The most effective product is normally the one which provokes a direct, visceral, emotional response. It doesn’t matter how properly something works, or how properly priced it’s—be it a dongle, a telephone, or a pair of headphones—in case you are not sufficiently motivated to open the field and use it.
You possibly can create an emotional response in quite a few methods, however for an e-cyclist, Greg LeMond’s Prolog hits all the proper marks. It’s a spectacularly stunning (and spectacularly costly), light-weight carbon-fiber electrical bicycle. It has a hybrid, lean-over body with straight handlebars, a 250-watt rear-hub Mahle drivetrain, and an 11-speed Shimano GRX gravel-specific gearing system. And in LeMond himself, it additionally has a compelling backstory.
It’s stunning, light-weight, and amazingly enjoyable to experience, nevertheless it stands out from the electrical bicycle area for quite a few causes, a lot that it’s very laborious for me to advocate that the common individual purchasing for an ebike purchase this one. However in case you are a bike individual who desires an ebike, that is the one it is best to most likely purchase.
Let’s again up right here and discuss packaging. Most high-end bikes don’t come direct-to-consumer. These are costly, highly effective machines that may harm you actually badly if one thing goes mistaken, so a whole lot of producers need to defend their repute by working with respected, affiliated retailers and mechanics handy their bikes off.
After I’ve gotten direct-to-consumer bicycles, it’s been hit and miss. Typically they arrive in nice form, but when the bike prices underneath $1,000, it normally doesn’t. Forks arrive horrendously bent, or the mangled gearing dangles out of a stab wound within the facet of the cardboard.
Then the producer tells you, “We don’t have any left in inventory, so you’ll be able to both restore that one your self, or you’ll be able to mummify the field in duct tape, schedule your personal FedEx pickup, and never get a substitute for 3 months.” It is annoying—not that I’m talking from private expertise or something.
It’s a outstanding act of belief in each FedEx and the shopper that LeMond designed his personal packaging to ship a $4,500 bike direct-to-consumer, and not using a mechanic to do issues like verify the brakes. When it comes to safety and ease of opening—simply slide the pre-tuned bike out, and the steps and tools are clearly labeled—it’s approach forward of the pack. The one packaging I’ve seen that even comes shut is VanMoof’s.
Nevertheless, it does behoove you to know a bit bit about bikes. I adopted the directions and put it collectively, all the way down to wiggling the little reflectors into the spokes. However after I proudly hopped on and rode down the road, the seat instantly went craaack. I had forgotten to regulate and tighten the angle of the seat, which, in my protection, just isn’t one thing that you simply usually take into consideration with an ebike. When a motor is doing many of the work, you’ll be able to normally get away with less-than-ideal ergonomic situations.
The bike has a 250-watt Mahle rear-hub motor with a 36-V Panasonic battery. It’s not essentially the most highly effective motor you’ll discover within the US, which units the authorized restrict at 750 watts, nevertheless it’s a lot when the bike weighs solely 26 kilos. Compared, the subsequent lightest bike that I’ve tried is the Specialised Turbo Vado SL, which weighed 33 kilos.