June, 2012

This is the list of the sexiest pieces of E-bike technology ever made. No, the golf caddy on the  Hanebrink (pictured above) didn’t make the list, but she is an honorable mention only because the featured picture shows how low the top bar is with a rider on it (wink). Not many E-bike companies understand that sex sells because E-bike companies are mostly run by technology geeks, not marketers. As functional as the Hanebrink golf caddy is, the Hanebrink is simply too fat to be sexy. Plus, products made for golfers are never sexy. I rode the Hanebrink lately and its awesome (not always is sexy a good thing) . Read the  Hanebrink write up here.

To qualify for this list, the technology has to be crafted of metal, super functional and super aesthetic eye candy. We are looking for the stuff that appeals to the gears and the gonads in all of us. And I am making a huge assumption that most of the people who are reading this are men. So lets get on with it!.

If it wasnt for the “crafted of metal” qualifier, the leather Brookes saddle would have made the list.  (see our article here) So count the Brookes saddle as another honorable mention. Leather and metal would have been sweet…but too many qualifiers.  I am happy with the items on this list, and will try to include items such as these in future bikes that I build. I think every item on this review is a masterpiece of artistic engineering and industrial design. Every one of these items have been used on at least one masterpiece bike, which will be the subject of another article. Obviously this article is about pieces which can be used in an E-bike. Take a look at some masterpieces of modern design and ingenuity:

So now that we are in the mood,  with no further ado, here is the list of the  10 sexiest pieces of electric bike porn:

 

 

#10  NuVinci Drive

Simply put, the NuVinci drive has balls. The NuVinci hub is an internal gear hub that  utilizes a continuously variable planetary (CVP) transmission.  What this means is that instead having a set number of gears like a standard shifter, you have any degree of gear you want in the 360% gear range of the hub shifter. Many mid drive electric bikes (including the spectacularly sexy Dogati) have used the NuVinci.

Note that this does not rate higher on the list because it was not designed specifically for E-bikes, but for pedal bicycles.

Cost: $350  Weight 5 pounds

#9 The Rohloff Speed Hub

There is no question that the Rohloff is one of the sexiest pieces of bicycle porn ever. So it definitely deserves a place in the E-bike list, especially since extremely sexy E-bikes such as the M55 have used it as their drive system.  When you tear off its metal lining, the Rohloff has pretty innards. Like the Nuvinci, the Rohloff  is a transmission built into the rear hub of the bike. It is extremely small for the big job it does, and is phallic in shape. It has 14 gears in perfectly even steps to give you a total of 526% difference between low gear and high gear. Read our complete analysis of Rohloffs on electric bikes here.

Cost $1500 Weight 5 pounds

 

Not Sexy:   

Conventional Derailleurs

Ugly!

 

#8 The Speedict

The speedict counts as one of those cool pieces of E-bike tech that serves its function, but could still fit in any of your orifices wtihout extreme discomfort. This is one of those devices that if it vibrated you might mistake it for a sex toy. Therefore it is fitting that it makes our list of sexiest E-bike porn pieces. This thing is beautifully engineered out of Hong Kong and transmits via bluetooth all the relevant information to your android phone which is transformed into a sexy E-bike read-out giving you all your vitals: MPH, juice left, energy health….and even your GPS location.  This sexy little thing will even let you know if you are over-heating, with 3 different temperature probes you can place on 3 of your vitals…think: Battery, controller, and motor…

Cost $100 Weight  2 ounces

 

 

Not Sexy:

Cycle Analyst….(but it is highly functional and practical)  The Cycle Analyst is so geeky its almost sexy….but it still makes the “not sexy” list . Read our story on  the v3 Cycla Analyst.

 

#7  Castle HV-160 Controller

RC guys like cool looking stuff. The RC community is way ahead of the E-bike community in terms of sexy components. RC guys are the equivalent of when it comes to their equipment, they are dating the hot awesome chicks, while the E-bike guys are still hanging with the fat and frumpy chicks. Occasionally, the E-bike guys can step over and borrow some of the RC Guys sexy pieces. The HV-160 is used on some of the hottest E-bikes on the planet including the Dogati, and its features include 160 amps of juice and  a cool interface cable that can plug in and feed you data of electrical outputs during your ride. The Castle controller really shows the  ebike guys how a controller aught to be made..small, lightweight and sexy looking.   Unfortunately for the E-bike guys, the one thing the Castle controller lacks is support for sensored motors (most E-bike motors are sensored), and its limited to a maximum 48-volt battery. The market is wide open for a  purpose made sexy E-bike RC-style controller…but as of this writing, none of the E-bike guys have jumped on the horse.

Cost:  $320 Weight:  4.5 ounces

]

 

 

Not Sexy

Traditional made in china, big and bulky and wirey E-bike controllers looking really unkempt. This thing looks like a nerdy hairy piece that should keep its pants up (you don’t even want to see what’s inside)

 

 

#6  Astro Motor

 

The Astro Motor is one of those units that fits in the palm of your hand, but puts out a terrifying level of power (see our article here). The Astros that are used for E-bikes  come in 4 models …the 3205, the 3210, the 3215 and the 3220. Yes, they’re not very sexy model names, but the Astro is guaranteed to blast you off fast.  The Astro represents more RC tech, and in fact mates well with the HV-160. This couple is a hot one and needs to be dialed down via gear reduction leading to sexy as sabrina set-ups such as this one:

 

cost $500–$800  Weight:  less than 5 pounds

Not Sexy:

Currie Drives (unsexy but cheap…read review here), with heavy short-range SLA batteries at a weak 24V, and a low-watt brushed motor with a noisy straight-cut gear-reduction.

 

#5 Plettenberg Predator

The name is sexy. The phallic shape is sexy. The fact that someone would attempt to mount this baby  on a bike is sexy. It turns out the German made Plettenburg Predator is the motor that was mounted into a Blacktrail Bt-01 which is…you guessed it…a very sexy bike (Brookes Saddle and all).

Cost of the motor: $1300 cost of the bike with motor: $88,000  Top speed of bike with this motor: 60mph

 

Not sexy: Jay Leno on a Blacktrail

 

 

#4  Cute Geared Hub Motor

Yes this motor company is really called “Cute”. The geared hub motor tries to make whats ugly (a large and heavy hub motor), by installing planetary gears which enable the motor to spin faster and thus be more efficient.  This allows a much smaller and lighter motor to put out the same power as a much fatter and heavier direct drive hub motor. The Cute hub motor is half the size and weight of most of its direct drive counterparts and has a smooth chrome finish.  This is the only mass produced China item to make this list…and it is the cheapest piece of porn on this list. This thing is small, lightweight and sexy.

 

Cost $100 Weight: 5lbs

Not Sexy:

Fat and heavy direct drive hub motors.

Fat and heavy direct drive hub motors.

#3   Pinion E1.8 

 
The Pinion E1.8 is an electric drive system that can ride you to the top of a mountain peak using the pedal gears. This thing is German-made and pure E-bike porn. Check out our story here for more details. It looks like the Germans are dominating this list.
Not Sexy:
The German language

 

#2 Clean Mobile Drive System

Driving probably the sexiest E-bike on the planet (the Audi E-bike) and other super sexy European high-end bikes is the Clean Mobile drive  system which is an intricate bottom bracket gear reduction system, designed to interface with powerful RC motors similar to the Predator and  the Astro, and deliver heart pounding power to the pavement.  The intricate gears and chains appeals to the gear head (and masochist) in us all.

Cost: Only available to OEMs  Weight: Unknown

#1 Gruber Assist

The German made Gruber Assist is a fine piece of German-made engineering that slides into a seat tube.  This thing gives you a boost while vibrating right under your Brooks seat. What a perfect fit! This thing is not just highly sexual, it is also awesome! The Gruber Assist can slide into almost any seat tube, and transform almost any bike into a super-stealthy and sneaky electric bike. The thing is guilty of making a whinny motor noise, so its the only thing that give it away that you have something cooking under your seat. It is rumored that a professional cycle racer used a Gruber assist to win some prestigious races. Regardless of whether this allegation is true or not, the Gruber Assist managed to get more press for the electric bike than any other product release. If you ride around on a bike equipped with a Gruber Assist, it is possible to convince girls you are as fast as any professional athlete on your ordinary bike.  The Gruber Assist wins top honors on this list.  Read more about the Gruber Assist.

 

the motor and the beveled crank drive
seat tube with controller and wires that go to push button throttle

 

Cost $3,000 Weight: 3 pounds