Pedego Interceptor

Pedego Interceptor Review

Pedego has made a name for itself by offering California cruiser style electric bikes that are “fun” and reliable.  The key to the Pedego Interceptor is that it was a pretty fast electric bike for its time. In fact, it was named the “Interceptor” because it was supposedly designed for Police use, and originally only offered in black and white colors.

I have yet to hear about any cops riding around on Pedego bikes, but I have seen many Pedego Interceptors with Hawaiian-shirted riders speeding down the streets and bike trails of LA. Lets take a closer look into the Interceptor and see why it is one of the best selling bikes in the USA market.


The Frame

Pedego Interceptor

Pedego Interceptor

classic cruiser

Pedego Comfort Cruiser

The Interceptor is built around the same 6061 aluminum frame as the Comfort Cruiser (the Pedego base model).  The only difference other than color choices between the $2,000 Cruiser and the $2,500 Interceptor, is that the interceptor is a 48-volt system, where as the Cruiser is 36-volts. $500 seems like a  lot of money to spend for just a little more power.

The Comfort Cruiser would have 360-WH’s of battery compared to the Interceptor’s 480 watt hours.  If a little extra speed is not important to you, then you should save your money and go with the Comfort Cruiser, and save that $500 for nifty adds ons (how about an extra battery for longer trips).

On both the Cruiser and the Interceptor, you can easily add an extra battery (which you can bungee-cord to the top of the battery rack). The stock battery packs are easily swappable.

The Interceptor and Comfort Cruiser are also offered in Step Through models:

step through


Is it fast?

The Pedego Interceptor has the reputation of being one of the faster store-bought electric bikes available, and that has been its main selling point. I tested the Interceptor up to  over 20 -MPH top-speed on level ground without pedaling. See our Pedego Interceptor Owners report for more real-world speed and range data. The Pedego by today’s standards is fairly fast, although there are production bikes at lower price points that are  actually faster, such as the $2000  Juiced Rider ODK-II.

Simple Design

Pedego Interceptor-2825

There is nothing technologically advanced about  the Pedego Interceptor. Nothing to make me say “WOW!”  It is all about using tried-and-true Chinese components, assembled, boxed  and sent in a cargo container, and sold at a relatively expensive price ($2,500). This is not an elegant purpose-built frame (read our definition) such as the Easy Motion, also the Stromer, or even the Currie Izip.

Instead, the Interceptor has the battery in a rack which is welded to the back of the bike . For an electric bike guru like me, this is the least impressive way to mount a battery pack, and is only one-step above a home-built bike with a Topeak rack in terms of aesthetics. Also having the battery pack in the rear, and the heavy direct drive hub motor also in the rear wheel, makes this bike noticeably back heavy. You will really notice this extra high-mounted weight when leaning the bike over to step onto it. Therefore, if you are a shorter rider, I really recommend the step-through frame.

The large controller is also mounted under the battery…this is a lot of stuff mounted in the rear end. If this were my bike I would put a pannier bag on the rack, and hide some of this ugliness while also moving some of the weight a little lower. At least the rack was welded on, instead of clamped on.

We would have expected by now that a mature design from an experienced company would have moved the battery pack to the frames triangle. It would be easy and inexpensive to make a heavy-duty plastic enclosure that matches the shape of the downtube, so the weight of the battery pack would be more centralized and lower. Such an enclosure would be backwards-compatible for the thousands of existing Pedego owners, even if the compartment was only used for gloves and a bike helmet.

Pedego frankly seems more focused on marketing than they are on offering an innovative product.

Pedego Interceptor-2822

The Interceptor Rear End Screams “Electric Bike!”

The good news about this design, is that this is a decent-looking cruiser bike which is nicely color-coordinated.  Seems simple…but its hard to get a China electric bike to look right. Take a look at the Currie Zuma for an example of a design that falls flat and  gets color coordination wrong.

If you are looking at Pedego bikes consider  the Pedego City Commuter or the Pedego Trail Tracker at about the same price range, which offer  a slightly more innovative package.

The Pedego Advantage

pedego factory

Pedego, a five year old California company, has become one of the two biggest players in the USA ebike business (Currie Technologies is the biggest). Pedego follows a simple model and does it well:

  • Made in China
  • Reliable drive system (very few customer returns)
  • Welded battery mount
  • Reliable lithium-ion battery
  • Fun color co-ordinated bikes
  • Effective marketing campaign
  • Excellent after-sale customer support

The Interceptor, one of the original Pedego models, follows that successful pattern. No doubt about it, the Interceptor is a simple bike, following a simply successful business model.

Pedego’s business model is focused on the word “fun.” Interestingly if you go to the Pedego website there is no technical specifications on the Interceptor. Nothing on how large the battery is, what components  it has etc..

So, for $2,500 what do you get in a bike that is really not that technologically special? Pedego does a great job of providing a reliable product, and the Interceptor is no exception. If the Interceptor does give you trouble, expect Pedego to be supportive during the one-year warranty. One year is admittedly short (many companies are now offering two years), but even after the warranty, getting replacement parts should be no problem. However, Pedego is a company that seems to charge big for replacement parts when you do need them. Read the next section for an example.


Battery Pack

Pedego Interceptor-2820

The Pedego Interceptor uses a 48V / 10-Ah (480 watt hours) lithium-ion pack consisting of 18650-sized cells. I have heard from many sources that this battery pack is indeed reliable, and should last the average user at least a couple of years. The battery pack has a key on and off switch and a battery meter built in.

The very bad news about the Pedego battery pack is the company charges a large amount for a replacement pack or an extra pack.

Check out these prices:

  • 36volt 10ah $595
  • 36 volt 15ah $890
  • 48 volt 10ah $795

To me these prices are ridiculously high, especially since I know how cheap they are getting these from China. Luckily there is atleast one ebay seller selling Pedego compatible packs for cheaper. However it just goes to show what to expect when it comes to getting replacement parts from Pedego…expect to pay high prices.

Hub Motor

Pedego Interceptor-2818

The Pedego interceptor uses a direct drive hub motor. As you can see in the picture, this is a large hub motor, which is not very well hidden. It is not as compact as a geared hub motor, such as the motor used on some of the new Pedego models like the Trail Tracker and the City Commuter. (read our comparison between direct drives and geared hubs). The geared hub motor on the back of those other Pedego’s is hidden nicely behind the disc brake rotor. As you can see in the above photo, there is nothing hidden about the interceptor motor.

The advantage of the direct drive hub motor is that it has a single moving part and is therefore ultra reliable and robust. The Interceptor is hot-roddable by simply changing the controller to a unit with higher amperage, higher voltage, or both. (read our article on hot-rodding a hub motor)

Also the Interceptor motor is a bit quieter than a geared hub motor.



Pedego Interceptor-2814-2

I like that Pedego uses real cruiser handlebars on their cruiser bikes. Other electric bike cruisers such as Currie’s Zuma use half cruiser bars for some weird reason (I think it is to save space in the retail stores). Also like the rest of  Pedego bikes,  good color choices and styling  are used.

The long “sweep-back” of these bars allows the rider to sit upright when just cruising. But if you stand up to pedal, your knees will still clear the front of the handlebars.


Pedego Interceptor-2815

There is nothing fancy about the Pedego control panel.  The red button is an on and off switch. A simple 3-light battery indicator is as cheap as they come, and only will give you a general idea how much battery you have left. It has a twist throttle with no pedal assist. The 6-speed is a click shifter, and is also controlled by left hand.

For this price point I would really like to see some kind of digital dash or pedal assist system, but the Interceptor has no fancy bells or whistles. Well, actually it has a bell on the left hand side…also notice the fake leather hand grips (skimpy for a $2,500 bike):

Pedego Interceptor-2816

6 speed Shimano

The Pedego comes equipped with a Shimano 6-speed to aid with its pedal assist. I notice the gearing is high, which is great for a faster electric bike. At top speed, I was still able to comfortably pedal-assist the Interceptor up to speeds of around 30-MPH.

Suspension Seat

Pedego Interceptor-2827

The cushy seat has springs built into it to ease the ride. Also there is a suspension seat post. On my test ride I could feel the suspension squishing but it was not a very nice compression. The set-up was  squeaky and not very effective. To me it was more annoying than effective, at smoothing out the bumps.



Pedego Interceptor-2

The Pedego utilizes a center kickstand which is a bit harder to activate than a standard side kickstand. The benefit of a center kickstand is that it is suppose to be more solid on uneven or soft terrain. While photographing this bike in level grass, I noticed that the bike tipped over onto its side pretty easily.

On a closer look at the center kickstand, it appears to be solid, but is actually pretty cheap and flimsy in its construction…a disappointment in a $2,500 bike. The components in general all around this bike are pretty cheap in quality. Pedals, crank set, seat, etc. Mixed with these parts are some nice quality name brand components such as the tires (Schwalbe) , brakes, and the shifting set.


Pedego Interceptor-2817

Front Brakes: Avid BB7

Pedego Interceptor-2819

Rear Brakes: Dia Compe Hub Brake


Front Brake:  Avid BB7. Considered one of the best mechanical brakes on the market. To get better brakes you would have to go with hydraulic. Provide excellent stopping power (needed for a heavy electric bike, and they have easy tool-less adjustability.

Rear Brake:  Dia Compe hub brake: Dia Compe is the second biggest component builder in Japan, just behind Shimano and they make some quality stuff.  The hub brake provides adequate stopping power, but not as much as disc brakes would offer. Hub brakes have the benefit of being virtually maintenance free. All you need to do is squirt a syringe full of grease into the access port when the brake stops squeeking. No need to change pads ever.

Color Choices

pedego schwalbe

Pedego is known for offering bikes in a wide variety of colors. The Interceptor, originally intended as a police bike,  used to come only in black or white. Today you can also order a Pedego Interceptor in red, or the very snazzy brushed aluminum. In addition you can choose what color of Schwable tire you want at no extra cost. You can get Black, brown, cream or grey. If you dealer does not have an Interceptor in the colors  you want, you can always order what you want , and just wait a few days. Also, it is possible to special order an Interceptor in any of the flashy colors that the Comfort Cruiser comes in.

My favorite color?…brushed aluminum which is also the Interceptor that Captain Kirk (William Shatner) of the Enterprise chose. I will take some of whatever that man has:

pedego shratners


Motor: Brushless, gearless hub motor in rear wheel

Power: 500 watt continuous

Pedal Gears: Shimano 6-speed rear derailleur

Shifter: Shimano SIS 6-speed thumb shifter

Battery Size: 48V / 10-Ah, 480-WH ( read our watt hour story)

Tires: Schwalbe balloon, with free color upgrade

Throttle: Twist grip

Frame: 6061 aluminum, in standard and step-through

Handlebars: Cruiser type with Promax Stem

Battery indicator: Simple 3-light system on throttle

Brakes: Avid BB7 mechanical disc (front), Dia-Comp hub brake (rear)

Measurements: 46″ Wheelbase,  Height 33″-39″

Weight: 56 pounds

Warranty: one year

Price: $2,5oo Retail


Competition Comparison

Motiv Electric Bike
Motiv Electric Bike

If you are considering the Interceptor, you might also want to take a look at the  Motiv 48V Cruiser bike, which offers a very similar cruiser electric  bike, with geared hub motor, mid mounted battery pack, upgraded color choices, with a longer warranty and a lower price.

Stay tuned for our upcoming California Electric Cruiser shoot-out, comparing these electric cruiser bikes.


For me, the Interceptor is not a very exciting ebike, and does not offer enough for its $2,500 price tag, and as of 2013 it has become outdated by some nicer bikes in the same price range, including models with a purpose-built frame and geared hub motors as an option. The Interceptor established itself back when it was one of the few electric bikes on the market, but…in today’s market they badly need an update to keep up with new offerings in the ebike scene.


Many thanks to the nice folks at Electric Bikes LA for loaning me the Interceptor to review.

Read a thorough owners report on the Pedego Interceptor

Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.

  • Jim

    In my case, the after-sale support has been very poor from Pedego. They’ve made me wait over two months to replace a defective battery, because apparently they didn’t stock any!

    • spinningmagnets

      Jim, many E-bikers have experienced this. Most of the battery packs for sale to the public are actually assembled in China, and then transported by the most cost-effective method, which is a cargo ship. This is especially true of the large lithium batteries that are preferred by E-bikers.

      This is the specific reason Hobby-King set up warehouses in The US (Washington state) and Germany. Bulk shipments arrive by ship/train, and then the smaller packages are shipped out to the customer by common delivery.

      With the recent boom in E-bikes, there is a back-log of battery packs ordered. Batteries are the one spot in the E-bike world that most needs some improvement, and also why we researched this article:

    • ElectricBIke

      Wow sick story. Sorry to hear this. How long ago was this? Did you buy from a store or a website? No loaner bike??

      • Jim

        I’m still waiting… the 36V 15-Ah battery is not due in until “late April”. I’ve been waiting since 2/24. I ordered two black City Commuters from a store, one of which they shipped in the wrong color (white). They then replaced the incorrectly shipped bike, but didn’t have the black 36V 15-Ah battery…so I used the white one, then that battery malfunctioned the first time it was used. It did not permit the lights to be turned off, and the tailight would not go off while charging (regardless of the position of the on/off switch or pressing the light button on the battery).

        The only response from Pedego on the malfuntioning battery was “We are talking to find a solution for the lights staying on”…and then the two-month wait due to poor stocking logistics on their part.
        Based on service, I’d recommend buying a different brand.

        • Tucker

          I purchased a Pedego Comfort Cruiser and I love the bike. It has a top speed of 20mph and I am good with that as I am 62 and have had a stroke which has damaged my reaction time, coordination and balance so I can not handle high speed.
          When I ride I do not notice the battery being too high but I do not mountain ride or anything like that.
          As far as getting warranty parts they have been great. I needed a new hub lock and kickstand and on both occasions they shipped the parts that day and they were here the next day. I also have had good, friendly service from them. No matter whom I speak with they have always been very helpful
          In addition to Pedego being very helpful the selling dealer, Sniders in Bakersfield has been great. Pedego and Sniders have a great staff.
          I bought my bike October 16, 2013 and today, 1-20-2014, I have over 900 miles on the bike and I still enjoy riding every day.
          One of the reasons I like the Pedego is that it is a very comfortable ride.
          I believe Pedego is the best bike for people that want to just “cruise”. They are not a race bike nor a mountain bike. The Pedego is perfect me and anybody that wants a bike to ride and have a good time on…just like they advertise.
          Pedego is one of the best looking ebikes on the market. It is clean and simple….elegant.
          I did buy the extra battery which gives me a range of 35 to 40 miles.
          I only wish I had bought the Interceptor as I tow an Instep trailer with my dog in it and could use the torque other wise I love my Pedego!
          I have test driven (as part of my job when I was working) Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Porsche and other high dollar cars to insure the vehicles were repaired properly in the shops I have worked in and the Pedego seems to be the Rolls Royce.
          Thanks to Pedego I am now a fan of ebikes and I am planning to build another ebike from a kit. I guess I have a new hobby.
          In short I have nothing but good things to say about Pedego.


    Thanks for the honest and thorough Pedego review. Although I think Pedego makes a good electric bike, my only problem with it was that the battery placement needs updating. Because it sits so high on the frame, it made the riding experience off balance. This is most noticeable when riding numerous e-bikes in close proximity. The ones with batteries down lower or integrated into the frame were a lot more stable and easier to ride.

    Having said that, with a few tweaks/updates, the Pedego has the potential to be an awesome competitor in the electric bicycle market.

    • ElectricBIke

      I agree with this.

  • Bike sporter

    Some of those electric bikes have their batteries placed over the back wheels, and this is not the best placing of the battery. The higher the load is installed, the less the vehicle gets stable. And another fact is that some of electric bicycles are expensive to buy, but it’s lucky that it’s not every electric bicycle that’s expensive. In Sweden they cost normally at least 10,000 Swedish crowns, a foldable electric bicycle costed 12,000 crowns to buy in Helsingborg but I found a bike exemplar that was the same but in another shop lying close to Borås, there they sold it for only 5,000 crowns and the bike is still good even when it was that cheap. People often say that the more expensive things you buy the better they are. But the other side, you can’t buy things that are too expensive. 5,000 crowns for an electric bike is just enough.

  • CAS

    Are you going to review the Interceptor II? I think a lot of your concerns were addressed with the re-fit.

  • Julia Rose

    What about the $1800 Prodeco Oasis “cruiser” with a
    51.2V 12Ah LiFePO4 24 Cell Battery. This battery will not only give power but range, and it made with the most eco-friendly battery composition available…also the most expensive. These are phosphate and while all other Li-ion batteries present an environment issue of disposal…the LiFePO4 do not. Also the Prodeco LiFePO4 batteries have a longer warranty and 2000 cycles of recharge. No I don’t work for Prodeco, but I am thinking about it. I am new to E-bikes. I travel to Asia and have been offered US exclusivity for a high quality (OK…maybe an oxymoron), e-bike. The design is pretty cool. Kind of a unisex design with the battery built into the frame. 4 different size frames, 3 size of tires, good specs with lots of upgrade possibilities. The price is NOT so cheap, considering all the risk and expense of importing these. I was thinking of importing some without the batteries (they have Li-ion 36v 10Ah-12Ah), and working with an American company on offering only LiFePO4 batteries as well. I am not sure I will take the risk, so I have also been looking at the current US players in the market to partner with as I have LOADS of ideas on how to build product and brand awareness, and create new markets. Sales and marketing are some of my personal strengths. I want to work with a company that I believe in and that wants to be fair on price and deliver quality to consumers at the best value…So far the answer to me looks like Prodeco. I can see a few things that they could change to improve their exposure and market share. I like that while they buy parts overseas, they assemble all the bikes here in the US. I just rode a Phatom 2 (I think) the other day, and it was awesome…but I am confused about the pedal assist. The bike shop did not really know what they were selling and gave us a different e-bike to try without turning the battery on. I don’t get why prodeco would not have pedal assist in addition to throttle…or do they? Seems the stride model does, but why not others? I personally would like and expect to have all 3 options (power, pedal, or both). Anyway I do like the comfortable cruiser style of PEDEGO, but agree with the review which suggests that they are MORE about marketing/branding than product features and value. Gotta say, they are doing a great job of it. Their marketing campaign is strong….just wish they offered fairer prices to the consumer. Any thoughts on Prodeco…or “high” quality imports? :)

    • mike tobin

      I got the motiv e bike 36v 15 amp I’m from long beach ca sweet lifetime warranty of frame 2 year warranty on battery they take care of u in Huntington off of Atlanta and beach they even rent them out sweet

  • ClayRogers

    I actually much prefer Pedegos battery setup. The on frame batteries make the bike look funny, and to me scream “electric bike”. The newer pedego models with the battery “hidden” under the rear rack look a lot more like a normal bike to me. I have an easy motion and it just looks goofy with that battery on the frame.

  • ClayRogers

    I also test road at least 20 ebikes, and for me, the Interceptor was the most exciting. It seems to have a lot more torque and top speed than the easy motion, haibike, and izip models I tried. I even road things like the Stormer S2. 4 of us went to buy ebikes and we all ended up with Interceptors. If your looking for a laid back beach cruiser thats really fast, I think Pedego is the ticket. If your a serious biker though I agree you liklely won’t be excited about the Intercepor. I personally just wanted a fun and comfortable bike. I also like the fact I dont need to switch between pedal assist and throttle.

  • Theo

    Does anybody know where Pedego battery cells are manufactured?