E-bikes are fun, no doubt. You get the wind-in-the-hair freedom of a regular two-wheeler, but also the bonus of an electron-enhanced drivetrain. Steep hills and long rides become a boredom of days gone by once you get on an e-bike. But most of the e-boosted machines on the market are a bit boring when it comes to styling. More thought has been put into range and power than panache. Enter retro electric mopeds.
These three electric mopeds exist at the intersection between regular e-bikes and de facto motorcycles, due to their dashing looks and bold performance. Returning to the simple, cool lines of two-stroke mopeds – which were loud and polluting, but so much fun! – the welcome and worthy evolutions of the motorized bicycle are now here and ready to roll, cleaner, quieter and more. powerful than ever.
If Steve McQueen had to ride an electric bike, this would be it. That reference might be lost on the hipster demo it seems intended for, but, nonetheless, everyone can appreciate the fusion of next-gen tech with vintage looks.
This connection is exemplified by the battery which, instead of being hidden on the lower frame, is shaped like a teardrop gas tank and sits proudly between the saddle and the handlebars. Fenders, big tires, a long saddle and a full-size headlight further enhance the profile.
So how does it work? With an enthusiasm that produces a smile. At 73 pounds, the S2 isn’t a nimble corner carver, but even relying solely on the pedal-assist feature, minimal leg pumping translates to power that conquers most hills in the landscape. urban. Or hit the thumb throttle for a totally easy ride and let the rear tire-mounted hub motor do all the quiet work of zooming around rush-hour traffic.
In Class 1 mode, the speed hits around 20 mph, making the S2 legal on most bike paths and feels plenty fast. An app unlocks additional modes, including “unlimited”, which makes it easy to go over 30 mph.
Such variables can of course greatly affect battery charging; California-based Super73 claims a fully charged range of around 40 miles using just the throttle and 75 miles using minimal pedal assist.
Smiles per hour reach even more on electric mopeds like this. The S2 turned a lot of heads and sparked several envious conversations. Indeed, while he never makes you as cool as McQueen, you might soon find yourself the leader of the local pack.
2. SWFT zip code
If you live in a densely populated metropolitan area, chances are you’ve spotted this e-bike before. That’s because it’s a must-have for delivery people. Its accessories are plentiful, including a 20-inch steel frame, plush seat and big tires paired with a sturdy front suspension that helps turn cobbled streets and speed bumps into a fun challenge. The only other standard feature is a headlight and taillight, which means it costs about half of other more gimmicky electric mopeds. That’s not bad either. Despite its black-on-black utilitarian design, the Zip exudes a retro, understated Night Hawk vibe.
The 500-watt motor’s top speed stays steady at 20 mph, which is fast enough to zip past irritated 10-speedsters in the bike lane or weave through stop-and-go traffic. The battery, which can only be removed with a key, travels 37 miles with intermittent pedaling. However, once the full load (four bars) on the LED control drops to two bars, the top speed drops to around 14 mph.
The SWFT website recommends Zip for any rider over 5’5″, but it’s not ideal for guys over 6’0″ as the seat cannot be adjusted up to maximize pedaling efficiency. This means a dependency on the throttle, which decreases the range and the (imaginary) feeling of working out. The bike could also benefit from exterior mirrors, turn signals and a horn. Such basics may not be necessary when tooling around the “burbs”, but you realize their absence when trying to race the other toughs at home.
3. Juiced HyperScrambler 2 Bikes
Key ignition. Speed regulator. Hydraulic disc brakes. A 2,000 lumen headlight. USB port. If some of its standard features make you suspect that the HyperScrambler 2 isn’t what reasonable people would call a “bike,” wait until you ride it.
Boasting powerful torque and pedal cadence sensors, dual suspension and super-sensitive twist throttle, the pride of the SoCal-based Juiced bike fleet delivers the power and responsiveness needed to, like the company says, “make you feel bionic.” With a motor generating 2,000 watts of peak power and top speeds of over 30 mph in “race track mode”, this baby demands bursts of speed – handy when accelerating off the line at lights traffic jams or late for appointments across the city.
The real seller is the range. Instead of the usual single battery, the HS2 features a pair of high-capacity batteries that promise a charging range of 33 to 100+ hours, depending on where you fall between aggressive and economy riding styles. . “Aggressive” basically means riding on the throttle alone, an easy habit given how simple it is to ride this bike like you would a moped, but without the two-stroke racket. But the benefits of sustained pedal assist become apparent when you find after a week of riding that it still doesn’t need charging. Goodbye, range anxiety.
The trade-off for this endurance is weight. Including those twin batteries, it comes out of the box at a beastly 119 pounds. It’s not a bike for climbing stairs or casually launching into the back of an SUV, at least not without risking a groin pull. Demerits for being bulky aside, once on the road, the HyperScrambler 2 excels at mad dashes through urban chaos or extended, stress-free jaunts through the countryside.
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