Pedego Interceptor Special Edition E-bike–Style and POWER!

This is just one of the many great places you can visit with a rental Pedego Interceptor from Ivan Stewart's Electric Bike Center in San Diego.

Writing my bike blog just gets more fun everyday.   With so many great E-bikes to try, and people who are interested to read about them, I am enjoying being involved with the experience.   Such was the case last week.   I was in the garage, working over one of the old English 3-speeds I got recently, when the phone rang.   It was Gary from Ivan Stewart’s Electric Bike Center, calling to invite me to try out a bike they had just put on the sales floor.   “You have just got to give this new bike a ride.” I heard him say.

So, before long, I was saddling up on an all black Pedego Interceptor Special Edition electric bike.   With sleek lines, and the promise of an exhilarating ride, off I went.   The view of the bike practically disappeared as the power kicked in.   The rush was immediate and satisfying.   This is one fast E-bike.   But don’t get me wrong, there is so much more to this bike than  sheer speed.   It is has some great specs and is built to last.   And yes, it looks fantastic while it hauls the mail like no other E-bike I have ridden.

So what makes this beauty so quick, you might ask.   It is a combination of 48 volts of lithium power, 500 watts of un-geared brushless motor, and the basic simplicity of its electrical system.   The 48 volt-10 ah lithium battery slides onto the rear rack.   This is the lightweight push for the bike.   The 500 watt rear hub-mounted motor is the heart of the power system.   With no internal reduction gears to cause problems, it pushes this bike in a quiet, friction free way that has to be felt to be believed.   And with only a throttle and off-on switch to control the power, you are in charge of the assist, not some series of sensors and the such.

This bike has been designed for use by police and emergency crews.   So it has one feature that is a little un-common for most E-bikes.   It comes preset to limit its top speed to under 20 mph to meet needed standards.   But accessible to the owner is an adjustment that can increase its top speed to almost 30 mph.   This is an off-road mode and not recommended for street use.   It will also reduce the 15-30 mile range of the battery considerably if you decide to use it.   And believe me when I say that the top speed in the standard mode is all the faster than you need to go.   I do have an interest to try out the off-road maximum speed.   Just for kicks, you know.

With the high-performance of this bike, a good set of brakes is important.   I found the front disc very strong, and the rear hub brake the same.   I tried some serious stops from speed with great results.   Those stops were almost as much fun as the thrill of power the motor gives.   Mounted from the factory is a pair of Schwalbe balloon tires that offer a compliment to the power.   They have built-in Kevlar to keep you riding when the going gets a little rough.

The aluminum frame carries this bike nicely.   The bike I rode has the comfort-step through frame, and the one I saw on the Pedego’s website has a high bar frame.   This will give you the option to choose the one that fits you best.   The 6-speed Shimano drive train is more than sufficient for any rides you might have planned.   The handlebar mounted shifter was easy to use.   A comfy seat and high-rise cruiser style handlebars allow a very relaxed feel when you are riding.   The suspension seat post is a nice addition.

Another nice piece on the Interceptor are the leatherette handgrips.   They might be real leather, I’m not sure.   They look good, and have a nice feel.   The reason I mention the grips, is that when this bike starts really moving, you will be gripping them quite tightly.   Other than the acceleration and speed, the grips might be the only other thing you notice when you have this baby ramped up.   Consider the fact that you don’t have to go full speed all the time.   A nice easy 12-14 mph is a comfortable pace on a E-bike.

I got a chance to talk to Terry, one of the owners of Pedego, on the phone.   I had a few questions about the bike I needed answered before I sat down to write this review.   He is a knowledgeable guy who was fun to talk E-bikes with.   If you have any needs or concerns about getting your new Pedego E-bike, he will be glad to help you.   They have a well set-up website, and also organize Pedego owner rides.   You can also find them on Facebook to follow along with their desire to get you on two wheels.   They love bikes, and it shows.

Terry told me of the many benefits of E-bikes.   Of course, he was preaching to the choir, if you catch my drift.   I hope to meet him in person at an up-coming Pedego owners bike ride.   My wife and I have E-Zipps, but I am assured we will be welcome to join in.   In addition to everyday rides and the work commute, part of the fun of bikes in general is to join in with others that share your love of the fun, thrill, and freedom a bike offers.

Here in San Diego, your Pedego connection is Ivan Stewart’s Electric Bike Center.   They have the full line available and offer sales and service.   They can also rent you a Pedego by the hour, half day, or day to see the town.   This is a great opportunity to try one out before your purchase.   But keep your plastic handy, as an E-bike is so much fun and useful, you will almost be assured of owning one before your day is done.   And if you are anything like my wife and I, you will find the bike will pay for itself before you know it.

Thanks for reading.   As my blog continues to become more popular, I want to thank you for the support and interest.    Thank you so very much, Turbo Bob.

“The bicycle had, and still has, a humane, almost classical moderation in the kind of pleasure it offers.   It is the kind of machine that a Hellenistic Greek might have invented and ridden.   It does no violence to our normal reactions: It does not pretend to free us from our normal environment.”—J. B. Jackson.

You can find Ivan Stewart’s Electric Bike Center on Facebook or

http://www.iselectricbikecenter.com

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About Turbo Bob's Bicycle Blog

E-bike Enthusiast Vintage Bike Enthusiast
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19 Responses to Pedego Interceptor Special Edition E-bike–Style and POWER!

  1. I wanna ride that baby! Looks fun Bob!

    Any idea how they go about limiting the speed from 30mph to 20mph? What kind of removable mechanism/device they use to do that?

    Thanks for sharing the review. We really gotta get in a ride together one of the days.

    • Vincent, there is a adjustment screw (pot) in the ECU (computer) that sets the maximum speed. I haven’t seen it on this bike yet, but have set ones on other bikes before. I plan on looking into this bike’s setting and will let you know how it is accessed.
      I spoke with Terry at Pedego and he gave me the basic info. I will find out exactly how it is done.
      Let’s ride, man.

  2. Jason Nix says:

    Have you had a chance to compare the 48-volt interceptor to the 36-volt cruiser? Speed? Range?
    My wife and I are going back and forth on which one is best for us.

    • Hi Jason, I have ridden more than a couple of the 36 volt cruiser models. I think for most people, that would be plenty of bike. The extra speed is not really needed. You do have the option of getting a 16 ah battery, instead of the standard 10 ah. It weighs and costs more, but it will get you a lot further down the road on one charge.
      Generally, but not always, a higher voltage set-up won’t help that much in the torque department (grunt for the hills) and will not have as good of range.
      Both bikes are very powerful and anything over 20 mph (48v model) is just not really needed.
      Good luck chosing the right bikes. Make sure to get a pair that fit you two just right.
      Let us know how you like them, Turbo.

  3. Fred Eisenlohr says:

    if the high voltage doesn’t help in torque or hills…..and will not have as good as range…..what would be the point of paying more for the 48V ?

    Fred

    • Hey Fred, good question and I’ll do my best to answer it. Look at it as a power reserve. If you use the extra power–than less range will be the result. If you ride normally, you will get a ride with longer distance. The hill torque is more a function of the motor gearing and the controller’s output. The extra voltage can help there too. Don’t forget to factor in the amp hour rating of the battery. That is the actual capacity of the battery.
      Think of it this way. The amp hour rating is how how much power you have. The volt rating is how hard that power pushes.
      With a good strong battery and a controller of extra capacity, you can make an E-bike really move out. The matched combo of the motor–battery–and controller is what gives a bike its performance limits.
      And although it does have its benefits—48 volts systems are a selling prop that makes a bike sound bigger and better. I have ridden 24 volt systems that are just fine. In fact our E-Zips are 24 volts. Not the biggest, fastest and most powerful—but more than sufficient to get us where we are going.
      The truth is–more volts–more go. That is all depending on the balance and matching of all the power components. Right now most all E-bikes are 36 volt systems. People are always trying to reinvent the wheel and change the norm around.
      The bike I just rode (and will report on soon) is a 48 volt E-bike and it took me up a steep hill that I had never made up before. MORE POWER? Yes.
      Thanks, stick with my blog more biking fun.

  4. Bruce Mosk says:

    Hi Turbo,

    I enjoy your blog and just purchased a Pedego Interceptor, in part, due to your blog! I live in a very hilly area and wanted to access the “off road” mode, not so much for speed, but for additional hill climbing ability…..even though there were some comments that changing the governor settings may not accomplish this goal. (I figure that it doesn’t hurt to try!) Do you have any specific instructions for accessing the “pot” and adjusting the settings? Thank you…………… I am all smiles from this bike. What a blast!

    • Hi Bruce. Thanks for trusting me to guide you on your E-bike journey. It seems you can’t go wrong with a Pedego. After some checking, I was told the bikes come in max power mode. Inside the box that houses the ECU, there is a small pot hooked to the ECU with a wire. You can rotate it with a small screwdriver to make sure it is set to max. It is a little hard to access, but not too bad.
      Have fun with that new baby and treat it well, Turbo.

  5. Ashley Ryan says:

    Turbo Bob –
    We have a two seat child trailer and miles and miles of Greenway at our backdoor with moderate hills. I weigh 160 and we plan on carrying the kids until they out grow the trailer. Which configuration of the Pedego would you recommend? I’m sure there will be days where I will not pedal at all if that is possible.

    Thanks!

    • Thank you Ashley. I think any Pedego would work fine for your intended use. The standard models with the 36 volt system work great. The 36 volt models tend to be better for hauling a load, where this (the 48 volt) is better for increased speeds.
      I would reccomend the larger capacity battery option to make sure you have a good range and extra battery juice to carry the extra weight of the trailer and kids.
      Also, Pedego just came out with a 24 inch wheel bike for people who find the 26 inch wheel bike is a bit on the large side. Keep that in mind when you shop for your new bike if it is an issue for you.
      The bike will handle riding without pedaling, but remember it uses the battery quicker. Also, it will tend to heat the motor and battery a little quicker. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to stop to let them cool every 20-30 minutes if you use the motor only.
      You and the kids enjoy your new ride, and let us know how you like it and how it works out with the trailer.
      Turbo.

  6. Sam Rothstein says:

    Turbo-

    Are you aware, for enabling off road mode, is it detailed in a manual or is it relatively easy to achieve? What exactly is the process?

    Thanks! And great blog!

    Sam

    • Thanks Sam, I’m glad you are enjoying my blog.
      I have inquired more than once on this subject. The word I get is that the bikes come from the factory in the full-power mode. The actual adjustment is fairly easy and it would be a good idea to see where your bike’s adjustment is set. The ECU (electronic control unit) needs to be pulled out of its hiding place, and then you will see a small adjustment pot on the end of a wire connected to the ECU. It is a small cube with a round plastic piece with a groove to turn it with a screwdriver.
      (The ECU is not real hard to pull from the bike, but if you don’t think you can handle it, don’t. Chances are the setting is fine and not messing with it is a good idea.)
      As you pull the ECU from the bike, pay attention to how all the wires tuck into the ECU housing. Take photos if needed. When you are reinstalling it be careful not to jam or damage it.
      Also, you don’t have to unplug any wires from the ECU. Make sure the battery is off the bike and un-plugged from the bike.
      Fully rotate the adjustment to one end of the travel and try the motor. And then rotate it the other direction and try the power again. One way will give full power, as the other will all but keep the motor from running. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to use a Sharpie to mark the original position for reference.
      Also too, if you leave it on just a little less than full-power, you will have a better chance of increasing your battery range by not allowing the bike to use the full amount of power on tap.
      Let me know if this makes sense, and what you found.
      Good luck and happy E-biking, Turbo.

  7. sweetolebill says:

    Just remove 3 screws from rear of controller loosen 1 bottom, you will see the potentiometer (pot) It just unclips so you dont disturb the factory setting,no need to remove controller. Top speed on my intercepter is 30mph,level no head wind. I installed a DNP 11-32 7speed freewheel to keep up.

  8. pedegofunfun says:

    Hi, sorry to re pick this thread, but on my pedego classic I couldnt see the pot after removing the rear plate. Do these instructions only apply to the interceptor?

    • Pedegofunfun, it was the first run of the Interceptor that I was referring to. Things could easily be different now. The adjustment I speak of is on the wiring that comes out of the controller, and a little deeper that just under the basic cover.
      I suggest you speak to the folks at Pedego, they are quite receptive.
      I also suggest that you don’t fiddle with your bike, but just ride and enjoy it.
      That is what Pedegos are for, Turbo
      Thanks for being part of my bike blog..

      • Pedegofunfun, As I re-read your comment, I thought I should add a little more to my response. Yes, I do believe that the power adjustor pot is (or was) only on the Interceptors. Because of the potential extra power added from the 48 volt system they wanted a way to govern the top speed. The Comfort Cruisers didn’t need it, and I don’t think they have it. From what I remember, the ones I have worked on didn’t have this feature.
        Many E-bikes I have dealt with have this small adjustable pot in the wiring loom (as part of the controller wiring). On the more modern bikes with display units (including the Pedego City Commuter), the overall power is adjustable within the modes of the display unit. Generally it is in a adjustable mode that is not easily found by the customer, but by the makers and knowledgeable techs. It is best not to try to make changes as other parameters of the control system can be altered by mistake.
        The new torque-sensed control systems have many parameters than can be altered to suit your riding style and needs. Some companies tell you how to do it and other would rather you not get into these adjustable modes. It is always best to discuss it with the maker or your dealer before you start making any changes.
        And like I said above, ride and enjoy is usually the best way to go.

  9. pedegofunfun says:

    Dear Bob
    Thank you so much for your kind replies, I appreciate it. I contacted the dealer to see how my curiosity could be satisfied in this regard 🙂 But you are right, I wont fiddle with the electronics as it can turn out to be a rather expensive experience 🙂
    I tried going into a special mode with the LCD panel; by pressing both + and – for some seconds I could change the max speed. I learn later that this only affects the throttle (I am located in europe so here it’s only pedelec and the throttle is used as a starter).
    I also tried to find the setting to change the tyre size, but I wasn’t successful (my idea was to trick again the controller by reducing the tyre size…)

  10. Fred Eisenlohr says:

    What bicycle trailer for toddlers to connect to Pedego would you recommend .Most connect to rear wheel . Is this okay or will it effect the bikes performance. I hear there are some trailers that connect to seats but are considerably more expensive . Thanks.

    • Fred, most any trailer will work. Mine is a used one that Target sells at a low price. It has a receiver that hooks to the rear axle. Although I haven’t done it, to be used on this E-bike and many others all you need to do is enlarge the hole for the larger diameter rear axle that most E-bikes have. It won’t work on all E-bikes though, a few have clearance issues at that part of the bike.
      There are ones that hook to the seat post, but those too can have clearance issues with rear racks and the such.
      Hauling a trailer and extra loads are part of the reason you might ride an E-bike. The extra weight can affect performance and range, yet hauling a load is what E-bikes are all about.

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