In August of last year, reality TV mogul Simon Cowell broke his back when he fell off what was initially reported to be an e-bike. It later transpired he had been riding a high-powered bike which the Bicycle Asssociation was at pains to point out had "almost nothing in common" with a normal e-bike. TMZ this week reports that Cowell has not been put off electric bikes and has reverted to lower-powered S-pedelecs since his recovery.
Cowell broke three vertebrae when he fell at his home in Malibu, California, and was reportedly considering suing the makers of the Swind EB-01 bike that he had been trying out in his courtyard.
Priced at £16,500, the EB-01 is capable of delivering 15kW from its rear hub motor and speeds of up to 60mph.
It was reported that a former employee of Swindon Powertrain told his bosses that Cowell could “break his fucking neck” if he attempted to ride it without training beforehand.
“That thing is a death trap and should never have been sold to Simon without him being taught how to use it,” he said. “It’s like trying to control a wild horse rearing up.”
The man said that when setting off in the top power setting, “the only way to stop the bike flipping is to put your whole body over the front wheel.”
Some good advice...— Simon Cowell (@SimonCowell) August 10, 2020
If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time.
I have broken part of my back.
Thank you to everyone for your kind messages.
Cowell has since recovered from his injuries and was this week pictured riding with his family on an M1 Spitzing Plus – a very different beast.
With a 500W motor and 45km/h top speed, it’s still not a standard e-bike, but rather a speed pedelec or S-pedelec.
Cowell had been photographed riding this same bike prior to his crash – indeed images of it appeared in early reports on the incident, adding to the confusion. He now appears to have wisely concluded that it’s a safer option for him.