- Vela Bikes have created a stylish electric bike that hardly looks different from a standard cruiser
- Features electric pedal assist power, an alarm system, GPS tracking, and a charge port for mobile devices
- Pedal assist only, with a single-speed drivetrain and a hub motor providing 250w or 350w options
- A range of 15-20 miles, with a battery that takes 3 hours to fully charge
- Kickstarter supporters can get the bike at an introductory price of under $1000
The Aesthetic Evolution of E-Bikes
The Vela Electric City Bike represents a significant step forward in the world of electric bikes. Until now, most e-bikes have been characterized by their bulky battery packs and utilitarian appearance. However, with their latest offering, Vela Bikes have managed to create a stylish, sleek, and functional e-bike that doesn’t compromise on aesthetics.
The Vela Electric City Bike: A Classy Cruiser
The Vela Electric City Bike is built on a chromoly frame with a fat seat tube and a leather front triangle compartment to house its electronic components. The bike’s connectors, wires, circuits, and battery are all protected from the elements, as everything is contained within the frame or the waterproof compartment.
A control panel on the backside of the frame compartment features a USB port for charging devices, an LED battery life indicator, and another port for charging the bike’s battery without needing to remove it.
Pedal Assist and Performance
The Vela operates only as a pedal assist bike, with no switches or throttle to control. It has a single-speed drivetrain connected to a hub motor, available in 250w or 350w versions, depending on regional regulations. The Pure Pedal Assist System does not offer the ability to select different levels of assist.
The bike’s range is at least 15-20 miles, and its battery takes three hours to fully charge. The removable lithium-ion battery produces 370wh of power, which may seem low compared to other e-bikes, but the Vela’s lighter weight of 42lbs compared to some models nearing 60lbs ensures a nimble and efficient ride.
Security and Tracking Features
The integrated alarm is a 100db motion-sensitive unit that is armed or disarmed with a remote control and sounds when your bike is moved. If a thief manages to escape with your bike, GPS tracking is available via the Google Maps app (iOS or Android compatible). The bike’s GPS tracking device has an independent battery that will run for two months, and it charges itself from the main battery.
Comfort and Design
The Vela Electric City Bike features a swoopy aluminum handlebar, which puts riders in a comfortable upright position with their body weight on the wide, well-sprung seat. The bike rolls on city-appropriate 700x35mm tires mounted to aluminum rims. It also has brakes with motor shut-off sensors, LED head and tail lights that run from the main battery, and a threadless headset. Production models will also come with color-matched metal fenders and chain guards.
The frame comes in either a straight double-diamond shape or a low-step model with a downsloped top tube, and will be available in red wine, vanilla, blue, and Brazilian green colors. All models come with brown leather grips, seats, and frame compartments. Vela offers a 12-month warranty on all components and a 5-year warranty on the frame.
Pricing and Availability
The Vela Electric City Bike launched its Kickstarter campaign on May 26th, which will run until June 30th. Pre-order buyers can take home a Vela for $799, but the price will eventually settle at $1349.00 USD. The first deliveries are expected for November. This introductory price makes the Vela a highly competitive option for those looking to invest in an e-bike that balances style, functionality, and affordability.
Final Thoughts on the Vela Electric City Bike
The Vela Electric City Bike is a game-changer in the world of e-bikes, offering a stylish and sleek design that doesn’t compromise on functionality or practicality. With its impressive list of features, including pedal assist power, an alarm system, GPS tracking, and a charge port for mobile devices, the Vela truly stands out in the market.
Its lightweight design and single-speed drivetrain make it an excellent choice for urban riders seeking a convenient and low-maintenance commuting option. Furthermore, the bike’s integrated security features provide peace of mind for those concerned about theft.
The Vela Electric City Bike represents a new wave of e-bikes that prioritize aesthetics without sacrificing performance or functionality. It’s an exciting development in the world of electric bicycles and a worthy investment for those looking to upgrade their ride.