A2B Launch 6 New eBikes: “A Journey Redefined”

A2B-ebikes

I’m an avid cyclist. It’s my favourite way to traverse the capital and I can often been seen zipping in and out between cars, on a fixie, with a courier bag, braving the British winter with just a Rapha softshell jacket. I don’t wear one of those little cycling caps but that’s only because I have too much hair. So I was pleased when Hero Eco and A2B invited me down to the National Gallery to unveil their latest and greatest in ebiking technology.

I’ve always found eBikes to be curious beasts. When I first laid eyes on them they were slow, unwieldy and ugly. They also seemed a little pointless – why not just get a scooter? And maybe I’m masochistic but half the pleasure of cycling was the sense of independence and achievement. But the folks at A2B were keen to point out the many benefits of the ebiking lifestyle for everyone who wasn’t a hardcore cyclist. I love riding to work but I’m less keen on turning up to the office a sweaty mess, then having to dive into the shower and change clothes every day. And after a long day of staring at iPhone cases, and then a longer night at a press event staring at Bluetooth speakers it would be nice to cruise home with a bit of added support. And there have been many occasions when I’ve ridden back laden with shopping bags, or over a particularly steep set of hills and wish I’d been a little less stubborn.

A2B-bike-launch

Of course what also makes ebike easier to swallow is when they look and feel great. A2B unveiled 6 models for the UK market – Shima, Galvani, Ferber, Entz , Ørsted and Obree. Some of these really whizz along – the Shima can reach 28 mph which is pretty much as fast as you need to go for inner city transport. Some of the models look a little bit like funky bikes from the future but some look very conventional and reassuring – the Ferber or Galvani could quite easily pass for regular bikes. And the Ørsted and Obree have front suspension and much more of a hardcore mountain bike feel. One of the standout features for me was Entz, the first ebike in the world to incorporate AEG-Centredrive – which fits a drive motor the size of the front chain wheel by the cranks.

“We are seeing a rising appetite for high quality design and good performance e-bikes in theUK market, as consumers are increasingly looking towards pedal assist bikes to complement their journeys around town.”

Fernando Küefer Hero Eco, General Manager

I spent quite a bit of time riding the Obree. It works using pedal assist rather than a throttle (so it feels more like a bicycle than a moped) and is shockingly light to ride. I even managed to pop a wheelie along the South Bank. Whilst riding, it is pretty easy to hit high speeds without even thinking about it, but at the same time you are definitely cycling. You just get the illusion that you are great of cycling without taking into account all the amazing technology that is helping you cheat passed everyone else. I imagine this is what Lance Armstrong felt like. You can toggle the level of assistance and you can even set it in the other direction for some quite heavy levels of resistance. Not only does this give your thighs a pretty spectacular workout, it also helps charge your battery (which you can also remove and charge at your desk).

Shima (£2,450 – Spring 2013)
Galvani – Male and Female (£1,450 – Spring 2013)
Ferber (£1400 – Spring 2013)
Entz (from £2699 – Autumn 2013)
Ørsted (£1899 – Autumn 2013)
Obree (£2199 – Autumn 2013)

For more information on the range head to A2B

Image courtesy of Twitter user @each1teach1

Slicks Suit25: High end commuter technology

Some gadgets elicit a hmm or a gentle nod. And some are greeted with an “OMG that’s amazing where did you get that?” The Slicks Suit25 bag is one such a product.

With the increase in commuting cyclists (and London has launched a large cycle hire scheme, which is slowly extending across the capital so their numbers are set to increase) it’s not so uncommon to see chaps awkwardly trying to negotiate cycle lanes with a suit bag – or trying to ride along London’s filthy streets and keep their “whistle and flute” clean.

Slicks-Suit25

The Slicks Suit25, with more pockets than a pool table, amazingly allows you to fit a whole suit into a specially designed cycling backpack. Hailing from Switzerland, the Suit25 is a 25 litre backpack with straps and handles designed to be held as a side bag or as a backpack.

The Suit25 folds open to reveal a full size suit holder (which is frankly amazing) and there is a separate compartment for your shoes. If this wasn’t enough (and it is to be honest) there is a special compartment for your laptop (or tablet if you are that way inclined) making it an amazingly versatile device. On top of that there are some built in visibility strips for night time cycling and a rain cover. I think I’m in love.

James Bond walking out of the ocean, stripping off his SCUBA suit and having a tuxedo on is a pretty amazing image. James Bond peddling up and pulling out a neatly folded 3-piece out of a Suit25 wouldn’t be quite as iconic but would still be a pretty amazing scene in the next 007 film (you read it here first).

It’s a little bit heavy (about 2.4kg) even before you load all your suit, shoes, locks and cycling paraphernalia – but if you are cycling across town to work anyway you can probably take the weight.

The Suit25 is £114 from www.slicks.cc/suit25