WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU
If you're in the market for an ebike, then take a moment to check out the wacky-looking Smacircle.
Claiming to be the world’s most compact and lightweight ebike, the Smacircle sports one of the most striking designs we’ve ever seen for such a machine.
Looking from some angles like an elaborately designed pair of (very large) spectacles, the ebike’s strong carbon fiber frame tips the scales at just over 15 pounds (7 kg) and can handle anyone weighing up to 220 pounds (100 kg). Handily, the Smacircle folds up into such a tight package (and in just 10 seconds, apparently) that you can drop it in a backpack once you reach your destination, or carry it straight into your home or office.
Bikes like the Smacircle are often popular with folks with short commutes between a station and the workplace, with its top speed of 12.4 mph (20 kmh) likely to save you a decent amount of time than if you were to walk the route.
Of course, one of the burning questions for any potential ebike buyer is: “How long can I ride it for?” The Smacircle promises a one-hour ride at top speed, and twice that at 6 mph. The bike’s Samsung lithium-ion battery, tucked away in the seat, takes about 2.5 hours to fully recharge. Run out of juice mid-ride and you’ll have to carry it or shove it in your bag as there’s no manual ride option, though of course if you’re on a slope you’ll be able to coast down it.
An iOS and Android app lets you monitor battery usage and speed via your smartphone, which you can slot in the center of Smacircle’s handlebars. Speed is controlled via the app or handle, while other features include electronic brakes and built-in lights for night riders.
Shenzhen-based Smacircle recently smashed through its $30,000 funding goal on Indiegogo and is gearing up for an October release. Back the project to the tune of $649 and besides the ebike you’ll also receive a backpack to carry it in. The deal represents a 57 percent saving on the expected retail price.
As with any crowdfunding project, there are risks and challenges involved. Smacircle’s creator sounds confident it can make its bike a reality, although accepts that “unforeseen obstacles can arise during any manufacturing process.” It certainly looks promising, and it’s the kind of bike we’d definitely like to take for a ride to see if it really does deliver on all its promises.
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