Klever X brings an alternative look to the e-bike market
Never one to be satisfied with the basic diamond frame, Germany's Klever Mobility has released what could be called its most striking electric bike design yet at Eurobike 2016. The all-new rear-motored X series houses its battery and some open air in a distinctive pentagonal frame designed to accommodate both lads and lasses. It comes in several variants, including a 600-watt "Speed" version that scoots along at up to 28 mph (45 km/h).
The last time we checked in with Klever at Eurobike 2013, it was busy taking home awards for bikes like the S25 and B25. While still quite distinctive, those low-slung designs might scare off some sensitive male riders, given their resemblance to traditional step-through women's frames. The new X shouldn't suffer from any such image problems.
The X frame's diagonally-situated frame sits between the head tube and rear wheel and finds a middle ground between traditional men's and women's frames. The angular "loop" shaping looks more like a man's frame, but the downslope of the top tube creates a lower step-over height that should appeal to women accustomed to step-through frames. Like other Klever offerings, it's a unisex bike.
The big, old loop in that aluminum frame also serves as a natural parking spot for the X's "swap & go" removable battery pack and looks like it could be used for other storage, à la the FEDDZ, though Klever makes no mention of such cargo-cramming uses in its materials. All cables are mounted internally, keeping the X appearance super clean.
Each X series model has Klever's Biactron pedelec system with a rear hub motor hooked to the frame-wrapped battery. An available on-demand regeneration feature reverses the course of electricity, recharging the battery via motor braking.
The X series has four models, including two that could be considered flagships. The €4,899 (approx. US$5,470) X Speed is the fastest and most powerful of the group, an 11-speed with 600-watt motor, 570 Wh battery and up to 28 km/h (45 km/h) of speed. That battery provides enough juice for around 18 to 43 miles (30 to 70 km) of range on this bike. The X Speed's suspension fork helps smoothen the ride when motor-pedaling at speed. This one is technically classified as a moped due to its power and speed.
Those that aren't scared off by €5,000 price tags but don't need to go past 15.5 mph (25 km/h) might prefer to apply the money toward the upgraded bits of the €4,999 X Limited Edition. This 11-speed model includes Shimano's all-new XT Di2 electronic shifting and a carbon fiber fork and handlebars. It has the same 250 W motor as lower level X variants but a larger, mid-level 470 Wh battery pack for between 40 and 62 miles (65 and 100 km) of range.
The other two options are the €3,299 X Raw single-speed entry model and the €3,599 X Commuter 10-speed, both of which are powered by a combination of 360 Wh battery and 250 W motor. That battery offers up to 31 to 43 miles (50 to 70 km) of range, and the larger 470- and 570 Wh batteries can be substituted for a few hundred more euros, bringing range up to a possible 50 to 75 miles (80 to 120 km) with the 570 Wh option.
Notable features and components on all four members of the X line include 27.5-in wheels, hydraulic disc brakes, an electronic motor lock, an electronic alarm with digital bike coding, and a 2.2-in Bluetooth-equipped LCD. And, of course, there's an app. Klever offers full spec sheets for each bike on its website, in case you're looking to compare specific components – just click the link below.