E-Bikes are coming – some say they are already here – but until the price and weight come down, I’m going to stick with “coming”. Coboc might not be a company you’re familiar with, but they’re trying to do things slightly differently from many of the big-name brands.
Transmission Power-assisted singlespeed via 250W hub-driven assist
Brakes Unbranded calipers with Cane Creek 200TT levers
By concealing almost any evidence of the Coboc eCycle’s true identity, Coboc has created a sleek, fast-looking commuter machine, instead of the visually more parochial beast you might’ve come to expect.
That said, the lack of display, battery and motor mean that when you mount and someone shows you the ‘on’ switch – hidden beneath the top tube – you’re not 100% sure what’s going to happen. Start pedalling and the grin grows, along with the rather erratic assistance.
Coboc eCycle ride impression
It’s the blend of excitement as you accelerate, and danger as you realise you’re going way quicker than planned, that’s the thrilling part about the Coboc. For short journeys it’s brilliant, but on longer rides (note: electric charge lasts 80km on 2hr full charge), the EU-imposed 15mph speed limit means it’s advised to nestle beneath the limiter. Go faster and you’ll just end up pushing a heavy singlespeed around.
We also found that on steep hills, unless you had a decent run-up and could keep the cadence going, the motor would struggle to keep up and the power assistance wouldn’t kick in. Having the option to switch to something like turbo mode, for example, would have helped.
The electric charge lasts 80km on 2hr full chargeJonny Ashelford / Immediate Media
The frame is also pretty stiff and unforgiving over cobbles and less-than-perfect roads — great for power transfer, but not very comfortable. A 27.2mm seatpost would improve this.
The rest of the finishing kit is okay, which isn’t really good enough for a bike approaching three-grand. The harsh-feeling bars mean a constant shuffling of hands to prevent — or, at least, delay — aches and pains. Thankfully the brakes are pretty sharp.
Coboc eCycle first impression
Overall, we really appreciate where Coboc are trying to take eBikes. Keeping them stealthy and ‘bike shaped’, reducing weight and trying to leave it as straightforward as possible is brilliant. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost, and for £2,900 you could purchase a very nice road bike or even an eBike with gears.
It’s fair to say that with the eCycle, Coboc is firmly aiming at the N+1 market, rather than the usual eBike consumer of inclusion and enabling.
Coboc eCycle early verdict
Coboc’s eCycle is slick looking and a nice idea but expensive for what it is
Coboc eCycle pricing and availability
The Coboc Ecycle is available in the UK priced at £2,900. Pricing for the US and Australia is yet to be announced.
Power-assisted singlespeed via 250W hub-driven assist