Not every e-bike has a chain. Some have low maintenance belt drives. Then there’s Honbike which has a patented shaft drive its creators say should be good for over 40,000km without maintenance.
Honbike is a compact, minimalist folding e-bike and in many ways not so radically different from many others on the market.
It has a 250W front hub motor offering five levels of power assistance, a digital display neatly embedded in the stem and a 216Wh integrated battery.
But then there’s the other stuff.
The shaft drive is the standout feature. It’s sealed within an aluminium shell to keep out dirt and water and prolong its life further.
There’s also a built-in gyroscope that cuts the power assistance when the bike leans more than 30 degrees while cornering.
The gyroscope combines with a torque sensor and a speed sensor so that the bike can adjust power assistance when you’re riding uphill or downhill. We’re not quite sure how this works in practice, but Honbike bills it as ‘hill start assistance,’ so it sounds like it’s most useful when you need power from a standing start.
Honbike was crowdfunded in Japan a couple of years ago, raising $5m. They’ve now launched an Indiegogo campaign for an updated version for Europe and the US.
Prices start at £1,378 via the crowdfunder with a standard retail price of £2,200.
Shipping’s due to commence in June.