Published on May 6th, 2017 | by Nicolas Zart0
Vintage Electric Bikes: Old Charms & New Technology
May 6th, 2017 by Nicolas Zart
Electric bicycles (e-bikes) are having a great year in 2017. A plethora of e-bikes can be found on the market, from mountain bikes to the incredibly unique Gocycle G3 I’m currently test riding. But, if you happen to like old cars and EVs, there isn’t much that marries old charm with modern technology. Vintage Electric Bikes seems to understand and reach out to both.
Vintage Electric Bikes, Classy and Cool
Vintage Electric Bikes’ vision is simple:
“The Vintage Electric vision goes beyond just building bikes. Founded upon old school American manufacturing values and paired with the most cutting-edge technology on the market, Vintage Electric offers the highest quality handcrafted products. Our mission is to create beautiful bikes that stand the test of time… Vintage Electric is taking a stand against planned obsolescence, designing timeless products that are built to last for generations.”
Beautiful electric bicycles (e-bikes), against planned obsolescence and with an electric motor, sound enticing. Although most of the Vintage Electric Bicycles e-bikes share the same components, the four models offered, Cruz, Scrambler, Outlaw, and Tracker, vary in performance but definitely aim squarely at the heydays of the 1950s. And what’s not to like about handmade e-bikes, California-born and California-built?
Vintage Electric Bikes, The Cruz
The Cruz from Vintage Electric Bikes is exactly what its name suggests, an electric beach cruiser. Borrowing heavily from American Art Deco, the Cruz tops at 36 mph in race mode, or 20 mph in Street Mode, but it also includes regenerative braking. Using a Shimano Alfine hydraulic disc brake system will stop the e-bike. What is eye-catching is that the Cruz uses a Phil-Wood front hub and a Brooks England Ltd leather saddle and grips. A 52-volt battery encased in a sand-cast aluminum box rated pumps out 12.5 AH estimated to last 30,000 miles. Overall, this gives the CRUZ a 35-mile range with its 750 watt street legal mode which can be bumped up to 3,000 watts in race mode. It rides on Schwalbe’s Fat Frank tires.
Should you deplete the battery, the recharge takes two hours. The Cruz uses stained alder wood frame inlays and a cast pewter name badge sings the final note for this model’s signature look. The only important tidbit missing from the website is the weight, but the price is $4,995.
Vintage Electric Bikes, Tracker
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker is the company’s take on a retro WWI-era motordrome racer. Also sporting a Brooks leather saddle, it uses the same dual-mode 250 ~ 750 W/20 mph or 3,000 W/36 mph rear hub motor as the Cruz. The frame is hydroformed aluminum instead of steel for the Cruz. The price is $4,995.
Vintage Electric Bikes, Scrambler
Upping the ante is the Scrambler, in line with today’s motorcycle Scrambler craze. And this Vintage Electric Bikes Scrambler is hailed as the “have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too electric bike.”
What’s so special about it? A nice dual-sport valve front fork, perfect for dirt roads and street rides, and oversized heavy duty handlebars, which I would personally avoid using that term for an e-bike. It does definitely give the Scrambler the right look at a price of $6,995.
Vintage Electric Bikes, Outlaw Tracker
And finally, there is the Vintage Electric Bike Outlaw Tracker. Top of the line for Vintage Electric Bicycles, it is designed with tastemakers, misfits, hard workers in mind.
This Outlaw is a limited-edition, of course. There’s no denying we’d have fun with this 36 mph (58 kph) e-bike. But this begs the question, are we on e-scooter territory now?
The price? $6,995. Did you expect anything else for a handmade e-bike?
Although we’re not seeing yet electrified retro Honda 750 Cafe Racers, nor the electric Ducati Desmodos, the Vintage Electric Bikes certainly highlights that mythical cafe racer era. While the price is steep, it reflects the quality and adds a unique cachet. We would like to see the weight displayed, as well as the Scrambler and Outlaw Tracker difference, since the price seems the same. Vintage Electric Bikes offers accessories, from racks with saddlebags, bells, bike locks, toolbox, and helmets.
The Vintage Electric Bikes Scrambler hits the spot for me.