This German ebike has an elegant and subtle style that caught my eye. Style may not be hugely important to most people, but I think that this time, it’s worth mentioning. The mid drive it uses is only a mild EU street-legal system, and here is what I could find out about it.
Milos Jovanovic, the designer
When I’m in the mood for an adult beverage, I’m much more likely to have a beer to drink, instead of wine. That being said…in spite of how I observe the expensive art culture with amusement from a distance, I also appreciate that…sometimes…a slight improvement in how something looks might not be a horrible thing, when you are considering the possibility of using a professional designer…
Milos is one of many designers working at the “Behance” design studio in Germany. Sometimes they might change the appearance of an existing product, and other times they might be contracted to design the advertising art, or possibly the packaging. (click here to see samples of their previous work).
Milos: “I am a product designer and have been working in this field for over 6 years. I started my career as a freelance designer in Serbia and have worked for companies worldwide. Later I joined Team Design Belgrade, where I worked as a product designer and CAD modeler. I created CycleElectric as my personal project, which was later developed into today’s series product, and it has participated in numerous international design competitions. In Boston, I was awarded first prize for my wood frame design” December 2017
The two pictures above are not about how this ebike works…AT ALL. They are advertisements that highlight the “lifestyle” that the ad agency wants to convey to a certain demographic of potential customers. The male model shown might not have EVER ridden an ebike in his life.
In one ad, he is wearing a suit, so…he is a professional that makes a good salary, but…in the next ad he is wearing middle-class weekend casual clothes made from cotton. He is slim (athletic?), but well-groomed, wearing a short scruffy vacation beard, with just a “touch” of grey in his hair.
Also notice the careful use of light and shadows. Plus the varied textures by using leather shoes, cotton jeans, a light wool business suit, brick, stone, concrete, and cobblestones. As much as every little detail in these two ads has been carefully contrived and set-up for the camera…I have to admit that the average ebike retailer could learn a thing or two from these guys about how the compose the main sales image that their website is using on their homepage.
The Drive System
The Komsa uses the TranzX M25 GTS mid drive. This drive can be programmed to provide 500W, but the Komsa has the amps de-rated to 250W in order to make it street-legal in the majority of European nations (Switzerland and Austria allow 500W…gee, thanks!).
In this form, it provides a mild 50-Nm of torque. It also uses an internal torque-sensor to determine when and how much power to apply (based on user-programmed preferences). EU laws are designed to encourage riders to keep their hands on the hand-grips and available for using the brakes, so…some type of Pedal-Assist-Sensor / PAS is strongly encouraged. Hand-throttles are rare, and in many places over there…they are illegal.
A speed-sensing PAS is simply an affordable disc with several embedded magnets that pass by a movement sensor. Critics of the speed-sensing type do not like how the power application can be slightly delayed and then abruptly on, along with a somewhat flat power curve. A torque-sensing PAS has an instant response to the slightest pedal movement, and they can even tell how hard you are pedaling, so…the harder you pedal, the more power it will apply.
The Komsa uses a Gates belt. These belts never need to to be oiled (like a chain), and they run as silently as it is physically possible to drive a bike…
One of the subtle features of the Komsa is that the “chain stay” is located above the top run of the belt. This is called an “elevated stay” and it makes replacing a worn belt (or chain) quite easy. Chains can normally be broken and slipped out of any style of frame. As far as belts are concerned, a common “diamond” shaped frame must have some type of “frame break” included so that it can be unbolted to allow the one-piece belt to be slipped-in.
The completely-outfitted 6061-Aluminum frame is only 24.6-kg (55-lb). The brakes are both hydraulic-caliper disc-brakes from Tektro, which is an excellent choice. The suspension seat-post is a Satori ET2. The wheels use 28-inch hybrid rims.
The Komsa uses an Internally-Geared-Hub / IGH. They provide an uncluttered look, along with several performance features. The gears are completely encased and bathed in lube, so they don’t need to be cleaned and oiled like external gears with a common derailleur. Also, if you come to a stop in high gear, you can change down to low gear quite easily without the bike moving. With a derailleur, the wheel must be spinning to change gears, so forgetting to downshift before stopping can make for an awkward re-start (You can read all about IGH’s in our article by clicking here).
This is no hot rod, but since the lack of a hand-throttle forces you to pedal (whether you want to or not), you can get a decent amount of range from the modest battery pack, which provides 36V and 11.2-Ah, for a total of 400 Watt-Hours of energy. This battery pack model is the TranzX BL18.
Here is a quick four-minute German video
Let’s wrap it up
There are similar frames (with more power) like the Izip E3 Dash ($2300 and 500W, click here) or the Luna Cycles SixFifty Lone Wolf ($2000 and 1500W, click here). This is relevant because most of our readers are in North America, and I doubt any US dealers will carry the Komsa. The price at this months exchange rate is $2950 in Yankee dollars (or € 2,599 in EU monopoly money).
The bike I currently ride the most is a stretch cruiser with a comfortable riding position. It has disc brakes, fat tires, and a 1500W BBSHD mid drive from Luna Cycles. I could have saved several hundred dollars by getting a generic frame, but I love the curves of the Electra Lux beach cruiser. I am making this confession so you’ll understand that I “get it” when a buyer pays more to buy a certain product simply because…they like it.
The slim downtube battery and small mid drive motor make this model very light and stealthy (if that’s something that’s important to you). The paint job seems to frame the main color with a black edging. I like it, and I may copy that in the future. Couple that with the elevated stay, and there’s just something about this combination that is more intriguing than it should be.
You can’t buy them here, plus they are low-powered and expensive. However, I thought you would enjoy reading about this new model, so…have fun and ride safe, my friends…
Written by Ron/spinningmagnets, February 2019