One of the biggest criticisms of e-bikes is that they are much heavier than traditional bikes, which can make them feel extremely ponderous to ride at times. In addition to the standard set of bike components, they also come equipped with an electric drive system and have a large rechargeable battery strapped to the frame. One company is now looking to bridge the gap between the e-bike and traditional cycling worlds by introducing a newer, slimmed-down model, one offering a ride that more closely resembles the feel of a traditional urban road bike combined with the ease that comes along with an electric pedal assist.
Seattle-based Propella has just launched an Indiegogo campaign to help crowdfund its second-generation e-bike, dubbed the 2.0. This time out, the company is looking to improve on the overall experience by making the bike lighter while delivering a ride that is much closer to what you would expect from a traditional model in terms of smoothness and handling. To achieve that, the 2.0 offers a more streamlined frame, higher-quality components, and a smaller battery when compared to the first-generation Propella.
In its efforts to slim down the 2.0, Propella managed to cut 8 percent off of its total weight. Some of that reduction came as a result of using a battery that is 15 percent lighter, while switching to upgraded alloy components contributed to the effort as well. The company also stayed true to its approach to a more minimalist design, and as a result, the bike weighs just 34 pounds. That’s still considerably more than a traditional road bike, which often tip the scales at less than 20 pounds, but it is a lot less than most other e-bikes, which routinely weigh 50 pounds or more.
In terms of performance, the 2.0 can achieve pedal-assisted speeds of up to 20 mph over a distance of 15 to 40 miles. The bike features a 36-volt, 6.8 amp-hour removable battery that can be recharged in as little as 2.5 hours, limiting downtime between charges. It ships from the factory with front and rear disc breaks and a single-speed gear ratio. A seven-speed option is available as a $150 upgrade.
Propella is hoping to raise $60,000 through its crowdfunding effort to get the 2.0 into production. At the moment, it is about 75 percent of the way toward that goal. If successful, the new e-bike should go on sale in September with an estimated MSRP of about $1,500 for the single-speed model, and $1650 for the seven-speed version. Both models can be reserved now for $999 and $1149, respectively.
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