We tested the wonder bike of Mando on the Eurobike!
Don’t let the design to mislead you. This is an electric scooter which has a revolutionary ebike form! And to use it is a great fun, as it is not usual at all!
Here is a short summary if you haven’t read our previous article about the bike: the Footlose is the product of a Korean car parts manufacturer supplier, and the design was done by an English person, Mark Sanders. They completely rebuilt the bike, and they forgot to use a chain and the complicated shifting system (by purpose…); so the result is that this bike is completely electric driven ebike! The motor is in the rear wheel and it has a two gear automated shifter. The bike has still pedals, and you can charge the bike (and control the movement in the pedelec mode) with it, but the real work is done by the engine, no by your foot (footlose – do you understand now? ).
Some words about the technical details; a 36V 8,2 Ah battery is hidden in the back part of the bike, the controller unit is in the middle part. You can customize the behavior of your bike completely via the software parameter changes on the display. You can choose from ebike or pedelec mode, and if you want to charge the bike with your human power, you can use the bike as a home fitness machine. The range as ebike is 30 km, if you pedal on the go you can extend it to 40 km. The top speed can be even 45 km/h, but the first version will come out as a pedelec with 25 km/h top speed. The sensors come from teh automative sector (torque, speed, RPM, acceleration and glide) and that should be a guarantee for a high quality. The weight of the bike is 21,7 kg, and you can fold it in couple of seconds, as you can see on this video:
As we mentioned you have a lot of customizing possibility. You can adjust the acceleration (sport, eco, normal), the force feedback of the pedal and the shifter (auto or manual). If you detach the color display, the engine will not work, so the bike is useless for the thief.
And how we feel ride? ;) Very funny. The guides asked us to use the accelerator for start up, and that has a reason, that the behavior of the pedals are completely different than the bikes with chain. You can’t feel the usual force feedback but the bike still reacts on your pedaling movements. After you speed up to 10 km/h the bike reacts like an automated shifting car; you can feel the delay of the drive train. You can use to it very fast, and later one there is no problem to use the pedal to accelerate the bike. One thing as remark: if your battery is empty, you can forget to use the bicycle as a normal one, as you don’t generate enough electricity to start moving the bike.
We discussed with the sales people the market introduction. They will start selling in Korea in a month and in Europe next year. They didn’t shared the price level with us, but some German dealers expect to have 3-4000€ price tag on the bike…