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Stromer ST1 e-bike comes to the U.S.

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April 13, 2013

Stromer ST1 pedal-assisted electric bike

Stromer ST1 pedal-assisted electric bike

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Swiss manufacturer Stromer, an electric-bike brand of BMC, recently launched its ST1 pedal-assisted electric bike in the United States. The 500-watt ST1 was designed to blend function, versatility and style into a commuter-friendly bicycle.

Switzerland has been making a name for itself in the transportation industry of late. Although a Stromer slogan reads, "Because the Swiss don't build cars," the Swiss have proven that they can and do build cars, showing off one of the more impressive supercars we've covered in recent months. We've also seen several interesting cycle designs, including the BMC-Lamborghini collaboration and the Circleboard scooter.

Like those models, the Stromer ST1 appears to include the meticulous attention to detail that has turned other Swiss industries (e.g. watchmaking) into legends. The bike's girthy downtube conceals a Samsung lithium-ion battery that can be removed at the push of a button or charged directly on the bike. The battery sends its power to the rear-mounted 500-watt brushless hub motor, providing up to 30 mph (48 km/h) of speed and 50 miles (80 km) of range. Regenerative braking helps keep the battery powered up as long as possible.

Stromer ST1 pedal-assisted electric bike

To ensure that the ST1 meets the diverse needs of riders, it uses four different ride modes, which balance rider input and motor power. Riders can select the ride mode from the three-button handlebar computer, which also shows information about battery power, speed, distance and time.

Last month, Stromer announced the launch of two models on the United States' market. The 9-speed ST1 Elite has a recommended retail of US$3,499 and uses the 500-watt "Mountain 33" motor, which offers up to 29.5 lb-ft (40 Nm) of torque. The bike is capable of speeds up to 20 mph (32 km/h) and has a range between 20 and 40 miles (32 and 64 km).

The $3,999 ST1 Platinum packs 27 speeds and a "Power 48" motor that pushes the bike to up to 30 mph (48 km/h) and between 25 and 50 miles (40 and 80 km). It offers up to 22 lb-ft (30 Nm) of torque.

Both bikes have Shimano drivetrain components, Magura MT2 disc brakes, Schwalbe BigBen puncture-resistant tires, and rigid carbon forks. The Platinum is available with an SR Suntour suspension fork.

While the Elite is a standard urban commuter, the Platinum model is classified as an off-road vehicle not meant for public roads, highways or streets due to its extra power. Stromer goes so far as to provide a disclaimer that using it on public streets could result in serious injury or death.

Stromer opened a new 47,000 square foot (4,400 sq m) production facility in Oberwangen, Switzerland in February. The new plant will handle all of its international production in the future.

Source: Stromer

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
10 Comments

Wow.

I simply don't understand why all these corporations keep insisting on building 500W-range bicycles for $3000-$6000, when it is pretty easy to convert a conventional bike to 900W-1000W electric with parts bought on Ebay for around $500 to maybe $600.

Looks nice, but I'll pass. Thanks anyway.

Anne Ominous
13th April, 2013 @ 12:43 pm PDT

@Anne Ominous

Completely agree. Secondly i refuse to spend that kind of money on a bike that has no form of suspension of any kind.

Ryan MacDougall
14th April, 2013 @ 04:04 am PDT

This thing manages to cost as much as a Segway even without all the complexity. I read that Obama wants to increase the Energy Departments vehicle research budget by 75%.

I agree with Anne Ominous. I'm kind of surprised there are not many inexpensive electric-assist bicycles on the market yet.

I think you could remove a lot of the complexity of the design just by mounting another sprocket to the left side of the rear wheel and connecting that one to the electric motor.

Diachi
14th April, 2013 @ 06:48 pm PDT

Completely agree with AO and cousin Ryan. The power-assisted bicycle that would conquer the world would have a spec sheet like this:

Top speed = 25 mph / 40 kph (not sure, but I think this precludes the necessity for vehicle registration);

Range = 45 mi/72 km (for people who can't plug the bike in for a 10 hour workday).

Cost = 2,000 USD

For goodness' sake, after all is said and done, it is still a glorified bicycle.

Mac McDougal
15th April, 2013 @ 10:41 am PDT

Why not buy a scooter? This hybrid bicycle thing is retarded. Get rid of the pedals and chains and just give me an electric scooter.

Matthew Harden
15th April, 2013 @ 12:12 pm PDT

I agree, it's dumb. If you don't want to pedal just get a scooter, there are plenty available (and cost less). I want to pedal, if I need a brake I coast. I also enjoy the freedom and reliance from noise and another source of energy.

Gregory Gannotti
15th April, 2013 @ 01:22 pm PDT

Quite a few bad assumptions here.

Ryan MacDougall,

They do have options to add a suspension fork and suspension seatpost. Meanwhile, the bike has Schwalbe Big Ben tires as standard equipment. Big Bens are some of the fattest, tallest 26" tires available, designed for Balloonbike applications, so they absorb shock without needing heavy, maintenance-intensive suspension forks. I run equally fat Schwalbe Big Apple tires on my bikes. Lots of people swear by them. Schwalbe tires are also very puncture resistant, and the high volume and low pressure mean you don't have to top off the tires as often.

Daichi,

There's no room to mount a sprocket on the left side. That's where the disc brake goes. And if you even tried that scheme, you'd have to find some place to mount the motor. The fact is that BMC hub motors are pretty well-regarded among e-bike enthusiasts.

Mac McDougal,

The US limit is 20mph. The EU limit is only 15. Any faster and these bikes couldn't legally be sold.

Matthew Harden,

Why not buy a scooter? Because anybody who's interested in this probably doesn't want the hassles of insurance, registration, inspection, licensing, etc. E-bikes don't need any of that in many states. Scooters need all of it in every state. Scooter insurance alone can cost several hundred dollars a year, assuming you can find a company willing to insure you, which is not a sure thing in the US. The big insurers only want to cover mass-produced vehicles, both two-wheel and four-wheel.

Gregory Gannotti,

With this, you have to pedal. That's in line with EU regulations that don't allow a separate throttle. You stop pedaling and the motor cuts out. The motor multiplies your power output based on how much force you're putting into the crank at any given instant. E-bike riders don't want to stop pedaling. They just want some assistance so they can travel longer and faster and don't arrive at their destination completely soaked in sweat and barely able to walk.

That said, I do agree this one is terribly overpriced.

Gadgeteer
15th April, 2013 @ 06:58 pm PDT

so the bike i would ride on the road because it has better gearing, the tires are too fat and it would be illegal without registering, and you do not mention how heavy the $4000 bike would be to pedal. how about a street version meant to be registered? bicyclists would be interested in power assist for long distances if the roads were safer.

rollzone
17th April, 2013 @ 07:27 am PDT

Yet another bad assumption. You assume motor vehicle departments would even be willing to register such super e-bikes. And before you can register, you have to have insurance. Again, Geico, Progressive and other insurers won't touch obscure vehicles from little companies.

Gadgeteer
17th April, 2013 @ 03:33 pm PDT

Kansas law says:

8-1592b. Electric-assisted bicycles; traffic law application; no registration or driver's license required.

Vehicle registration and driver's license shall not be required for operation of an electric-assisted bicycle. Traffic regulations applicable to bicycles shall apply to electric-assisted bicycles, except tricycles with no brake horsepower.

The 30 mph Platinum bike does not have a throttle, only a torque assist. I have routinely commuted 16 miles each way; imagine being able to commute 30 miles in little over an hour!

Bernhard, Wichita, KS

BernhardandJoyce Gildemeister
11th October, 2013 @ 08:05 pm PDT
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