Hong-Kong based e-bike brand Tezeus has launched a crowdfunding campaign, with former footballer Michael Owen named as one of the brand ambassadors. Former footballers and e-bikes might not be the most obvious connection, but Owen is in good company with YouTubers, a former volleyball player, and a BMX racer all appearing to back the Tezeus C8 e-bike.
The first glimpse of the C8 came at CES in Las Vegas in January. The crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo then went live on January 22, and has already surpassed its goal of roughly £10,000 with almost £70,000 so far raised.
Electric bike start-ups have done well in the past using crowdfunding campaigns, with names like FLIT using the method to raise investment to successfully bring their ideas to market.
The Tezeus C8
So what is so special about the Tezeus C8 that it’s attracted the support of people like Michael Owen?
At first glance, it looks like a pretty sleek, lightweight urban e-bike. It comes equipped with a proprietary mid-drive motor, which sits neatly above the bottom bracket.
Tezeus claims it can provide up to 60Nm of torque, which is quite punchy for urban environments. It’s also described as performing “smoothly, like a[n] understanding genie” which is possibly the most unique way of describing an e-bike motor we’ve seen from a brand.
The 360Wh battery is removable from the down tube, which will likely go down well with users. The bike also comes with an automatic three-speed gearbox in place of derailleur gearing. This is paired with a belt drive, and the whole bike is claimed to weigh just 15kg.
Magic brakes and safety features
The C8 has a lot more tech under the surface than its appearance suggests, similar to a VanMoof. We’re not suggesting Tezeus will go the same way - but aesthetically, the sleek lines and minimalist appearance are somewhat reminiscent of the Dutch brand.
Features include so-called “magic brakes”, which appear to be cable-less hydraulic brakes. There are also auto headlights, which act in a similar way to many modern car headlights in that they automatically determine the light level for a given environment and turn on when necessary.
There are also some safety features, which Owen briefly explains if you watch his little informative video. For example, radar will detect vehicles approaching from the side and rear through the rear light - not unlike Garmin's Varia system. The C8 claims to be the first e-bike equipped with a “millimetre-wave radar”. This detects movement from 100m to the side and rear, and has a 60-degree field of vision. Alerts will be provided visually and audibly through the 5” stem integrated touchscreen.
This touchscreen is about the size of a smartphone, contains its own operating system, and is powered by Google Maps for the navigation. Using the accompanying app, users can control things like theft alerts and routes.
So what if you want to buy it?
Well, it’s still in the crowdfunding stage for the next month, but you can pre-order the C8 at a super early bird price of roughly £1,700. Shipping is estimated at March 2024. At the time of writing there are still over 60 bikes left to be claimed at this price.
You can find more information about the bike and the crowdfunding campaign on the Tezeus website.