The e-road sector is growing but at the moment it does seem to have a bit of an identity crisis. On the one hand there are manufacturers trying to get the weight of the bike as low, and the integration as seamless, as possible. On the other there are plenty of bikes out there with full-spec motor and battery systems. No-one really seems to be sure which way electric road bikes are going, and it’s entirely possible they’ll go both ways: the two approaches are very different, and will suit different riders.
When we say ‘road bike’ here we’re really talking about drop-bar bikes, as some of the bikes on show were more designed for gravel riding and bikepacking, and some were designed to be able to swing both ways. Anyway, to the list!
BH Easymotion Rebel Gravel
Let’s kick off with a full-fat e-bike: this BH uses Yamaha’s PW mid motor and a 500Wh battery and it has a claimed range of 105km. That capacity is reflected in the weight, which BH say is just over 18kg. Not heavy for an e-bike, but heavy for a road bike.
Yamaha’s motor is direct drive at the bottom bracket, and that allows the use of a double chainset, which BH have speeced here for a wide gear range.
This Rebel Gravel is designed for rougher surfaces than just tarmac, and as such it’s kitted out with Schwalbe’s excellent G-One tyres for a bit more grip on loose surfaces.
The bike gets disc brakes too, although for €3,299 we’re a bit disappointed that they’re cable-actuated and not hydraulic.
Maserati MC Race
Right at the other end of the spectrum is this Maserati MC Race, which presumably you’d buy to complement your Quattroporte. You do have a Quattroporte, right? It’s a carbon-framed tarmac racing machine designed to hide the electrics as much as possible. It’s built by Diavelo who also do Pininfarina-badged bikes, and a Bugatti too.
The Maserati uses the Fazua Evation mid motor. You can read our first ride of that system here and it’s a really good system given its low (4kg) weight. You can remove the motor and battery and ride the bike under your own steam.
The bike gets a high-spec finish with full carbon saddle, SRAM Force 1x drivetrain and Zipp wheels. It costs a lot of money. If you have to ask, and so on…
KTM Macina flite Street
Back to big motors and gravel: the KTM Macina Flite Street is somewhere between a gravel bike and a drop-bar commuter.
So you get knobbly tyres (not that knobbly) but you also get full mudguards, and the back one has an integrated rack for your pannier bag. Overall it looks like a pretty useful bike.
The drop bars are hugely flared, which will be good for when you’re wrestling down a tricky gravel descent. But possibly not so much when you’re trying to filter through traffic on the morning commute.
The Macina Flite Street gets Bosch’s top-spec CX motor, and a 500Wh PowerTube internal battery. With the solid spec and mudguards, as well as lights and a kickstand, it’s not light, at nearly 23kg. The Euro price is €3,699.
Focus Project Y
The Focus Project Y is a bike we’ve already had a pretty extensive look at at Eurobike Media Days, where it launched. It’s probably the best-looking integration of a motor into a road bike that we’ve seen, and it won a Eurobike award this year.
Again, you’re looking at a Fazua-powered bike here. The gearbox remains in the frame, and both the motor and battery are removable. The Focus is pretty light even with them fitted though, weighing in at a claimed 12.5kg.
The Project Y road bike was designed to be able to fit wider tyres; this bike is built up as a full road bike but you can fit some 35mm tyres and head off bikepacking if you’d prefer. We don’t have a definite launch date or price for the Project Y yet, but Focus are planning to add it to the range.
The Orbea Gain wasn’t really even supposed to be at the show, since it wasn’t launched until the Monday after. But we found one (well, two) on the stand of the motor manufacturer, ebikemotion, who are Spanish like Orbea. The two have been working on this project for some time.
Like the Project Y, it’s a lighweight motor installation and a versatile frame that can accommodate larger tyres for a bit of off-road fun. Unlike the Focus, Orbea have gone with a rear hub motor. The battery is integrated, and the only control is a button on the top tube behind the stem. It’s pretty neat.
The motor system weighs just 3.5kg, including battery, so a pretty light build of the Gain should be possible; Orbea say the more expensive builds of the alloy-framed Gain are around 13kg, and there’s a carbon version in development. Builds start at €1,799 and go up to €2,999.
You won’t have heard of Ucycle, but they’re Spanish like Orbea (that’s a leg of Iberian ham in the background) and they’ve been busy developing their own motor, and their own range of bikes, of which the CMAX is the pinnacle.
Ucycle’s motor puts out 80Nm – that’s a lot – and it fits to a standard threaded bottom bracket, so it’s retrofittable to a normal bike too. Ucycle have developed a range of their own frames to complement the motor too. The CMAX has an internally-mounted battery and the claimed weight is 14kg, which is very good if the motor lives up to expectations.
The design is pretty esoteric, with an integrated rear light…
… and also a speaker. We’d like to imagine you can program it to make peow-peow laser sounds like you could with your Raleigh Vektar back in the 1980s, but realistically you’ll probably be playing tunes via your phone as you ride.