It’s been interesting to watch the evolution of electric bikes over the years, as it seems like the industry tends to all focus on a different aspect of e-bikes every year or so. For awhile, it was folding e-bikes, and then it was fat tire e-bikes, and then it was e-bike apps and ‘smart’ bikes with integrated locking and tracking systems, and now it seems like there’s a real trend of bigger and faster bikes, essentially blurring the line between bicycles, mopeds, and small motorcycles. The motorcycle-ish (or, in marketing speak, moto-inspired) e-bikes tend to be sporting beefier frames, more or better suspension components, larger tires, more powerful motors, and higher capacity batteries, although not all the models on the market incorporate all of those ‘upgrades’.
One company that’s throwing its hat in the ring of motorbike-like e-bikes is Segway, which will probably always be remembered for its two-wheeled self-balancing personal transporters nearly two decades ago. Segway was acquired by Ninebot in 2015, and has since branched out into electric scooters, electric go-karts, electric motorcycles, and more. The company recently announced that it’s got a few new entries into electric micromobility, the Segway Xyber, described as an “off-road sport performance e-bike,” and the Xafari, a “trekking e-bike.”
While the design of the Xafari has a lot in common with most other e-bikes, the Xyber is pretty much a mini motorcycle, at least in terms of its frame and suspension and its performance specs. This isn’t your average grocery-getter by any means, and while it’s still got pedals and a chain drivetrain and so is technically an e-bike, the Xyber looks like it would be right at home on a motocross track.
According to Segway, the Xyber (geez, these types of names are starting to really get old) has a 750W rear hub motor providing the oomph, which is nothing out of the ordinary on an e-bike, but the company claims it is a “customized high speed motor” that provides 175Nm of torque and a 0-20 mph time of 2.5 seconds. The motor’s torque specs, if true, are the wow factor, as the motors on most e-bikes on the market today tend to come in well under 100Nm.
The Xyber also features a dual-battery option, and a model with two 1440Wh batteries is claimed to be able to cover up to 95 miles per charge, although if this e-bike is indeed an off-road vehicle and its riders take on lots of hills and use jackrabbit starts just for kicks, then it’s likely that this range is incredibly optimistic. The burly frame and full suspension, paired with some fat tires, not only contribute to the moto-style of the bike, but are also near-essential features for an off-road bike, especially one that riders are likely to push to their limits.
“The Segway Xyber redefines e-bike riding with its exceptional design and top-tier performance, setting a new standard in the realm of shared riding experiences. It stands out with a distinctive appearance and futuristic design, resonating with trendsetting riders. Crafted specifically for two riders, it’s engineered to provide an unmatched experience. Engineered with a motorcycle-class double cradle frame system, the Xyber ensures unwavering stability and reliability across even the most challenging and rugged landscapes. The extra-large seat cushion enhances comfort for both riders, ensuring a luxurious experience on extended adventures.”
Of course, no self-respecting e-bike manufacturer these days puts out a bike without all the available cyber-accoutrements, so the Segway Xyber will have a bunch of anti-theft features, and a ‘smart cockpit’ that will include “Integration of smart applications, electronic speakers, sensor headlights, music playback, and intelligent navigation systems on a color display dashboard.” Whether or not all those features are necessary or important on an off-road performance bike is up to the buyer, and since there has been no mention of price yet, it’s hard to say where in the market the Xyber will land. However, knowing the early adopter mindset, and the tendency for anything with more buttons, settings, and connectivity to catch everyone’s attention, this e-bike is likely to attract exactly the right demographic, which generally means deep pockets and an affinity for all the extra tech it can get in every new product. Details on the Xyber are scarce at Segway, but the company says more info can be attained by emailing email@example.com.