In the surprisingly wide world of electric bicycles, there's a lot of blurring of the lines between dirt and road bikes, psuedo-motorcycles and mopeds. Seattle-based Zeitgeist Inc. isn't doing anything to sharpen the lines with its Zeitgeist City e-bike. Despite the city moniker and being targeted primarily at affluent urbanites, the company says the luxury bike can handle on- and off-road conditions.
We've seen other pricey e-bikes, like the Greyp G12s or the military-grade Trefecta DRT, which pack a lot of power and could easily go off-road, but the sub-45-pound (20.4-kg) Zeitgeist City is looking to establishing a new class of luxury city models, with a frame designed from carbon fiber lined with Kevlar and a high-density lithium-ion battery pack of Panasonic cells similar to the kind that power a Tesla Model S.
The battery can be removed from the bike frame and charged separately in four hours and the Seattle-based company claims it's compact enough that you could take a second battery for longer rides to swap out along the way. It powers a 500-watt hub motor that can push the bike to 28 mph (45 km/h) with a range of up to 80 miles (129 km) per charge. Riders can also rely on pedal power if desired.
A Bluetooth controller allows riders to select a power boost from one of nine Shimano XT assist levels in a fashion the company compares to the "tiptronic" controls of a Porsche cockpit. An onboard computer with LCD display tracks battery life, boost level and speed; the magnetic display is also removable and serves as a key to the bike. When it's finally time to stop, Auriga E-Comp hydraulic disc brakes bring a ride to quick halt.
The bike was commissioned by Danish bike designer Brian Hoehl, and Zeitgeist claims the bike is the "fastest, most luxurious and lightest bike in its class on American bike lanes today."
The whole package retails for US$7,999 and is set to launch at SXSW next month, but pre-orders are being taken until February 16 via Touch of Modern at a discounted price of $6,499. The Zeitgeist city is only shipping to the lower 48 United States for now, with estimated delivery to take 8-12 weeks.