Bicycles

Ultralight Ares Super Leggera might be world's most stylish ebike

Ultralight Ares Super Leggera ...
The Ares Super Legerra includes leather-wrapped handlebars and a leather saddle
The Ares Super Legerra includes leather-wrapped handlebars and a leather saddle
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Ares splashes HPS' carbon fiber-framed Watt Assist Pro bicycle with a stylish retro look
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Ares splashes HPS' carbon fiber-framed Watt Assist Pro bicycle with a stylish retro look
The Ares Super Legerra includes leather-wrapped handlebars and a leather saddle
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The Ares Super Legerra includes leather-wrapped handlebars and a leather saddle
Up in the cockpit
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Up in the cockpit
HPS houses its battery in a bottle-shaped pack that fits in the included cage
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HPS houses its battery in a bottle-shaped pack that fits in the included cage
HPS builds the bike with a 1 x 13 Campagnolo Ekar groupset
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HPS builds the bike with a 1 x 13 Campagnolo Ekar groupset
We're not sure who's going to be buying a $22,000 retro-inspired, limited-edition pedal-assist race bike that looks like an urban commuter, but we're sure it'll make a nice ride ... or wall art
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We're not sure who's going to be buying a $22,000 retro-inspired, limited-edition pedal-assist race bike that looks like an urban commuter, but we're sure it'll make a nice ride ... or wall art
View gallery - 6 images

Helmed by former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar and based in sports car capital Modena, Italy, Ares Design has become best known for wild four-wheel creations optimized for road, track and trail. That doesn't mean it doesn't know its way around two wheels, though. Partnering up with electric bicycle maker HPS, Ares presents a limited-edition ebike that weighs under 20 pounds and looks like a stylish, non-electric road bike while churning out up to 200 watts of pedal-boosting power. It could be your ticket to ride like a Tour winner while looking like you belong on the cover of a handcrafted bicycle magazine ... though at $22,000, that's an expensive ticket.

Ares makes up for its lack of bicycle experience by wisely partnering with a company that recently launched one of the most cutting-edge and lightweight electric race bikes on the market, the Domestique. In fact, while Ares says it contributed to the design of the Super Legerra frame, its new special edition looks very much like a custom-dressed Domestique.

Up in the cockpit
Up in the cockpit

Where Ares has clearly done some serious work is in the retro-inspired styling that makes the Super Legerra a true city beauty. There's no call for one of Ares' automotive body kits, but the hand-crafted leather components and cream-colored paint give the Super Legerra a clean, understated look quite unlike the bright, flashy two-tone schemes HPS offers. We're not sure it commands a €7,000 premium, but it certainly looks good.

Much like the original HPS Domestique, the Super Legerra gives little visual indication it's an ebike. HPS squeezes its sleek, compact Watt Assist Pro electric drive into the frame tubes and bottom bracket so there's no visible hub motor or mid-motor bulge. The battery wears a water-bottle disguise and sits snugly in the custom-designed bottle cage. Ares promises that the Super Legerra doesn't even feel like an ebike with the power switched off, as the neatly integrated motor drive allows for a light, balanced ride.

HPS houses its battery in a bottle-shaped pack that fits in the included cage
HPS houses its battery in a bottle-shaped pack that fits in the included cage

Ares will offer just 24 Super Leggera models, inviting buyers to be part of the one-off customization program. Each bike will cost a cool €18,950 (approx. US$22,000), a big leap over top the €12,000 ($13,900) price of the Domestique.

The Super Leggera represents the start of a greater collaboration between Ares and HPS, and the companies plan to introduce a more modern top-end electric-assist road bicycle and a high-end city ebike in coming months. It sounds like those, too, will be aimed at the few, the wealthy and the vain.

Source: Ares Design

View gallery - 6 images
8 comments
8 comments
Matty E.
Because this toy has some leather trim, that makes it "stylish"? SMH. And what kind of person would shell out 22 grand for such obsolete-tomorrow frippery?

The Yamaha YBR125 is a nifty piece of engineering, carries triple the load that this thing could, easily runs up to 55 mph for years @ 100mpg, and only costs $1800. When the ebikes can compete somewhere in the same ballpark as that, then they might be interesting
paul314
Will fashion e-bikes like this even be ridden by their buyers, or will they just sit around being polished by staff?
riczero-b
Twenty two ? Thousand ?? Dollars ???
Rustgecko
The most essential things to know about an ebike, is not if it looks cool, in the subjective opinion of the author, but the objective power of the motor and the battery. Only with that information can we judge the bike. The author provides neither.
Michael son of Lester
"Each bike will cost a cool €18,950 (approx. US$22,000)" For that kind of money, I can buy a Biktrix Juggernaut Duo E-bike, get around US$19,000 change and have a more comfortable ride with a much longer range.
Username
The lack of symmetry in the spokes drives me nuts. I'm also wondering why it's pictured without pedals.
Douglas Rogers
This is really what an e bike should be. It needs to be mass produced and gotten down to about $2K. It is light enough to carry up and down stairs and throw in the back of a minivan. It has just enough power to make 15% grades rideable.
Nelson Hyde Chick
Anyone that spend twenty-two grand for this thing has more money than sense.