Starting at less than $900, Lectro's 750W fat tire e-bike promises a 20+ mile pedal-free range and a top speed of 20 mph.
The e-bike industry is really starting to take off these days, as more people begin to see the benefits of getting an electric boost to their pedaling, which extends their potential cycling range and reduces the amount of physical effort needed to get where they're going. The e-bike market has a wide array of options to choose from, ranging from a single electric wheel that converts any bike to an electric one, to DIY e-bike conversions, to top-of-the-line high dollar electric bikes that can cost as much as a used car.
Considering that most potential e-bike riders probably don't want to build their own bikes, and if they are going to spend the money to go electric, they most likely don't want to just add an electric drive unit onto their favorite conventional bike. What seems to be called for in the electric mobility revolution is an affordable multipurpose e-bike that offers a decent range, adequate power, and a comfortable ride, and that appears to be what Lectro Bikes is going after with the launch of its e-bike.
“There’s a perfect storm to make useful electric bikes for the masses. Battery pricing and motor availability is finally to the point where we can make a bike worth riding everyday at a price everyone can afford. At Lectro, we’ve placed heavy focus on our supply chain and manufacturing relationships.” - Lectro founder Jeffrey Morin
Lectro is currently offering its e-bike as a pre-order item to backers of its Kickstarter campaign at the $899 level, and looking at the specs on the bike, it certainly seems as if it may live up to its claim of delivering the most power at the lowest cost. While many entry level e-bikes come with 250W or 500W electric drive systems, the Lectro is being produced with a 750W motor, paired with a 48v 11.6 Ah lithium-ion battery (5-6 hour charge time), and is said to be capable of hitting a top speed of 20 mph, with a range of 20+ miles.
This e-bike is a fat tire bicycle, sporting 4" tires, which act as a bit of extra cushion between you and the bumps and potholes that are often part of the cycling experience, and which can often roll right over potential obstacles without having to think twice, and the bike has both front and rear disc brakes for maximum stopping power. The Lectro includes a Shimano 6-speed derailleur, giving riders another layer of control over their ride (especially if it's being pedaled without the electric assist), and the bike's drive system offers both pedal-assist and throttle mode (no pedaling necessary), with varying levels of pedal-assist available to suit the conditions.
The Lectro, which is built on an aluminum frame, will include the LCD handlebar display (showing battery stats, ride distance and speed, assist level, etc.), along with a headlight, mud flaps, kickstand, and a USB charging port on the battery (for topping off mobile device batteries).
One potential objection to this e-bike is a fairly common one in the electric bicycle world, which is the tendency to balk at the thought of riding a 60 lb bike, regardless of whether or not the weight is balanced out by the power and range of the bike. This is a totally understandable concern, especially for those who have to haul their bike upstairs and down for storage or charging, and in that case, it may be a matter of weighing the benefits of not having to pedal for 20 or more miles per day versus the effort of physically carrying the bike on either end of their ride.