame material: Monocoque 6061-T6 aluminum alloy
  • Seatpost: 7″ adjustable range
  • Rear tire: 20″ x 2.5″ all-terrain
  • Front tire: 20″ x 1.95″ all-terrain
  • Not tubeless
  • Max incline: 12% grade – or steeper with “human-powered kick-stride assist” with throttle
  • Brake: Rear mechanical disc caliper with 180mm rotor
  • Heights supported: 4’10” to 6’2″
  • Weight supported: Up to 240lbs (190kg)
So what do you think? Does this qualify as an eBike? Or just a light weight, compact, and under-powered motorcycle?


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Skip Davis
1 year ago

Just another scooter to run real bikes off the roads….

Tom Jones
Tom Jones
1 year ago

Oh man how many folks are going to go over the bars!?

1 year ago

This is the way all e-“bike,” launches should be written about on Bikerumor.
Also, didn’t you guys start a dedicated e-bikerumor? Why are real cyclists still having to suffer these motorized posts?

1 year ago
Reply to  Trinidad

e-bikerumor.com hasn’t been updated in 3 years.

1 year ago

Unfortunately it’s not FAA compliant as it’s battery is over 100Wh

Last edited 1 year ago by Troy
Kumar Desai
Kumar Desai
1 year ago

Regardless of whatever conveniences this ‘bike’ offers, at being light, with no pedals, and having limited range, it needs to be half the price or more. Lectric bikes have set the bar at the $1000 range for range and quality (although not weight – they are heavy) and the JackRabbit, having so much less for the same price, simply is not going to cut it.

1 year ago

Bike is vehicle powered with own humsn power.
Electrical bikes do not exist.
There are only battery powered scooters.

Dirt McGirt
Dirt McGirt
1 year ago

I’ve put hands on one of these. It’s a pile. Deathtrap deluxe.

1 year ago

Incredible “review” lol and love the solid self-described “retro grouch” vibe here amongst the author and commenters! JackRabbit is headquartered in San Diego close to the author (in Anaheim) and is easy to be reached via the internet or in person to address all the questions and deep mysteries posed in this article. Riding is believing and it’d be easy to try us out. To address some of the super awesome comments for the heck of it: no one that we know of has ever gone over the handlebars because there is no front brake and weight is low and back (as commented on in multiple easily-searchable actual reviews), a simple search on the FAA website or any airline website (or our website) also shows that two batteries of up to 160 W Hr can be taken on airplanes (and therefore people fly with JackRabbits all the time), it’s a “bike” in the same way that everyone calls their bicycle or motorcycle their “bike”, and we doubt Mr. “I’ve put hands on one” really has because pretty much everyone that actually rides a JackRabbit (rather than opining from their sofa) can’t help smiling and realizing how solid this little guy is. We hope y’all cheer up and give us another try sometime.

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