Smart E-Bike Electric Assisted Bicycle – Short Test
From the makers of the Smart Car comes the E-Bike.
They call it a bike, but in reality it is laughter delivery device.
The first laugh may come when you find that this machine will cost you £2495. For a pedal bike. Yes. A bicycle. No, really.
Actually that is not as silly as it sounds. It is still silly, but it can be justified. Top spec racing bikes cost three times more, Tidy BMX’s from the 80’s cost this much, half decent downhill mountain bikes cost this much, and none of them will help you up a hill.
More laughter will come when you throw a leg over and ride. Push the pedals and it is almost like falling as the motor doubles your efforts and you head forward with much more progress than you expected.
As a frequent pleasure rider myself I looked forward to the test, and on a day with wind speeds in the 20’s I would not have relished a bike with the usual power source (Me). On the Smart riding in to the wind is pretty much as easy as riding with it. I am certain that people would cycle a heck of a lot more if it were always thus.
Apart from the cost of course, there is the reduced exercise benefit argument. For sure you don’t have to work as hard on the E-Bike as a standard bike, but you still have to put some effort in, and you will probably do it far more often too. Surely it is better to do some exercise rather than none.
The bike itself is beautifully sculpted from hydroformed aluminium and weighs in at less than 30Kg. Too many electric bikes are brutally heavy and offensive on the eye.
Handling is as good as an urban commuter should be. It is rock solid and free of twitchyness – very important when riding around town as you can look around without wobbling into buses. Magura hydraulic disc brakes will stop you effortlessly too and in great control – they even feature energy recuperation. It really is a very well sorted and natural ride.
The battery will give over 60 miles of assistance up to 15mph to comply with UK law, and benefits from the aforementioned regeneration under braking and coasting. It recharges from flat to full in 5 hours; 20% to 80% in one hour.
I am impressed with every aspect of this bike, but while I still can I’ll push my own pedals. When I cant it is good to know I’ll still be able to ride though.
words and pics – Mark Wolens