Pininfarina Fuoriserie, A stylish Italian E-bike

June 21, 2014
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At first glance, this is just a stylish and simple E-bike with a rear hub. However, the exciting part is…who designed it. Pininfarina is the design studio that is most well-known for creating the shapes of some of the most famous exotic cars in history.

Not only did Pininfarina design these rolling works of art, these iconic automobiles influenced an entire generation of car designers. I will point out only a few, and include popular culture references about them to help our young readers understand who Pininfarina is…

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Cars from Pininfarina

The 1951 Cisitalia 202 GT

The 1951 Cisitalia 202 GT.

 

Compared to the common automobiles being made in 1951, the Cisitalia 202 GT was not only a styling milestone, it used the new “unibody” construction taken from the aircraft industry. This is the car that made Enzo Ferrari realize that he should hire them before some other exotic car manufacturer took them away.

GT is short for Gran Tourismo (Grand Touring, meaning a large car for driving long distances). In the style of the day, a GT model is a full-sized street legal race car, with the style criteria taken from a race called the Mille Miglia (one thousand miles), which was run from 1927-57. It is a thousand mile race that is run across Italy on city streets and highways. It was common for a competitor to drive for 16 straight hours.

A true race car might not have a starter-motor or exhaust muffler to save weight (an external starter is removed as soon as the engine is running). A day-racer would not include headlights or tail-lights and might only have one seat. A true GT must be able to drive on city streets, it must run both day and night while having at least two seats, and it must start by itself with all the needed components to run.

 

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The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California (Short Wheel Base). The newest generation of bicyclists might remember this model from the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. The long hood covers the finely-tuned V-12 engine.

 

The Pininfarina studio has designed so many Ferraris, that there is not enough room to list them here. And although they have designed cars for many different manufacturers, their association with some of the more famous Ferraris is what they are best known for.

 

The 1966-67 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider, seen in the Movie "The Graduate"

The 1966 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider, which was seen in the Movie “The Graduate”

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Battista “Pinin” Farina

The Italian familia Farina had eleven children, and the tenth child (born in 1893) acquired the nickname of Pinin, which means “little brother” in the local slang. The “Farina” name means flour in Italian, so it is likely one of their ancestors may have milled grain into flour for bakeries. Battista’s older brother Giovanni had started a body shop to repair cars, and at the tender age of 12, he began working there. This was an event that would ignite his lifelong passion for cars.

As the shop grew, “Pinin” Farina learned every skill that was needed, and he moved up in responsibility. Their shop was located in the northern Italian city of Turin, near the French border. The south of France is famous for the mild Mediterranean weather and beaches, so wealthy Europeans often vacationed there. Repairing exotic cars at the Farina shop evolved into making custom bodies to order…so a wealthy client could have a car that was unique (this bit of information points us to the Electric bicycles name of “Fuoriserie“, which means custom built).

 

Battista "Little Brother" Farina, patriarch of the world famous design studio.

Battista “little brother” Farina, patriarch of the world famous design studio.

 

In 1930, Battista started his own shop at the age of 37, to design and make the bodies of custom cars. Just 22 years later, in 1952…the style of the cars coming from the Carrozzeria Pinin Farina greatly impressed Enzo Ferrari, and that began a relationship that would make them both even more famous.

By 1961, the name “Pinin Farina” had become so famous in the design world, that the Farina family had their last name legally changed to Pininfarina. The 1966 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider was the last car Battista personally designed. From that time until 2001. his son Sergio has run the company.

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43 Milano

The company that has commissioned the Pininfarina studio to design an electric bike for them is named 43 Milano. Their name is a reference to their address at Via Manzoni, number 43…and also their location in the famous city of Milan (which is in northern Italy, near the Swiss border).

This company is an upscale luxury boutique, which provides high-quality bicycles with a wide variety of exotic customizations. The saddles and hand-grips can be finished in ostrich, alligator, or any other exotic leather that you may desire. Their designs include some antique and classic elements, combined with organic and modern materials.

 

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Wicker baskets, leather straps, combined with chrome over chromoly steel that is trimmed with gold-plated brass. Molto Bella!

 

 

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This is the 43 Milano “Gentlemens Classic“. The hand-brazed choromoly steel frame (with chrome finish) includes a modern reproduction of antique rod-actuated radial rim brakes.

 

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You may not be able to pedal up to 120-MPH on a 3-speed bicycle, but the 43 Milano “Daytona Speciale” has a speedometer that is up to the task, just in case you can…Bellissima, si?

 

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The Pininfarina Fuoriserie electric bicycle

This bicycle is an uncluttered and elegant single-speed. Although single-speeds are usually hard to get started from a dead stop, this one maintains the sleek single-speed style…while also having an electric motor to help the rider get started, and of course to also add some assistance on the hills. This E-bike is very exclusive and I am told they will only make 30 of them, so I expect that the price will also be very upscale…

 

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The iconic pininfarina logo of this world-famous design studio. The reversed-positioned brake levers allow the cables to be run inside the handlebars, and this is the type of attention to detail that makes the difference in a luxury brand.

 

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The woven leather hand grips cover the entire handlebar, and the saddle has a matching woven leather cover.

 

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The highly polished motor shell creates a stunning visual focal point.

 

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The small and inconspicuous tail-light is made from three very bright LEDs

 

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You have to look closely to find the discrete 43 Milano badge, located on the seat-tube. The lugs that strengthen the tubing joints suggest that this frame is made from hand-brazed Chromoly steel.

 

The Pininfarina Fuoriserie, designed for the 43 Milano bicycle company.

The Pininfarina Fuoriserie, designed for the 43 Milano bicycle company.

 

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The Motor

Thanks to endless-sphere member “k1kk0_1t4” from Italy, he provided information that allowed me to verify that the motor used by the Pininfarina Fuoriserie is the ZeHus Bike+ system. Here is their Facebook page.

This sophisticated drive is an “all-in-one” device, where the controller, the torque-sensor, the battery, and the motor are all inside the single housing. Information about the drive can be accessed while you are riding through a bluetooth wireless connection by using a smart-phone.

The small battery uses the increasingly popular 18650 cells (cylinders that are 18mm diameter, and 65mm long), which are commonly found in high-performance cordless tools. It uses 16 cells (8S/2P), 24V, 6.6-Ah, 160-WH.

The ZeHus is EU-compliant, meaning that its maximum assist is 250W, power is provided up to 16-MPH (25-kph), and power is only provided as a pedelec (no throttle, the system only adds power when it senses you pedaling).

 

The ZeHus Bike+ motor system.

The ZeHus Bike+ motor system shown with the internal parts spread out.

 

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A Graphic of the assembled ZeHus Bike+ hub. If this depiction is accurate, the controller uses six FETs, which is common for a 250W system.

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Written by Ron/Spinningmagnets, June 2014

Grew up in Los Angeles California, US Navy submarine mechanic from 1977-81/SanDiego. Hydraulic mechanic in the 1980's/Los Angeles. Heavy equipment operator in the 1990's/traveled to various locations. Dump truck driver in the 2000's/SW Utah. Currently a water plant operator since 2010/NW Kansas

4 Comments

  1. my Pedersen bike looks far more comfortable…

  2. Where is the battery on the bike? I have an ezee torq and a freego eagle they both look much better than this, ! Not enough info on this bike

    • Read the article Joe, 160 WH in the motor enclosure. Kinda cool actually….and it is stylish (if you like that kind of thing…)

  3. I suppose a battery and its associated cabling would be utterly gauche. Oops, a French put down for an Italian design. No need for the motor to actually work. It just has to LOOK elegant don’t you know.