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I stopped monitoring the range after about 30 miles, but the battery indicator on the top tube said that I still had about 30 percent of the battery left. (I weigh 115 pounds, so your mileage may vary.) You can also select drop handlebars if you plan on doing more bike commuting, or add suspension to a setup with flat bars if you want to ride more rocks and bumps. My tester also had a dropper seat post, which lets me raise or drop the seat as I come to stoplights or go up hills. I am pretty sure every bike (commuter, mountain, everything) should have one.

Too Hot to Handle

Person holding onto the Santa Cruz Skitch Electric Bicycle

Photograph: Will Matsuda

There is one major drawback to having a gorgeous, expensive bike that can go anywhere and do anything. When your bike is your primary mode of transportation, you do things like leaving it locked up in front of the Grocery Outlet (known locally as “the Gross Out”) to run errands. Even with all the best security measures, I really cannot make myself do that with a $7,000 bike. If you’re going to use it as a bike commuter, you are probably biking 12 miles to an office with a locked, indoor bike garage, then straight home to your own garage. You are not taking it as a car substitute to karaoke night at the dive bar.

I have also read on Reddit that people have concerns about the Fazua system, as it’s much less common here in the United States and harder to fix. You could go with a Bosch or a Shimano, but it won’t be as light. I have decided not to care about this. In general, you’re probably going to have to go directly to the manufacturer or dealer to get an electric bike fixed, anyway.

The app is just meh. It’s not pleasant to look at or navigate, and it’s always telling me to update, urgently, in a process that’s much less intuitive than Specialized’s Mission Control. Mission Control is also a little more useful, as it will automatically adjust the power output to help you make it home. However, the Skitch is light enough that it doesn’t really matter if you run out of battery. The app may also improve dramatically in the upcoming years, as Santa Cruz has direct and continuing input on the app’s development.