Swiss firm Maxon – which has previously provided drive systems for NASA's Mars rovers – is launching a new, lightweight e-bike system. Comprising a mid-mounted motor, integrated battery and control element, the 220W Bikedrive Air setup is said to be light enough to make sub-11kg e-road bikes possible.
Maxon says its 3.5kg system is sufficiently compact that it can fit into a wide variety of frame designs where it will be “almost invisible.”
An integrated control element on the top tube gives the game away a bit, but it’s designed to be inconspicuous. You can choose between three levels of support which you can configure individually via the app.
The interface can also be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth, or to other devices via ANT+.
The 250Wh battery is hidden in the down tube and there’s also the option of a 250Wh range extender for longer rides. The range extender can be magnetically mounted to the frame or stored in a bag.
The drive system – which is billed as being both “natural” and “virtually silent” – offers 30Nm max torque.
Maxon is offering the Bikedrive Air system exclusively to bike manufacturers and says it’s suitable for frames with down tubes as small as 60mm in diameter.
Some manufacturers have already started integrating it into their new e-bike product lines so we can expect to start seeing it later this year.