Bikes > Cycle

We seriously want this cool pedal-assist electric bike

Not only does it look great, it also makes daily commutes easier

This is the coolest thing we’ve seen in a while. PHOTO FROM NEIGHBORHOOD

If you’ve gone out for a drive in the past month, you know that bicycles are the chosen mode of transportation for many right now. With public transportation still lacking in capacity—and with people cautiously observing physical distancing—pedaling alone seems to be a wise, efficient and healthy way of moving about.

Problem is, some distances are too far from not-so-fit (or not-so-young) individuals. It’s okay if you’re just covering less than 10km. More than that and bicycle commuting becomes an unrealistic option for a lot of folks.

The solution, we think, is to go for a pedal-assist electric bike. It’s essentially a bicycle with a rechargeable electric motor that provides supplementary power to the rider, so that pedaling becomes a much easier task. Most pedal-assist electric bikes feature a selector control for choosing the amount of electric boost the rider wants to use.

An example is this cool-looking thing you see here, which is a collaboration between two lifestyle adventure brands: Neighborhood from Tokyo in Japan, and Super73 from California in the US. It has officially been made available in Japan starting today. The bike itself is made by Super73, but the subtle tweaks by Neighborhood make it extremely desirable.

Somebody bring this electric bike here! Now! PHOTOS FROM NEIGHBORHOOD

This e-bike measures 1,650mm long, 635mm wide and 965mm high—perfect for stowing in a corner if you’re bringing it to your place of work. Its 250W electric motor provides three modes of power assist, a top speed of 25km/h and a cruising distance of up to 70km on a single full charge of the battery.

All eyes will be on you in crawling traffic. PHOTOS FROM NEIGHBORHOOD

The standard equipment includes Tektro hydraulic brakes and front and rear lights.

The price? This is being sold in Japan for ¥470,000 (P217,000), but a basic one can be had for about $2,000 (P100,000) in the US. We really hope the Super73 brand finds its way to the Philippines.

The craftsmanship is simply stunning. PHOTOS FROM NEIGHBORHOOD

You’re probably asking: Why buy this when you can get a cheaper motorcycle instead? Our answer: Just stare at this e-bike and tell us you don’t want one.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 26 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.