Vintage Electric’s new 2020 Roadster electric bicycle has just been unveiled. And with a speed of 36 mph (58 km/h), this is definitely an e-bike you’ll want to learn more about.
Vintage Electric, based in Santa Clara, California, knows a thing or two about fast electric bicycles.
They’ve offered models that travel up to 36 mph (58 km/h) for a while now.
But the company’s newest offering, the 2020 Roadster, takes that speed and adds even more comfort and flair with a new design and a beautiful presentation.
Vintage Electric 2020 Roadster
As the company describes itself and the new 2020 Roadster in its own words:
“Vintage Electric crafts powerful electric bikes that artfully blend the vintage-inspired design of classic board track racers with the best in EV technology. Vintage Electric is proud to present the all-new 2020 Roadster model for riders looking for a high-performance EV ride paired with a unique cafe racer aesthetic. Designed in the grand tradition of open-air sportscars, the brand new Vintage Electric Roadster presents riders with an impressively fast 36-mph throttle bike that offers top-shelf performance with styling that is sure to turn heads.”
The 2020 Roadster is powered by a massive 3,000 W rear hub motor, though the 3 kW potential is only unlocked in Race Mode. While the normal setting is engaged, the motor is limited to just 750 W of power. That’s likely a nod toward e-bike regulations that limit the bikes to 750 W in many locations.
The direct-drive hub motor also offers regenerative braking, which is initiated by pulling the rear brake lever. It should complement the hydraulic disc brakes nicely and help reduce brake pad wear, not to mention increase the bike’s range.
To provide 3 kW of power for more than just a few minutes, you’ll need a pretty big battery. And the 2020 Roadster comes with one of the largest capacity batteries in the retail e-bike industry. The 48V and 23.4Ah battery amount to 1,123 Wh of capacity. With just a few more of those and you’d have more battery capacity than the BMW i8 sports car.
That big battery should take riders somewhere between 40-75 miles (64-120 km) when riding around in Street Mode. If you choose to bump the speed up to 36 mph (58 km/h) though, don’t expect to get the same kind of range.
The updates on the 2020 Roadster aren’t just in the powertrain though:
“Optimized for performance and comfort, the new Vintage Electric Roadster design starts with a hydroformed aluminum frame for the optimal blend of lightweight strength. Front suspension is standard: an MRP inverted-fork system supplies 60mm of front wheel travel to absorb road irregularities. The Roadster’s attached polished alloy seat-post features a saddle constructed with sable leather that matches the leather-wrapped handlebars to give riders a classic automotive feel. To compliment the high-quality leather accents throughout, the Roadster also features a classic two-tone color wave where black and silver further accent the aerodynamic design. Also, the Roadster’s LED headlamp not only lights the road, it captures an elegant moto spirit of yesteryear and transports it to today.”
As you might have surmised by now, the 2020 Roadster isn’t going to be cheap. It’s priced at $6,995. If that’s a bit much for you to swing right now but you still want to be on the best looking motorcycle-styled e-bike, Vintage is there to help with multiple financing options.
The bike is beautiful, there’s no doubt about that. And I’m sure that front suspension helps smooth out the ride compared to their previous fast yet rigid frame e-bikes. And in case you’re wondering about legality, Vintage makes a point of including the all-important “on private property only” asterisk that accompanies the 36 mph Race Mode.
While the bike looks great, I can’t speak for how well it rides, having never touched a Vintage Electric bike in the flesh before. But Electrek’s publisher Seth Weintraub had some nice things to say when he visited Vintage this past spring.
At $7k though, man this is a pricy e-bike. That’s almost entry-level Zero electric motorcycle money, folks. I’m not saying the Roadster isn’t a beautiful, two-tone, leather-clad, piece of art on wheels. But that’s a lot of money any which way you slice it.
If you really want to maintain bicycle-status yet have a need for speed, this could be a real classy way to get there. Hopefully, I can get the chance to try one out at some point to report back on how a $7k, 36 mph e-bike with an inverted front suspension fork feels on the twisties as well as back in the city. If so, I’ll be sure to update!
What do you think of Vintage’s 2020 Roadster electric bicycle? Let us know in the comments below!
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