Ebikes

A Vintage-Looking City Cruiser Ebike

Founded by Jen Cohen Bogan, Bluejay Bikes is a female-owned electric bike brand which made a bit of a splash with its first model, the Bluejay Premiere Edition. The new Bluejay Sport is clearly an evolution of that original bike, but unlike the Premiere—which is built around a step-through frame and designed for city riding—the Sport Edition has a more traditional diamond frame with a decidedly beefier, more capable motor, a higher top speed, and is engineered both for city commuting and off-road adventures.  

The Bluejay Sport launched late last year for a price of $3,995. That’s not an insignificant price tag, but it still falls solidly into the midrange of what ebikes can run you. I’ve been riding one for several weeks, and I am thoroughly impressed. As the styling goes, I’d say it skews toward appealing to women—that’s a deliberate design decision, with founder Bogan wanting to convert more females into bikers (the brand counts Kourtney Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chrissy Teigen among its celebrity fans). Even so, I unapologetically rode it around LA—the Sport has a charming vintage look that should appeal to both men and women.  

Bluejay Sport Performance: A Lot Of Bike Under The Saddle

Let’s get this out of the way right up front: The Sport is a joy to ride. The narrow sport saddle might eventually become bothersome if you’re used to a wider comfort seat, but the ride is smooth and quiet, and the bike itself has a fun, vintage look about it. A major step up from the Premiere, the Sport is a Class 3 bike with a top speed of 28 mph. It gets its propulsion from a beefy 500 watt Bafang electric motor. It’s a mid-drive motor, not a hub-mount, which I tend to prefer because of the maintenance headache that hub motors can sometimes entail.  

Bluejay delivers a full five levels of pedal assist. I typically spent most of my time in level 1 or 2, especially on level ground. That’s all I needed to blow past 30 mph with minimal pedaling, and it had the added advantage of extending the battery life. This bike eats even relatively steep inclines for breakfast—after advancing to level 4 or 5, the bike charged up hills with hardly any effort from me at all.

All that said, this bike has no throttle, so the motor only delivers thrust when you’re actively pedaling. Is that a problem? Not really. Don’t forget that electric throttles eat a lot of your battery’s potential range, and even at moderate power levels I never felt like I had to work very hard to keep rolling on the Bluejay Sport. Even when I had to come to a dead stop on a steep hill, I felt like the bike did almost of the work to get me moving again when set to higher levels. I didn’t miss the throttle.

The motor is paired with a Phylion 620 W/H, 48V battery that is bolted to the frame. You’ll get a very respectable 75-mile maximum range on a single charge under ideal conditions, and you can carry the battery into your home to charge it up (using a key to unlock it) or just plug in inside the garage or wherever you leave the bike.

Bluejay Sport Design: Charmingly Vintage

The Bluejay Sport shares much of the same design language as the older Premiere. Though it lacks the step-though frame, it still has a classy vintage look, complete with fenders and snazzy leather-wrapped handlebars (with really elegant stitching and the Bluejay logo embossed on the caps). Perhaps in a bid to be a little more gender neutral, the Sport trades the optional front basket for a flat tray.

Controls and feedback are elegant. A highly readable color LCD display sits squarely front and center atop the handlebars, and it is easy to see your speed and battery level at a glance (among other stats). The left handle is home to the motor control with just a few buttons—you can cycle up and down through the motor’s five assist levels, and you can toggle the light on and off as well.

As I mentioned, this bike is equally at home around town and off-road. Bluejay has built the bike around WTB Nano cross-country tires which have a great tread profile that handles great on loose dirt as well as hardpack. The 10-speed gear hub shifts smoothly and quickly, and I could feel the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes bring me to a rapid stop regardless of conditions.

Unlike the Premiere, which only comes with the rear rack by default, the Sport has both front and rear racks included for the base price. The rear rack can hold up to 55 pounds and is bike seat ready (it’s compatible with the Thule Yepp Maxi Child Seat. You can put another 24 pounds on the front rack, which comes with bungie tie-downs and is frame-mounted for greater stability.

Final Thoughts On The Bluejay Sport

You can get the frame in two sizes—an M/L for riders starting at 5 foot 3 inches and a L/XL for 5 foot 10 inch or taller riders, and you get a choice of green, blue or tan frames. All versions cost the same $3,995, and currently all three models are in pre-order, but Bluejay says you won’t have to wait long to get a bike—orders placed now should be fulfilled by May.

There’s a lot to love and not a lot to complain about with the Bluejay Sport. It’s a blast to ride with a phenomenal 75-mile range. And it’s smartly designed—it looks like Bluejay made an effort to come up with a design approach that will save you on maintenance costs, and includes extras (like baskets and lights) that you often have to pay extra for on other ebikes. The nearly $4,000 price tag may rightly give you pause, but by almost every measure, it’s money well spent.


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