Nox ebikes go 2 for 1 with swappable all-in-one electric drive
A little bit Jekyll, a little bit Hyde, the newest ebike offering from Germany's Nox Cycles has a split personality that craves both cities and mountains. The package ties together a city commuter and a mountain bike with a single all-in-one e-drive that can be swapped between the two. Riders can power their way to work Monday through Friday, then into the forests and mountains on the weekend.
Nox got its start in downhill mountain bikes (MTBs) back in 2004, transitioning into e-MTBs a decade later in an attempt to level out the ascents involved in accessing epic backcountry downhills. It has used several different electric drives in its bikes since then, and its new "Take 2 E-Ride 1" bike bundle relies on the Evation drive from fellow German company Fazua.
In contrast to the typical bicycle electric drive, including the mid-motor drives that feature on other Nox models, Fazua's Evation packs the heaviest hardware bits into a removable all-in-one drive module that snaps into the underside of the bike's down tube. The sleek cylinder carries the 252-Wh battery, 250-W motor and electronics, leaving the bottom bracket with torque/cadence sensor hardware as the only component hard-mounted to the bike itself. The design is built to be lighter and more compact than other mid-mounted e-drives, leaving the bike looking sleeker and more traditional. The battery also removes separately from the e-drive housing so riders can easily swap in a fresh one.
Since Fazua integrates the heaviest hardware into its removable 10.1-lb (4.6-kg) module, Evation-equipped bikes can be ridden without electric-assist, without worrying about a large, heavy motor or battery pack weighing the rider down. An included sleeve covers up the gutted down tube and exposed electrical connections when ridden without the e-drive.
Nox capitalized on the light, compact design of the Evation drive in launching the Helium e-MTB series last year. The carbon-framed, full-suspension bikes can be specced in enduro or all-mountain varieties and are meant to offer the advantages of motor assist in a package that's lightweight, slim and versatile enough for the tightest singletrack.
Following up on the Helium, Nox adds the all-new Metropolis series for 2021. Inspired by both the mountains that surround its Zillertal, Austria, factory and the streets of its headquarter city of Berlin, the new series is designed for pedal-assist workday commuting and more leisurely country road adventuring.
Nox takes advantage of Fazua's swappable design to bring the city and mountains together in the "Take 2 E-Ride 1" bundle, which packages a Helium e-MTB, a Metropolis urban ebike and a single Fazua Evation drive to share between the two, saving buyers from having to buy two separate batteries and motors when they're really only going to be using one bike at a time.
Bundle buyers can simply swap the Evation drive between the two bikes as they shift between road commuting and mountain biking. Each bike can be ridden without the e-drive, as well. Nox sells Fazua-ready Helium and Metropolis bikes without the Evation e-drive module for buyers who already own a Fazua-based ebike and want to use their existing Evation drive with the Nox.
Nox focuses on high-end bikes with top components, so its bundle pricing certainly doesn't look "cheap," but by eliminating separate electrical components, it keeps bundle pricing well under what it costs for two complete ebikes. Helium/Metropolis bundles range from €8,699 to €10,699 (approx. US$10,675 to $13,125), depending on bike specification. For comparison, the Helium 7.1 Enduro Expert Granit and Metropolis Hacker included in the €8,699 bundle would cost €9,798 (approx. US$12,016) if purchased individually. By bundling and sharing an e-drive between the two bikes, buyers save over €1,000 (approx. US$1,226).
Nox's 2-for-1 bundle is a finalist for a BrandNew Award at the ISPO 2021 outdoor sports show that will take place virtually this month. Watch the system swap and ride in the video below.
Source: Nox Cycles