Competition is a good thing, and this new E-bike company is about to compete in a big way with several upscale ebikes that are already well-known. Vector E-bikes are manufactured in Western Ukraine. Although there has been some political unrest on the eastern border with Russia, Ukraine is a very large country, and Vectors are made near the western Polish border, in a very stable region.
These models will likely be compared to the Stealth Fighter and the Qulbix Raptor, and Vector welcomes the comparison. The man who started this is Artur Ragulskyi, he felt the other Ebikes like this did not have enough options for the customers, and he also felt there was plenty of room to find reasonable compromises that could lower the prices to a more affordable level. The most exciting feature of the Vector E-bikes is that the Kickstarter price for the most expensive complete model is under $6,000!
We’ve recently written about several exciting new mid drives, but having a rear hub still makes sense for some customers. Extra-high power levels will break bicycle components, so a rear hub allows the power to go right to the rear wheel. The direct-drive (DD) hubs have the potential to run very quietly. Also, a rear hub leaves the central frame area free to have the largest battery possible. Most builders are to choose only two out of these three performance characteristics…high volts, high amps, and long range. However, with a large frame housing and a rear hub motor…you can have all three.
Artur appreciated the extra-large battery that the Stealth and Raptor could hold, but he also felt a very good battery size could still be achieved with a slightly narrower housing, in order to make pedaling easier. Their retail batteries will be the very safe LiFePO4, but Artur also made sure that the housing was just wide enough to hold two side-by-side LiPo bricks from the affordable 4S packs that have become common.
However, if you still want an extra-large battery pack, for only $15 more, you can specify extra-wide side-plates to allow three LiPo bricks side-by-side, with an extra 3-centimeters of width. And for those builders who don’t care about width at all, Vector has the option of 3D-shaped side-plates for a massive 18cm wide battery!
Customers want a choice of motors, but there are several widths on the various axle shoulders. The Vector frame has a resting drop-out width of 154mm, and the steel swingarm has plenty of flex to safely and easily allow the 150mm width on the well-regarded Cromotor.
The drop-outs on the Vector are one of the features that have been long overdue for this style of E-bike. First of all, they use an integrated clamping mechanism which is the best way to secure a rear hub at these power levels. The other distinctive feature is that the clamping section is swappable from the inside of the swingarms to the outside. When mounted on the inside, they accept any common hub motor with 135mm wide axle shoulders. Then, if you later decide that you want to move up to the monster Cromotor…you can unbolt the axle clamps and move them to the outsides to allow for the 150mm wide axle shoulders.
The disc brake mounting slots are extra-long to allow the caliper to adjust to a wide variety of disc diameters.
Vectors have an optional kickstand, and even if you don’t buy a Vector with, one…it can be bolted on later. Most other bikes in his class don’t even have that as an option.
Because Vector buyers can select a bare frame, they have the option of outfitting their Vector with the components of their choice. And…for buyers who want a turn-key bike, Vector has a choice of seven popular suspension fork choices, and eight rear shock choices. The production shock mounts will accept popular-sized units from 190mm to 240mm.
One of the unique options on the Vectors that I haven’t seen anywhere else is the availability of two shocks absorbers. some builders have commented that larger and heavier riders can swap-in a single upgraded shock, but Vector noticed that two mid-grade shocks can sometimes be cheaper than some of the upscale single shocks that were considered. There is nothing wrong with with dual shocks, or single shocks, but…Vector buyers have a choice that other frames don’t allow.
Bear in mind, if the combined weight of the Vector and rider is 145-kg, there is no single shock that would be adequate.
Options and Custom Parts
Off-road riders expressed their appreciation of a motorcycle-style seat, so Vector tried these and agreed that a moto seat is definitely a desirable option. So, buyers can choose that, or…start with a bicycle seat, and then easily swap to the moto seat later.
Vector is open to adding colors to their options, and right now they have ten available. As seen on their Kickstarter page, they are: Black, White, Red, Dark Orange, Light Orange, Yellow, Light Green, Dark Green, Light Blue, and Dark Blue.
Bare frame, or turn key Ebike?
The first 100 frames have been made and sold. They are continuing to produce new Vectors every week, but their kickstarter campaign will allow them to scale up for their global marketing campaign, which will start full-production in the spring of 2015. The side panels also have two USB charging ports for maintaining a charge on your smart-phone and GPS devices.
If a customer wants a turn-key E-bike from a selection of well-researched options, Vector currently has three packages that they feel will satisfy the majority of potential customers. The 2000W Lightning with a popular-sized hub from Evel, the 4000W Tornado using a Crystalyte 4065, and the 7000W Typhoon with an Evel-branded motor that is very similar to the Cromotor. They can also source and mount a Crown motor as an option at the customers request.
The small chainring and high Bottom-Bracket (BB) means that riders on this E-bike cannot add pedaling when you are using power. However, it also means that this frame has exceptional ground clearance for crawling over obstacles, and a rider can lean over very far in a turn without danger of a pedal-strike.
Vector has made and sold over 100 frames, but in order to expand globally in the spring of 2015, they estimated they will need a $100,000 investment to take their operation to the next level.
Their $100,000 Kickstarter campaign needs at least $20,000 to be able to walk their design through the EU certification process to make it street-legal as a moped (called an S-Pedelec, and the S = Schnell, which is German for Fast). However, this won’t be a problem because…their 28-day campaign surpassed the goal of $100,000…on the third day!
Their website home-page can be found here.
And…their Kickstarter page (Nov 21-Dec 18) can be found here.
Written by Ron/Spinningmagnets, November 2014