Bicycles

Elbi e-bike puts the battery in the cargo basket

Elbi e-bike puts the battery i...
The Elbi e-bike from Elbi Cycles is described as "easy to own and even easier to ride and can take you to all the places where you want to go"
The Elbi e-bike from Elbi Cycles is described as "easy to own and even easier to ride and can take you to all the places where you want to go"
View 6 Images
The Elbi e-bike from Elbi Cycles is described as "easy to own and even easier to ride and can take you to all the places where you want to go"
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The Elbi e-bike from Elbi Cycles is described as "easy to own and even easier to ride and can take you to all the places where you want to go"
The Elbi e-bike ride on 20-inch wheels wrapped in puncture=free fat tires
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The Elbi e-bike ride on 20-inch wheels wrapped in puncture=free fat tires
The base model Elbi comes with three gears, but a Plus Package is available that puts eight gears at the rider's disposal
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The base model Elbi comes with three gears, but a Plus Package is available that puts eight gears at the rider's disposal
The Elbi e-bike comes as with a 250 W in-hub motor for EU backers, or a 500 W version for the US
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The Elbi e-bike comes as with a 250 W in-hub motor for EU backers, or a 500 W version for the US
The cargo basket to the front of the Elbi is used to carry the e-bike's removable battery pack
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The cargo basket to the front of the Elbi is used to carry the e-bike's removable battery pack
The Elbi e-bike is currently funding on Indiegogo
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The Elbi e-bike is currently funding on Indiegogo

There are many e-bikes available, some with batteries attached to the frame, some housed within the tube. Sweden's Elbi Cycles has launched a belt-drive electric bike on Indiegogo where the removable battery pack is stowed at the bottom of the front cargo basket.

"We wanted to create a minimalist design with a nod to 80s nostalgia, the era we grew up in," said Elbi's Henrik Ahlström. "Our lives revolve around those bikes and as adults, we wanted to take its head-turning looks and improve its functionality. So we came out with the Elbi, a bike that is easy to own and even easier to ride and can take you to all the places where you want to go."

Unveiled at the 2019 Copenhagen Bike Show, the Elbi e-bike is being made available in two models – a 250 W version for EU markets and a 500 W variant for the US that includes an automatic drive function for all-electric drive. Each comes with a Gates Carbon Belt Drive to keep maintenance to a minimum and a brushless Bafang in-hub motor, with the EU version featuring a torque sensor, while the US flavor rocks a cadence sensor.

The cargo basket to the front of the Elbi is used to carry the e-bike's removable battery pack
The cargo basket to the front of the Elbi is used to carry the e-bike's removable battery pack

The Elbi's lightweight aluminum frame has an integrated front basket and the rider can slide the 36 V/10.5 Ah (EU) or 48 V/10.5 Ah (US) Li-ion battery pack in at the front for travel and out to top up mobile devices over USB. Range per charge is reported to be 45 km (27 mi) for the EU model and 60 km (40 mi) for the US e-bike.

Elsewhere, the Elbi rides on 20-inch wheels wrapped in puncture-free fat tires, there's an LCD trip computer offering five speed settings, and it tips the scales at 18 kg (39.5 lb). The base model comes with a Shimano Nexus 3 shifter, though an optional Plus Package adds hydraulic disc brakes and puts eight gears at the rider's disposal. A lighting system that automatically comes on as daylight fades is also available as an optional extra.

The Elbi e-bike ride on 20-inch wheels wrapped in puncture=free fat tires
The Elbi e-bike ride on 20-inch wheels wrapped in puncture=free fat tires

The Elbi e-bike project is currently raising production funds on Indiegogo. Pledges for the 250 W EU model start at US$895, with the 500 W US variant coming in for a hundred bucks more.

Elbi has also teamed up with E.T. star Henry Thomas for a special signature edition, and there are a non-electric versions available too. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in July. The video below has more.

Sources: Elbi Cycles, Indiegogo

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6 comments
Doodah
Definitely not ideal to have the motor and battery over the front tire if you're planning on peddling up any kind of hills. Very inefficient.
craig_a
Might be some traction issues on loose uphills (which having the battery up front actually helps), but how would it be less efficient than a rear hub? Please explain.
Imran Sheikh
So, the user needs to weld the third rod after 6 months when it breaks.
Nobody
Hitting the brakes while going down hill would likely throw you over the handle bars. The high center of gravity would also be a short coming.
Doodah
I had a kit ebike which had the motor on the front tire and I live next to a rather steep hill. While riding up it I had to sort of lean back on the bike even though intuitively your body wants to lean forward on the bike to put all of the weight on the front of the bike. It all amounts to lifting the rear of the bike off the road. I'm not sure the science of it, but when I switched to a rear hub with battery directly over the crank, it was much easier to peddle up the hill.
ljaques
All that mass preventing easy steering seems counter-intuitive to me. I'd expect to see more bike crashes on these things, due to both the small wheel size and the added burden to the steering of the bike.