EletiofeThe New Jackrabbit XG Ebike Is a Pint-Size Prankster

The New Jackrabbit XG Ebike Is a Pint-Size Prankster


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One of the weirdest side effects of my job is a Zen-like, mystical lack of attachment to things. Sure, those headphones are nice—but soon the company will release an almost identical pair. Did you like that smartwatch? Oh well. There will be one that’s even better next year.

There have been only a few items that I’ve really missed once I sent them back to the company after testing. One of those was the Jackrabbit (7/10, WIRED Recommends), one of the first and best of what I would call micro ebikes. The company recently released an update, the Jackrabbit XG. I went “Woohoo!” I’ve been waiting to get my hands on another one of these bikes for years.

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Out and About

Over the years, a number of studies have shown that women—and especially women in households with small children—travel much more differently than men do. If they travel daily (which not all women do), women are much more likely to make many more trips than men. The distances are much smaller. They also go to a much wider variety of destinations for a much broader range of purposes, mostly to serve the needs of others.

For example, a typical woman might do childcare drop-off before going to work. She might go to the grocery store to pick up flowers for a sick friend on her lunch break, or check on her parents. Women are also much more likely to live in a car-free or car-light household. They’re more likely to be the person who isn’t the primary driver, more likely to carpool, and more likely to trip-chain—that is, combine multiple errands on one trip.

Do you know who this describes? Me. I am a small married mom with two elementary-aged kids. I drop them off at school every day on an electric cargo bike. I’m among a growing number of moms who do so. But at least once a week, I kick myself. I want a smaller bike.

“Ugh, where is that bike,” I thought to myself when I dropped off my car at Les Schwab and began the long walk back home. I could’ve put a mini bike in my trunk and biked back. Man, I wish I could’ve biked to the bar and thrown the bike in the back of my friend’s car on the way home. I would like a bike so that I can run to the store while my kids are playing at the park. I wish it were less annoying to leave my gravel bike in peoples’ houses when I forget my bike lock!

Yes, I realize for most people the vehicle that fills this niche is an electric scooter. I’m sorry but I would just prefer not to. (Luckily, my colleague Julian Chokkattu will do it!) The Jackrabbit has returned to save the day!

Hauling Ass

Photograph: Jackrabbit

My number one goal as a gear tester is for everyone I pass in the street to raise their head and slowly mouth the words, “What the hell.” The Jackrabbit XG accomplishes this task perfectly. I’ve been testing it for a week now, puttering around my neighborhood while returning library books and dropping my daughter’s forgotten planner off at school. Every time I see someone tilt their head and look at the Jackrabbit XG, I high-five myself.

The Jackrabbit XG is what the company calls a tiny electric motorbike. Now that we are becoming more aware of bike and battery safety, it has been independently tested to be UL-compliant. It has a slightly longer frame and a more powerful 500-watt motor. I loved the OG, but on the whole, the new XG is a much more useful tool. It’s more comfortable to ride, has noticeably more power, has a much bigger range, and goes much faster when I gun the tiny throttle.

Of course, these additions do make it a little heavier—it’s 32 pounds as compared to the OG’s 24 pounds. But it’s still light and compact enough for me to lift it out of the box with no problems.

Everything about the Jackrabbit is shockingly easy. Most electric bikes require a lot of assembly. I pulled the XG’s box into my driveway, pulled it out, pulled off the Styrofoam, plugged in the handlebars and … that was it. No screwing in a front tire, or plugging in a wonky battery, or fiddling with squeaky brakes. It even comes fully charged. I was able to putter off within 15 minutes of opening the box!

When compared to other electric vehicles, it’s very affordable for the quality of ride that you get. I appreciate the upgrades made to the Jackrabbit XG, but that does come with an increased price tag of $1,800. However, the OG still costs only $1,000.

Most importantly, it’s just so much fun. Yes, you could get a reliable Aventon for this price, but I feel glum whenever I have to push off a 65-pound ebike now. There’s nothing that makes me feel more like Pee-wee Herman (in a good way, RIP) than hopping onto a tiny electric bicycle, bouncing off the curb, and hauling ass away from the library, cackling all the way.

Photograph: Jackrabbit

Even big men like to zip around looking silly on my tiny electric motorbike. I can chase my kids around the blacktop, and pop up and down off sidewalks around my kids’ school. It fits on my front porch and takes up a tiny little corner of my garage. It’s perfect for my lifestyle, and is way more fun than any tiny bike has a right to be. If you have anyplace that you need to get to fast, I very much recommend it.

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