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January 18, 2018

Elby could be the ebike that solves your commuting conundrums

by John_A

It’s not that you hate your job — it’s that you hate getting there. When telecommuting is oh so much easier than your actual morning (and evening) commute, it’s no wonder that you’d rather stay at home than brave an overcrowded subway, a gridlocked highway, or one of the other urban mobility nightmares we’re facing these days. But before you grumble about how miserable your way to the office will be, you may want to take a look at Elby. Heralded as the world’s first one-size-fits-most pedal-assist hybrid bicycle, this is one ebike that will make getting to work (or just about anywhere else) so much fun that you may actually enjoy the journey more than the destination.

At its core a commuter bike, Elby wants to get you from Point A to Point B without requiring too much exertion on your part. The low step-through frame makes it an accessible bike for folks of a wide range of builds — whether you’re five feet tall or well over six feet tall, you should be able to ride the Elby. The frame is made of lightweight 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, and as such, weighs in at under 50 pounds. That weight includes the high-torque BionX D-Series rear hub motor that helps get you up that pesky hill or through that challenging traffic without breaking a sweat. And better yet, it’s pretty quiet, so you can still get lost in your thoughts.

The motor is powered by a high capacity, super high output lithium-ion battery with a fully sealed 52-cell structure that promises to take riders up to 80 miles on a single charge. Recharging can either be done by plugging the bike into an outlet, or taking the battery out and charging it separately.

 To control the whole bike, there’s an intuitive BionX handlebar control ring that includes an on and off switch, as well as a thumb-activated Assist Level button and throttle. In order to actually get the throttle to work, you do need to have a bit of inertia. This is, after all, a pedal assist bike, and not a motorbike. That said, you should be able to simply push off from a stationary position and then hit the throttle to get the motor to kick in. Top speeds stand around 20 mph if you’re only using the motor, though if you add some pedal power you can actually get faster. Thanks to the bike’s low center of gravity, though, you shouldn’t feel as though you’re hitting dangerous speeds.

If you’re choosing not to bike with the motor, the Elby features a 9-speed drivetrain that should still make for trouble-free pedaling, and to keep you safe, there’s a high intensity Super Nova lighting system on both the front and rear of the bike.

Of course, no 21st-century ebike would be complete without some smartphone integration. With Elby, your mobile device actually turns into a mounted Elby interface. You can check out information about your bike, plan routes, track statistics and speed, or check the status of the entire ebike system.

While the Elby certainly could be the answer to your commuting woes, it’ll come at a price. The 9-speed variant will set you back $3,699 (though it’s currently on sale for $2,999), while the single-speed version is $3,499. But if you’re looking for a way to solve your transportation conundrums, the Elby may be your answer.

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