Bicycles

Trefecta throws the kitchen sink at its bare-metal ABS-equipped RDR ebike

Trefecta throws the kitchen si...
The Trefecta RDR's military DNA shows through in its monster aluminum frame
The Trefecta RDR's military DNA shows through in its monster aluminum frame
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900-Euro Road Kit adds fenders, a rack, and lights
1/7
900-Euro Road Kit adds fenders, a rack, and lights
The components are top-shelf all round
2/7
The components are top-shelf all round
An Enviolo stepless hub gear system gives this thing the ebike equivalent of an automatic CVT
3/7
An Enviolo stepless hub gear system gives this thing the ebike equivalent of an automatic CVT
One of the most lavishly specified ebikes we've ever seen
4/7
One of the most lavishly specified ebikes we've ever seen
The Trefecta RDR's military DNA shows through in its monster aluminum frame
5/7
The Trefecta RDR's military DNA shows through in its monster aluminum frame
Top-shelf Magura Boltron suspension offers 150mm of travel at either end, although the RDR is absolutely massive for an off-road bicycle
6/7
Top-shelf Magura Boltron suspension offers 150mm of travel at either end, although the RDR is absolutely massive for an off-road bicycle
ABS braking can be switched off when it's time to play slidey slidey
7/7
ABS braking can be switched off when it's time to play slidey slidey

There are stealth ebikes, there are regular ebikes, and then there's this great boofy thing. Hewn out of bare aluminum and stuffed to the gills with high-end components, it's an absolute tank – and the first street-legal ebike we've seen that gives you switchable ABS braking.

Dutch company Trefecta tells us it's been building ebikes for "international military peacekeeping missions" in recent years, which might explain the muscled-up beefiness of the bikes it has just released for the public on Indiegogo. The RDR's massive aluminum frame structure houses one of the biggest batteries we've seen in a street-legal bike, a 1,480 Watt-hour pack that gives you a huge 200 km / 124 mile range.

The way the frame's designed will divide opinions. From afar and in small photos, it looks bulky and misshapen. From closer up, there's something really nice about the bare metal texture, and the shape starts looking kind of refined in its own way, if you can get past the sheer bigness of it. Stealthy, this is not.

An Enviolo stepless hub gear system gives this thing the ebike equivalent of an automatic CVT
An Enviolo stepless hub gear system gives this thing the ebike equivalent of an automatic CVT

The frame allows an extremely long swingarm to pivot off a point at the front of the frame. In the motorcycle world, a longer swingarm usually means superior suspension performance – but then, the entire motor pivots on this bike, adding a degree of unsprung weight, even if it is close to the pivot point. On the good side, it means the drive belt is always tight.

The motor, for its part, is a 120 Nm (88.5 lb-ft) mid-drive built by Germany's TQ. That's a lot of torque, getting up towards double what the excellent Bosch Performance Line CX motor makes. Trefecta will sell you this motor in 250 W, 500 W and 920 W formats depending on how road legal you wish to be about the whole thing. Pedal assist can take you up to 45 km/h (28 mph) – although I'm yet to encounter an ebike that can't be derestricted somehow or other.

Power runs via a Gates carbon belt drive to an Enviolo Sport 360 internally geared rear hub. That's the new name for the NuVinci continuously variable transmission, and in this case it comes with electronically controlled shifting gear. If the Enviolo gear can truly handle the power of a good ebike motor (and 120 Nm is its maximum rated continuous torque), this will pretty much be a dream powertrain, operating something like a CVT in automatic mode and just letting you pedal at the cadence you're most comfortable with. You can change your gear ratios at a standstill, under power or whenever you like. This bike should be lovely to ride.

The components are top-shelf all round
The components are top-shelf all round

Then there's the brakes: high-end Magura MT hydraulics with big, floating discs. These are plumbed into a BluBrake eBike ABS system, which can be switched off if you want to chuck some mad skids.

What else do we have here? Forks and shock are Magura Boltrons with 150 mm of travel at either end. To be honest, at this level of specification I'm a little surprised the forks aren't full-length downhill units. But the Boltron forks are high-quality, adjustable and plenty expensive by themselves at nearly US$1400 a set, so I'm sure the ride quality is superb.

There's a road kit, which gives you a headlight, tail light, cargo rack and a pair of practical-looking mudguards. Trefecta only packages this with the lower-power motor options, but you can get it as an option with the full-power 920-W motor too. There's an integrated seatpost dropper, which pulls the seat down to keep it out of the way when you're wailing on a downhill trail, and then pops it back up when you feel like sitting down again.

There's also a flip-up "tank" section on the top of the frame giving you a place to store your phone in an "ApplePlay prepared dock," which we take to mean it's set up for Apple CarPlay.

Top-shelf Magura Boltron suspension offers 150mm of travel at either end, although the RDR is absolutely massive for an off-road bicycle
Top-shelf Magura Boltron suspension offers 150mm of travel at either end, although the RDR is absolutely massive for an off-road bicycle

The Trefecta RDR looks like one of the best-specified ebikes we've ever seen, provided you're OK with something you'd need to be Dwayne Johnson to carry up the stairs. But unfortunately, such a level of specification necessitates a price tag that pushes this bike well and truly into midrange motorcycle money, even with the pre-order Indiegogo discount, which currently stands at 30%.

The non-ABS, 500-W version starts at €6,990 (US$7,740). The ABS-equipped 500-W street legal version with the road kit will cost you €8,450 (US$9,360). And the big daddy "off-road" ABS version with the 920-W motor and no road kit is €8,550 (US$9,470), to which you can add an unforgivable €900 (US$1000) if you want the lights, rack and fenders.

Wowsers, that's a ton of money. That's more than the vastly more powerful Stealth bikes cost. It's more than twice what a 6-kilowatt Sur-Ron would owe you, and even if certain versions of the Trefecta bikes are absolutely legal in certain jurisdictions, they sure don't look legal. This is a very interesting product, and we'd love to ride one, but it's hard to imagine who's going to shell out that much for an ebike, no matter how nice it is to ride.

Check out a video below. Standard crowdfunding warnings and disclaimers apply.

Trefecta RDR ebike

Source: Trefecta Indiegogo

4 comments
Mzungu_Mkubwa
Hmmm, not only hugely over-priced, but also hugely under-powered. And fugly to boot. Best of luck, folks!
neoneuron
$10,000 dollars? Isn't that like half a modest car?? And I still am not clear if multiple gear bikes are legal. Or electric one's on the street. Every town has it's own laws.
guzmanchinky
Here in California at least the only legal ebikes are class 1. So on my van I have a dual sport motorcycle on the back, and a class 1 ebike on the front. This way I can choose what works best that day...
Haiko Visser
Are you guys kidding? You clearly have not bothered to compare the specifications of other eBikes and the corresponding prices! If you had you would see we offer enormous value and top range specifications which the more expensive competition can't match.