Cate Lawrence is an Australian tech journo living in Berlin. She focuses on all things mobility: ebikes, autonomous vehicles, VTOL, smart ci Cate Lawrence is an Australian tech journo living in Berlin. She focuses on all things mobility: ebikes, autonomous vehicles, VTOL, smart cities, and the future of alternative energy sources like electric batteries, solar, and hydrogen.
I always thought Mini Coopers were pretty cool, so I was pleased this week to learn that the Cooper Car Company, the original designer of the Mini Cooper, rolled out not one, but four electric bikes. They sit under the dedicated two-wheel division, Cooper Bikes.
The Cooper Bikes Company was founded in 2009 aiming to build innovative bikes for the urban environment. And they look a treat!
These ebikes don’t resemble the somewhat space-age futuristic chunky offerings that some other companies are rolling out.
With a nod to the company’s retro roots, the ebikes come with slim frames featuring a complete ebike drive system in the rear wheel hub. This makes them almost indistinguishable from a conventional bike.
They can reach a top speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph) and can deliver a range of up to 60km (37 miles) on a single charge. So they’re more for city riders than those seeking long riders at speed.
All of the bikes come with classic Brooks saddles and feature hydraulic disk brakes except for the CR-7E. And like I said, they look cool:
Two classic town bikes
The “classic gents” Cooper CG-7E and “classic ladies” Cooper CL-7E are traditionally styled town bikes. The gents’ ebike comes with a step-over frame, and the women’s a step-through frame.
Both ebikes feature 7-speeds with a 250W battery and 173Wh motor.
Singlespeed Cooper CS-IE
The single-speed CS-IE is “a real eye-catcher in the urban jungle,” according to Cooper. The company also asserts that this is a great back-to-basics bike.
A Gates Belt drive complements the Zehus motor, and the ebike is designed for easy cycling in everyday clothes.
Randonneur Cooper CR-7E
According to the company, the Randonneur is “your ideal companion for long and short trips away from the city.” While it shares the steel frame as the rest of the range, drop handlebars offer a sportier style.
Regenerative braking adds a touch of oomph
One of the most interesting things about the ebike is what the company calls Kers Technology. That’s regenerative braking, which Cooper historically used in Formula 1 racing cars.
The Zehus Gen2 electric bike drivetrain includes a motor that the rider can activate to recuperate energy and charge the battery while braking or going downhill. This creates a hybrid drive and extends the range. Let’s be clear, you’d need an awful lot of riding to charge a battery fully, so it’s more about augmenting the power of a full charge.
The ebikes come with four power modes, and the capacity to adapt the ebikes to your preference according to power intensity and recuperation levels.
Unsurprisingly, the ebikes come with an app in lieu of a head unit display called Bitride Connect. It enables you to personalize your riding support mode, use the electronic lock, and access diagnostic and support information about your bike.
The Bitride app dashboard shows you metrics like speed, distance, and battery status.
It’s unclear exactly when the ebikes will be in the hands of consumers, but I think they’ll be a hit with riders seeking aesthetic over the highest performance.
These are cool classic bikes, just begging for an Instagram feature. I can picture them with additional saddlebags, or a bike rack to carry picnic baskets and thermoses for summer soirees.
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