The e-bike industry is growing every month and growing quickly. Excellent increases in e-bike sales are being seen all around the world, and in the US, growth is absolutely amazing. The number of e-bike riders in the US has approximately doubled every year from 1915 to 2022, and it looks like 2023 will do it again. In fact, more e-bikes are being sold than the combined sales of electric cars and hybrid cars. An important factor in this rapid growth is the huge variety of e-bike styles now available to shoppers.
E-bike imports into the US outpaced electric car imports by nearly 200,000 units. This includes a variety of folding ebikes, which are claiming a large segment of fat tire e-bike sales growth. The folding models offer a level of convenience that is very attractive to many riders. Fat tire e-bikes are great fun to ride on all types of terrain, but their sheer size often makes them difficult to transport on a bike rack. They can also be inconvenient to store. Folding fat tire bikes are less common than more traditional frames, but they conveniently open the door to new possibilities.
For example, you might need to toss your fat tire e-bike into the trunk or rear seat of your car. Even within your home, you might choose to fold it into a compact rectangle that fits nicely in a corner of the room. Or perhaps just fold down the handlebars to let your e-bike rest neatly against a wall.
For city riders who don’t need to transport their bikes in a vehicle, the ability to fold means it takes up less space in the home, perhaps fitting in a corner or under a desk. Or perhaps you just need an e-bike that is easier to carry up the steps to your apartment. Regardless of the reason, folding bikes have become a great option for e-bike shoppers. The Magicycle Jaguarundi and the JupiterEbike Defiant are both popular folding fat tire e-bikes, so let’s take a close look and compare the key features that are most important to e-bike shoppers.
Riding Convenience and Storage
Folding bikes are normally smaller bikes, often with 20" fat tires, but they can be designed to be comfortable for riders of various sizes. The MAGiCYCLE Jaguarundi is designed to comfortably accommodate riders varying from 4'10" to 6'2" in height. This is very nice, especially if 2 or more family members are taking turns on the same e-bike. The folded length is 45", and the weight is 72 pounds.
However, the Defiant is not nearly as adaptive to shorter rider heights. It has step-over styling with a top bar height of 29". Shorter riders will likely not be comfortable with this model. The folded length is 38", and the weight is a light 55 pounds. The lighter weight is due in part to a much less powerful battery, and in part due to a less sturdy design. The Jaguarundi has a payload of 350 pounds as compared to the Defiant's 300 pounds. That extra 50 pounds of payload is very important for heavier riders, or if you carry a lot of gear and accessories.
Battery and Charger
As is true of all Magicycle models, the Jaguarundi ships with a powerful high-quality battery. Many e-bike brands use a less expensive and less powerful 48-volt battery, but Magicycle gives the Jaguarundi a 52-volt 15-amp hour battery. It energizes this folding fat tire e-bike for impressive ranges up to about 55 miles. Of course, the range will vary with rider weight, wind speed, terrain, tire pressure, and the weight of gear and accessories. The Jaguarundi comes with a 3 amp fast charger, providing a very quick recharge time of 4-5 hours.
The JupiterEbike Defiant comes with a less capable battery, only 48 volts and 10.4 amp hours. This gives a maximum range of 40 miles, compared to 55 miles for the Jaguarundi. This battery is recharged by a slower 2 amp charger.
Power and Torque
Everybody wants a comfortable folding ebike that fits their height, but they also want plenty of power. After all, it doesn't help much if a bike accommodates a rider's height but doesn't have enough power to easily ride up a steep hill.
MAGiCYCLE has always insisted on providing a motor that excels in both power and reliability. The Jaguarundi is no exception, giving riders a strong 600-watt (750-watt peak) motor, delivering an amazing 80 Nm of torque. Newton meters (Nm) is a standard measurement of torque. This scientific technique for measurement was invented by Isaac Newton and is still very much the standard for measuring torque today. And MAGiCYCLE provides the highest torque of any fat tire e-bike in its price range. Jaguarundi owners can look forward to faster starts in heavy traffic and improved hill-climbing capability.
The Defiant is equipped with a 750-watt motor, but information on the torque rating is not made available. It is almost certainly less than the Magicycle's torque.
The Jaguarundi motor/battery/frame combination has the power to handle a 350-pound payload, while the Defiant is limited to 300 pounds. That may not seem like much difference, but if you are a heavier rider, a higher payload rating means you are putting less strain on the bike. It also means you can carry more weight in gear and accessories.
Rider Control of E-bike Power
Yes, it's very true that power is important, and so is the control of all that exciting power. Both the Jaguarundi and the Defiant have throttles to make control easier. The Jaguarundi has a smooth motorcycle-style twist throttle, while the Defiant has a thumb throttle.
The Jaguarundi also has a Pedal Assist System, as does the Defiant. The Jaguarundi gives the rider 7 levels of pedal assist, providing a wide range of control. The JupiterEbike Defiant has opted to provide only 5 pedal assist levels. Why is this important?
The cadence sensor notifies the controller that you are pedaling, and the controller then sends power to help you pedal. How much power? That depends upon the pedal assist level you have selected. With the Jaguarundi's 7 levels, you can customize your exercise so that your pedaling effort is optimal. The fewer levels of pedal assist an e-bike is given, the less customizable it is to an individual rider's needs.
This is true even if you have physical limitations, such as arthritic knees or leg pains. Selecting the appropriate pedal assist level often allows riders to get the exercise, sunshine, and fresh air they crave. It’s always prudent to check with your doctor,! He or she may well recommend e-biking as the best exercise when dealing with various joint pain.
As you exercise, your muscles get stronger, which allows them to better support your bones and surrounding tissue, according to the Mayo Clinic. This, in turn, helps ease the stress that’s placed on your knee joint, for example and can help your knees to feel better.
Quality is Job One
When comparing e-bikes as you shop for a new ride, build quality is the primary concern. After all, the quality of the e-bike directly affects the safety and enjoyment of the rider. It's very tempting for any e-bike brand to skimp on quality. Lesser quality means it cost less to manufacture the e-bike. Lower manufacturing cost translates into higher profits. In fact, many e-bike brands simply cannot provide good quality control for their customers. Why not? It's very simple -- it's because they do not own a factory. How can any company expect to have effective quality control if they don’t even own the factory that manufactures their e-bike?
Truthfully, the e-bike isn't really their product. It's just an e-bike mass-produced by some factory and sold to several different brands. Each of these brands then attaches a brand label to the e-bike and calls it "their e-bike."
That is not the way MAGiCYCLE operates, and it is not just an average e-bike company. Magicycle actually owns the factory, and that factory has been producing quality electric bikes for more than 16 years. Every Magicycle begins with the award-winning Magicycle Design Team, originators of the amazing frame design that makes their e-bikes both visually appealing and reliably strong.
Every aspect of a MAGiCYCLE e-bike exudes quality. For example, you will never find any cheap steel in a Magicycle frame. Magicycle has chosen to use 6061 aluminum alloy. This top-quality alloy provides exceptional strength, corrosion resistance, lightweight, durability, and a defect-free highly pleasing appearance. All this is made possible by employing technology borrowed from the aviation industry. The Magicycle factory uses experts in hydroforming and cataphracted weld joints…regarded as the best welding technique in the world.
This means that Magicycle customers receive a high-tech frame that is strong, safe, and beautiful for unequaled riding stability and comfort. Does this attention to quality create an increase in manufacturing costs? Yes, of course, but it also provides MAGiCYCLE riders with an e-bike that is safe, comfortable, long-lasting, and equipped with reliable brand-name components.
Advantages of Owning the Factory
Magicycle has exemplary quality control over the entire bike-building process, from design to manufacture to shipping. When a Magicycle Jaguarundi is delivered to a new owner, the box contains an e-bike that will last a very long time, giving reliable service and a safe riding experience. Quality matters — don’t settle for an e-bike from a brand that does not own the factory.
The JupiterBike Defiant is not built by JupiterBike. It is built by TVS Motor Company. There is no mention of it on their website, and only the warehouses are pictured. Magicycle is pleased to provide information and show photos of their beautiful factory.
Choosing Quality Components
Because they control every aspect of design and manufacturing, Magicycle gets to very carefully select the components. Only well-known brand names are invited to supply motors, batteries, LCD displays, brakes, etc. For example, an unusually powerful 52-volt battery comes on every fat tire e-bike built by Magicycle. Only high-quality components go onto a Magicycle! That’s a big factor in the confidence Magicycle owners have in their electric bikes for adults.
Another important component is the LCD display, providing all the information you need to safely enjoy your ride. Many brands like to “go cheap” with their display, but not Magicycle. The Magicycle Jaguarundi display is highly functional, giving the rider all the needed real-time info and programming options. The display has a very bright screen that you can read even in bright sunlight. It also has many features that are customizable to the individual rider. That same level of quality is consistent throughout the entire list of e-bike components.
What is the cost?
The Magicycle Jaguarundi is priced at $1199 if you use the provided $100 coupon, with the sturdy rear rack included. The JupiterEbike Defiant is priced at $1495 but without a rear rack. Shoppers can use the above points of comparison to make a decision between these two folding e-bikes. For some shoppers, the deciding factor is the 2-year warranty from Magicycle versus the 1-year warranty from JupiterBike. It makes good sense to spend $300 less on the Jaguarundi and enjoy a more capable folding ebike.
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