carbon belt drive – Michmutters

Mercedes Formula E Team e-bike review

Mercedes has jumped into the electric bike scene with its recent releases of multiple luxury e-bikes. And with the popularity of personal electric vehicles, ie electric scooters, bikes and Segways, the luxurious new product could be the route for those who are seeking to ditch petrol with style.

Interestingly, when it comes to e-bikes and especially e-scooters, I see a lot of people assuming that it’s a lazy mode of transport. And originally, in my mind, buying an e-bike just seemed like a stepped-down, less impressive, motorbike.

However, e-bikes aren’t that comparable to a motorbike and they’re not as lazy as you might think. In fact, with all Australian e-bikes you’re required to pedal while accelerating. And so it turns out an e-bike is more like a regular bike, with some exercise still involved, but you get that extra bit of oomph to take you further and up the hills you’d usually avoid.

With the Mercedes Formula E Team e-bike, in collaboration with N+ Bikes, it seems the up-market car company hopes to bring the luxury of its brand to the e-bike experience. Mercedes says it offers “style and quality with European engineering”. And at first glance I was certainly impressed with the silhouette of the bike.

It has an alluring, slim profile, even though the battery is completely hidden inside the frame, unlike other e-bikes which have an obvious chonk strapped to the side or squeezed under the seat.

It’s only when you look at the chain-ring and the bike’s cassette (ie. the pedally bits) that you notice some extra thickness, which visually gives away that this isn’t a regular bike.

In fact there’s a fully integrated drive train (the chain part of the bike) and being a carbon belt drive, it offers constant variable transmission, which is pretty fancy for a bike. This means that in comparison to a regular bike chain there aren’t any clunky gear changes, especially as you pump the acceleration.

Additionally, the bike has puncture resistant tires and hydraulic brakes, so you’re getting some fairly premium features here.

The bike is made of Aluminum 6061, weighs in at 20kg, and looks sleek in its single matt black colourway. Its top speed is 25km and its range is 70km on a charge. It takes three-and-a-half hours to charge up to 100 per cent. You’ll see a lot of this info on the LCD display while you’re riding, as it’s integrated into the center of the handlebars and is also pin-code protected (on start-up) for security.

Although still a little heavy, the bike itself is surprisingly manoeuvrable while riding and definitely has the smooth gear change as expected, along with a decent kick speed when required.

It oozes quality manufacturing, however, the one accessory it’s surprisingly missing are headlights and tail lights, and coming from a car brand I feel like this is a funny oversight.

But that’s a simple fix and I’ve seen other user reviews mentioning that “although it was strange they didn’t include lights”, the bike still exceeded their expectations.

Although I can admire the design, this e-bike has definitely been created with blokes in mind who have some cash to splash. The seat is classically tiny, hard and skinny which you see on bikes marketed to men. So as it stands, with my preference of a wider, cushioned seat, I can’t see myself taking it out on super long rides.

I suppose it’s race-car style though, which goes along with the theme, and it was an awesome bike to try out nonetheless. Aside from that, my test model was a little tall for my short stature. However, there are three different frame sizes which allow people from around 5ft 4” all the way up to 6ft 6” to ride. Though apparently this bike is specifically “optimized for riders over 165cm” (5ft 4”).

At the end of the day e-bikes are great at getting people of any fitness level out and about and you’ll find yourself becoming a little more adventurous, riding new places that maybe you would’ve avoided before. And because you can’t just accelerate mindlessly, you still burn some calories even if you’re cruising along.

A Mercedes e-bike will set you back double the cost of a regular e-bike at $4928. But if you want the best in class and have the cash then the Mercedes bike is certainly worth a look.

Elly Awesome is an Aussie tech and lifestyle vlogger | @ellyawesometech | Youtube