When I say I enjoy a laid back e-bike lifestyle, this isn’t exactly what I had in mind. But I can see the appeal in Catrike’s latest eCAT electric bike line featuring the company’s favorite easy-going recumbent tricycles.
For the uninitiated, recumbent bikes are what you’d get if you mashed up a beach lounge chair and a pedal bicycle.
Instead of riding in a seated position on a bicycle saddle, recumbents offer more of a lawnchair-style seat that is tilted back, leaving the rider nearly horizontal.
And as you might have guessed, an electric recumbent is simply a recumbent bicycle with added power assist from an electric motor and battery. And yes, technically Catrike’s are e-trikes instead of e-bikes since they have a pair of front wheels and single rear wheel in a classic tadpole trike setup.
In the case of Catrike’s eCAT e-bikes, the electric recumbents have been gifted a Bosch e-bike drive unit consisting of a Bosch Active Line Plus electric motor and a 400 Wh Bosch PowerPack battery. There’s also a Bosch Purion LCD display mounted on the left handlebar.
The Bosch Active Line Plus drive unit sports 50 Nm of torque and can power the eCAT electric recumbent bike up to a max speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). Riders can pedal past that speed, but they’ll be on their own as the motor won’t provide any additional assist beyond its top speed.
Under 20 mph (32 km/h) though, the motor can offer a maximum of 270% assist. In other words, for every watt of power you put in, the motor can add around another 2.7 watts.
The motor is technically known as a mid-drive, though the geometry of a recumbent means that it is far from the middle of the bike. Instead, it sticks way out in front of the boom.
The battery required a novel mounting solution as well, with Catrike creating a unique battery mount under the seat to support the lockable and removable Bosch battery.
Catrike says that the 400 Wh battery should be good for 62 miles (100 km) of range. Between the lack of a throttle (Bosch e-bike systems are pedal-assist only) and the lower wind resistance of a recumbent e-bike, that range is likely fairly realistic.
When it comes to pricing, I hope you’re laying down for this (heh, get it?!).
The eCAT line starts at $4,750 and goes as high as $6,750, depending on which model you fancy. Though considering recumbent tricycles are already fairly expensive and the Bosch drive is one of the pricier mid-drive units out there, the pricing isn’t exactly a shocker in this niche market.
What do you think? Are you ready to lay back, kick your feet up, and hit the road? Let us know in the comments below if you could see yourself on a Catrike eCAT electric recumbent.
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