A vintage-looking e-bike for city and off-road adventures
Founded by Jen Cohen Bogan, Bluejay Bikes is a women-owned electric bike brand that caused a stir 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 and more efficient engine. , higher top speed, and is designed for both city commuting and off-road adventures.
The Bluejay Sport was launched late last year for a price of $3,995. It’s not a trivial price, but it still sits solidly in the mid-range of what e-bikes can run you through. I rode one for several weeks and am very impressed. As for the style, I’d say it tends to appeal to women – it’s a deliberate design decision, with founder Bogan wanting to convert more women into bikers (the brand counts Kourtney Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chrissy Teigen among his famous fans). Even so, I rode it shamelessly around LA – the Sport has a charming vintage look that should appeal to both men and women.
Bluejay Sport Performance: lots of bike under the saddle
Let’s put that aside from the start: the Sport is a joy to drive. The narrow sport saddle can eventually get awkward if you’re used to a wider comfortable saddle, but the ride is smooth and quiet, and the bike itself has a fun, vintage look. A major step up from the first, the Sport is a Class 3 bike with a top speed of 28mph. It is powered by a powerful 500 watt Bafang electric motor. It’s a mid-drive motor, not a hub motor, which I tend to prefer due to the maintenance headaches that hub motors can sometimes bring.
Bluejay offers five full levels of pedal assist. I usually spent most of my time at level 1 or 2, especially on flat ground. It was all I needed to get over 30 mph with minimal pedaling, and it had the added benefit of extended battery life. This bike even eats relatively steep hills for breakfast – after hitting level 4 or 5, the bike climbed hills with next to no effort on my part.
That said, this bike doesn’t have a throttle, so the motor only provides thrust when you’re actively pedaling. Is it a problem? Not really. Remember that electric throttles eat up a lot of your battery’s potential range, and even at moderate power levels I never felt like I had to work extra hard to keep the Bluejay rolling. Sport. Even when I had to come to a dead stop on a steep hill, I felt like the bike was doing most of the work to get me moving again when set at higher levels. I did not miss the accelerator.
The motor is paired with a 620W/H, 48V Phylion battery which is bolted to the frame. You’ll get a very respectable maximum range of 75 miles on a single charge in ideal conditions, and you can carry the battery around your house to charge (using a key to unlock it) or just plug in inside the garage or anywhere you leave the bike.
Bluejay Sport Design: Vintage Charm
The Bluejay Sport shares much of the same design language as the older Premiere. Although it doesn’t have the bolt-on frame, it still has a chic vintage look, with sleek leather-wrapped fenders and handlebars (with really stylish stitching and the Bluejay logo embossed on the caps). Perhaps in an effort to be a bit more gender-neutral, the Sport trades in the optional front basket for a flat top.
Commands and comments are elegant. A highly readable color LCD screen sits squarely in the front and center of the handlebars, and it’s easy to see your speed and battery level at a glance (among other stats). The left grip houses the motor control with just a few buttons – you can move up and down through the five levels of motor assistance, and you can also turn the light on and off.
As I mentioned, this bike is equally at home around town and off-road. Bluejay built the bike around WTB Nano cross-country tires that have an excellent tread profile that holds up well in loose dirt as well as hardpack. The 10-speed hub shifts smoothly and quickly, and I could feel the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes bring me to a quick stop no matter the conditions.
Unlike the Premiere, which only comes with the default rear rack, the Sport has 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 elastic ties and is mounted on the frame for greater stability.
Final Thoughts on Bluejay Sport
You can get the frame in two sizes – an M/L for riders starting at 5ft 3in and an L/XL for riders 5ft 10in or taller, and there are green, blue and blue frames to choose from. or beige. All versions cost the same $3,995, and currently all three models are up for 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 like and not a lot to complain about with the Bluejay Sport. It’s a pleasure to ride with a phenomenal range of 75 miles. And it’s smartly designed – it looks like Bluejay has 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 e-bikes. The nearly $4,000 price tag may rightly give you pause, but in almost every way, it’s money well spent.