You may be familiar with Mini Cooper as the cute and diminutive city car that first popped up in 1961. These days, the car has put on quite a lot of weight, and has transformed itself into a compact hatchback, of which an electric version dubbed the SE is in production. We're not here to talk cars today, but rather, e-bikes.
You see, Cooper Car Company, founded by John Cooper in 1961, got into urban bicycles in 2009, when John's son Mike and grandson Charlie started manufacturing stylish, retro-inspired bicycles. Fast forward to 2017, and Cooper Bikes began rolling out its first e-bikes to a market driven by the advent of electrification. Today, Cooper Bikes introduces what it's calling the Cooper E-Bikes Generation 2. A total of four new models are there to choose from, and they're clearly geared towards the urban/ lifestyle group of e-bikers.
All four e-bikes share the same platform, and are powered by the Zehus Gen2 Heckmotor. The system is composed of a 40Nm hub motor mated to a 173 Wh battery pack. Now, it's clear that this battery is down in terms of capacity against some its other contemporaries, however, Zehus' kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) does add a tiny bit of juice into the mix by way of regenerative braking. KERS can be engaged by back-pedaling, wherein the engine brake is engaged, and the battery momentarily recharges. Taking that into consideration, don't expect KERS to add stellar range—a couple of kilometers or so of extra range seems reasonable.
Cooper E-Bikes Generation 2 is composed of four bikes, the most affordable of which is the CS-1E. It's a single-speed, retro-style commuter, and features a Gates belt drive instead of a chain. The benefits of a belt drive include quieter operation and low maintenance. However, it's substantially more expensive to replace when time comes to do so. The CS-1E retails for 2,399 Euros, which translates to $2,495 USD.
Up next, the Classic Ladies and Classic Gents 7-speeds, or the CL-7E and CG-7E respectively. These hip and stylish city bikes are equipped with a seven-speed drivetrain, which take the form of conventional hybrid bikes. The Classic Ladies version is characterized by its easy-to-access step-through frame. Each retails for 2,499 Euros, or the equivalent of $2,599 USD. Lastly, the Cooper E-Bikes Generation 2 range is topped by the CR-7E, which employs similar styling as the CG-7E, but with a drop handlebar. It's priced also at 2,499 Euros, translating to $2,599 USD.