One of the things I love about electric bicycles is the extreme variety of options in the market. From electric cargo bikes to mini e-bikes to $10,000 street e-bikes, there’s a bit of everything on the spectrum.
And like any spectrum, you often find the really interesting stuff on the extreme ends. Cue the Jetson Bolt, an ultra-affordable $399 electric bicycle. This little thing is a surprisingly capable bike, as I found out by riding it around for a few weeks. Read on to see my full review.
First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room. The Jetson Bolt has no pedals, so I’m not sure if this is technically a “bicycle”.
I’d consider it more like scooter functionality in a small bicycle form. But that’s a lot of words, so I’ll keep calling it a bike.
Jetson Bolt electric bicycle tech specs
The Jetson Bolt e-bike is definitely small, tipping the scales at just 34 lbs (15.4 kg). It has a weight capacity of 250 lbs (113 kg), meaning even though it’s small, it can still handle larger riders.
The rear 250 W motor doesn’t sound like much, but it has surprisingly good torque. The little motor gets me up to the bike’s top speed of 15 mph (25 km/h) quite quickly. Keep in mind that there are no pedals, so that acceleration is entirely unassisted.
The range is rated at 17 miles (30 km), but I got around 2/3 of that before performance started to become sluggish. I’m not sure where they got 17 miles from, unless those are downhill miles. Still, 12 miles or so isn’t bad for this tiny e-bike. Considering it is meant for city riding, I can’t imagine riding much farther than that.
With a 36V and 5.2 Ah (187 Wh) battery, the Jetson Bolt isn’t meant to be a long haul e-bike.
Braking is accomplished via a single mechanical disc brake in the rear. It’s great for hardcore power slides (ask me how I know).
A twist throttle, battery meter, cruise control button, on/off switch and horn button adorn the handlebars.
Front and rear LED lights are built into the frame and are powered by the main battery pack.
The Jetson Bolt folds down to 20″ x 40″ x 28″ (51 cm x 102 cm x 71 cm). It folds at the handlebars, not in the middle, but it still becomes fairly small. Definitely small enough to fit in any trunk.
Jetson Bolt ride quality
This little e-bike is actually pretty fun to ride. The first day or two I kept blindly feeling for pedals with my feet when I would takeoff. But I soon got used to the whole “no pedals” thing, and it eventually felt normal.
With a decently torquey motor and small 12″ diameter wheels, the Jetson Bolt gets up to speed quickly and I never felt like I needed to assist it.
The only time I missed having pedals was on hills, where it would slow down a bit.
I didn’t do a full range test because the lack of pedals meant I would have had to walk it back when it finally ran out. That’s probably the main downside to not having pedals.
But there are upsides too. The whole bike is super lightweight without a bunch of heavy bike components like pedals, cranks, chain, chain ring, cassette, derailleur, etc. Plus, you don’t have to worry about maintaining or adjusting those parts, and there are fewer things to break.
And with fewer bike parts, the price of the Jetson Bolt can come down without sacrificing the quality of the electrical components.
I would have loved to have some suspension to smooth the ride a bit, but of course you couldn’t hit this weight or price point with suspension. And with the relatively wide tires and plush seat, the ride isn’t as harsh as you might expect. You could always add a suspension seat post if you really wanted some extra comfort.
It’s not an amazing e-bike by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve ridden e-bikes that go faster and farther and with more features. But I’ve never ridden one as affordable. And considering that this bike is decent quality, it offers quite good bang for your buck.
Until now the best mini e-bike I’ve ridden has been the $489 Swagtron EB-5. But if you can do without pedals and want to save nearly $100, the Jetson Bolt gives the EB-5 a real run for its money.
I think the Jetson Bolt e-bike would be best for city riders or students on a college campus. It’s small, easy to stow or carry up stairs (especially with the built-in carry handle) and is just an all around fun little e-bike.
As a last-mile vehicle, it’s perfect. If you need a way to get from your home or work to the train or bus, this could be it. It folds, allowing it to board many forms of public transportation, and could turn a half hour walk into an 8 minute joy ride.
If you’ve been considering an electric bicycle for commuting but haven’t wanted to invest much money, this could be your answer.
What do you think of the Jetson Bolt? Could you see yourself scooting around on this little e-bike? Let us know in the comments below.
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