E-bikes are an attractive option for commuters looking to arrive at work without breaking too much of a sweat, and some companies are starting to offer bikes with performance and range to rival their fossil-fueled counterparts. Swiss startup Düsenspeed is one such example, with a range of powerful bikes capable of riding all day without forcing the rider to pedal.
The Model 1 is designed to pay homage to board track racers, the rudimentary motorbikes raced around short, banked wooden tracks in the 1910s and '20s. Those bikes had no brakes, and needed to be towed up to speed, but they still have a strong following among modern collectors.
As you might imagine, the Model 1 is significantly more sophisticated than those early two-wheelers. The frame is made of carbon fiber, and weighs around 4 kg (8.8 lb). Depending how the bike is specced, it weighs between 22 and 31 kg (48.5 and 68.3 lb).
There are a a few different battery packs on offer, ranging between 500 to 1,800 Wh in capacity, and the motor can output between 250 and 2,000 W. Peak torque is 80 Nm (59 lb-ft), and range varies from 40 to 200 km (25 to 124 mi) depending on the battery fitted, and how hard you're pushing it. Oh, and those figures are based on pure electric power, with no pedaling from the rider.
For the Model 2, the Düsenspeed design team drew inspiration from 1960s cafe racers. With minimal bodywork, small-displacement engines and head-down riding positions, the focus was on getting from one cafe to another as quickly as possible. The style has been co-opted by the hipster community of late, with bikes like the Royal Enfield Continental.
The minimalist design of the Model 2 might look cool, but the frame is actually heavier than the Model 1, weighing in at 5.5 kg (12 lb). Battery packs between 500 and 4,500 Wh are available, while the motor outputs between 250 and 2,000 W. Peak torque is identical to the Model 1, but the heavier (up to 48 kg or 106 lb) Model 2 only manages 50 km (31 mi) more range from its bigger battery pack. It isn't slow, though, with a top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph). That's motorbike territory.
Unlike its classically-inspired brethren, the Model 3 is a thoroughly modern take on proper off-road mountain bikes. Weighing in at 25 kg (55 lb) with a 1,200-Wh battery, the bike has a peak power output of 500 W and peak torque of 50 Nm (37 lb-ft). Depending on your riding mode, maximum range is somewhere between 50 and 150 km (31 and 93 mi).
We've reached out to Düsenspeed for pricing information about the Models 1,2 and 3. It's worth bearing in mind, European and North American laws surrounding e-bikes vary, so you might not be able to make full use of the Model 1 and 2's prodigious performance depending on your location – unless you have a motorbike license or the company limits its top speed.