Frey Bike unveiled two high-power and high-speed electric bicycles today, pushing the envelope for high end e-bikes with surprisingly modest prices.
And as usual, Electrek was in attendance to bring you the latest.
The two e-bikes unveiled today include the EX and CC models, which are a high-end electric mountain bike and electric cross-country or commuter bike. The EX model is designed for aggressive trail riding and mountain climbing, while the CC model has a more relaxed, upright geometry as well as low standover height, both of which make it better suited for city and hybrid riding.
Both e-bikes feature full suspension using top of the line RockShox suspension components. The EX model offers up to 180 mm (7 inches) of suspension travel in the front and 160 mm (6.3 inches) in the rear, while the CC model offers up to 150 mm (6 inches) of suspension travel in the front and rear.
The pair of new e-bikes share the high power Bafang M620 mid-drive motor, which is more commonly known as the Bafang Ultra motor. This motor is often rated at 1,000W continuous, but puts out closer to 1,500W to 1,600W of peak power. It also churns out 160 Nm (118 lb-ft) of torque, which is simply massive. That’s around 2-3x the torque of most Bosch, Brose, or Shimano mid-drive motors. And unlike nearly every other mid-drive motor, these Bafang Ultra motors come with a hand throttle in addition to the standard pedal assist.
Frey Bike officially quotes the top speed of the two bikes as 50 km/h (31 mph), with an option for limiting the speed and power levels to legal levels for various jurisdictions. As if that wasn’t fast enough, I was told by multiple owners of Frey electric bicycles in the audience that this motor installed on the company’s popular AM1000 electric bike exceeds the claimed 50 km/h (31 mph) top speed.
Both models include a high-capacity integrated battery, with a 48V and 672 Wh battery hidden in the frame of the EX model and a larger 48V and 816 Wh in the CC model. The EX model also offers the option of a second 672 Wh battery added to the frame in a downtube-mounted pack.
Both models come with hydraulic disc brakes. The CC model includes Tektro Dorado brakes, while the EX model features even higher-end Magura brakes.
Frey Bike has a number of patents on the new models, mostly centering around the suspension linkage. The EX model joins a number of high-end mountain bikes produced by Frey Bike, including the company’s best seller: The 1 kW AM1000 full-suspension electric mountain bike.
The CC model, on the other hand, is the brand’s first commuter-style e-bike. According to Frey Bike, the company decided to build a commuter bike after discovering that a large percentage of its customer base was buying its high-powered 1,000W electric mountain bikes to use almost purely for street use.
Both models should be available to purchase in the next two to three months. Frey Bike didn’t unveil the final pricing yet, but said that the CC model should be equivalent to the current AM1000 model pricing. That bike currently starts at around $2,300 before shipping, with options for even higher spec components, such as DNM inverted forks, increasing the price somewhat.
I have to say that these two bikes are pretty incredible, and I can attest to that as someone who test-rode both of them earlier today on the factory floor after the unveiling.
While many (perhaps even most) electric bicycles in China are fairly low-end, mass produced e-bikes, Frey Bike is quite different. The company only produces around 1,000 to 1,500 e-bikes per year, but builds them at incredibly high quality standards and with top-end components that I’ve never seen before on Chinese e-bikes.
These full suspension e-bikes literally rival $6,000-$8,000 Haikbikes and other high-end European electric mountain bikes. You’ll find the same bike components on both bikes, and the frames are just as good. The only difference is you’re buying direct to consumer from a Chinese company instead of paying European prices. Sure, the cost of labor is higher in Europe, but you can’t deny that you’re partially paying for the brand name (not to mention the Bosch brand name as well).
I met the people in the factory while I was checking out the bike and production process, and they love what they do. I love the product they build — and it shows.
I’m particularly interested in the CC model, though I ride mostly on the street, so I’m a bit biased.
I’ve rarely seen full suspension city bikes, much less with this level of high-end RockShox suspension and custom designed linkage. Add in the ridiculously powerful Bafang Ultra motor, the hand throttle and the surprisingly affordable price and you’ve got a real winner on your hands.
So what’s the catch? Pretty much the fact that Frey doesn’t have a large dealer network, which all but necessitates its direct-to-consumer approach. The company has a Swiss distributor that also services Germany and Austria, but the vast majority of the company’s sales come from its Alibaba marketplace page. While that might make some customers uncomfortable, the company is delivering around 1,500 bikes per year and has a large base of fiercely loyal customers, so they must be doing something right. And the fact that you can get a $6-$8k level electric mountain bike for less than half of that price is pretty awesome, if you ask me.
I’ll be testing out both bikes more extensively over the next few days, so I’ll be reporting back with full reviews of each.
Until then, I want to hear what you think. Let me know your opinion on the bikes in the comments section below.
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