Vello, specialist in folding bicycles, presented a new electric model weighing no more than 10 kg. A feat largely related to the choice of an all-titanium frame, making it the world’s lightest folding electric bicycle.
When cycling is on the rise in the city, not everyone has the space to park such a machine, especially if it is electric. The Austrians of the Vello brand have specialized in developing folding bicycles. Already holding the record for the lightest folding electric bicycle in the world, the manufacturer has taken another step, this time with a 9.9 kg model. A feather-light for an electric bicycle, achieved thanks to a titanium frame that weighs only 1.9 kg.
According to the designer, folding the Vello is done in 8 seconds. Once folded, it only takes up a volume of 57 x 79 x 29 cm. While not as compact as a Brompton Electric (58.5 x 56.5 x 27 cm), the Vello opts for 20-inch wheels, compared to just 16 for the Brompton. A choice that gives the Vello model better stability. These wheels are shod with Schwalbe Kojak tires with a resolutely urban profile that is all about damping in the absence of suspension. Braking is provided by hydraulic disc brakes.
Hub motor and “unlimited” autonomy
As for the electrification, Vello opts for a Zehus engine housed in the rear hub and capable of developing up to 40 Nm. Unsurprisingly, the help will not allow the performance of the largest engines on the reach the market, but lightness is in sight here. This motor is coupled to a 173 Wh battery, with which the Vello Bike+ promises a range of at least 50 km at the maximum assistance level, which is very promising. The Zehus system includes a KERS energy recovery device. It promises to recharge the battery when braking and pedaling back. Thanks to this system, the manufacturer has an outright unlimited autonomy, which remains very unlikely.
You can choose from several transmissions, including two from Schlumpf’s sheds. The German brand equips the Vello with its Speed Drive system for city use or Mountain Drive for more hilly outings. For weight gain, the lightest electric bicycle in the world logically opts for a solution single speed and a Gates carbon belt. Please note, the assistance is partly managed by an inclination sensor and not by a torque sensor, which can have an impact on the naturalness of the pedaling.
A fare as heavy as the bike is light
The Vello Bike+ also benefits from Bluetooth connectivity that allows it to be paired with a smartphone and an application. In particular, this app makes it possible to locate the bike if it disappears, to set the assistance levels or even to electronically lock the motor to slow down potential thieves.
Inevitably, such equipment and such a light frame have a price that will not go unnoticed in your bank account. Vello does not yet reveal the price of its ultra-light toys, but the previous model, which weighs 12.9 kg, is listed for 4490 €. We can therefore safely exceed € 5,000 for the Vello with a weight of less than 10 kg.