My brother and I have been building, improving and repairing motorbikes since we were kids. We started by "preparing" a 103sp at 14, which lead to both of us studying engineering, in addition to that, we were participating in races with the bikes we prepared. After our years at "Arts et Métiers", Jérôme took a major in welding and another one in mechanical sports, in a school where he teaches today. I took a major in motorization. In 2014, we participated at the France national championship of Moto3 with a bike we completely designed and built.
My brother is now project manager in the two-wheeled vehicules sector and I am charged of simulating automotive powertrain behavior, thus we know the mobility issue, we thought a lot about it. We always said to ourselves that it's not by improving thermic engines to the last Watt that the situation is going to get any better. We need to change the use of vehicules, the energy used by a car to make a 5 km ride at 10 km/h average is simply not justifiable. Those 5 to 10 km to commute can easily be done on a bicycle. When we saw the first electric bikes come to market, we found that it was a great solution.
However, a 25kg bike which needs to be charged every day and costs the price of a small car, no bother. Wide handlebars and batteries on rack that were commonly found on early models clearly lack some swag. So we put on paper a quick spec of our idea of the ideal E bike. We were working a lot at the time, so it got put aside for a moment.
In July 2015, an amazing job opportunity was offered to me, an automotive manufacturer was looking for a profile similar to mine in his R&D center in Belgium, I don't hesitate long and accept.
Therefore, I got to live in Bruxelles during the week, the job is super interesting but I quickly (re) discover what living in the city means. I loose precious time in traffic, parking my car in the evening is a nightmare and I often have parking tickets. It's impossible for me to take public transport since I can't leave my car in the street I live and I would need two subscriptions, half of my commute being in Bruxelles and the other half in Flanders. In August 2016, my car's window is broken and a USB is stolen, a 2GB one... This is it, I've had it with Bruxelles.
I remind my brother we have specs ready and that we should build a prototype. At least, I know what to do of the bike if this fails...
We rework the specs in depth, we start to consult components suppliers. A few months later, the pieces arrive and we can start the build. After some iterations, we improve a few issues and we finally found a configuration we like.
We're really happy, the style, the behavior on the road, the bike is quite good. Still a few things to change but the basics are here.
It was time to test the bike in real conditions, in Bruxelles.
Thus, I leave my car to work and come back home on my bike. I realize that it took me 30 min to do the 11km commute, which is almost the same as when I take the car when traffic is good. Most importantly, I don't have to look for a parking spot, and that saves me almost 20 min.
The next morning, I leave on bike, taking the same time as the day before, I didn't even pay attention to traffic, I just rode on the bike path (almost uninterrupted). Funny thing is, you can overtake other cyclists in full riding gear while you're climbing at 25 km/h, in your suit, without breaking a sweat.
Since that day, I used the bike everyday. I was leaving my car on my job's parking (with cameras). I was saving up so much time and I wasn't worried about my car anymore.
Mostly, I came to work with a good mood. No need to start Waze to avoid traffic or road work, I even got to take a breath of fresh air before work, it was revitalizing. In the evening when people asked me if I wanted to come drink, I didn't have to think if I was going to find a parking spot or if I could drive to come back home. Best of all, people were giving me kudos for the bike and asking where they could buy one.
I was charging the battery once every two days, since the bike is only weighing 14 kg, it was a breeze to lift it up in the apartment .
So yes, this bike completely changed my experience of living in the city. Your commuting experience can really become something much more pleasing, you'll love using our E bike daily. Hell, you may even sell your car or your public transport subscription. But most importantly, and I mean it, you'll ride with style!
If you have feedback or questions about the bike, don't hesitate!
If you want to test ride the bike, it's here