KTM have just announced a new electronic bike design to their range. It is available as both a treking bike and unusually, a mountain bike.
The bike utilises the BionX power system which has 4 power settings. You must cycle to provide power but merely turning the pedals in the highest setting boosts you up to 25kmph. The speed is limited unfortunately (under Austrian law) and we found ourselves spinning it out with relative ease but when you add in a gradient it becomes very interesting. Climbing it is very impressive, we watched it go up a granny ring climb with relative ease, you just have to balance it well. The battery is charged by switching to the recharge section and applying the brakes so is utilised on a downhill.
Here too is the only real draw-back – the weight. At 20 kilos it is not the lightest hardtail ever but it is certainly capable given the power assist. We are a little puzzled as to the market for such a bike (no RRP yet but it won’t be cheap) but it certainly has a place with recreational riders and obviously for those with disabilities. It is certainly well equipped with Shimano SLX groupset, Rockshox Reba fork and Schwalbe tyres.
The large plastic thing attached to the bottle cage mount is the batery which is removable. Power input is immediate with a really fast acceleration to top speed.
The Treking version is a 2 kilos heavier but should be a bit cheaper and will appeal directly to the touring market. Both will be available towards the end of the year.
KTM is distributed in Ireland by Freewheel cycling. Call 086-2610498 for stockists.