Vintage Electric’s Roadster Is the Most Gorgeous E-Bike You’ll See All Year
There’s absolutely no running away from its sheer beauty that’s also matched by performanceby Tudor Rus, on
Electric bikes? We’ve seen a few so far. But none of them comes closer to the Vintage Electric Roadster when it comes to packaging. Just like many other similar startups, Vintage Electric was founded on the idea of making a different kind of vehicle that would persuade people to ditch their cars and experiment something that’s both stylish and powerful. That something was an electric bike - built from the ground up with a lot of retro flavour baked into its design. Moreover, the idea behind the brand was to remove the rider from the daily text messaging and news flipping activities. At this point, Vintage Electric sells no more and no less than five bikes, but we’re here to talk about their recently launched Roadster. So let’s find out what’s what.
Vintage Electric Roadster - What is it?
The Roadster is Vintage Electric’s latest bike offering. It comes to join the likes of Cafe, Rally, Tracker, and Scramble. It is also one of the most expensive bikes Vintage Electric is currently offering, with a price tag of $6,995. That’s only matched by the Scrambler, which also sells for $6,995. The brand’s most, so to say, affordable bikes are the likes of Cafe ($3,995), Rally ($4,995), and Tracker ($4,995).
Vintage Electric Roadster - Design
The Roadster’s backbone is a hydroformed aluminum frame. On it, Vintage Electric added the likes of hydraulic brakes front and rear (with regen braking), a dual-density saddle wrapped in perforated leather and wheels with stainless steel rims plus an alloy rear fender. According to its makers, the Roadster is inspired by the sports cars of the 1950s and 1960s from both Europe and America. But unlike stiffer, low-slung performance vehicles, the Roadster comes fitted with a fork that offers 60 mm worth of travel, which should soak up pretty much any bump in the road provided you’re not planning to take it on broken country roads.
The e-bike tips the scales at 79 pounds (that’s about 35.8 kilos) and the only available color scheme is a combo of gloss black and silver. In all honesty, it looks super sleek with those two hues on, but a tad more customising options when it comes to colors wouldn’t have hurt, especially since we’re looking at bike that costs almost $7k. Last but not least, if your errand-running involves hauling stuff, VE will provide, on demand and for extra dollars, of course, a rear rack ($289) or a rack and a rear bag ($438) or a rack and two rear bags ($587).
Vintage Electric Roadster - Performance
VE opted for a 750-watt hub motor for the Roadster. Harnessing that power is done via two ride modes - Street and Race. While Street is the default setting and what it does is pretty clear, let’s take a closer look at Race. For starters, bear in mind that it is an optional upgrade that costs $149 extra. Once acquired, it allows you to unlock 3,000 out of the hub motor, thus bumping the Roadster’s top speed from 20 mph (32 km/h) to 36 mph (58 km/h). However, VE mentions that Race mode was designed for off-road use only, but we have a hunch that by that they mean outside of public roads. Either way, it comes with a special key that once removed, switches the bike back into Street mode, which was designed to “comply with local regulations including U.S. and E.U. standards.”
Under normal use, the Roadster can cover as much as 120 kilometers (75 miles) on a full charge, but if you’re into sporty riding, the figure can go down to around 64 kilometers (40 miles), which, to be honest, isn’t that bad at all. We’re also told that the battery pack needs 4.5 hours to charge completely, so you could easily use the bike for your daily commute from home to office with the possibility of charging it while you’re working. But with that sort of mileage (even when driven enthusiastically), you should be looking at just one charge per week, provided that you stick to the same route.
Vintage Electric Roadster - Specs
|Weight (with battery)||79 lb (35.8 kg)|
|Fork travel||60 mm|
|Motor||750 W, 3,000 W in Race Mode|
|Battery||48 V, 234 Ah|
|Hours to charge||4.5|
|Range on full charge||40-75 miles (64-120 km)|
|Regen braking||yes, integrate in the rear brake lever|
|Top speed (street mode)||20 mph (32 km/h)|
|Top speed (race mode)||36 mph (58 km/h)|
|Braking||Promax Lucid hydraulic front & rear|
|Headset||alloy 11/8 in internal|
|Saddle||dual-density w/ perforated leather|
|Rims||26 in x 50 mm|