HNF Heisenberg develops premium electric mountain bike with BMW i tech

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The all-new HNF Heisenberg XF1 full-suspension e-mountain bike(Credit: BMW)

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Thanks to the highly popular TV show Breaking Bad, new German e-bike company HNF Heisenberg immediately grabs your attention with its science-gone-meth-mad name. It is sure to hold that attention with the XF1, an innovative, high-performance electric mountain bike. The new bike uses a special swing arm developed by BMW i to lay claim to being the world's first mid-motor, belt-driven full-suspension e-bike.

Under its i clean mobility sub brand, BMW patented a special bicycle frame swing arm design that allows the drivetrain to move with the rear suspension sub-frame rather than remain secured to the main frame. The motor moves via the pivoting rear swing arm without affecting the tension of the belt drive. This layout eliminates the need for a conventional chain tensioner and lays the path for a mid-motor, carbon belt-driven full-suspension bike.

"One of the dynamics-related advantages of the drive unit swing arm is the fact that it functions without recoil from the pedal," BMW says. "Compared with other rear-mounted suspension concepts, which are specifically optimized for muscle-powered drive systems, there is no stiffening of the rear swing arm when the electric motor is providing a high degree of assistance such as during acceleration, constant travel at high speeds or on hills. The suspension can respond sensitively at any time, ensuring excellent grip and high traction."

The system is also designed to prevent any unwanted interference with pedaling. The rider is able to continue pedaling smoothly on all types of rough, uneven terrain.

Since BMW i focused all its attention on cars, it opened the patent to third-party usage and HNF Heisenberg, a German e-bike startup founded last year, put it to work on the new XF1. The BMW i design allows the brand to combine the power and pedal assist of a Bosch mid-motor electric drive with the long-lasting, maintenance-free operation of a Gates belt drive with a Rock Shox-cushioned rear suspension set-up with up to 150 mm (6 in) of travel.

The XF1 has a removable, frame-mounted 400Wh lithium-ion battery pack that provides up to 81 miles (130 km) worth of range per charge. The bike comes equipped with a Rohloff Speedhub 500/14, RockShox Pike RC 140 mm fork, Magura MT7 disc brakes and a Busch & Müller Lumotec IQ Avy headlight. An integrated computer provides information about the electric drive as well as measures like speed and distance.

HNF Heisenberg announced its new lineup of electric bicycles this week. It offers its models in both pedelec (up to 250 watts, 15.5 mph/25 km/h) and S-pedelec (moped classification, up to 500 watts, 28 mph/45 km/h). The XF1 starts at €8,345 (US$9,225).

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