Late last week, we got the chance to try out some brand new e-bikes at the first-ever Charged Up electric bike media event. Presented by the folks who run the Interbike and Outdoor Retailer trade shows, it was held at the swanky Crystal Springs Resort in the rolling hills of northern New Jersey. Among the models that were on display, the Secede urban trekking bike offers a particularly interesting feature – it breaks into two pieces for easier transport and storage.

The carbon fiber-framed Secede is being distributed in North America by Pete's Electric Bikes, although it's made in Germany by M1 – a company that also makes carbon fiber body components for the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

The Secede features a 500-watt brushless rear hub motor, powered by a 36-volt/9.5-amp-hour lithium-ion Panasonic battery that's housed in the rear fender. It's a pedal-assist e-bike, meaning that the motor chips in to add power as the rider pedals. The amount of assistance provided is selected by the rider using a handlebar-mounted console, that communicates with the motor via ANT wireless technology.

The European-market version we got to ride has a top assisted speed of 28 mph (45 km/h), although that can be electronically decreased for use in regions (such as most of North America) that have lower power-assisted speed limits. Depending on riding style, it has a range of approximately 40 miles (64 km) per charge.

M1 CEO Robert Wittman with the disassembled Secede

And yes, it breaks in two when not in use, thanks to a relatively simple quick-release system located in the down tube. The two halves of the bike can then be stuffed into a couple of included bags for stowage in the cargo compartment of an airliner, the baggage car of a train, or a closet in an apartment.

Other features include a Rock Shox Recon RL Air suspension fork, an SRAM X9 drivetrain, and Avid Elixir disc brakes.

We certainly enjoyed pedaling the bike around the Crystal Springs area. The electric assist was smooth and consistent, kicking in without delay. It was also pretty easy to pedal with no electric assist at all, when on the flats. Should you be wondering, it weighs a claimed 50 lb (23 kg).

The M1 Secede is priced at US$6,595.

Product page: Pete's Electric Bikes

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