BMX-style Chimera "pedals like a bicycle, throttles like a motorcycle"
An interesting BMX-styled ebike hit Indiegogo in 2022, which didn't provide pedal-assist but did have throttle when needed. That premium titanium ride is now being joined by a more affordable steel-framed version called the Shadow Chimera.
The Indiegogo for the original Chimera – built using titanium for the frame, fork and handlebar – reportedly raised over US$110,000 and the limited run of hand-assembled bikes shipped out to campaign backers by late 2023.
Like that premium ride, the Shadow Chimera is a single-speed BMX-style bike but this time is being made with a "highly durable" 4130 heat-treated chromoly all-black frame, fork and handlebar to reduce the price of entry.
"It fills a gap in the market," said company founder, Dr. Austin Duggan. "There are a lot of cool ebikes out there, but the high power ones aren't really bicycles. They're too bulky, heavy, and overburdened with wiring. I wanted a sleek and simple bicycle I could pedal unassisted, toss into my hatchback, easily carry up my apartment stairs, and wrench on in the garage just like my other BMX bikes. At the same time, I wanted it to be powerful and durable enough to blast through dense traffic, climb steep hills, or launch off ramps just like a little motorcycle. So that's what we created."
At the heart of the new beast is Chimera's patent-pending High-Drive motor system that's described as "a fully modular ebike motorization system consisting of a motor and transmission that are mounted independently of one another, linked by a GT3 belt." This makes up to 3,800 watts of "silent, instant" throttle oomph available when needed.
The Shadow model is being offered with two removable battery variants, both with 21700 cells, weighing about the same, encased in aluminum housing and thermally potted.
A Commuter pack features a 36-V/15-Ah Samsung 50S battery "offering up to 26 mph [42 km/h] and close to 40 miles [64 km] of throttling range while still offering the impressive power of up to 3,000 W max." The Competitor flavor shapes up as a 52-V/8.4-Ah Molicel P42a pack and is designed for off-road use only. It unlocks maximum wattage from the motor for a 5-second sprint to 30 mph (48 km/h) and a top speed of 35 mph (56 km/h). Either way, settings can be tweaked via a mobile companion app.
Elsewhere, the bike rolls on Sun/Ringle rims wearing 24-inch street tires, and comes with peg-compatible proprietary hubs. For reliable stopping power, the company is depending on Magura CT Series or MT4/MT5 hydraulic disc brakes.
The Shadow Chimera weighs in at 45 lb (20.4 kg), but can be optioned with titanium components to get that down to around 41 lb. It will go up for pre-order direct from Chimera from February 13, starting at $2,890, and will be limited to just 100 First Edition rides. The company promises delivery by August for those who order this month.
Product page: Shadow Chimera