What do you think this SmartMotion Electric Bike Updates from Interbike (Pacer, Catalyst) video?
SmartMotion was at Interbike showcasing their 2017 ebike models and I was able to speak with the New Zealand founders and get some backstory on the company! I’ve reviewed and test ridden some of their models and they are super cool and well priced. Instead of standard bike frames with basic motors and add-on LCD displays their bikes have a lot of integration and offer neat upgrades like LED Light strips. I was really impressed, especially with the higher speed 28 mph performance offered.
Two of the new models we checked out and really focused on were the Pacer and Catalyst electric bikes. They look very similar but the tires, suspension and commuting rack setups separate how you’d use them… The Pacer would be great for commuting while the hardtail Catalyst is perfect for trail riding or use on varied terrain like commuting with a bit of dirt roads on the way. You can still add a rack to it just like the Pacer but the knobby tires and suspension fork will smooth out the ride and improve handling over bumps.
I spoke with Darryl and Anthony a bit about how the company began just a few years back (maybe 2013). Their company helped to electrify the bicycle fleet for the New Zealand post office. After this they built a bike brand to sell to consumers and have now partnered with Lectric Cycles in the US. Smart Motion is the biggest e-bike brand in New Zealand right now and it sounds like their country is working on figuring out the best regulations, possibly making them higher than Europe. The US offers up to 750 watt motors with 20 mph top speeds on throttle and many other parts of the world limit power to 250 watts and 15.5 mph (25 kph) top speed.
Outside of the fast hero bikes they have some more standard models like the step-thru e-city model which still has suspension, lights and a rack. In NZ they have Rail Trail rides which is a bike path following old railroad tracks that take you through national parks. I loved the swept back bars, suspension and suspension seat post. I was told by Darryl that even the ecity models will let you add the integrated rack lights.
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