By Tom Evans
Zagreb, Croatia, March 15th 2019 — As the lights came down in Zagreb’s HDLU gallery, a new chapter in one of Croatia’s brightest startup success stories was about to begin. And when it comes to generating high expectations, few figures in the country’s tech sector elicit as much hype as Mate Rimac, the 30 year-old inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of Rimac Automobili.
In 10 years, Rimac has turned the project he began alone in a garage — retrofitting a BMW E Series with an electric drivetrain — into a company of over 500 workers that make some of the most advanced electric cars and electric motor technology on the planet.
The forthcoming Rimac Concept_Two, for instance, is an electric supercar that promises a whopping 1,914 horsepower, taking you from 0–60 miles per hour in just 1.85 seconds. It’s also loaded with a startling array of proprietary technology, from intelligent traction and torque control to autonomous driving and infotainment. This level of technological innovation, a hallmark of the Rimac brand, has earned it OEM partnerships with Aston Martin, Renault, and Siemens, among others, and a substantial investment from Porsche, which acquired a 10% stake in June last year.
But tonight was not about cars. Rimac, along with his teams, had come to announce the new electric mountain bike from Greyp, a sister company he founded in 2013. After an introduction detailing the history of both companies and the four years spent in R&D and testing, we were ready for a glimpse of the new bike, teased as “badass on the outside, smartass on the inside.”
“The system’s features and ecosystem that we are showing today are much more important than the bike itself,” said Rimac. Indeed, judging from the array of individual components on display in the gallery space, the bike we were about to see would not only be a high-performance e-mountain bike, but also a game changer with its under-the-hood tech.
On the Outside
The Greyp G6 comes in three flavors: the G6.1 Bold, G6.2 Expert, G6.3 Rebel. All are designed and set up for Enduro riding — a mixed discipline combining downhill and cross-country — with the three models varying chiefly in their third-party components — notably, front forks, brakes, wheels, hubs, and tires.
The sleek frames are all made of T700 carbon fibre reinforced composite, sporting variations on an elegant monochrome livery. Unlike most e-mountain bikes, the G6’s custom-made 700Wh battery sits prominently mid-frame in a distinctive yellow housing. According to Greyp, this increases frame integrity, “celebrates” its electric nature, and allows for quick battery swapping if you should you go farther than the 100+ kilometers that one charge supplies.
The motor, provided by MPF Drive, is unique among it peers with its all-metal gearing (plastic is generally used) and, Greyp claims, is water-proof enough that the bike could be ridden under water. The drivetrain provides a nominal 250 watts of pedal assist power, which can be adjusted manually via a multi-function controller mounted on the handlebars or automatically through an accompanying Bluetooth heart-rate monitor, adjusting the assist according to how hard you are working.
On the Inside
If that kind of integration gets your heart racing, hold tight, because that’s just the beginning. For starters, the bike is constantly connected to the web via 3G eSIM, in a deal backed by Croatian Telecom. This enables a wide range of features, like remote control, data recording, and networking.
The “digital soul of the G6,” according to Greyp, is the Central Intelligence Module (CIM). Developed entirely in-house, it processes and records over 50 telemetry data sets (including g-force and rider power), oversees the motor’s custom firmware, and communicates wirelessly with the dedicated G6 app — the interface to the riding experience.
The app, designed as a dashboard for a mounted smartphone, boasts a number of cool features, like trip and performance data, maps, ride setup, and access to 2 HD, wide-angle cameras (front and rear facing) that can be used to record or even livestream sections of your ride.
That same constant connectivity also unlocks the potential for a host of gamification and ride analysis features that Greyp say will come as a constant flow of software updates. The updates and bike setup can be done remotely through the app and the bike can even alert you and disable itself if it detects unwanted attention in your absence.
A Turning Point?
With an average price tag of €7,000, the bikes in the G6 range are aimed at the discerning beginner/intermediate rider interested in exploring the electric Enduro riding experience. While there are certainly more affordable e-bikes with this build and component quality, there are none that can boast the level of technological innovation that Greyp is offering here.
As Rimac made clear, the four-year mission was to break new ground precisely in those areas. While the fundamentals of bike design have, he claimed, remained largely unchanged, even within the decade or so of e-mountain bike development, Greyp wants to exploit opportunities for innovation beyond the mechanical and deep into the informatic.
“I believe that we succeeded in combining both cycling and the digital experience by integrating sensors and cameras, connecting bikes to the internet and developing an eco-system to create a completely new riding experience… We believe this bike is the turning point for our company, and if I can put my modesty as aside for a moment, will stir up the industry at least a little bit.”
— Mate Rimac
Whatever the future holds for Greyp, its new G6, and the quirkier G12 pedelec from 2015, the company has the vision and resources to continue disrupting the e-mountain bike market. Time will tell how the more established manufacturers respond, but as with Rimac Automobili offering its technologies to other carmakers, you may soon see that “smartass” Greyp tech appearing with your Specialized, Trek, or Haibike.
Greyp G6 launch full presentation:
Greyp G6 launch recap:
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