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
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.