Urban Factor e-bike - First look

By Warren Rossiter in Munich, Germany | Saturday, August 6, 2011 8.00am

The problems with most e-bikes are the look; the long wheel base interpretations of a standard bike combined with a clunky battery and a sit-up and beg rider position.

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Germany’s Urban Factor however have taken the style and look of a simple flat bar single speed and integrated a brushless 24volt 250 watt motor into the rear hub. We’ve seen the same system on other bikes but it looks much less obvious here.

The neat touch is the leather saddle pack used to house the li-ion Panasonic cells. This can be quickly removed to carry and can be charged either in situ or off the bike. With a range of up to 50km and a restricted top speed of 25kph, it’s perfect for simple urban commutes.

We reckon the single speed drive train is fine for most riding as the extra 250w push from the motor will see you up most city climbs. The spec is nicely sorted with a Sugino track chain set, Cane Creek levers and Tiagra brakes. Rigida wheels and Halo’s excellent 29c Courier tyres are fitted to a neatly finished butted steel frame.

The total weight of 17.6kg for a 56cm is heavy for a standard bike but pretty reasonable for an e-bike. We tried the Urban Factor out at the Munich Bike expo and were impressed with the smooth linear power delivery of its electric drive train. They are currently only available through Urban Factor from €2,490, but the company is in talks with UK retailers.

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