JackRabbit XG: A Powerful Upgrade to the Original Electric Bike
In a world where most electric bikes are generic and lack innovation, the JackRabbit stands out. This micro, pedal-free ride combines the convenience of a scooter with the comfort of a bicycle. We absolutely loved the original JackRabbit, but acknowledged that there was room for improvement. Fortunately, the unveiling of the JackRabbit XG has dramatically reduced that room for improvement. This newer, more powerful, and slightly bigger version is now available, and it surpasses its predecessor in almost every way.
At first glance, the XG may appear similar to the original, now affectionately called the “OG.” However, there are notable differences. The XG features a more conventional diamond-style frame and is equipped with two batteries, providing up to 20 miles of range, which is double the original’s capacity. The slightly longer wheelbase contributes to a more refined biking experience, and the new 500W motor offers increased power for tackling uphill rides while maintaining the same top speed of 20 mph.
In addition to the enhanced power and range, the JackRabbit XG offers several quality-of-life improvements. It includes an actual bike computer, allowing riders to view real-time speed, trip length, and a more accurate battery life gauge. Previously, the original version only had three LEDs indicating the remaining power. The XG also features new all-metal footpegs, replacing the rubber “shoes” on the original that were prone to falling off.
The addition of the extra battery, along with the new motor, greatly enhances the overall performance of the JackRabbit XG. The original model’s battery life was somewhat short, and running out of power during a ride was far from enjoyable. However, with the XG’s double battery capacity, users can now expect a range of up to, and possibly beyond, 20 miles under normal motor-only usage, aligning it with the capabilities of a scooter.
One of the notable improvements in the XG is its increased stability. The OG had a higher center of gravity, leading to a somewhat lively riding experience. In contrast, the XG feels much more stable, even at higher speeds. Additionally, the three power modes offer riders greater control over the maximum speed, range, and overall feel of the bike.
While the XG does add some extra weight due to the additional battery and longer frame, it is still easily manageable. The OG weighed 24 pounds, and the XG adds another eight pounds to that, but users can still lift the bike with one hand and navigate stairs without much difficulty. Furthermore, the XG’s battery bay allows riders to use just one cell if desired, resulting in a lighter ride with less range. The XG’s batteries no longer require a key to unlock; instead, they feature permanent clips on the underside of the bike, eliminating the need for an easily misplaced key.
In terms of features, the JackRabbit XG demonstrates maturity and attention to detail. While it does not come with a built-in powered light, it includes an extra power port for users to add one if desired. Additionally, the XG now has a front brake to complement the rear brake, eliminating the need for a “rad slide” during strong braking situations. However, some listed features, such as the “walk mode,” may be more creatively marketed than practical for users. Activating the “walk mode” involves loosening the handlebars, rotating them 90 degrees, and making the bike “thin.” This process also facilitates easy storage of the bike.
The riding experience on the XG truly brings the bike to life. Unlike the OG, which would accelerate as soon as the accelerator was pressed, the XG requires users to push off first, similar to operating a scooter. This minor change prevents the bike from unexpectedly pulling away when the throttle is accidentally activated. However, if preferred, riders can keep the XG in “high” mode, which does not require pushing off to start moving. The three power modes provide a convenient way to moderate battery usage without excessively relying on the accelerator. Ultimately, “high” mode offers the most fun and now benefits from the extended range.
Compared to its younger sibling, the JackRabbit XG showcases significant improvements and refinement. While it is slightly larger and heavier, making it slightly less convenient than a foldable scooter, it offers a compelling alternative to regular e-bikes. However, with these advancements also comes a higher price tag. The original JackRabbit was initially priced at $1,200, but has since dropped to $1,000. In contrast, the JackRabbit XG is priced at $1,750 at its launch, placing it in the same price range as many conventional e-bikes. Whether the XG is considered a pricier option only depends on individual preferences and requirements. If riders seek the flexibility of a bike that can enhance their daily commute and embark on adventures beyond the capabilities of scooters, the JackRabbit XG becomes a highly attractive choice.