The JOLT eBike boasts that it's the best electric bike on the planet, even though it hasn't actually launched yet.
Another day, another crowdfunded e-bike, and this time it's a folding aluminum bike that is said to have a range of up to 50 miles, with an unbeatable purchase price for early birds. For about the cost of a decent conventional bike, backers of the JOLT e-bike can reserve an electrified one that also folds up for storage or to fit into a trunk, but unfortunately, there's little to no information about the company behind it.
The JOLT has a 350W rear hub motor, powered by a 36V LG lithium-ion battery pack (no other battery specs are shown) that is said to enable a range of 30 miles (electric only) or up to 50 miles (pedal-assist mode) per charge. The top speed is limited to 20 mph to keep it street-legal in the US. There aren't too many amenities on the JOLT, other than the inclusion of "thick, unbreakable composite spokes" in the wheel (how often do you actually break spokes?), as there are no lights and no rack, but there is a USB charging port for portable electronics.
The bike is a one-size-fits-all model, with a telescoping handlebar tube and extendable seat post that can accommodate riders up to 6'4" tall and weighing up to 275 pounds. No details are available about the wheel size, although they look to be using 20" tires, and stopping power comes from a pair of standard rim-brakes. The JOLT includes a 7-speed Shimano gearset, an LCD handlebar display for access to battery status, current speed, current trip distance, pedal-assist mode, and more. When folded, the JOLT takes up a space measuring 34.6" by 25.2" by 15.8", which would fit into most car trunks, but there's no weight listed for the bike, which is presumably pretty light as it's built from aluminum.
Here's the promo video:
Sometimes, you just gotta laugh at the marketing angle, because although the initial promo cost for the JOLT is enticingly low, which does make it "affordable for everyone," it's a huge stretch to call this bike "The BEST Electric Bike on the PLANET" when it hasn't even hit the streets yet (and it's a folding model, which isn't for everyone), and that low promo price won't last very long at all.
The Indiegogo campaign for the JOLT electric bike just launched today, and is already a third of the way toward its crowdfunding goal, perhaps in part because of the low price available for early bird backers. In a time when a good electric bike still costs well over $1000, the initial price tag for early birds of $300 was certain to attract a lot of attention, but the price didn't stay that low for very long, as now the next tier of rewards will see 75 of the bikes spoken for at $399, the next 200 go for $499, then 500 selling for $599, with a future MSRP of $1999. (UPDATE: All lower tiers below $599 have sold out.)
As always, buyer beware when it comes to backing crowdfunding campaigns.