UK-based e-bike manufacturer Momentum Electric make some interesting bikes: we reviewed the £999, two-speed Upstart in October and we were pretty impressed with it. Now the company is going down the ever-more-popular Kickstarter route to fund the production of its newest model, the VIT-S. Momentum Electric claim it's "The Most Powerful Legal Electric Bike" you can buy; when they say "legal" they're talking about EU laws. So this is a 250W, 25km/h bike that's legal to ride in the UK as a bicycle.
Momentum Electric are the first manufacturer to use the new Nidec mid motor in an urban bike. Heard of Nidec? We hadn't until we saw their new mid motor at Eurobike this year, and guess what we saw it on? Yup, the VIT-S. Not only did we see it, but we rode it too; we'll be posting a first ride review this week. The motor itself is covered in our roundup of new motors from the Eurobike show.
Nidec are Japan's biggest manufacturer of electric motors. They make everything from tiny ultrasonic motors for camera lenses to huge 45MW generators for power stations. So they should know a thing or two about the tech.
The Nidec mid motor puts out a whopping 95Nm of torque: that's pretty much double what you get from a Bosch Active Line motor, and three times what a cheap hub motor will provide. Like Bosch, Nidec make a single unit that can be run either as an EU-legal 250W motor or a 350W, 20mph unit for the US. The only difference is the drive software. Momentum Electric claim that peak power is 700W, which sounds about right given the torque on offer.
What about the rest of the bike? The VIT-S is a stripped down urban bike. There's no rack or mudguards (nor, it would appear, anywhere to fit them should you want them) and it has an alloy frame and full carbon fork. You also get Miranda carbon cranks, and a carbon handlebar incorporating flexible sections for a smoother ride. The bike uses a clean-running Gates Carbon belt drive and a Nuvinci continuously variable ratio hub at the rear. Momentum Electric claim the 379Wh battery is good for up to 160km in Eco mode, although you'd need to be a light rider on a pan-flat route to get anywhere near that. In any case the range should be comparable to other mid motor systems.
Sound like the kind of bike you'd like to ride? Well, the Kickstarter campaign is offering some serious price reductions. The full spec bike is offered at £2,900, when the full retail price is pegged at £4,000. So that's more than a grand off, and there's also a Lite version which swaps out a couple of carbon components – the cranks and the handlebars, – to save money. Retail price for that one is £3,500 but there's an early bird offer on the the launch to get one for just £2,200. If you're interested, head over to Kickstarter for more details of the bike.