Interbike 2011: Stromer electric bikes

At Interbike last year, Karl and I researched electric bikes and learned a lot, paving the way for future reviews. (Sorry, Vegas encourages bad puns.) This year there aren’t as many electric bikes available for demo, but we did spot a company new to us, Stromer.

This Swiss brand has apparently been the best-selling one in Europe for three years now. They offer one model in step-through and standard frame styles, both for $2850. This is one of the most “normal”-looking e-bikes, with the battery hidden in the down tube, accessed by a nifty door.

The hub motor packs a punch at 600 watts continuous—peak rating is 749w. These bikes were popular with demo-ers, so by the time we got to the booth the batteries were waning, but we were still impressed with the power they put out.

Like many electric bikes, the Stromer offers both pedal assist, with three levels, and throttle actuation. Did I mention 600 watts? That’s a lot of power, but the bike ramped it up smoothly. Too bad that the power still cuts off above 20mph, as the Feds say it should—I bet the Swiss get faster bikes.
 
 
Stromer claims their bikes are well-balanced, and my quick impression is that they’re correct—it didn’t feel as unwieldy as its 62lb. weight would lead you to believe.
 
This is more of what we in the U.S. would consider a hybrid than a pure city bike, since it has a front suspension fork (80mm of travel) and 26” tires. It’s closer to the European idea of “trekking,” which is more about riding smoother dirt roads. Still, it can’t hurt to have wide tires in the city, and this seems like a great bike for rail-trails.

 

Keep reading

It doesn’t end here, we’ve got a lot more coverage of Interbike 2011.

 

 
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