This review is part two of a two part series on picking the right bike for the city-dweller’s electric commute
This bike came into being thanks to a terrible London commute. One of the founders of AnalogMotion saw his daily trip to work go from five minutes up in Scotland to an hour when he moved to the capital. And, rather than shrug his shoulders and pack himself onto yet another tube train, he set up this East London electric bike company after raising £350,000 on Kickstarter.
The AnalogMotion is a stunning bike – so much so that people asked to take pictures of it when I rode it to and from work. There’s no doubt that the two founders have designed something which is a bike first, an electric bike second. Its hybrid quality separates this bike from the pack: it’s remarkably humble – it doesn’t brag about being electric. So subtle is the integrated electric motor and the battery which camouflages itself as a water bottle, that often I found myself explaining to people that it’s electric – cue a look of awe from the observer.
This is a bike you’re proud to cycle. A near-silent motor propels you along with ease, including some boost capacity off the lights. It’s shape and structure provides for a comfortable fit, even on the slightly-too-small frame I was given for the review. Being a fixed-gear bike, hills should be tough – but I found them to be easy. This is the way to build an electric bike for the city. The aircraft grade aluminum frameset is strong and lightweight, as well as feeling luxury – but most impressively means the bike weighs in at just 14kg. Compare that to the 19kg Vanmoof X2 I reviewed. When you consider the fact that this comes in at a third of the cost (the AM1 starts at £1000) – you can see why the guys at Analogmotion think they’re onto a winning formula. It’s not ugly, it’s lightweight and it’s good value for an electric bike.
So what’s the downside? Well, the battery. With a range of just 20 miles, that pales into insignificance against most other electric bikes on the market. But when you consider that the average Londoner’s commute is 16 miles (8 miles both ways) then this bike is actually the perfect companion for the regular city-goer. Needless to say that extra batteries can also be purchased and each one weighs no more than a full bottle of water – so doubling your range is a fairly easy trick.
In my last review I said that I thoroughly enjoyed riding the VanMoof X2 Electrified. And I did. But this bike brings with it so much more fun. Think of it as a Fiat 500 versus a Porsche – of course the Porsche is grown up, fast and powerful – but the Fiat has an open roof and a certain Italian swagger. If you’re a serious bike person, I’m not at all sure this is bike is for you. In fact, I’d probably say avoid it. But for the rest of us – well, £1000 for a stunning, London-built electric bike that turns heads is a price well worth paying. It brings all the joy of an electric commute, without the hefty price tag of its competitors. Without doubt, this is the star pick in the market. Just remember to get a good bike lock – a bike as attractive as this won’t stay put for long…
Read our review of the VanMoof Electrified X2 here