Bicycles

Stunning belt-drive commuter ebike rides for 50 miles with angular elegance

Stunning belt-drive commuter ebike rides for 50 miles with angular elegance
The Honbike U4's stunning frame promotes an upright stance for riders between 5.25 and 6.2 ft in height
The Honbike U4's stunning frame promotes an upright stance for riders between 5.25 and 6.2 ft in height
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The Honbike U4's stunning frame promotes an upright stance for riders between 5.25 and 6.2 ft in height
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The Honbike U4's stunning frame promotes an upright stance for riders between 5.25 and 6.2 ft in height
The eye-catching minimalist frame is made up of three aluminum tubes that cross for form a toppled number four
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The eye-catching minimalist frame is made up of three aluminum tubes that cross for form a toppled number four
The Honbike U4 features a frame-integrated battery for up to 52 miles of per-charge riding, which should be more than enough to meet the daily commute for most people
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The Honbike U4 features a frame-integrated battery for up to 52 miles of per-charge riding, which should be more than enough to meet the daily commute for most people
The Honbike U4 comes with a low-maintenance belt drive and 350-W geared hub motor for pedal-assist up to 20 mph over three available power levels
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The Honbike U4 comes with a low-maintenance belt drive and 350-W geared hub motor for pedal-assist up to 20 mph over three available power levels
The Honbike U4 features SmartHon automatic transmission for smooth and responsive riding plus hill assist
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The Honbike U4 features SmartHon automatic transmission for smooth and responsive riding plus hill assist
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Following crowdfunding success in Japan and the US with the HF-01 shaft-driven folding ebike, Honbike has rolled out a striking new belt-drive city commuter called the U4, which offers pedal-assist up to 20 mph and can ride for over 50 miles on a single charge.

The Honbike U4 is built around an eye-catching minimalist frame comprising just three 7,000-series aluminum tubes angled for mid-step accessibility to riders between 5.25 and 6.2 ft (1.6 - 1.9 m) in height – who adopt a comfortable upright riding stance. Cabling is routed internally to maintain a swish clean look, the ebike tips the scales at 44.5 lb (20.2 kg) all in, and it can haul a total of 265 lb (120 kg) including rider and luggage.

Honbike appears to dislike chains on a bike, opting for a shaft-drive with the HF-01 folding ebike – which raised over half a million bucks on Indiegogo, and has started shipping to backers – and deciding on a low-maintenance Gates Carbon Belt drive for the U4.

This links the crank to a 350-W geared rear-hub motor in the US for pedal-assist up to 20 mph or a 250-W flavor in Europe for up to 25 km/h, and the same SmartHon automatic transmission with hill assist as the HF-01 folder is cooked in. Three ride modes are available via buttons on the handlebar.

The Honbike U4 comes with a low-maintenance belt drive and 350-W geared hub motor for pedal-assist up to 20 mph over three available power levels
The Honbike U4 comes with a low-maintenance belt drive and 350-W geared hub motor for pedal-assist up to 20 mph over three available power levels

Juice for the electronics comes from a 432-Wh (12-Ah/36-V) frame-integrated (non-removable) Li-ion battery, which is reckoned good for up to 52 miles of per-charge range for US riders and 100 km for those in Europe.

The U4 rolls on 27.5-inch magnesium alloy spoke-free wheels wrapped in 2-inch-wide road tires, with stopping power provided by disc braking. There's a LCD display built into the handlebar that shows all the ride basics, but the ebike also works with a companion mobile app running on a Bluetooth-paired smartphone for more control options and metrics.

Rounding out the key specs are integrated LED lighting front and back, included fenders and single-side kickstand, and IPX6 weather resistance.

The Honbike U4 is available to order now in black or white for US$1,699, with shipping expected to start in late September (or a month earlier in Europe). The short video below has more.

Honbike U4 - 100 KM Long Range Commuter eBike - Belt Drive 10,000 KM + Maintenance-free

Product page: Honbike U4

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