The electric bike market is still booming. The huge growth in sales that was experienced at the start of the COVID pandemic knows no bounds. As with electric scooters, the comfort and versatility of ebikes, along with their stability and practicality, have led them to dominate the mobility scene in big cities.
Manufacturers want to take advantage of this opportunity and are investing more and more money to gain a foothold in this sector. Progress as a result of research is undeniable, and competition is increasing. The latest example is the iconic German brand Porsche, which this week announced the creation of two new companies to expand its label into the world of ebikes.
Before buying one, users value and compare factors such as autonomy, aesthetics or maintenance cost. And it’s not for less, as the latest study from the Association of Brands and Bicycles of Spain (AMBE) confirms that the average price of an urban electric bike is 1,500 euros—mountain bikes reach 3,000 euros on average.
However, there is another aspect that most cyclists: weight, especially when it comes to a folding bike. Along these lines, Austrian manufacturer Velo, known for offering its customers lightweight folding bikes, has announced that it is developing a new “ultralight” model that weighs just 9.9 kg (not counting the pedals). ), which makes it the lightest folding ebike. On the market today, say its manufacturers.
lightest on the market
The Vienna-based company already has a really lightweight folding electric bike, the Velo Bike + Titanium, which weighs 11.9kg. However, now he wants to go a step further and reduce the weight of his new jewelery by two kilos. To achieve such a feat, Velo’s Ultralight is made from a titanium frame weighing just 1.9kg which has been combined with carbon fiber parts.
Moreover, this ebike can be folded completely in just 8 seconds using a simple mechanism. This allows you to move it by pushing, taking advantage of its wheels and saddle to use less effort. Thus, it brings together all the necessary materials to be carried quickly, which makes it perfect for combining travel with other modes of transport, whether by car, bus or train.
a “hidden” engine
At first glance it does not look like an electric bike. Like all other Velo ebikes, it uses a discrete motor located in the rear wheel hub. It integrates a slope sensor that acts “in a similar way to a gear change,” automatically adjusting motor assist for “optimal” assist at all times, he explains.
But if you want to go a step further in terms of performance, there is an option to connect one of the two Schlumpf gear systems offered by the brand. With the first speed drive, a “speed over the 25 km/h limit” set in Spain is possible. The second is Mountain Drive, which promises to climb slopes of up to 17% with relative ease.
Formula 1 Techniques
As for the battery, its capacity is not yet known, but it is integrated into the engine to save weight and space. The manufacturer is sure that the autonomy is practically unlimited. How? Thanks to the use of KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) technology, which became popular with the arrival of Formula 1 a few years ago. This way, the battery is automatically recharged when braking and going downhill. However, if the turbo mode is used, the range is 50 km after a full charge.
The new Velo is equipped with bigger 20-inch wheels. It also provides connectivity through an application, although it does not have a screen on the handlebar and the mobile phone must be used at all times. Apart from this, it also includes a location system as well as an electronic engine lock in case of theft. Finally, accessories such as supports for carrying bags or backpacks can be added.
Although this is not a reality today, the new product of the Austrian firm was already presented to society at the London Cycle Show last April, when it surprised with its lightness. At present, the company has not announced the date of its purchase nor its sale price. However, given that the lightest bike of its predecessor Velo is sold for 4,490 euros, expect the Ultralight to be priced even more.