While the planet’s population explosion is forcing city-dwellers onto tighter, more jam-packed public transport, innovators are hard at work on alternative personal transportation options. Given that the Segway never quite took off as promised, it seems bicycles — both pedal and electric varieties — are the way forward. If you’re looking for an electric option that you can take almost anywhere, the Tron-like Smacircle S1 eBike might be just the trick.
The electric bike market has exploded in recent years, but the devices’ biggest limitations are often battery capacity and size. Until recently, it hardly seemed worth it to blow $1,000 on a bulky, not-so-foldable bike that’s only capable of getting you from A to B if B is less than three miles away. But, these two areas are where the S1 delivers plenty of promise.
First off, the new eBike is infinitely packable. The company is touting it as “the lightest and smallest eBike in the world.” At a little over 15 pounds and with a folded footprint that collapses into a backpack, we’re inclined to believe them. This isn’t some complicated affair either — the entire process requires just five easy steps with a final footprint of just 19 inches across. While it may appear frail, the body is mostly constructed of carbon fiber capable of supporting up to 220 pounds. Unlike most alternatives on the market, it’s clearly an option for travelers who could fit the S1 in a checked bag.
A high-quality, high-capacity Samsung battery promises a range of up to 12 miles on a single charge. The same battery fully recharges in just 2.5 hours. The 5,800mAh battery pack and 240W motor are powerful enough to propel the S1 to a top speed of 12 mph and a grade of up to 15 degrees — not too shabby given its diminutive size.
The body incorporates high-intensity side and front lighting to ensure maximum visibility to other vehicles and pedestrians. Electric brakes can be activated with a simple button push. Additional features are customizable through an integrated smartphone app available for iOS and Android. The app allows for locking/unlocking the bike, tracking routes and keeping tabs on battery life/usage and overall speed.
Pricing & Availability
Like all novel (and insane-sounding) innovations lately, the S1 eBike is only a working Indiegogo campaign at the moment. However, as of late May 2017, the project is nearly 400% funded, so it’s clear plenty of backers believe in the concept. $649 secures substantially discounted early bird pricing but is already selling out fast. Once the product launches, the bike will retail for $1,499 USD.
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