Coolest electric bike yet? Testing out the Mod Easy Sidecar e-bike
One of the coolest things about electric bikes is just how diverse the industry has grown, with so many different types and styles of e-bikes. But even with over a decade in the industry, nothing could have prepared me for just how awesome it would be to test out the Mod Easy Sidecar electric bike from Mod Bikes.
The Mod Easy Sidecar e-bike is actually a variant of the company’s retro-themed Mod Easy electric bike. That vintage motorcycle-themed electric bike has a sidecar option (as well as a side basket option for more utility/cargo use).
It tacks on a sidecar with a third wheel and turns the bike into one of the coolest trikes you’ll ever see.
You retain all the speed and power that the Mod Easy offers, but now you’ve got an awesome sidecar to haul kids, pets, groceries, bags of cement, or whatever else you can think of!
Such a unique e-bike like this deserves more than just pictures, so make sure you take a look at my review video below. Then keep on reading below the video to see my in-depth review!
Mod Easy Sidecar electric bike video review
Mod Easy Sidecar tech specs
- Motor: 750W (1,050W peak) geared rear hub motor
- Top speed: 28 mph (45 km/h)
- Range: Claimed up to 45 miles (72.4 km)
- Battery: 48V 15Ah (720 Wh)
- Bike Weight: 88 pounds (40 kg)
- Sidecar Weight: 65.5 pounds (30 kg)
- Bike Max load: 265 pounds (120 kg)
- Sidecar Max load: 120 pounds (54 kg)
- Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes, 180mm rotors
- Extras: 7-speed Shimano drivetrain, large LCD screen with password protection option, giant retro LED headlight and tail/brake light, thumb-throttle, removable battery, included fenders and rear rack, included rear rack bag, bell
It’s just so much fun!
I don’t even know where to begin, this thing is just so much fun to ride! That’s probably obvious from the look of it – I sure knew I wanted to check this thing out from the moment I first laid eyes on it.
The bike itself gets up to 20 mph (32 km/h) on throttle and 28 mph (45 km/h) on pedal assist, though they recommend sticking to a limit of 10 mph (16 mph) when you have the sidecar installed.
Ha! Screw that!
I was flying at top speed with that sidecar on, though I did slow down a bit when I had my nephews on board, and even more when I borrowed my sister’s golden retriever for the photo op!
The sidecar itself comes in a separate box from the bike and was fairly easy to put together. You just bolt the frame and wheel onto it, then there’s an adjustable connection to the bike that allows you to dial in the angle.
As soon as it’s installed, the bike of course handles differently. Left turns feel more or less like any other electric tricycle, though it takes a little while to get used to not sitting in the center of the bike.
Right turns though, those are a doozy. The sidecar instantly wants to lift up if you try to turn at anything more than about 7 or 8 mph. I put a few steel weights in the sidecar when it was empty and that helped. When you have a passenger in there, it helps even more. Basically, the sidecar likes to have something or someone in it.
Lifting up the sidecar and its wheel soon becomes part of the fun though. With a bit of practice I could reliably get it to lift up even with a passenger in there, and my nephews got a kick out of “flying” as well.
Oh yeah, and there’s even a nice padded seat and a seat belt in there, though I’m not sure the seat belt is a great idea. It might be good for keeping small kids from trying to stand up while riding, but I ended up leaving that off.
Just like motorcycles, the best thing you can do in a bike crash is not be near the bike. There’s a reason why motorcycles don’t have seatbelts.
Since this is mostly a neighborhood cruiser and I wasn’t planning on hitting the highway in it, I decided to just do my best to avoid accidents.
The inclusion of a rear rack also means that you could put a child seat back there and easily carry three people on one bike. A little kid in the rear, a bigger kid in the side car and the biggest kid (you) at the controls.
The bike comes with a “trunk bag,” which is basically a rear rack organizer. I thought it was going to be gimmicky, but it’s actually one of the coolest bags I’ve ever seen.
The middle section has movable dividers like a camera bag, the top has multiple pockets and also bungee straps for tying down larger or bulkier items that won’t fit in the bag, and the side pockets each open out into expandable pannier bags. One trunk bag turns into three bags!
I’m not normally impressed by bike bags, but this isn’t a normal bike bag. Nice work!
But what about the bike?
The bike itself is already fairly high-performance. 750 watts of continuous power and over 1,000 watts of peak power on top means that the bike is ready to roll as soon as you hit the throttle.
The acceleration is of course slightly more muted when you’ve got the sidecar loaded down with a kid or two, but that extra power means it still gets moving nicely.
The bike is also quite comfortable with its cruiser design, wide saddle, and bar-end grips that fit nicely in the hands. An adjustable stem lets you play with the handlebar angles and dial it in however you’d like.
The cruiser design uses a pedal-forward geometry that allows you to get full leg extension (if you want) without having the seat awkwardly high. If you’re riding a bike like the Mod Easy Sidecar, you’re probably not a Lycra cyclist doing 100 miles every Sunday morning. You’re more likely to appreciate being able to put your feet down on the ground at stops. Though you’ll also probably enjoy the fact that you don’t need to put your feet down at stops since the three-wheeled design is stable at rest. Nice!
There’s a suspension fork as well as suspension built into the seat post and saddle, giving you a few options to smooth out the ride. The 3″ balloon tires also do a good job of absorbing rougher streets, as long as you aren’t flying at top speed.
The pedal assist works just fine, but its cadence-based and not a fancier torque sensor. That basically means that you’ve got more or less set-speeds that it will ride you up to. The higher the level assist setting, the faster it wants to push you when you pedal. A torque sensor would have been a nice addition for this much money.
The large display is nice and readable, even if a bit simplistic with a black and white LCD screen. There’s nothing wrong with being simple though, and it means the screen is equally readable in bright and overcast conditions.
There’s a password option, but I turned that off since it’s a bit annoying to me to type in a password each time I start the bike. But if you live in a high crime area, it might be a nice feature to leave enabled.
Is it worth it?
Here’s the real question. Is it worth $4,199?
That’s a lot of money. But then again, you’re getting a lot of bike here. Enough bike for three riders (if you add the child seat on the rear rack).
And you’re also getting such a unique design that you’ll probably never see another one riding around your city.
Anyone who is interested in a sidecar e-bike is likely doing it for the looks. Yes, there’s the awesome utility too. But you can always get a cheaper electric trike if all you care about is three wheels and room for a kid’s seat. This is not the bike for a family that is only looking for an economical alternative to getting a second car. With a sidecar electric bike, you’re going for extra style points.
In that sense, I don’t know of any other sidecar electric bikes for less cash. This certainly is not a cheap e-bike, but if you’ve got the disposable income then you definitely won’t be disappointed by it. The bike is fun. It’s fast. It’s powerful. It gets looks everywhere it goes. And it’s got great utility to boot. If you can fit it in your garage and your wallet, you’re bound to enjoy it.
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