Published on October 24th, 2013 | by Cynthia Shahan1
BMW Electric Bike — BMW Cruise e-Bike 2014
BMW Cruise e-Bike 2014 is a “pedelec,” suggesting that, as you pedal, the Bosch electric motor also puts out 48 Newton meters of torque (35.4 pound-feet) to help you along. The added momentum comes with any tiny amount of action. This is a BMW — good to remember if you are leaving a position of inactivity. Once you start any push towards movement again, equip yourself for a quick engagement with accelerated spring.
Sebastion Blanco of Autoblog Green provides a comprehensive account of a day with this bike in Amsterdam:
The motor provides assistance to match the power of your legs, anywhere between zero and 225 percent, depending on the mode. BMW says there are three sensors taking measurements 1,000 times a second. It certainly responded near-instantly to my pressure, which did take some getting used to. You know that feeling when you start pedaling on a bike? How it takes a second to overcome inertia and get moving? That doesn’t happen with the Cruise e-Bike.
BMWs have a distinguished style, from their classics to the Mini Cooper. This latest BMW e-bike shares this special style. This top-of-the-line choice has the BMW logo showing from the head of the front fork. The logo is also on the supplemental bike lock.
This is a 22-kilogram (48.5-pound) bike. Managing the weighty frame might be challenging if you are not balancing the bike as you pedal.
Bosch makes the 400-Wh battery that BMW claims is good for “around 100 km” (62 miles). This is enough for your day-to-day business. Recharging fully takes 3 1/2 hours. It takes a key to unlock and remove the battery from the frame.
There is not matching the mobility of bikes in dense metropolitan areas (much better than cars). Surely you have you “eternally” sat in traffic, not moving for long enough that you grasp you could walk the distance swifter than drive, gazing out the window as bicyclists weave in and out going promptly to their destination.
Blanco describes the rest of the bike’s features and an interesting note on his first e-bike experience (this one):
Other technical features include front and rear disc brakes, front and rear lights powered by a hub dynamo and a handlebar-mounted computer that doesn’t just display useful things like speed and distance but also controls the bike’s various modes.
There are five settings: off, eco, tour, sport and turbo. Off made the bike feel like it was dragging (whether from increased friction from regenerative braking or because I was just so used to the electric assist), and eco and tour modes did not provide all that much assistance. Sport was good, but since I didn’t care much about depleting range — the pack said 45 km when I left the hotel (climbing to 47 as I pedaled before starting to drop down — I soon realized that anything other than turbo wasn’t really worth it. Turbo is the most spritely, which means it is way more fun than the other modes, once you’re used to the pep. The everyday bike commuters we blew past on the bike paths didn’t know what hit them.
A lovely note from Blanco’s day of biking Amsterdam on the BMW e-bike is his mention of the lack of curbs. American cities lack the ease this Dutch city has, where any bike flows seamlessly around town with not a curb in site. However, for those of us with curbs, it’s worth noting that this BMW e-bike has a suspension fork with 75 mm of spring travel.
The BMW Cruise e-Bike 2014 costs €2,799. That is approximately $3,785. (At this price BMW needs to follow Vanmoof’s example and get GPS tracking for potential theft.)