Bicycles

Step-through ebike makes long-range urban mobility more affordable

Step-through ebike makes long-...
The Velotric Discover 1 features a frame-integrated battery that's reckoned good for up to 80 miles per charge (in eco mode)
The Velotric Discover 1 features a frame-integrated battery that's reckoned good for up to 80 miles per charge (in eco mode)
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The Velotric Discover 1 features a frame-integrated battery that's reckoned good for up to 80 miles per charge (in eco mode)
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The Velotric Discover 1 features a frame-integrated battery that's reckoned good for up to 80 miles per charge (in eco mode)
The Discover 1 is being made available in North American and European model variants
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The Discover 1 is being made available in North American and European model variants
The step-through frame can accommodate rider heights between 5.4 and 6.6 ft
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The step-through frame can accommodate rider heights between 5.4 and 6.6 ft
The IPX5-rated Discover 1 comes with full fenders and a cargo rack
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The IPX5-rated Discover 1 comes with full fenders and a cargo rack
North American riders get a 500-W Velotric hub motor and 7-speed derailleur, while those in Europe are offered a 250-W motor and 9-speed derailleur
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North American riders get a 500-W Velotric hub motor and 7-speed derailleur, while those in Europe are offered a 250-W motor and 9-speed derailleur
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Though bicycles are an excellent way to get around town, the uneven terrain of many cityscapes can make for very hard work. Getting some help from a built-in motor should help level things out, but ebikes often leave your wallet a lot lighter. The Velotric Discover 1 was designed by industry veterans as an affordable, comfortable and reliable ride.

According to its Indiegogo funding page, startup Velotric is made up of industry bods from companies like Lime, Giant, Specialized and Decathlon – led by the co-founder of Lime's China office, Adam Zhang. The team has spent much of this year designing an ebike that's "simple to use, comfortable to ride, excellent in performance, and reliable in quality."

The result is the Discover 1 city ebike, which is being made available in North American and European models. The former sports a proprietary 500-W hub motor producing 65 Nm (48 lb.ft) of torque and offering a thumb throttle mode in addition to pedal assist, while the latter gets a 250-W motor for 40 Nm (29.5 lb.ft) of torque and pedal assist only. Both cadence and speed sensors are employed, and three assist levels are available.

European riders do benefit from two more gears than those across the pond though, as the EU version comes with a nine-speed Shimano M2000 derailleur, while the NA model rolls with a seven-speed Shimano RDTY300 flavor. Both models come with a 48-V 692-Wh frame integrated battery, which can be removed for charging indoors, for up to 80 miles (128 km) of motor assist in eco mode.

The Discover 1 is being made available in North American and European model variants
The Discover 1 is being made available in North American and European model variants

The 6061 aluminum alloy step-through frame is reckoned suitable for rider heights between 5.4 and 6.6 ft (1.65 - 2 m) – the standover height is just 15 inches (390 mm) but the minimum seat height is 320 in (815 mm). And the angle of the seat post is designed for a comfortable ride, set at 87 degrees for a more upright stance.

There's a spring fork with 65 mm of travel, which can be adjusted for lockout and preload, the ebike is an IPX5-rated ride and comes packing full fenders front and back, the North American model rides on 26x2.4-inch puncture-resistant all-purpose tires, while the European model gets 700x40C rubber, and the startup is using its own disc brakes, and front and rear lights. A 3.5-inch backlit LCD display mounted in the center of the handlebar shows ride info and bike stats, and the included rear rack can handle up to 55 lb (25 kg) of cargo.

Indiegogo pledges start at US$1,299, and the package includes a bunch of bike tools and accessories. The campaign is already funded with 25 days left on the clock, and if everything else goes to plan, shipping to the US, Canada and select European destinations is estimated to start in December. The pitch video below has more.

Embrace Your City with Velotric eBike

Source: Velotric Bike

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5 comments
5 comments
Michael son of Lester
I'm not so sure about the in-house design and manufacture of the hub motor. These things always have teething problems. I wonder why they didn't go with an established name like Belfang? Otherwise, this looks like a good ride and a great deal. Estimating range is always iffy, considering the world isn't billiard table flat. But even if the range is less than the estimate, it should be fine for reasonable length in-town commuting. The price point is also good considering the product and its capabilities.
Trylon
The problem with all those industry veterans is that they seem to be hidebound by their experience. A steep seat tube angle might be comfortable in terms of opening up the hip angle, but that would come at the expense of aerodynamics and rider power output. None of them had the idea to do a flat foot/crank forward/semi-recumbent bike like Rans, Electra, Day 6 or Trek Pure? Those are much more comfortable and let you set your foot down more easily when you stop.
David V
Price is good and high price of e-bikes is often the reason people don't buy them. Let's leave out the tech savvy bike lovers who will put extra money to buy the best bikes.
My wife would have bought this which is half price of her French Moustache ebike.
Looks like a good run around town bike.
Always annoyed when I see people riding with the pedals on their insteps though - like the models here.
Daishi
They use about the same battery capacity (48v, 14.4 Ah) as Rad. The estimate 80 miles or range against 45 from Rad but I'm willing to bet the actual range running both in eco mode is pretty similar. I will probably never understand the absurdity of the EU regulation that has no problem with diesel automobiles, sports cars making 500+ HP, and million dollar hyper cars for the super rich but draws the line at ebikes that are thousands of times more efficient form of transportation but need to be restricted to 250W or 0.33 HP.
GS
Is it just me, or does every new product in the urban transport/cycling section seem to be a Kickstarter appeal? It would be good once in a while to read about new products that are actually available.