Electric bicycles have traditionally suffered from chunky, awkward styling, long an inevitable side effect of battery packs and electric drive systems. In more recent times, we've seen a move toward e-bikes like the Freygeist and Maxwell EP0 that look as light and simple as regular bicycles. That trend should accelerate now that major electric drive manufacturers have put an emphasis on sleeker, frame-integrated components. The latest of these sleek e-bikes is the Lauva bike, a stylish urban commuter with standard diamond frame, leather accessories, puncture-proof tires and up 250 W of electric assistance.
Tube-integrated e-bike batteries were a major story at this year's EuroBike Show. Major e-drive manufacturers like Bafang, BMZ and Bosch used the show to shine the light on a new generation of sleek, tube-integrated battery tech sure to pave the way for simpler, more aesthetic e-bikes – no big, thick battery packs screwed to water bottle mounts or clinging to the seat tube. As manufacturers begin designing products around these new drive options, expect to see e-bikes looking more and more like regular bicycles.
The Lauva becomes one of the latest takes on the inconspicuous e-bike, and thanks to carefully chosen colors and accessories, it could very well be the most stylish on the street. The bike's lean, low-profile look comes courtesy of the 36-V 6.8-Ah Samsung battery pack hidden away in the down tube of the 6061 aluminum alloy frame. The pack's charging port is accessed via a flip-open panel on the tube.
The Samsung battery drives a pedal-assist system with a 250 W rear hub motor. That system offers enough power to dial up a 15.5-mph (25 km/h) top speed and up to around 44 miles (70 km) of range. Riders can choose from five individual levels of assistance using the LCD computer, which also shows key information like speed and battery level. Charging takes about three hours, and a USB port built into the access panel lets the rider charge mobile gadgets off the bike battery.
Beyond that, the Lauva is all about looking and feeling good. It comes in buyer's choice of British racing green, wine red or soft cream and wears a genuine leather saddle and grips for added style and soft-touch comfort. The puncture-proof 28-in tires (we particularly like the cream ones shown on the red bike) ensure that you keep rolling forward. Other components include aluminum pedals and caliper brakes. With an estimated weight of 32 lb (14.5 kg), the Lauva is among the lighter e-bikes out there, though not quite the lightest of the light.
Lauva is currently raising money on Kickstarter, where it's offering a single-speed version of its bike for pledge levels of €1,485+ (US$1,745+) and a nine-speed for pledge levels of €1,675+ (US$1,965+). Each price is roughly 40 percent off expected retails of €2,485 ($2,920) and €2,775 ($3,260), respectively. Lauva hopes to begin shipping the first backer bikes in March 2018.
The Lauva bike reminds us more of a spry gazelle, but "Lauva" actually means "lion" in Latvian. Lauva intends to donate part of its proceeds to support Lion Whisper Kevin Richardson's work helping the majestic beasts. You can learn more about this effort and the bike itself in the pitch video below.
Source: Lauva Bikes
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