Green is the word nowadays as manufacturers keep trending toward electric bikes. I don’t usually look at bicycles, and one could make the argument that a bicycle — which is by its nature green power — is made less green by adding an electric motor. However, adding that motor increases the usefulness and gives folks an alternative to scooters.

Ariel Rider is a company founded by two brothers to produce a means of transportation that is not only green/sustainable, but also fun. After studying areas with large bicycle cultures, the brothers started to design their electric-assist bicycles with an eye to form as well as function. What they wound up with has a certain sexiness, and looks to be a nice alternative to some of the purely pragmatic rides out there right now. Come check out the current lineup and you will see what I mean.

Continue reading for my look at the Ariel Rider models.

  • 2016 Ariel Rider C-Class / N-Class / W-Class
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    250-watt
  • Price:
    1899
  • Price:

Designs

2016 Ariel Rider C-Class / N-Class / W-Class
- image 684594

The Ariel powered-bicycle lineup includes three separate and distinct families. Though they all share more or less the same propulsion system and power packs, the details of the layout shows a different personality for each model family.

W-Class

2016 Ariel Rider C-Class / N-Class / W-Class
- image 684588

Ariel’s W-Class bikes share much with the classic, beach cruiser look with its fat tires, relaxed rider triangle and subtle curvature in the frame members. Only the slightly fattened backbone and battery pack mounted vertically behind the seat post give the “W” away as something out of the ordinary.

Flared trailing edges dress up the mudguards and add a bit of extra spray protection for foul-weather riding. The W-Class comes only in the “men’s” style with the high backbone, but is available in a number of fetching color schemes. You can get it shot in a monochrome beige, black or red with the same color on frame and sheet metal alike.

N-Class

2016 Ariel Rider C-Class / N-Class / W-Class
- image 684579

The newest addition to the family carries itself with the same beach cruiser-esque panache as the W-Class, but instead of carrying the power pack exposed, Ariel neatly tucked it away behind a pair of sheet-metal body panels that are kind of reminiscent of the old “strap tanks” early motorcycles used to carry fuel and oil.

C-Class

2016 Ariel Rider C-Class / N-Class / W-Class
- image 684584

The “C” stands for City-and-Cargo, a fitting moniker for what could best be described as a workbike. Not to be confused with the commuter — W- and N-Class bikes that you would use to ride to work — the C-Class comes set up with cargo capacity fore and aft turning it into a work platform. Many large U.S. cities have courier services that use bikes to move documents and other small parcels hither and yon through congested city streets, and the C-Class could perform this job admirably. Not only will the rear cargo rack manage up to 77 pounds, but the bamboo tray up front will hold a stack of pizza boxes with bungees to hold them down.

Like the W-Class, the “C” comes in a monochrome paint scheme with matching frame and sheet metal in beige, red or green. Unlike the W and N, the C comes with a low “ballbuster” bar for easy mounting and dismounting.

Chassis

2016 Ariel Rider C-Class / N-Class / W-Class
- image 684595

All frames are made up of hydroformed and welded 6061 aluminum members to help keep overall weight down. While there seems to be no sort of rear suspension on these rides, there are a few options up front.

The C-Class and base-model W-Class bikes come with a traditional, solid front fork, but the Premium package “W” rides on a springer front end similar to those used by motorcycles in the first half of the last century.

There’s a choice in front suspension on the N-Class as well; the base “Comfort” model runs a telescopic, hydraulic front fork, and the “Premium” package gets the same “Bullet-Proof Springer” front end as the premium W-Class bikes. All models use Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes to keep everything under control.

Drivetrain

2016 Ariel Rider C-Class / N-Class / W-Class
- image 684581

N-Class Premium

Probably the most intriguing area of these bikes is in the Power-On-Demand (POD) system. Sensors in the crank detect the amount of force that is being exerted on the pedals, and sends power to the in-hub electric motor in the rear wheel to augment the efforts of the rider. In this manner, the electric drive only assists the rider and doesn’t turn the bike into an electric scooter/motorcycle.

Range and recharge times vary depending on the package and how the bike gets used, but the Premium bikes can expect to get up to nearly 30 mph, and that right soon! As with most electric drives, the torque is just waiting to break loose, and the 500 watt motor can generate an impressive 35 pound-feet of torque, while the 250 watt motor isn’t far behind with 28 pounds of grunt. Bear in mind this is on a bike that you can easily pick up and carry, so you’d better believe power numbers like that will move your butt quick, fast and in a hurry. Recharge time is around 3.5 hours, which is plenty short enough for a recharge while at work.

Price

2016 Ariel Rider C-Class / N-Class / W-Class
- image 684591

W-Class Premium

Ariel offers its E-Bikes for prices that are actually comparable to some smoker scooters out there, but the point isn’t the price, now is it? Actual prices vary depending on which combination of features you decide on. The W-Class range rolls for between $1,899 and $2,300, while the N-Class kicks it up a notch to the $2,099 to $2,899 bracket. The C-Class cargo bike can be had for $2,499, and is available only in the “Comfort” layout.

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I thought my husband was nuts when he said he was going to look at an electric bicycle. When I got a chance to look, too, I was more impressed than I thought I’d be. The styles are classy and have a decidedly old-fashioned elegance, and make a very nice alternative to a scooter or a moped. You still pedal, but the power-assists jumps in to help you when things get tough. Let’s face it, who hasn’t pedaled a bike up a hill and wished for some help.”

Specifications

C-Class

Frame: Al 6061
Front Rack: Bamboo Front Rack With Coffee Holder And Stabilizer
Rear Rack : 135Kg Load Capacity
Gears: Shimano Altus 7 Speed Gears
Brakes: Avid Bb7
Front Lights: 20-Lux Spaninga Front Lights
Rear Light: Spaninga Rear Light Embedded On Battery
Front Fork: Solid
Motor: 250W Brushless Rear-Hub Motor
Torque: 38 Nm
Battery: Li-Ion Samsung Battery Cells 36V11Ah
Range: 70Km
Recharge Time: 3.5 Hours
Wheels: Cst C1779 - 26*2.35
Max Speed (Speed Limited According To Local Laws): 38Km/Hr (Speed Limited According To Local Laws)
Additional: Pod System (Power On Demand Intelligent Torque Sensor)
Saddle: Ariel Rider Extra Wide & Plus
Handlebar Grips: Hand Stitched Leather (Soft)
Charger: Cell Balancing Charger

W-Class

Frame: Hydroformed Al 6061
Gears: Shimano Altus 7 Speed Gears
Brakes: Avid Bb7
Front Lights: 20-Lux Spaninga Front Lights
Rear Light: Spaninga Rear Light With Brake Light Function
Front Fork:
Comfort: Solid
Premium: Bullet- Proof Springer
Motor:
W-250: 250W Brushless Rear-Hub Motor
W-500: 500W Brushless Rear-Hub Motor
Torque:
Comfort: 38 Nm
Premium: 48 Nm
Battery:
W-250: Li-Ion Samsung Battery Cells 36V11Ah
W-500: Li-Ion Samsung Battery Cells 48V11Ah
Range:
W-250: 70Km
W-500: 80Km
Recharge Time: 3.5 Hours
Wheels: Kenda K905 - 26*2.30
Max Speed (Speed Limited According To Local Laws):
W-250: 38Km/Hr
W-500: 50Km/Hr
Additional:
W-250: Pod System (Power On Demand Intelligent Torque Sensor)
W-500: Speed Sensor + Throttle Override
Saddle:
Comfort: Ariel Rider Extra Wide & Plus
Premium: Ariel Rider Premium Leather
Handlebar Grips:
Comfort: Hand Stitched Leather (Soft)
Premium: Ariel Rider Premium Leather
Charger: Cell Balancing Charger With Microphone Connector

N-Class

Frame: Al 6061
Gears: Shimano Altus 7 Speed Gears
Brakes: Avid Bb7
Front Lights: 20-Lux Spaninga Front Lights
Rear Light: Spaninga Rear Light With Brake Light Function
Front Fork:
Comfort: Zoom Hydraulic
Premium: Bullet- Proof Springer
Motor:
N-250: 250W Brushless Rear-Hub Motor
N-500: 500W Brushless Rear-Hub Motor
Torque:
Comfort: 38 Nm
Premium: 48 Nm
Battery:
N-250: Li-Ion Samsung Battery Cells 36V11Ah
N-500: Li-Ion Samsung Battery Cells 48V11Ah
Range:
N-250: 70Km
N-500: 80Km
Recharge Time: 3.5 Hours
Wheels: Cst C1779 - 26*2.35
Max Speed (Speed Limited According To Local Laws):
Comfort: 38Km/Hr
Premium: 50Km/Hr
Additional:
N-250: Pod System (Power On Demand Intelligent Torque Sensor)
N-500: Speed Sensor + Throttle Override
Saddle:
Comfort: Ariel Rider Extra Wide & Plus
Premium: Ariel Rider Premium Leather
Handlebar Grips:
Comfort: Hand Stitched Leather (Soft)
Premium: Ariel Rider Premium Leather
Charger: Cell Balancing Charger With Microphone Connector

Source: Ariel Rider

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