Today I met John, the co-founder of Velocis Bikes. As we rode side-by-side on two BionX powered E-bikes, I realized this article wouldn’t take the form of my standard E-bike test. We talked about his new company, their products, and E-bikes in general. I rode their 37 volt mountain bike and he was on my 48 volt BionX special edition bike with the kit I got from NYCeWheels. I will talk about the differences, but more about Velocis Bikes’ ideas of what a electric-assist bike should be for their customers.
First off, they decided early on, to offer the BionX power system exclusively. John, an avid biker, mountain biker, triathelete, and generally athletic guy, got into electric-motored bikes as a college project. He was out to get his fellow students on bikes and E-bikes. He found that the power systems and motors he tried using were of poor quality, performance, and came from companies that couldn’t back up their products. All that changed as the BionX systems came under his radar.
So even though the cost is high, only a top-notch motor from a solid company would be speced on these bikes. Also too, only a good performing platform would do for the bike it‘s mounted on. In addition, they know that each person has different needs when it comes to their bike. So even though they have basic models to choose from, Velocis strives to build each E-bike to fit a customer’s specific needs.
Many E-bike companies offer fully outfitted bikes in a few different styles. Each model is the same, with no options or differences. Often those additional add-ons are of low-quality or not what you need. As you enter Velocis Bikes well laid-out website, you will see this is not the case here. They have three models in the line at the moment. These are a 29er mountain E-bike, a men’s road (commuter) E-bike, and a Woman’s (Mixte) E-bike. They plan on adding more as time permits.
Each bike comes with very high-end components and a choice of motor size, battery size, and many other things. There are no fenders, racks, or accessories on board. They know that each rider has their own preferences here, and let them decide on how to outfit their new wheels. Their color palate is un-matched with thousands of colors and shades to choose from.
Velocis is marketing a bike with major quality and one of the best power systems on the market. Nothing more, nothing less. You get a blank canvas to carve out the bike you want to fit your riding needs. Some riders won’t need this, but so many more do. And lets face it, if you are going to invest the money to get a decent E-bike, you want something special and trouble-free. That’s what they offer. Nothing more, and nothing less.
Now what is to stop you from doing this yourself? You can get a great bike from your local bike shop and order up an BionX kit from NYCeWheels and built a super E-bike on your own. The truth is that many people are not good at DIY projects. Many people don’t have the time, tools, or know-how to make it happen. But they might still want a custom, great performing E-bike to call their own. This is the market Velocis Bikes is catering to.
What makes the BionX power system so much better that the others? Attention to detail and quality tops the list. The built-in torque sensor for un-matched pedelec feel and performance is another. The regeneration feature is not seen on many other packages. The included display unit that controls the functions and acts as a bike computer is so very nice. The fact that the ECU (electronic control unit) is intergraded in to the hub motor has many benefits.
How did the 37 volt system compare to the 48 volt system? This was not an equal comparison because both bikes have different wheels sizes that effectively changes the gear ratio. Even still, it was as you would think, the 48 volt had a little more top-end power. Both bikes charged up my local test hill like it wasn’t there. Both bikes had the 350 watt motor. They were fairy equal on acceration to speed.
One thing that was different is the Velocis Bikes’ torque sensor was set to the more sensitive mode. This made for a more spritely feel (you could feel the power quicker when pedaling), but I would think it would reduce the range slightly. It is adjustable, as are other perimeters of the BionX power system, so you make the choice as to how it’s set.
I was really impressed with John’s knowledge of his bikes. The video I saw online of him and the companies other major players backed that up. This is a young group of people that are on the right track of an ever emerging segment of the cycling world. The product they offer is spot-on to the needs of bikers who want something different and special to commute, play, and just plain have fun on.
John was in town on a scouting trip to get their bikes in more shops for you to be able to try them out. It was a neat twist of fate that brought him to my doorstep (garage). Even though we rode and talked for over two hours, I wish I could have spent more time with him. There were so many more topics to cover. But I felt like I was holding him back from his mission and needed to call the meeting to an end. I photographed the woman’s bike he brought, but didn’t ride it. It too looked nice and was speced very well. He invited me to visit their shop in Tucson and I hope I can make the journey there soon.
I hope you liked this different format, Turbo Bob.
“A cyclist can ride three-and-a-half miles on the calories found in an ear of corn. Bicycles consume less energy per passenger mile than any other form of transport, including walking. A ten mile commute by bicycle requires 350 calories of energy, the amount in one bowl of rice. The same trip in the average American car uses 18,600 calories, or more than half a gallon of gasoline.”—Marcia D. Lowe, The Bicycle: Vehicle for a Small Planet.
You can find Velocis Bikes on Facebook or the web.