Bicycles

Quirky front-drive recumbent bike goes electric

Quirky front-drive recumbent b...
The Cruzbike T50e will be available online starting next month
The Cruzbike T50e will be available online starting next month
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The Cruzbike T50e's handlebar unit, including its throttle switch
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The Cruzbike T50e's handlebar unit, including its throttle switch
The Cruzbike T50e's battery can be locked in place when the bike is parked
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The Cruzbike T50e's battery can be locked in place when the bike is parked
The Cruzbike T50e's 300-watt rear hub motor
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The Cruzbike T50e's 300-watt rear hub motor
A closer look at the Cruzbike T50e's telescoping front boom
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A closer look at the Cruzbike T50e's telescoping front boom
The Cruzbike T50e will be available online starting next month
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The Cruzbike T50e will be available online starting next month

It was back in 2009 that we first heard about the Cruzbike Silvio, a recumbent bicycle with a unique front-wheel drivetrain. Well, Cruzbike is apparently keeping up with the times, as the company has now announced the electric T50e.

So, first of all, what's the deal with the front-wheel drive?

Well, traditional recumbents have quite a long chain, that runs all the way from the front end of the bike to the back. Besides being a hassle to lubricate, that chain flexes a lot, decreasing the amount of pedaling power that gets transferred to the rear wheel.

By contrast, the Cruzbike chain only has to reach from the raised crankset to the front wheel. This means it's similar in length to that of an upright bike, reportedly keeping things tighter and more efficient.

A closer look at the Cruzbike T50e's telescoping front boom
A closer look at the Cruzbike T50e's telescoping front boom

The T50e adds a 300-watt rear hub motor to the mix, essentially making the bike all-wheel drive when the rider is pedaling. That motor can be used to augment their pedaling power, or it can be used on its own via a handlebar-mounted throttle switch.

In motor-only mode, the bike has a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h), with one charge of its removable LG Chem 36V/6.4-Ah/235-Wh lithium-ion battery being good for a claimed range of 20 miles. Needless to say, riders can go farther if they're willing to do some pedaling.

Other features include a 7005 T6 aluminum alloy frame, an adjustable-angle padded seat, mechanical disc brakes, and a SRAM X7 Twist grip shifter paired with a SRAM PowerGlide 9-speed cassette. The whole thing reportedly tips the scales at 39 lb (18 kg).

The Cruzbike T50e's 300-watt rear hub motor
The Cruzbike T50e's 300-watt rear hub motor

If you'd like to get a Cruzbike T50e of your own, you can place an order starting Dec. 10th via the Source link below. The bike is priced at US$2,600, and will initially only be available to US customers.

And should you be interested in a (non-electric) multi-gear recumbent bike that has no chain at all, check out the KerVelo Low Racer.

Source: Cruzbike

3 comments
buzzclick
Not as low as other recumbents (which is good), good center of gravity, only 39lbs, drive chain is only about a third longer than a regular bike's, and no tire rub like the KerVelo. Pretty good! I am wondering about the telescoping arm in the front. What's the purpose? There's no shock in the front fork.
Lucia Parker
Hi @buzzclick! I'm on the marketing team over at Cruzbike. Thanks for checking out the T50e! The telescoping arm in the front allows the T50e to fit riders between 5'3" and 6'4" with a simple adjustment. The handlebar height and seat back angle also easily adjustable for ultimate comfort.
Gannet
Hi buzzclick, The telescoping arm means you can move the pedals to fit riders from M to XL on the one bike. Handy to suit a number of family members, or when someone wants to try the bike out. Some older models had the front shock, but they stopped fitting them - reasons would be still available on their forum, i assume - found they didn't provide much benefit IIRC. Most of your weight is over the back, so a rear shock is of more benefit. I have an older model with rear shock that I'm about to fit a hub drive to - should be a very comfy, easy ride.