The world's lightest electric bike?

Winchester firm unveils 13.6kg power-assisted Cannondale

by Dave Atkinson   August 13, 2009  

Modern Times, A Winchester-based company, has produced what they claim to be the world's lightest electric bike. Weighing in at a slight 13.6kg (29.9lb), the bike is a singlespeed Cannondale Capo fitted with a Cytronex hub motor system which retails at £1650. Without the battery the bike weighs just 11.5kg (25.4lb) so it should be a very serviceable singlespeed without the power on as well. As well as the Cannondale you can also get a Genesis Day One (15.5kg, £1395) with added power.

The Cytronex system is neither a pedelec nor a throttle based system. Instead you get a boost button: when your speed drops below 15mph (the maximum allowable speed for assistance), simply press the button and the motor will kick in to try and get you up to 15mph; it'll keep running until you press the button again or use the rear brake. On geared bikes (There's a 15kg Cannondale Synapse) there's a low speed setting too for hill climbing or cruising through traffic, but on the singlespeeds it's a simple on/off arrangement, with the power kicking in after one pedal stroke.

Modern Times trumpet their system as “invisible assistance”, and at first glance the electric bits aren't obvious; the hub motor isn't much bigger than a dynamo and the battery is a bottle shaped affair that sits on the down tube where a real bottle might. They're also keen to point out that the Cytronex battery only takes 90 minutes to recharge, and the claimed range is 25 miles – although we're used to those figures being, shall we say, best case scenarios...

It certainly sounds like an interesting alternative and we're keen to get our hands on one. We're not alone, either: Channel Five's Gadget Show have had the bikes, and they were also featured at the show's live event. Winchester's not too far so we'll pop down and grab one soon – watch out for a review!

To have a look at the full range of Cytronex bikes, go to www.cytronex.com

4 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

It also looks a lot better than most electric bikes. The ones I've seen previously have looked so monstrously hideous you'd want to wear a disguise (like a paper bag with eyeholes) so that no-one would recognise you. The Halfords bikes aren't the worst offenders by any means but you wouldn't see me on any of those. It was about time someone designed an electric bike that doesn't look like it fell out of the ugly tree and hit all the branches on the way down, resulting in an aesthetic disaster zone that could make a British Leyland car of the 70s look like a sleek Ferrari by comparison.

Unlike all the other electric bike monstrosities I've seen to date, I could actually envisage myself riding this. It's not cheap but it's not outrageouly priced either.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2125 posts]
13th August 2009 - 14:23

like this
Like (2)

The obvious flaw in a design like this is that someone that is so concerned about looks and performance is not the same type of person to *not pedal* there is a reason why electric bikes look the way that they do, to appeal to a certain target market. A shopping bike is a good example, as it is a utilitatian vehical designed to take you to the shops and back - so a good candidate for electrification, on the other hand a 'racing style' bike??? looks nice but i can't see a market for it really.

posted by roadie69 [6 posts]
13th August 2009 - 21:40

like this
Like (2)

Old cyclists is one market I can think of. A few years ago, Panasonic did an electric bike that looked like a proper bike - it was nice to ride too. An old guy in his 80s used to park his up outside the C+ offices, he lived at the top of a massive hill, he'd been cycling all his life and he told me that the Panasonic was the reason he was still able to ride.

The other thing to consider is that if the bike is lighetr it should go further and longer between charges which is much less of a faff.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
13th August 2009 - 22:36

like this
Like (2)

I have just bought one, so I suppose I am the market they are aiming at. Reasons for buying.... I like my racer and have been going to work on it for the last 3 mths. Problem has been that it is taking me a long time to clean (snow and grit taking its toll) and sometimes I just would like some assistance after a hard day at work. This bike was an ideal fit, it looks great, it is almost as light as my racer, it is far easier to maintain and best of all when I am not feeling 100% it will get me home.

posted by woltond [1 posts]
31st January 2010 - 11:12

like this
Like (3)