There’s something undeniably cool about bicycles that offer no clue that they’re electric. We’re not talking about the mechanical doping antics of some pro riders, but rather the super-discreet town bikes that do such an clever job at hiding their batteries and motors.
Take, for example, the Cooper E, which features a fully integrated battery and motor unit in the rear hub. Added features include Bluetooth connectivity, a 520 Reynolds steel frame and Brooks saddle. The bike launches this spring. More at cooperbikes.com
Mechanical doping for the masses
We are great fans of electric bicycles that appear indistinguishable from conventional bikes. Pro riders might be banned from such so-called mechanical doping, but the rest of us are free to enjoy its benefits. Electric bikes are a perfect way to extend cycling commuting distances and wean motorists off cars, but most look clunky and weigh too much to have mass market appeal. A new breed of discreet-looking electric bicycles look set to change that.
The Volta is a bicycle of contradictions. An electric bike, but with a battery and motor so discreet you wouldn’t know they were there.
The Volta team opted for a rear hub motor after trying various alternatives: “First we built a crank-drive motor, but weren’t happy with the bike’s performance. We test rode some front wheel motors currently on the market and couldn’t stand the way it affected steering and traction. Our rear-mounted motor keeps the bike balanced and delivers performance directly to the rear wheel, so it’s all grip and go, no hiccups or false starts.”
Volta has no buttons, twist grips or cables to fuss over – just 4 power modes from which to choose. Power delivers maximum assistance for when time matters and you want to get from A to B, fast. Eco guarantees a range of 40 miles before a recharge. Smart delivers the perfect balance between power and battery life. Finally, Bike mode shuts off the motor and leaves it all to your legs.
More on the Volta at kickstarter.com
Cycle insurance for electric bicycles
Cycle insurance from the ETA covers electric bicycles as standard and includes a breakdown service for your bike and you that will take you up to 25 miles if you suffer a mechanical problem or puncture. Furthermore, your battery is covered against theft as standard. ETA cycle insurance has a low standard excess of 5% (minimum £25) and prides itself on a genuine new-for-old policy. Unlike other providers who devalue bikes, however old your bicycle, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model.
The Freygeist weighs only 12 kg and has a range of up to 100 km.
In common with the Volta, The Freygeist features a battery hidden within its down tube and a motor built into the rear hub. The charging socket is located in the stem. Batteries can be charged from a household socket and replenished in four hours. The Freygeist electric bicycle costs 3,990 euros at freygeist-bikes.com
If your pedelec does not exceed 250 W/15.5 mph, it can be covered under our cycle insurance at no additional cost. Every ETA cycle insurance policy includes the following as standard:
- Theft, accidental damage & vandalism
- Battery theft cover
- Cycle Rescue (breakdown cover for your electric bicycle and you)
- No devaluation of your bike over time
- £5m third party PLUS £20,000 personal accident cover
- Shed and garage storage
- Low standard excess of 5% (£25 minimum)
- 90 days’ worldwide travel cover
- Any rider covered to use your bike
Read a full list of what is covered here
Up to 250W covered
When you compare cycle insurance for your electric bicycle, it is vitally important to check the small print. Almost every single pedelec or electric bicycle sold and in use in Britain today is rated at 250W. However, some cycle insurers do not cover bikes over 200 W. Cycle insurance from the ETA extends its definition of a cycle to include any mechanically or electronically-assisted bicycle with an output not exceeding 250W /15.5 mph.
Electric bicycles battery theft
If the battery for your electric bicycle is secured with a key (as most are), or requires any type of tool to remove, then it is covered against theft by our cycle insurance policy. Get a quote