Electric bicycles, e-bikes, or whatever you call them, are a great alternative to using to using a huge gas guzzling metal machine to get around. They’re smaller, cheaper, good exercise and plain old fun. They have their cons too, their batteries are heavy, and they’re not as sleek looking as other bikes on the road. Now, Maxwell Motorbikes is offering its lightweight EPO electric bicycle through a Kickstarter campaign.
The Maxwell EPO’s 250 watt hours worth of batteries are packed into the tubular frame, so there is very little to visually suggest this bike is anything out of the ordinary. The company has done its best to minimize the weight by omitting unnecessary components. It weighs under 30 pounds, making it easy to carry it around. Charging the bike 90 percent takes only 45 minutes.
The EPO is offered in different configurations: from a single speed base version, to a two-speed rear-hub setup with cork grips and a Brooks Cambium saddle, to a Shimano Alfine nine-speed rear hub-equipped bike with Avid BB7 disc brakes. The 300 watts of electric power from the front hub motor help lighten the load. It allows the rider to easily carry speed with less effort, getting them to their destination more quickly The motor can push up to a speed of 20 mph, and there’s enough juice for 10 to 15 miles of assistance. A pedal assist sensor lets the EPO know that you could use a little help, but the rider can choose to ride strictly under human power with no assistance.
“The EPO is for those who ride in the city, those who commute. It’s not for lazy people, especially not this one. It’s for someone that really care about what their bike says about them,” says Troy Rank, the founder of Maxwell Motorbikes. You can get the basic version of the EPO for $1300. Maxwell is seeking funding to be able to finish testing and make sure the bike can be shipped safely.