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Ultima Multipath recycled plastic e-bike
Image courtesy Ultima.


Recycled Cycling: Meet the Ultima Multipath

What’s greener than an e-bike? An e-bike that’s made from almost entirely recycled plastic and aluminum materials.

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E-bikes are generally thought of as one of the greenest ways to move people and things around a city. And they are, when you compare them to seven-passenger SUVs, diesel pickups, and even – Gasp! – EVs like the Tesla Model Y and Polestar 2. It’s a simple question of efficiency, but it’s also a question of carbon footprints. The carbon cost of manufacturing an electric car is higher than the carbon cost of manufacturing an e-bike, sure, but that doesn’t mean the carbon cost of the e-bike is nothing, you know?

That’s where the Ultima Multipath comes in. Built by a French cyclery, the Ultima uses a monocoque frame made from an injection-moulded composite resin made up of a mixture of recycled plastic and aluminum alloy. It’s a different kind of bike … and it definitely looks different, too!

Ultima Multipath E-bike

Image courtesy Ultima.

In addition to the plastic frameset, the Ultima Multipath also uses a plastic, single-sided front “fork” not unlike the classic Cannondale Lefty. And, like that revolutionary 90’s design, its designers claim that it’s stronger and lighter than a conventional aluminum fork.

That “Lefty” is one of four available configurations, along with a standard (albeit, plastic) fork, there’s the Mini Cargo fork with a kickstand and cargo rack, a larger Family Cargo fork which can accommodate toddlers in a child seat.

On the “e” side of the e-bike equation, the Ultima makes use of the Valeo Smart, pedal-assist e-bike System. That’s a bottom bracket-located 250W electric motor sending 130 Nm of torque through a 7-speed adaptive gearbox made by industry partner Effigear. Electrical power is provided by a battery pack integrated into the plastic downtube.

It’s a great setup. If you’re not familiar with it, you can check it out in more detail in Valeo’s own video, below.

Valeo Smart E-bike System

Additional features include a built-in GPS tracker that can be activated using Ultima’s proprietary smartphone app, as well as a Neutral gear setting that locks the cranks when the bike is stationary. It also ships with a Selle Italia saddle, Bam City shock-absorbing handlebars with Ergon grips, Busch & Muller lighting, a set of Mavic 700c wheels, Magura hydraulic disc brakes, Look pedals, and Hebie clip-on fenders – all for between €3500 and €3700, depending on your options.

It’s definitely different … but is this bike for me? What do you guys think, is the Ultima Multipath recycled e-bike a novel look at the future of even more sustainable cycling, or is it just too weird? Scroll on down to the comments and let us know what you think.

Source | Images: Ultima, via BikeRadar and New Atlas.

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I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


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