For all their utility, the electric bikes available through bike-sharing services such as Citibike, Lyft, Bird, and Lime aren't the most elegant. They're made to withstand abuse from people and the elements, with aesthetics taking a second seat.
When you buy your own electric bike, though, you get your choice of something more stylish, as Bird is proving with its first e-bike for consumers.
Bird Bike: Price and availability
The Bird Bike costs $2,299, and will come in two colors (Stealth Black and Gravity Gray) as well as in two designs, step-over (A-Frame) and step-through (V-Frame). A limited number of the step-over models are available starting today (opens in new tab) (Aug. 19), with wider availability this fall.
Bird Bike: Design
As mentioned, the Bird Bike will be available in both step-over (A-Frame) and step-through (V-Frame) configurations.
The A-Frame model, whose top tube extends in front of the handlebars and behind the seat post, is very reminiscent of the VanMoof S3, another electric bike we've reviewed this past year. A large Bird logo adorns this section.
Both models will come with a small display that sits in the middle of the handlebars and shows speed, battery life, and more. Each model also has head and taillights, and a removable battery in the downtube. Other common features include a thumb throttle and Bluetooth connectivity, to link the bike to your phone.
Bird Bike: Specs and performance
The Bird Bike will be equipped with a 36v/12.8 Ah battery, which the company claims will offer a range of up to 50 miles. In the U.S., owners will get a Bafang rear hub motor capable of outputting up to 500W of power, while UK riders will get a motor rated for 250W. However, the U.S. version of the bike will have only a single gear, while the European model will have a 7-speed shifter.
Like most electric bikes, the Bird Bike has pedal-assist — it'll provide extra power as you pedal — but for those tougher hills, pressing the throttle button will tell the bike to take over the work. It will max out at 20 miles per hour, though.
Bird Bike: Outlook
Bird's first consumer bike looks to be a solid offering, even if its design does look like another popular model. We like that it has a removable battery — which makes it much easier to charge — and it looks to have a decent range, too. Its starting price of $2,299 makes it a bit more expensive than more entry-level models such as the $1,699 Charge Bikes City, but you're getting something that looks a bit sleeker. Hopefully we'll be able to take it on the road and give it a proper test in the near future.
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