Lightweight stylish ebike gets ready to ride into European cities
Helsinki-based startup Urban Cycles Oy sees something of a gap in the European ebike market, and is looking to fill it with the Equal ebike. Designed for city streets, the clean-looking ride weighs in at under 15 kg, and features a 250-W rear hub motor and lockable in-frame battery.
"There are many brands that make or try to make premium e-bikes," said company co-founder and CEO, Andriy Sytnyk. "You can also find cheap options, mostly flooded by rebranded ODM bikes. Both segments are highly saturated, but there's a huge gap in between. At Equal, we want to bring an elegant design and advanced tech to a modern-day commuter. Our bike looks beautiful, it rides like a dream, and comes fully equipped for safe urban trips. With a €1,490 starting price, we want people to stop comparing the cost of a decent e-bike and a used car."
The Equal bike comes with a chain drive as standard, with the option of upgrading to a Gates CDX Carbon Drive belt setup for an extra €250. There's a 250-W rear hub motor with torque sensor that provides adaptive pedal assist up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph), which keeps it street legal in Europe, and it will roll for a per charge range of 50 km (just over 30 mi) courtesy of the Li-ion battery hidden in the top tube, depending on rider style and terrain. The removable battery is secured inside the frame by an integrated locking mechanism.
In order to maintain a clean look, the Finnish startup opted not to include a built-in or handlebar-mounted display, but the iOS/Android mobile app can be used as a dashboard, showing things like speed, distance and charge level, while also serving up trip info and stats. It can be used for ebike configuration/settings, too. Phone mounts will be offered as an optional accessory.
The ebike is powered on/off using a button on the top tube, which can also activate the integrated front and rear lighting and check charge status without needing to fire up the companion app.
The aluminum alloy frame is available in three sizes but comes in gray only, with the medium frame tipping the scales at a reasonably light 14.7 kg (32.4 lb). It rides on 28-inch alloy rims wrapped in Schwalbe Road Cruiser tires, front and rear fenders are supplied, and stopping power shapes up as Shimano hydraulic brakes with 160-mm rotors. Optional extras include a kickstand and rear rack.
Pricing for the ebike starts at €1,490 (about US$1,785, though shipping is initially being limited to EU countries, the UK, Norway and Switzerland). That makes it cheaper than the similar-looking Vanmoof S3, though that model does come with anti-theft technologies and locate or replace peace of mind.
The Equal bike can be pre-ordered now for a refundable deposit of €100 – with the remainder payable nearer to the mid-2021 production window.
Product page: Equal bike