Some e-bikes are content to give the rider an assist when the pedaling gets hard, an extra push to climb that hill. Others will take on the entire work load with the express understanding that indolence of rider diminishes the travel range significantly. Most keep their speed at 20 mph and under to avoid additional licensing agonies, but some push it up and leave the legalities to the e-bikers and those who cite them. There are e-bikes for virtually any riding application and many offer crossover to widen the market potential. Lots of fairly off-road-looking e-bikes proclaim to be urban as well, though suburban is curiously absent from most designations.
The Xtracycle Edgerunner 10E has on- and off-road utility but its primary stand-out feature is its hefty 400-lb. payload, good for carrying the whole family. The spare but beefy Motiv Stout is all over off-road with its enormous 4-inch tires and 20-mph throttle speed, capable in both sand and snow. A Bosch center-drive motor pushes the Haibike Xduro Race up to 28 mph with pedal assist or 20 on throttle alone, but this one looks all street.
Long dormant Spanish maker of motorcycles and such, Bultaco has reemerged with a little speed demon, the Brinco R. Billed as the world’s first “moto-bike,” this sharp looker is considerably faster than commuters or even the Haibike Xduro Race, able to barrel along at 37 mph with a little push. It comes by its potent ways courtesy of a rear wheel-mounted, 2-kilowatt motor juiced by a downtube-secured, 1.3-kilowatt/hour lithium-ion battery. 44 foot-pounds of torque give the Brinco the power to muscle over obstacles, and 3 riding modes furnish the rider with personalization -- Eco mode delivers 800 watts and nearly 50 miles of riding with pedal assist; Tour mode kicks it up to 1500 watts for 30 miles of riding; and Sport releases a full 2000 watts of power for a fast ride made faster by pumping it. A centrally mounted LED computer reports speed, temperature, distance and battery life. It has 24-inch wheels front and back with 3-inch tires, and front and rear disc brakes provide stopping power.
From empty it takes three hours to fully charge the battery...good thing is you can use the pedals or the electric system independently at any time.
The rider controls the motor via the grip throttle and can also lay off the throttle and rely on the power control system to maintain a constant level of output.
Designed to offer agility and the capacity to tackle everything ahead of it, but also to deliver relaxing moments, with absolute control.
After a few minutes, I was so used to it that I was bounding over jumps like a demented gazelle and riding across some fairly hefty loose rocks while standing on the pedals.