FREY Bike, based in Jinhua, China, has just released its first hub motor electric bike, adding the less expensive FREY Runner to its model line-up. FREY has long been a premium producer of electric mountain bikes that has prioritized powerful mid-drive motors, and its move towards hub motors signifies the brand opening its doors to more utilitarian and price conscious clientele.
The brand's prices have generally been in the $3,000 to $5,000 area for many of FREY's popular electric mountain bikes due to its emphasis on high-end design. However, the starting price of the new FREY Runner, which uses a hub motor drivetrain, is only $2,580. That may seem like a hefty price tag compared to the many inexpensive e-bikes currently available, but FREY has always equipped their e-bikes with better-quality parts that can survive more rigorous riding.
The FREY Runner is offered with either 29-inch or 27.5-inch wheels, and each wheel size is available in M, L, and XL frame sizes. Even though the bike has a hub motor for a more straightforward powertrain, it nevertheless has many of the same higher-quality parts as the other FREY e-bikes. That entails a massive 48V 21Ah battery with a 1,008 Wh capacity, four-piston Tektro HD hydraulic disc brakes, Maxxis tires, Shimano Alivio 9-speed drivetrain, and a RockShox Recon fork.
The battery is neatly encased in the downtube of the aluminum frame, but it can be unlocked and taken out for transportation or remote battery charging. Depending on where you ride, the battery powers three different motor options. Hub motors from Bafang with ratings of 250W, 500W, or 1,000W are available. Local power restrictions will probably force Europeans to choose the lowest motor option, whereas other regions will be able to fully utilize FREY's two larger motor choices.
The pedal assist system pairs each motor with a torque sensor to provide responsive and natural-feeling performance. The FREY Runner includes a rear rack and is intended for bikepacking and touring. It is also capable of carrying loads up to 150 kilograms (330 pounds), thus it can transport both heavy quantities of gear and larger riders. Depending on the motor chosen, the bike itself weights between 27.2 and 29.5 kilograms (60 and 65 pounds).