05 Dec

My electric-mountain-bike baptism was one of fire. It appeared in the form of the insane SWIND EB-01, which, unlike the test machines that were to follow, didn’t arrive by courier in a cardboard box but was personally delivered by its designer, Sylvain Rubio, and his boss, Raphaël Caillé.

Caillé is the MD of Swindon Powertrain, which was established in 1971 to maintain the engines of Formula One racing cars and has become a powertrain specialist over the years, encompassing all areas of motorsport and the high-performance-road-car industry. Rubio, meanwhile, is the firm’s technical director and was previously employed by McLaren Automotive to design and develop engines for its current and future models. A lifelong off-road-motorcycling fan, he began in 2016 to contemplate the possibility of developing a two-wheeler that could offer similar levels of performance and excitement to a petrol-engined motorbike, while still retaining the look, the eco-friendliness – and the pedals – of a top-quality mountain bike.

Starting with a blank sheet of paper, Rubio worked on the project for “a good 1,000 hours” to produce the SWIND EB-01, which is described by SWIND as “the world’s first hyper-electric bicycle” thanks to its remarkable 15-kilowatt electric motor (that equates to around 20 combustion-engine hp) and 60mph top speed. Much of the genius of the design lies in the shell frame, a high-tech hybrid made from aluminium and carbon that incorporates the air-cooled, 1.75-kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery pack (the most powerful ever fitted to a bicycle), the electric motor and a nine-speed sequential gearbox that shifts seamlessly regardless of speed, load or terrain. The rider provides all the momentum through pedalling until the electric power is invoked by turning a small, handlebar-mounted twistgrip after choosing one of three settings: Eco for a relatively gentle assistance level and optimum battery range; Normal for a noticeably greater level of “help”; and Boost for the full, high-speed, wheelie-inducing, incline-devouring EB-01 experience.

With a range of up to 80 miles and a charge time of under 90 minutes, the £15,000 machine is undoubtedly the ultimate in electric MTBs – but Caillé emphasises that it is not, strictly speaking, a conventional bicycle.

“In order to be road-legal, an electric bicycle should not be able to provide any assistance above 25kph/ 15.5mph and the assistance should only come through pedalling, not through a twist-grip,” he explains. “We intended it to be an off-highway toy that wealthy people will probably use on their private estates or where they have permission to ride. Each one will be hand-built to the individual customer’s requirements, using the same technology but finished in any way they require.”

To read the full article click here.

06 Feb
  • SWIND EB-01 is the ultimate toy for the urban adventurer and cross-country adrenalin junkie.
  • £15k bicycle boosts pedal power with 15kW electric motor, delivering speeds of over 60mph (100km/h) and 80 miles (130km) of range.
  • Innovative and premium quality lightweight chassis, full suspension and choice of wheels and tyres allow riders to cross mountain ranges, perform tricks and race around tarmac bends.

Setting a new benchmark for speed, power and fun, SWIND today launches the EB-01, the ultimate hyper-electric bicycle whose blistering performance and all-terrain ability will thrill riders and on-lookers alike

Propelling the bicycle at an electronically limited speed of sixty miles-per-hour, the near-silent 15kW electric motor sits within an innovative hybrid aluminium and carbon-shell frame, which is designed primarily for function but is rakishly eye-catching. The materials were chosen for stiffness, lightweight and mechanical resilience and to add to the performance are pedals and regenerative brakes with twin front discs. The battery is a 1.75kwh lithium-ion power pack with intra-cell forced air cooling, delivering the most phenomenal electrical thrust ever harnessed to a bicycle.

SWIND EB-01 has an electric range up to 80 miles, and takes under 90 minutes to fully charge. It has three power settings: Eco, Normal and, for the brave, Boost. With pedal power, the rider can add an exercise regime like a normal bicycle – they will just cover a lot more ground than usual. The EB-01’s 9-speed sequential gearbox is fully integrated into the frame delivering instant and silky smooth shifts regardless of the terrain, load, and power setting. The drivetrain is fully enclosed, maintenance free and as reliable as a Swiss watch.

Priced at £15,000 plus local taxes, it’s a toy for the imaginative, unhinged and well-resourced. It comes in six primary colours and bespoke designs are available.

This highly-advanced two-wheeler has been developed and manufactured by Swindon Powertrain, a UK tech company normally focused on top secret prototypes for supercar OEMs. The EB-01 is the first in a range of state-of-the-art and eco-minded consumer products to emerge from the company’s engineering lab.

Commenting on the SWIND EB-01, which goes on sale today, managing director of Swindon Powertrain, Raphaël Caillé says: “The EB-01 is the most thrilling electric bicycle brought to market so far, and we’re really excited about the impact this will have on the e-bike industry. It’s the ultimate pedal toy; it’s fast, fun and unique. Many of our customers will be hyper-car owners, who want to add the hyper e-bicycle to their garage or perhaps to the deck of their mega-yacht. Others will be gadget-loving cyclists, sportspeople, or those who simply want to own the craziest transport or trick machine. Above all, they are individuals who like to stand out and do things their way. Which is to say, sustainable at high speed and with big air.”

26 Jan

The scene is set, the first hyper electric bicycle is ready and off we go . . .