Within an increasingly crowded electric bicycle marketplace, it takes a special something for an individual e-bike to stand out. The Mando Footloose does so, however, in that it has neither a chain nor a belt drive – plus, it folds. Mando has now announced a more affordable non-folding version of the bike, known as the Footloose IM.
First teased in prototype form at Eurobike 2013, the IM utilizes the same unique drivetrain as the original Footloose. Instead of being transmitted along a chain, the rider's pedaling power is used to charge the bike's 36-volt, 8.2-Ah lithium-ion battery via an alternator in the crank. That battery in turn powers the 250-watt rear hub motor.
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While the loss of the ability to fold might seem like a detriment, it does mean that the IM is sleeker, lighter and shorter (the latter of which might or might not be a good thing) than its older sibling. With pricing starting at €2,690 (about US$3,050), it's also cheaper than the €3,999 Footloose.
Some of its other features include the ability to remove the battery for charging; a polished aluminum alloy frame with a protective plastic coating; built-in rear flashers; and a removable HMI (human-machine interface) bar-mounted LCD control unit. Along with displaying information such as speed and battery charge level, that HMI also allows users to choose between different levels of electric pedaling assistance, varying from none to throttle-only – as an added bonus, the bike won't work when that unit is removed.
Depending on how much assistance riders use, the IM can reportedly cover up to 60 km (37 miles) on one charge of its battery. It has a maximum speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph), and tips the scales at a little over 21 kg (47 lb).
The Mando Footloose IM is available now (in a choice of five colors) in the UK, France, the Netherlands and Germany. It should be headed to the US later this summer.
Source: Mando FootlooseView gallery - 6 images