Stealthy ebike looks so much like a regular bike it's almost 'Unfair'
Thanks to frame-integrated batteries and shrinking motors, ebikes have come a very long way in the past few years in terms of simpler, sleeker looks more in line with traditional pedal bicycles. Still, while they're not as immediately recognizable as they once were, ebikes are often designed to stick out, featuring bloated tubes, odd geometries, heavy cargo-carrying fortifications and bulging mid-motors. Latvian startup QU-ET is pursuing a more classic, understated design direction with a sleek urban ebike it calls the Unfair Advantage.
It's hard to pinpoint the simplest, least "electric looking" of the ebikes we've covered over the years – sleek offerings from LeMond and HPS are certainly up there. As far as city bikes go, one that always comes to mind is the German-developed Freygeist Classic, an ebike that seemed well ahead of its time back in 2016.
Beyond the clunky "Unfair Advantage" name, QU-ET uses a pared-back approach similar to the one Freygeist took nearly eight years ago. It relies on a slim battery integrated into the down tube, compact rear hub motor and classic upright diamond-frame geometry. QU-ET skips leather embellishments but does add on a solid set of components that includes a Gates Carbon belt drive, front and rear hydraulic disc brakes and integrated Supernova lighting. It also routes all the cables internally to further enhance the clean, uncluttered styling.
Pedal-assist power is delivered by way of the 250-W hub motor regulated by a torque sensor. The motor puts out up to 30 lb-ft (40 Nm) of torque and can deliver riders to a pedal-assisted range up to around 37 miles (60 km) with a single charge of the 250-Wh battery. That should be enough for many urban commuters, and those looking for more will be able add on a 180-Wh range-extender battery bottle. Riders switch between three pedal-assist modes via the onboard computer and can further personalize each mode using the accompanying app.
QU-ET's bike doesn't have an ultralight "unfair advantage" compared to some of the aforementioned low-profile electric bikes, but at 30.9 lb (14 kg) it is quite lightweight. Aluminum frame construction and carefully selected components help keep that weight down.
QU-ET is preparing to launch an Indiegogo campaign for the Unfair Advantage in the near future. It plans to offer the bike at price points as low as €1,500 (approx. US$1,600). In the meantime, you can watch the bike take a city demo in the short video below.