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MOD Easy Sidecar 3 e-bike review: twice the fun

Happy the Double Doodle relaxing in the MOD Easy 3 Sidecar parked on the side of a neighborhood street.
MOD Easy Sidecar 3 e-bike review: twice the fun
MSRP $4,190.00
“When riding the Easy Sidecar 3, you'll make new friends and maybe even get a smile from that chronically grumpy neighbor who is unsure what you're up to.”
  • More smiles per mile than most e-bikes
  • Room for a passenger, pet, and cargo
  • Sturdy sidecar quick-connection system
  • Versatility
  • Retro e-bike styling
  • Quick-connect options and accessories
  • Premium pricing
  • Sidecar riding has a learning curve
  • Sidecar passengers feel the bumps
Two smiling people with shades riding a MOD Easy Sidecar3 on a private road
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

If you’re uncomfortable with more than moderately good times and balk at outrageous hilarity, MOD Bikes’ Easy Sidecar 3 may be a bit much to handle. For everybody else, this setup is an absolute blast. The MOD Easy 3 is a third-generation, old-timey-looking e-bike available with or without the sidecar. The most fun comes when you add MOD’s 150-pound cargo capacity sidecar for another person, a willing pet or two, or a full grocery cart’s load of shopping bags.

MOD Easy Sidecar 3: purpose and impact

Front view of a MOD Easy Sidecar parked on the side of a public street.
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

I’ll discuss the MOD Easy 3 e-bike separately from the bike with the sidecar. The Easy 3 is a smooth-riding, comfortable piece of rolling e-mobility art that resembles a World War II motorcycle. The MOD Easy 3 e-bike’s highest and best purpose is served with the sidecar attached. Onlookers will smile when you ride by on the Easy 3 e-bike, but they’re even more likely to laugh out loud when they see the sidecar.

MOD Easy 3: classic style with updated tech

The MOD Easy 3 is a cruiser-style, Class 1, 2, or 3 configurable e-bike with a 750-watt geared-hub rear motor and 1,050 watts peak power. It has a 48-volt, 15Ah Samsung lithium-ion battery with up to 720 watt-hours of power.

The Easy 3 has a 7-speed Shimano Derailleur and gear cassette if you feel like pedaling without battery assistance. This is a large bike to pedal manually, but with the upright riding posture and full leg extension allowed by the adjustable swept-back handlebars and seat height, you can get by without power when the sidecar is detached.

There are five levels of battery-powered pedal assistance managed by a torque sensor that adds electrical power based on pedaling force rather than pedaling speed, which is how cadence sensors work. Torque sensing is preferable because the added power feels more natural. There’s also a thumb throttle to power up to a maximum of 28 mph without pedaling.

MOD claims a range of up to 50 miles with a fully charged battery, although you’ll go that far only with a low pedal assistance level. With heavy throttle use, the range will likely be closer to 20 to 25 miles. The Easy 3 is dual-battery capable, with an optional second battery for double the range.

Color-matched, smooth-feeling, faux leather handgrips and saddle add to the MOD Easy 3’s stylish appearance, and an adjustable front fork with 100mm travel and a suspension seat post with 40mm travel lessen the impact of bumps and holes in the road.

You’ll supersize the fun when you attach the Easy 3 sidecar.

The Easy 3 has hydraulic disc brakes with dual-piston calipers and 180mm rotors. The brake levers are reach-adjustable and have handbrakes on each lever, which is essential because you can’t use the kickstand when the sidecar is attached. Without the push-button handbrake locks, the Easy Sidecar 3 could just roll away unless you blocked the wheels.

The e-bike rides on 24-inch wheels with Kenda Flame 24-inch by 3-inch tires. The tires have a relatively smooth tread best suited for streets and roads.

Additional notable features of the Easy 3 include a wide-angle LED headlight, LED brake light with turn signals, and an easy-to-read smart color display with a separate five-button control pad mounted on the handlebar. There’s a USB charging port on the display.

The Easy 3 comes standard with MOD’s 65-pound capacity, patent-pending Snap-On Rack. The rack lets you quickly connect, detach, and swap various optional bags, cases, and other compatible accessories.

The MOD Easy 3 weighs 77 pounds and has a 300-pound payload capacity, including rider and cargo. The e-bike is rated appropriate for riders from 5 feet, 2 inches to 6 feet, 7 inches tall.

MOD Easy Sidecar 3: double the fun

You’ll supersize the fun when you attach the Easy 3 sidecar. The sidecar weighs 42 pounds and adds another 150 pounds of payload capacity, raising the combined e-bike and sidecar capacity to 450 pounds. Assembling the sidecar and attaching the connection plate to the side of the e-bike wasn’t difficult, but it took the better part of an hour, although I’m admittedly both clumsy and overly cautious.

The sidecar has a removable passenger seat with a back cushion, a two-piece seat belt, and an orange floor pad. Two small D-rings attach to the front section of the floor to attach pet leashes. Our adult daughter could ride in the sidecar with relative comfort, and our 70-pound Double Doodle had plenty of room, although it took a minute for our dog to be happy about the experience.

MOD Easy Sidecar 3: attaching the sidecar

I didn’t time how long it takes to attach or detach the sidecar from the bike’s mounting plate, but after a few trial runs, it shouldn’t take anyone more than a few minutes. To attach the sidecar, you connect three extended pieces from the sidecar to the mounting plate using three quick-connect bolts.

Once the bolts are attached, a single turnbuckle on one of the three extension arms levels the bike and sidecar, and you’re ready to go. Detaching the sidecar is even quicker because no leveling is required.

MOD Easy Sidecar 3: riding impressions

Right front three-quarter view of a MOD Easy Sidecar with optional mirrors and rear rack bag in a park on grass,
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

Riding the Easy 3 without the sidecar is similar to piloting most e-bikes and better than many others, thanks to the comfortable upright riding posture afforded by the swept-back handlebars. The suspension seat post, front fork, plush seat, and moderately wide tires combine to soften the impact of most bumps and irregularities in the road.

I could get up to 25 to- 26 mph quickly using the thumb throttle alone on neighborhood roads, and with MOD’s geometry and tires, I found it very comfortable to lean deeply in curves, which added to the fun. The e-bike’s smooth power delivery, smooth suspension, and responsive brakes made riding the Easy 3 highly pleasurable.

Adding the sidecar to the Easy 3 significantly changes the ride geometry. MOD recommends getting used to the Easy Sidecar 3’s performance and handling, especially on turns. Most riders are accustomed to front and back weight transfer with two-wheeled or four-wheeled vehicles. However, the added lateral weight transfer and centrifugal force with three wheels can take you by surprise.

The solution is to practice a bit before you travel with a passenger in the sidecar, although the extra weight of a passenger makes a difference, too. After initial practice with the sidecar empty, the next logical step would be to add weights to the sidecar to get used to that difference before riding with a live passenger. I confess I skipped the second step and drove around our neighborhood streets and a local park with our dog in the sidecar, so she and I learned together.

Our dog and I were both comfortable with the sidecar experience after only 10 to 15 minutes of practice. I found it most comfortable riding 15 to 20 mph with the sidecar. The Easy Sidecar 3 certainly has the power to go faster than 20 mph, but there was no need, and for the comfort of all involved, the slightly lower speed felt right.

MOD Easy Sidecar 3: options and upgrades

Right rear three-quarter view of a MOD Easy Sidecar with optional mirrors and rear rack bag in a park on grass.
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

MOD offers a wide range of accessories and add-ons for the Easy 3. I requested a set of bar-end mirrors, a smartphone holder for the handlebars, and a MOD Snap-on Trunk Bag to attach to the rear rack. Other Snap-On accessories include a Snap-On passenger bench, front and rear baskets, an insulated food delivery bag, and more.

MOD also partners with the Lumos bike helmet company and sent a Lumos Ultra helmet for this review. Lumos helmets have front and rear LED lights and typically work with small remote control units or a smartphone app. The MOD smart display on the Easy 3 is compatible with the Lumos Ultra helmet. After pairing the helmet and the e-bike with Bluetooth, the helmet lights responded to the e-bike’s brakes and turn signals.

Lumos Ultra lighted helmet resting on MOD Easy 3 Sidecar handlebars with left signal light orange and left turn indicator on the e-bike display.
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

The image above shows a small helmet icon on the top line of the MOD display, indicating that the helmet is paired and ready. The display also has a green turn signal indicator. The orange light on the back of the helmet flashes to indicate a turn. Both helmet rear lights flash red when braking, and turning off the e-bike turns off the helmet, too. The Lumos helmet is a must-have option for the Easy Sidecar 3.

Our take

Two peoplle on a MOD Easy Sidecar 3 on a private road with trees in the background
Bruce Brown / Digital Trends

MOD’s Easy Sidecar 3 is an exceptionally versatile e-bike. The $4,190 list price is a greater investment than most of the e-bikes we review, but with the MOD’s easy conversion between a single-rider e-bike and a fun and highly useful e-bike with a sidecar, it’s like having two bikes with different functions. The fun factor is unbeatable. Riding the Easy Sidecar 3, you’ll make new friends and maybe even get a smile from that chronically grumpy neighbor who is unsure what you’re up to. You can buy the Easy 3 without the sidecar for $3,290, but then you’ll miss at least half the fun.

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Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Commerce teams. Bruce uses smart devices…
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