If you’re into the cafe racer scene, look no further than Vintage Electric electric bikes. They blend vintage looks with furious performance. The company recently introduced its new 2020 Roadster, designed as an open-air Sportser-like bike. It has speeds of up to 36 mph (58 km/h). Here’s your chance to go riding on weekdays and racing on weekends!
Vintage Electric isn’t new to the field either. It has been selling bikes since 2013. The first time I rode a Vintage Electric I understood why the brand is so unique — top-notch quality that needs to handle 30 to 36 PMH, and having a very nice look doesn’t hurt either. As to the price? We pay for the quality of the most affordable bikes and disregard what we can’t afford. The price of the Vintage Electric’s new Roadster is $6,995.
So, what makes Vintage Electric special? It doesn’t go overboard with technology and connectivity. This is an e-bike you ride, cruise, and run like hell. I had an extended two-week loaner and especially liked the bike’s subtle distinctive look — not too flashy and doesn’t attract unwanted attention. The flat black helps, I’m sure. Mainly, it was the amount of energy the bike discreetly hides, ready at your convenience.
I spoke with Vintage Electric founder Andrew Davidge about the company’s history.
“The new Vintage Electric Roadster is our take on applying the thrill of a canyon-carving convertible sports car to our respective EV bike segment, We set out to combine best-in-industry performance with a grand aesthetic inspired by the simple, yet powerful, European and American sports cars from the 1950s and 1960s eras.”
Andrew said the first bike built was out of his parents’ garage and was for himself. After riding it, they realized it was the best way to get around town. They raised money to move into a warehouse and started working on electric bikes. They displayed their prototypes at Monterey Car Week and sold 30 that night! Since then, Andrew says: “we’ve been focusing on building as many bikes as we could and developing new models and always trying to continue to innovate and continue to blur the lines between electric bikes and motorcycles.”
The Vintage look is very unique and puts it in a niche market. As far as future growth, Andrew says Vintage Electric differentiates itself by designing and building timeless electric vehicles. These e-bikes should look just as cool today as they will in 100 years. Vintage Electric wants its riders to feel as if on a motorcycle but with the ease of use and practicality of an e-bike.
Besides speed and performance, the company engineers its e-bikes from the ground up with performance and the longest possible range in mind. You can notice the crafty machined aluminum, the leather bumps, and other details. All Vintage Electric e-bikes I tried handle very well with the right components and brakes.
For those on the fence, note that the price means quality, and an e-bike meant to stay on the road for a long, long time, according to Andrew. With upgrade kits, you don’t have to buy a completely new bike. You can opt for a battery box, a controller, a wiring harness. Everything easily bolts onto the e-bike.
Vintage Electric Culminates With The Roadster
The new Roadster is important for Vintage Electric. It is the ultimate evolution of the very first bike they built. Andrew said:
“It’s vintage motorsport, vintage board-track inspired, it just has all the newest and best features on it, including big batteries, a suspension fork, and the big brake. That first bike that I built always has a really special place in my heart, and I view the Roadster as the ultimate evolution of that first bike, and I think that’s why it’s so special to Vintage Electric. We’re excited to start showing off where we’re going in the future and, as always, we’re continuing to use the best technology available.”
Nobody knew where transportation was going in early last century. There were elegant solutions with a lot of authenticities that led Andrew to build an antique board-track racer in college.
The new Vintage Electric Roadster uses a hydroformed aluminum frame for light weight and strength. It uses a standard inverted-fork system with 60mm of wheel travel. It sports a powerful LED headlamp with an electronic interface on the handlebar.
A 1,123-watt battery is nestled in an eye-catching cast-aluminum housing. A fully depleted pack recharges in 4½ hours for a 75-mile range. You’ll have less range, though, if you reach 36 mph in the optional private-property/closed-course “race” mode. (Hear ye, hear ye! Thou shalt not ride thy 3,000 headed electron beast on city streets!) The normal setting limits the Roadster to a mere 750 W e-bike. A furious 3,000 W rear-hub motor is mated to a 48V/23.4Ah battery pack to give the race mode performance.
There’s always an indescribable sensation when you try something truly well built, truly well designed. And yes, that implies financial consequences, as in everything we purchase.
All Vintage Electric bikes ride fantastically well, as you expect for their price. The attention to details and that unbeatable handmade feel that no big company can truly mimic is what stands out, on top of its cafe racer design.
Overall, the Vintage Electric’s new Roadster e-bike is for those who need a great, quality e-bike with peak performance available at your thumb. You can ride this Vintage Electric Roadster dressed to work or race it in full gear on weekends, like the advertising of the Ferraris of the 1960s.
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