Cooper Car Company’s bicycle arm, Cooper Bikes, has launched a ‘Classic’ range of steel e-bikes. The range comprises a single-speed, two urban bikes and a drop handlebar ‘randonneur’ – all of which feature a regenerative braking system.
The Cooper Car Company is still best known for the Mini Cooper launched by John Cooper In 1961. However, in 2009, John’s son Mike and grandson Charlie started producing retro-inspired urban bikes.
In 2017, the firm produced its first e-bikes and it has now released what it’s calling the Cooper E-Bikes Generation 2.
All four of the new bikes are built around the Zehus Gen2 Heckmotor.
This is not dissimilar to the system we took a look at in our guide to the best e-bike conversion kits, comprising a 40Nm rear hub motor and a 173Wh battery.
That’s not a lot of battery, but Zehus’ kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) does allow the motor to collect energy during braking and convert it back to motor power when needed. If you pedal backwards, the integrated KERS will activate the motor brake and recharge the battery.
Sounds great on paper, but generally speaking the negatives of regenerative braking outweigh the positives, so don’t expect this to chip in more than a few extra kilometres of range. (You can find more info on this subject in our primer on e-bike range.)
At £2,099, the single-speed CS-1E is the cheapest in Cooper’s Classic range. It comes with a low maintenance Gates belt drive instead of a chain.
Next up from that, at £2,199, are the CL-7E and CG-7E, which are the Classic Ladies and Classic Gents 7-speeds. These are hybrid/city e-bikes with the former distinguished by its step-through frame.
The range then tops out with the drop handlebar CR-7E – the Classic Randonneur – at £2,499.