Big Wheels, Little Company

Electric bikes made by startup will use Nidec motor 

Momentum Electric, a London-based electric bicycle company, has just launched what it claims to be “the most powerful legal electric bike”. A collaboration between one of the smallest companies in Europe and one of the largest companies in Japan, the VIT-S model was launched on crowdfunding campaign site Kickstarter. It has a maximum power of 700W and 95Nm of torque and meets EU and US rated power requirements of 250W and 350W. It has a range of up to 160 km on a single charge, the company said in a press release December 5.

The motor on VIT-S is the result of a joint venture between Nidec Corporation and Itochu as they break into the e-bike motor OEM market. Nidec is one of the world’s largest makers of precision motors, while Itochu is the largest company of its kind in Japan. Momentum Electric is the first company to launch an e-bike using the Nidec motor, which was also said to have beaten a leading European motor manufacturer in a benchmark test. See the bike in action below:

 

“The project started in 2013 and the development of this flagship bike has gone through the equivalent of a lifetime for a small company like us,”  Momentum Electric founder, Ying-Tsao Tan, said in the press release. “Having the luxury of starting the project early in the development of the motor, we have been able to maximise its potential.”

To make this “ultimate urban electric bike”, Momentum Electric used some of the latest bicycle technological innovations. The frame was designed in collaboration with award-winning Milan-based industrial design consultancy Meneghello Paolelli Associati. Some other features: Lightweight front forks made from carbon fiber; shock-absorbing handlebars; a gear shift ratio of 330%; clean belt drive transmission that “never needs adjusting”; a carbon fiber crank said to be the lightest on the market; and rear lights that turn on automatically.

The name of the bike, VIT-S, is play on the French word for speed and the letter S symbolises both the s-shaped frame as well as its inspiration.

Kickstarter backers will be able to purchase the bike for £2200, while the retail price is estimated to be around £4000. The Kickstarter campaign will run until the 25th of December, 2016.

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