Electric bikes really do come in all shapes and sizes these days. We have seen road ebikes, mountain ebikes, and even ebikes designed to look like vintage motorcycles. But, we’ve never seen anything quite like the JackRabbit, a new model that launched on Kickstarter that appears to be hybrid of a bicycle and a scooter.
The JackRabbit’s unique design definitely helps to set it apart from other ebikes on the market. That is because it sports a small 20-inch no-flat, nitrogen-infused tire on the front and a larger 26-inch puncture-resistant tire in the rear. This gives it a bit of an awkward look, although according to the bike’s designers it remains nimble on urban commutes. That same design keeps the bike rather small and compact, however, measuring just four feet in length and weighing less than 20 pounds. Those measurements should make the JackRabbit easy to store and transport.
In an effort to keep the bike as simple and easy to use as possible, the JackRabbit has very few actual bike components. For instance, it doesn’t have a chain or gears, relying solely on its electric drive to power it around town. That drive is capable of reaching speeds of up to 18 mph, while the 36-volt, 4.8 amp-hour battery provides a range of up to 13 miles. That is well below most other ebikes, but the Kickstarter pagepromises that auxiliary battery packs are already in the works and the existing model can be full recharged in under two hours.
The JackRabbit’s throttle is mounted on the handlebars, allowing riders to choose between climb, coast, and cruise modes as needed. In climb mode, the motor shifts 10 amps of power to the drive, while in cruisemode, that number drops to five amps. When set to coast, no power is used whatsoever, increasing battery life and range. When owners reach their destination, the throttle switch can be removed pops, effectively disabling the bike for would-be thieves.
Other features include a built-in USB port for recharging a smartphone and a saddle that can be adjusted to accommodate riders ranging from five feet in height all the way up to six feet, four inches. The bike can also be decked out with optional accessories, including a phone cradle, cup holder, cargo rack, lights, and more.
The team behind the JackRabbit is hoping to raise $45,000 on Kickstarter to get the ebike into production. If successful, it should go on sale in December at a retail price of $899. Early bird supporters can reserve one now for half that amount,however. As always, it is important to understand the risksof backing any crowdfunding campaign before pledging your money.