Stunning belt-drive commuter ebike rides for 50 miles with angular elegance
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.
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.
Product page: Honbike U4