Motor-assist helps recumbent riders to get going from standstill
Germany's Hase Bikes – the folks behind the telescoping cargo ebike that launched at Eurobike 2022 – has revealed a new addition to its Delta recumbent trike series that offers riders throttle start-assist, rear-wheel suspension and adjustable raised seating.
Hase already has a non-electric Lepus in its Delta trike lineup – recumbents pitched as "fun to ride at any age but become an even more attractive option as we get older" – and a pedal-assist version that uses a Shimano STEPS mid-mount motor. The upcoming model essentially swaps out the Shimano setup for a Bafang M500 motor.
It's a modest upgrade, but one that allows for the addition of a thumb throttle to give riders an initial push off the starting line up to 6 km/h (4 mph), after which they can pump away at the pedals with assistance from the motor up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph) or roll along on leg power alone.
Like the STEPS model, the motor is mounted at the crank, with a 504-Wh battery hanging from the frame behind it. Per-charge range figures haven't been given, but the e-trike benefits from an Alfine Di2 eight-speed internal hub for a more flexible ride.
The Lepus E rolls on two 20-inch spoked rear wheels wearing Schwalbe Marathon ebike tires and one 16-inch wheel wrapped in a Schwalbe Big Apple tire to the front, all matched with matte black fenders. Steering comes courtesy of a vertical handlebar with a smartphone mount on the left for help with navigation.
Independent rear-wheel suspension with air shocks and a sway bar make for a smoother ride on uneven terrain, and stopping power is provided by hydraulic disc brakes to the rear and a mechanical disc brake to the front.
The raised seat makes for easier mounting and dismounting, as well as potentially putting the rider on a similar eye level to car drivers for a better view in traffic, and can be adjusted from 57 cm in height to 63 cm (22 - 25 in). A Busch & Müller dynamo headlight and LED tail-light also help with visibility.
This easier access combined with a low center of gravity and trike ride stability make the recumbent a good fit for folks who may have balance issues, along with older riders. The length of the Lepus E is also adjustable, from 186 to 212 cm (73 - 83.5 in), and it sits 89 cm (35 in) wide. Maximum load capacity is reported to be 140 kg (309 lb).
The Delta design means that the e-trike can be parked up with its front wheel in the air – to save space indoors – and can even be reduced down to a compact, trunk-friendly package of 124 x 89 x 61 cm (48.75 x 35 x 24 in) for between-ride transport in a small car.
The Lepus E will come in carmine red semi-gloss and is due to go on sale during the last quarter of 2022 for €8,950 (about US$9k). It can be had with a bunch of optional accessories including rain covers, turn signals, cargo bags and even an attachment for safely stowing away a walking stick.
Source: Hase Bikes
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