Electric bicycles have been around for several years now, and have very much integrated themselves into the mainstream recreational and outdoor-driven sector. In recent times, electric bicycles have become sportier, and can now be spotted sharing the road (or trails) with standard road or mountain bikes. While the sports and recreation side of e-cycling is one thing, the lifestyle and utility aspect is another, equally exciting thing to look at.
Manufacturers are certainly turning their attention towards more practical, utility-driven e-bikes. Specialized recently released teasers about its new range of budget-friendly, utility-focused e-bikes under the Globe sub-brand. While mainstream bike brands work on more utility-focused models alongside their bread and butter models, startups dedicated to producing unique lifestyle e-bikes have been picking up steam, as well.
One such brand is Rayvolt, a Spanish startup that's totally into the lifestyle segment when it comes to the styling of its products. The brand has recently announced the launch of its sub-brand called eXXcite, which focuses more on tech-loaded e-bikes for younger, trendy e-cyclists. The flagship model of the new sub-brand is the X1, a full-size, retro-style, e-bike that comes chock-full of fancy technology.
From a styling perspective, the X1 departs greatly from the boring standard-bicycle-styling that has become the norm among electric pedal-assist bikes. The X1 is thoroughly unique, and features a neo-retro design. It gets a low saddle, and a cruiser-like stance, suggesting that it's more of a leisurely two-wheeler than a full-on exercise machine. The oversized top tube doubles as a dock for your smartphone, and even features a wireless charging system. Furthermore, a mobile app allows you to use your smartphone as an information display. On top of this, it allows the rider to access remote diagnostics, battery health, and other info.
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Other technological innovations on the eXXcite X1 include a unique pedal regenerative braking system. Just like a standard pedal-assist setup, you can pedal forward, and the electric motor will assist you as you accelerate. However, the regenerative pedal system allows you to pedal backwards to engage regenerative braking—slowing the bike down and slightly charging the batter in the process. Other fancy features include an LED headlight that's integrated into the frame, and a sleek taillight that's built into the frame's dropouts.
At present, the eXXcite X1 is merely a prototype, however, sources suggest that its extremely close to reaching production-ready status. That being said, the X1 is expected to be launched in the European market later in 2022. In the meantime, Rayvolt has two techie folding e-bikes in the form of the XS and XXS, retailing for 1,800 Euros ($1,944 USD) and 1,700 Euros ($1,836 USD), respectively.