You’d think from the photo of the Flux Bike that it is pure Californian, the way it poses in front of San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge, but one of the founders, Pete Leaviss, studied engineering in the UK and developed his love of cycling big mountains by living close to the Highlands of Scotland for some years.
But he and co-founder Robert Rast are California based, and it is from there that they are launching today their crowd-funding campaign for their 3 different models of e-bike, each of which comes with a high capacity 13 Ah Samsung lithium ion battery as standard, but with an optional upgrade to a 17 Ah Panasonic available. Both batteries are built into the down tube and feature a built-in USB port for charging mobile devices or action cam’s.
The “Street” roadster model, which retails at US$1499, is suited to the urban environment, commuting and touring, with narrow tyres and sold forks. The motor is the European 250W Bofeili brushless motor with planetary gears, which works well with the Microshift L7 derailleur and Microshift 10-speed gears; the Microshift XCD shifters complete the set. A Kingmeter LCD display keeps the rider informed of battery condition, which assist level is engaged, etc. With the bike limited to the 25 km/hr under European ruling, the Tektro 160mm rotor hydraulic disk brakes will stop the bike well, and the motor stops with the slightest touch on the brakes.
The thumb throttle utilises the linear hall effect and has 5 assist levels. On full power, the range is calculated at 46 miles, though this will always be affected by terrain, weight of the rider (and any luggage) and the weather. This considerable range can of course be extended by selecting a lower level of power assistance.
Flux’s second model is the “Trail”, with Kenda all-terrain tyres, and the same disc brakes, but with the impressive Suntour XCR oil fork. The Trail uses the same Bofeili mid-drive brushless, direct-current motor located in the bottom bracket shell. The designers feel that the central motor has advantages over hub motors, because of the more even weight distribution and the ability to utilise the bike’s own gears to optimise torque in any speed. As somebody who just hates having to mend punctures, the fact that a necessary repair doesn’t mean the hassle of disconnecting wires is a real plus! This model has a US$ 1699 retail price tag.
The third model being launched is the more expensive “Attack” – at $2199 - focussed on downhill, with the Suntour Epixon Air for and a Suntour SR Air rear shock. Otherwise, it uses the same Bofeili 250W motor, the same Microshift 10 speed, with XCD shifters and L7 derailleur.
On both the Trail and the Attack, maximum range on full power drops slightly to 41 miles, with the usual caveats applying.
Flux has had 3 fully functioning prototypes that they have been testing and showing off. To get enough funds to get critical mass to bring production costs down, their Indiegogo campaign starts today. And there’s a discount off the retail prices for a small number of the early birds, so you had better be quick!
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