It must be almost spring, because e-bike campaigns are popping up all over.
Although a conventional bicycle is by far the lowest carbon transportation alternative, right behind walking, not everyone is willing or able to ride for long distances or up hills, but thanks to the current electric bike revolution, there are more clean transport options than ever before. And yet another e-bike is soon to hit the market, this time from a South Korean company, Reconbike.
With an e-bike, long commutes can become a breeze, and grinding up hills and arriving at your job or class sweaty and out of breath is now optional, as electric motors and state-of-the-art batteries can do the bulk of the work for us. And thanks to the magic of the internet and crowdfunding, electric bikes are getting a ton of exposure, and allowing small bike companies, overseas e-bike companies, and startups to market their products to a huge global audience. That's good news for consumers, who may not always have access to a bike shop with electric bikes in stock, or who want to cut out the middleman and buy direct from the manufacturer, which often results in a much lower cost, such as the sub-$800 Reconbike Mono.
Reconbike, said to be the "pioneer in ebike manufacturing in South Korea," is offering its latest e-bikes, the Mono series, in several configurations, ranging from a 20" wheel version, a 26" wheel version, and a 20" fat tire (4" tire) version, in either singlespeed or an 8-speed, with two different battery capacities. The bikes feature integrated front and rear LED lights, the option to use the electric motor as either pedal-assist or throttle controlled, and have a top speed of about 21 miles per hour. The range on these bikes depends on the level of pedal-assist being used, or the time spent using the throttle for electric-only drive, but is around 50 miles per charge, according to the company's Indiegogo campaign page.
Both the Mono 20 and 26 have a 350W rear hub motor, and the Fat version has a 500W motor (which may not be road-legal in some locations), and the 20 has a small suspension feature in its front fork, but the other two bikes have no suspension components. The bikes have an LCD display screen for access to battery state-of-charge, speed (in mph or kph), the pedal-assist level, and odometer readings. Additional battery packs are available for purchase, as is a rear rack, an 8-speed Shimano gearset, and an optional fast charger, which reduces the charge time from 4 to 5 hours down to 2.5 hours.
The Mono 20 is available to backers of the Indiegogo campaign at the $749 level, the Mono 26 is going to backers at the $799 level, and the Mono Fat is offered to backers at the $899 level. The prices for backers are said to reflect at least a 50% discount from full retail value, and shipping of the bikes is estimated to begin in August of 2017. Learn more about Reconbikes at the company website, or find out more about the Mono series at the Indiegogo campaign page.
As always, remember that crowdfunded projects come with their own set of risks, so 'buyer beware' when considering backing one of them.