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Wilier Makes A Super Stealthy E-Bike

If you go onto e-bike forums and Facebook groups you’ll hear lots of stories about being called a cheater. Why? Because you can go quite fast on an e-bike without putting in all of the effort. Someone who has been working on their fitness for years and is at the top of their biking game can be passed by an out of shape asthmatic like me, so I can see how that could make some people a little mad. It would be kind of like getting passed by Pee Wee Herman when you’re about to win the Tour de France.

Personally, I’m not racing anybody, and being called a cheater is something I’d laugh at were it to happen to me. I ride for fun and to lose weight, and don’t really care what some overly-serious MAMIL thinks. Everyone else who says anything about my fat-tire bikes thinks they’re cool, and I know that sometimes men wear stretchy pants for fun. Don’t worry, I won’t judge.

But, I know some people do care what the other road cyclists think, and they don’t want to look like a weakling or a cheater. In some cases, idiotic rules and laws prohibit e-bikes from using certain paths, streets, or lanes, and it’s easier for your bike to not look like an e-bike if you want to take it to such places. With demand for e-bikes that don’t look like e-bikes, there’s a whole segment of the market that caters to it.

Wilier Did A Great Job Of This With Its Filante Hybrid

A few weeks ago, Italian road bike manufacturer Wilier Triestina came out with a bike that takes the “stealth” idea to high levels while still keeping true to the company’s 100+ year history.

As you can see in the above image, the image at the top of this page, and the rest that were shared at Road.CC, everything is very well hidden on the bike. The battery is hidden inside the downtube, and gives a capacity of 250 watt-hours. If you want more range, you can add another 185 watt-hours with a battery that’s disguised as a water bottle and attach it to the downtube. The wiring is all hidden away inside the frame, and is very tough to see without a close inspection. There’s even a hub motor in the rear wheel, but it’s smaller than most and hides easily behind the cassette and rear disc brake.

Controls are also well-hidden, and look like a regular trip computer and speedometer. Pedal assist can be discreetly adjusted, and there’s no throttle that would give the bike away if you took a look at the handlebar. Even if you stopped for a flat, the rear wheel can be removed easily unlike most e-bikes with a rear hub motor.

Sure, if you take the bike to its limits and make it obvious that you’re getting an assist, people would definitely wonder if you’re getting some kind of help, but for most situations, it would be very difficult for anyone to tell that you’re riding an e-bike. Plus, with all of the cables, battery, and wiring tucked away neatly to power a light weight system, the bike would ride more like a normal road bike than most others.

So, if you’re looking for a premium road bike that gives you some extra oomph without looking like an e-bike, this is probably the bike to look at.

All images by Wilier Triestina

 
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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to explore the Southwest US with her partner, kids, and animals. Follow her on Twitter for her latest articles and other random things: https://twitter.com/JenniferSensiba

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