The latest electric bikes are all kinds of cool and innovative, but one thing they're generally not is cheap, rarely dipping below US$1,000. Coolpeds believes that the world needs a cheaper e-bike, one that doesn't skimp on style or lightweight design. Its iBike has a clean, retro-inspired look, weighs under 30 lb (13.6 kg), and a crowd-funding project tag below US$500. Is this the e-bike you've been waiting for?
For half a second, the iBike reminded us a little of the Velocipede Fogliaverde e-bike we recently covered. Both have a leather spring saddle, leather grips and bike bags. Both are also quite lightweight. The similarities end there, though, as Coolpeds has targeted a mix of classic style and affordability while Velocipede Fogliaverde has gone all in on detailed throwback design ... no expense spared.
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The iBike is powered by a 350 W front hub motor. The accompanying 36 V lithium-ion battery (which should be 12 Ah, though Coolpeds hasn't finalized that spec) rides in a leather-look bag hanging from the top tube. This solution creates much more of a natural traditional-bicycle look than a bulged out frame or externally mounted battery and we're surprised we don't see it more often.
The iBike offers between 30 to 50 miles (48 to 80 km) of estimated pedal-assist range and between 20 to 30 miles (32 to 48 km) of full-throttle electric cruising. Its top speed is 20 mph for full-electric and 30 mph for pedal assist, and riders can cycle through five power-assist levels with the handlebar-mounted computer, which also shows things like battery level and distance traveled. The bike has a single-speed drivetrain, 26-in wheels, a front LED light and a kickstand.
According to Coolpeds, the steel iBike moves the scales only so far as 29 lb (13.2 kg), putting it among the lightest traditional-framed e-bikes we've covered, along with the Freygeist and Maxwell EP0.
While its look and weight are certainly selling points, the factor that really makes the iBike pop out is how much (or how little) it will cost you. Indiegogo fundraiser pledges start at $468. Shipping is listed at $188 for the US and $239 for international, and Coolpeds hopes to get the first bikes out in September.
Indiegogo pricing, of course, comes with the risks inherent in crowdfunding, but even the estimated retail pricing slides in below the four-figure mark at $799 to $999. If Coolpeds can get it to market within that range, we have a feeling a lot of folks will be riding around the city on iBikes.View gallery - 4 images