Ridden: smart ebike

Ridden: smart ebike - PRNMAG.COM
Ridden: smart ebike – PRNMAG.COM

Now that’s smart

I recently had a smart ebike for a week-long test ride. While I’m not the young, avid cyclist (read mountain biker) I used to be, it was a definite treat and a whole lot of fun.

For the uninitiated, this ebike is a pedelec, or pedal electric cycle to be sure. Its Lithium-ion battery alone doesn’t make it go. You do.

It rides like a normal bike. You need to pedal to get it moving and keep it going, but it has a small electric motor inside the rear hub that offers four levels of electric assist. These can be set via the (+) button on the removable trip computer.

The computer’s display allows the rider to keep tabs on distance, average speed, riding time, etc. It can also be removed from the handlebars whenever you have to leave the ebike somewhere public. The bike is also equipped with a built-in front and rear LED lighting, so it can be ridden at night easily.

It looks and sounds a normal bike too, albeit it’s an expensive one. There’s a little orange bell on the handlebars – ding ding – and only the bulky midsection (where the battery is located) and belt drive make it look a bit suspicious. The base version lists for $3,240 CAD.

Smart claims a range of 100 kms on a single charge. Once depleted you have a few options. First, tap the (-) button to select one of four preset regenerative pedaling modes and kick it old school. The rider can use their own energy reserves to top up the battery on the fly to extend the ebike’s range.

There is, of course, a normal pedaling mode, for when the battery is completely discharged. Another option is to stop and recharge the battery. It takes six hours to fully charge, so it’s not really practical for short pitstops. The 3.3 kg (7.25 lb) battery can be removed from the ebike, however, for easy charging in the warm comfort of your home or office.

To read my full review of the smart ebike, visit the PRN IGNITION website!