If you ask Karlheinz Nicolai what a state-of-the-art bicycle would look and feel like, he will likely answer –- among other things — its design would first and foremost, protect the all-important drivetrain system.
In conventional bicycles, drivetrain components such as the derailleur and gearing cogs are attached to the frame as separate parts and are exposed to the elements. Elements e.g. dirt, grit, sand, water causes deterioration to the moving parts, resulting in their high maintenance needs.
Karlheinz would know as he and his team underscored their prototype G-Boxx system and the Smart eBike (co-sponsored by Daimler and Grace) designs around that concept.
What can you expect from a Smart eBike?
Weighing in at 22 kilograms, it is comparably lighter than many of its counterparts, and, from the engine to the wheels down to their intuitive, built-in LED lights, the Smart eBike is elegance personified.
Its 250 watt brushless electric drive motor is integrated into the rear wheel and allows for 4 levels of power boost and which only kicks in when you pedal. And when you do, your muscle power is transmitted to the rear wheel via the crank bearing to the final drive. A belt pulley and toothed belt – which assumes the tasks of the conventional chain wheel and chain — are silent. And, like the other components of the drive system, they do not require any maintenance.
Protected too, is its compact lithium-ion 36 volts 9.6 Ah battery pack located above the pedal crankcase and concealed by the frame paneling.
The bike would not be state of the art German design without a communication centre a.k.a. smartphone features and this, it delivered. The ebike’s smartphone tracks your speed, your heart rate, and even opens and locks your vehicle for added protection against theft. There is more here for an upfront and closer look at its other innovative features as captured via the Detroit Auto Show.