As technology advances and becomes more ubiquitous, the cost of ownership drops substantially. This is a trend we've witnessed across all industries—from smartphones all the way to solar panels, and yes, electric bicycles, too. Not too long ago, the e-bikes that cost around $1,000 today, would have cost twice or thrice the price.
Now, with more and more players entering the game, as well as battery tech advancing leaps and bounds, things are a lot cheaper—but not necessarily cheaply made. Take, for example, the newest e-bike by cycle company KBO, the Hurricane. It's what the brand is calling a stealth e-bike, not just because it's painted matte black, but more so because of the fact that it's easy to miss that this is actually an e-bike. This is because it looks, weighs, and is priced similar to that of a standard bicycle, at just $1,100 USD.
What makes the KBO Hurricane so special is that it's the definition of less is more. It doesn't have any fancy drive train, or a cutting-edge mid-drive motor. Instead, it makes use of a hub mounted electric motor and a single speed drivetrain with a belt drive. To keep costs down, the belt drive is a standard rubber belt, and not a Gates drive unit. That said, it's still a lot quieter than a chain drive system, and replacing the belt in the event it fails shouldn't be all too expensive.
In terms of its construction, the no-frills Hurricane features a retro-style aluminum frame with road-biased geometry. It keeps things incredibly sleek and streamlined, with hardly any wires and cables being visible. Plus, the fact that the battery is housed in the downtube gives the frame a look as if it was made out of carbon fiber. When fully assembled, the KBO Hurricane tips the scales at just 16.3 kilograms. KBO has fitted the Hurricane with a 350-watt electric motor, with three pedal assist levels. The bike's top speed will be dependent on e-bike regulations, so we can expect it to be capped at 15 miles per hour.
Battery-wise, the Hurricane sports a 9.6 Ah Lithium battery pack from Samsung and LG. According to KBO, it's capable of returning a range of up to 53 miles on a single charge—more than adequate for a day or two's worth of commuting duties. All these features indeed make the Hurricane's price of $1,100 USD extremely enticing.