In a similar fashion as to how modern day motorcycle manufacturers are turning to classic bikes for design inspiration, electric bike makers are leveraging on vintage designs in moving forward with new models. Take for example, the DB-E from Michigan-based Detroit Bikes, the company's first made-in-the-U.S.A. electric bicycle.
The DB-E, or the Detroit Bike - Electric, is indeed classic-styled, and one look at it can have you miss the fact that it's even electric to begin with. Even more impressively, it tips the scales at a featherweight 32 pounds. The secret behind its simplistic design and modest weight? The motor, battery, and controller are all housed in the hub of the rear wheel.
The Zehus All-In-One hub, motor, and battery combination is used by the DB-E, allowing for incredibly compact packaging. This eliminates the need for wires, and the bulky battery that is often located in the down-tubes of other e-bikes. The motor, which is manufactured in Europe, produces 40Nm of torque and 250W of pedal assistance up to 15.5 miles per hour. Detroit Bikes claims that the DB-E can be used for up to 20 miles on the strongest assist level and up to 35 miles in Eco mode.
The bike's Integrated Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) is another cool technological advancement that highlights the contrast between current technology and classic aesthetics. The technology enables the motor to save braking energy while riding and replenish the internal battery. Even just pedaling backwards will allow it to recharge.
The DB-E's running gear, which consists of case-hardened, nickel-plated gears, is powered by a Veer Split Belt system. Detroit Bikes asserts that the belt system lasts up to four times longer than a chain drive system due to the virtually maintenance-free nature of the drive belt.
Moving on to electronics, it's hard to imagine that a bike as simple as the DB-E would have features such as smartphone connectivity to its disposal, but indeed, it does. The DB-E's Bluetooth connection enables you to use your phone as your riding dashboard, and is fully compatible with the Bitride Connect App. This means that there is no longer a need for a built-in display because you can effortlessly choose between ride settings, modes, and check important ride statistics via your mobile phone.
When it comes to pricing and availability, you already know that a bike with this much attention to detail is going to set you back a pretty penny. Indeed, Detroit Bikes is asking for no less than $2,500 in exchange for a brand-new, freshly welded DB-E. You get to choose between either Gloss Black or Emerald Green motifs, and shipping is expected to begin by March, 2023.
Sources: Bike Rumor, Detroit Bikes