Neck tattoos used to mean you were a tough guy — today, they mean you’re probably in the market for a vegan bicycle. Here’s one!
A common refrain you’ll see around e-bikes (even on this site) is that electrified two-wheelers tend to be heavy — basically, we writers will just about lose our minds if we see an e-bike that weighs less than 40 lbs. Considering all of the parts, from the battery to the motor, it is quite the accomplishment to make a sub-40 e-bike.
Well, that sound you just heard is our minds being blown, because UK-based bike-maker Hummingbird has released what it says is the lightest folding e-bike in the world at just 22 lbs., dubbed the Flax.
How is the Flax such a featherweight? Well, the name itself gives us a hint. The frame is made with flax fiber, which is ultra-light and ultra-strong. In general, plant fiber has seen increased interest in the greater automotive industry as an even lighter-weight option than the seemingly ubiquitous carbon fiber.
Admittedly, crafting a lightweight e-bike does mean there have to be some sacrifices, and here those sacrifices include power. While the rear hub motor may look large, that’s because it has the batteries inside the casing to give the bike a more streamlined look. But then the motor itself has only 250 W of power, and then the battery is also a bit small at just 158 Wh (though Hummingbird still says that you can get 50+ km on a charge, so about 31 miles).
The Hummingbird Flax packs a single-speed gearset with no throttle, so with the maxed out assisted speed at 25 km/h (15.5 mph), you could probably hit all of that 31-miles of claimed battery range if you worked for it.
Other perks of the Hummingbird Flax include the use of BitConnect, the new BitRide app that lets you easily adjust the motor-assist level, top speed, and regenerative braking function.
As is common with lightweight bikes, the Flax will cost you a pretty penny. The price tag on the basic Hummingbird Flax is £4,162.50 (about $4,890). The website says that it will arrive fully assembled, which is nice, with a quick start guide to get you familiar with how it works.
We’re all curious to see how things like plant fiber might make more of a splash in the e-bike realm, especially considering the desire of many to keep them lighter in weight to help with commuting around town — not to mention the environmental consciousness that tends to be at play with many people who choose to get around by e-bike.
That’s our take, what’s yours? Check out Hummingbird’s Flax gallery, below, then let us know what you think of this plant-based pioneer in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Hummingbird Flax Folding Electric Bike
SOURCE | IMAGES: HUMMINGBIRD, VIA ELECTREK.