Oto Cycles builds retro e-bikes for riders looking for vintage style

Oto Cycles R e-bike
© Oto Cycles

They may be light on practicality and cargo space, but they're heavy on nostalgia.

When it comes to our choices, they say there's no accounting for taste, and each of us makes our decisions based on our own set of values, standards, and desires, which often aren't easily explained to someone else. For example, some people choose a practical and affordable station wagon with plenty of room, and some prefer a full-size pickup truck, while still others opt for a tiny sports car, and yet another will ride a motorcycle, with each person following their own transportation muse. Each person sees their vehicle as best serving their own purposes, even if making their choice means compromising on one aspect of the equation. A big crewcab F150 with massive tires and lift kit on it, which might make sense on a job where rugged terrain and regular heavy hauling are in order, is just overkill for the majority of the people who drive them, but it's important to those people to have a huge vehicle for the occasional task (and for the cachet of being seen driving one), but the tradeoff is a huge gas bill every week.

Why should e-bike riders be any different? There are as many kinds of cyclists, or potential cyclists, as there are kinds of drivers, and while one person may find an electric cargo bike to be a really good fit for them, for both the carrying capacity and the style of it, others may make their decision based purely on how an e-bike looks, no matter how it stacks up to a more stodgy yet practical model. And that's why in a growing e-bike market, we're seeing lots of entries in every niche, ranging from high-end and high performance bikes to heavy haulers to small batch retro bikes, and I see this breadth of choice as a good thing for the consumer, as they can pick the right e-bike for their own needs, which potentially gets more butts in more saddles and more feet on pedals.

All of that is a very long way of introducing a line of handmade e-bikes from Spain that are probably more retro-looking than they are practical, but which offer a big dose of nostalgia.


Barcelona's Oto Cycles currently offers several models of e-bikes, each of which can be built with the rider's choice of electric motor in the rear hub (ranging from 250 W to 1000 W) and battery capacity to fit their needs, and everything from the frame color to the tires, saddle, and handgrips can be customized to ensure a unique look. The company has been making e-bikes for the last few years, and now has four different designs to choose from.


The following video, while a few years old, offers a good look at a few of the Oto Cycles e-bikes.

The offerings from Oto Cycles include three e-bikes that all bear a strong resemblance to the motorcycles of yesteryear, complete with a faux gas tank, although without the fossil fuel engine. The Oto Racer is a beautiful example of a "new urban legend" e-bike that is sure to cause a fair bit of bike envy, while the OtoR model has a bit more of a laid-back cruiser style to it, and the OtoK model falls somewhere in the middle between the two. The newest e-bike model from Oto Cycles, the CrosS, looks more like a throwback to the bicycles of the 70s, with upright handlebars and a 'sissy bar' on the rear of the seat, room for a passenger, and it also includes built-in Bluetooth speakers for bringing your tunes with you on your ride.


According to the company website, Oto Cycles only sells through certain bike dealers in Europe, Australia, and South Korea, and there's no mention of the prices for any of the models. If the prices of the other similar retro-looking e-bikes are any indication, these models will probably set you back a few thousand dollars, but if you're curious, you can contact the company for more information.

h/t Auto Evolution

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