This stylish electric bike is a beautiful thing, even if it only carries a single rider and no cargo.
One aspect of a maturing electric bike ecosystem, which is seeing not only legacy bike companies pursue electrified versions of their bicycle models, but also a rash of e-bike startups, is the wider availability of high quality batteries and motors to build bikes out of. With access to state of the art electric powertrain systems, e-bike companies don't necessarily have to develop their own proprietary systems, but can instead focus on the design and features of their own bikes, which can be as plain vanilla or as heavy-duty or as wild and woolly as they come. RayVolt has done both with its Cruzer model, which features its own rear hub motor that can unleash up to 1000 watts of power to the rear tire.
Although I'm an advocate for choosing a practical electric bike, which is one that can carry the rider and any and all gear they may need haul with them, I'm also a sucker for e-bikes with a bit of swagger to them. And while a utility or cargo bike can be exactly what the clean mobility doctor ordered, with loads of room for cargo and plenty of hauling capacity for heavier items, having an electric bike that turns heads and sparks conversations about these electric beauties can be a useful tool in the transition to a lower-carbon transportation system.
The RayVolt Cruzer falls solidly in that category, where flair and panache heavily outweigh practicality, and even though this e-bike isn't going to win any medals for carrying capacity, it's stylish enough to get even the non-cyclists excited about riding bicycles. With features reminiscent of the classic lines of yesteryear's café racers, the Cruzer offers up some eye candy wrapped around a powerful 48V electric drivetrain that is capable of speeds up to 31 miles per hour.
RayVolt, based in Barcelona, Spain, also offers a rather tame looking city bike, the Ozone model, but considering the number of other bland e-bikes out there already, the Cruzer is apt to get a lot more attention. The Cruzer is available with either a 400W or a 1000W rear hub motor, the choice of either a single 48V lithium-ion battery pack (10.5Ah/567Wh) or a double pack (21Ah/1134Wh), and one of three color schemes (Clock Work Orange, British Racing Green, Gun Metal Grey).
According to the company, its e-bikes are built around what it calls EIVA, or an "Intelligent Virtual Assistant" that connects wirelessly to the bikes' control systems and allows access to the battery and motor settings, provides for an Intelligent Pedal Assist System and regenerative braking, as well as hosting a built-in GPS and mapping features and diagnostics for the motor and battery system. The Cruzer also includes a large LED headlight and taillight, dual disc brakes, a lockable battery compartment, a thumb-activated throttle, a large full-color touchscreen display, and a leather spring saddle and leather grips. There are no racks or pannier attachment points, nor are there any fenders or mud guards, but then again, if you wanted a cargo bike, not a hot rod, you would have bought one, right?
The price on the RayVolt Cruzer starts at about 2400 euros (about $2800 US), which isn't exactly chump change, and you might have to go to Europe to get one, but there seems to be no shortage of options when it comes to the rather pedestrian e-bikes that can be delivered right to your door, so the cost is probably a pretty good indicator of its target market. Learn more at RayVolt Bike.