Electric power and some big, fat tires
This post originally published by The Verge
By Sean O’Kane
There’s a boom happening in the bike industry: dozens of companies are trying to sell bikes with electric motors, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Companieslike VanMoof are aiming for the high-end of this new market, attempting to sell cleanly designed e-bikes with powerful smart features all for a premium price. On the other end, startups are engaging in a race to the bottom. And in the middle, established companies (like Trek) are carefully wading into these new waters.
The Lectro bike is the newest to come from the startup world, and it comes with a lot of features that are table stakes for the e-bike market right now. The 750W motor will assist you while you pedal, or you can use the throttle on the right handlebar to power the bike up to 20 miles per hour using the motor alone. It has six gears and a built-in headlight. The onboard battery is removable, should last at least 20 miles, and comes with USB slots so that you can use it to charge your devices if need be. And it’s heavy: with the battery attached, the bike weighs 60 pounds (about 20 more than Trek’s or VanMoof’s).
But Lectro is offering a few things that aren’t as commonly found on other electric bikes. There’s a large, if a bit garish-looking, LCD screen in the middle of the handlebars that displays things like speed, remaining battery life, temperature, and distance travelled. (It can also be programmed to show different information.) The bike uses big, fat, 4-inch tires and has disc brakes to help stop all the extra weight from those tires and the electronic components.
The team behind Lectro, which has roots at MIT, are launching a Kickstarter for the new e-bike today and are offering it for $899 for early backers — a relative steal compared to the thousands of dollars these bikes usually cost. The bikes won’t ship until September, and of course we’re talking about a crowdfunded hardware company here. Lectro says its manufacturing line, supply chain, and logistics support are all fully operational. But it’s good to remember that sometimes these endeavors don’t always go so well.