Vintage Roadster wakes me up quickly
My first thought upon seeing the 2022 vintage roadster Electric bike: What a cool retro look. Then I jumped on a test ride. No exaggeration: I knew within the first five seconds that it was awesome. How is it possible ? Four reasons.
First of all, it was super comfortable. Second, it was very quiet, even for an electric bike. Third, it accelerated quickly and smoothly – more than any other bike I’ve ever ridden. Fourth, the ride was smoother than anything I had experienced on two wheels. All in the first five seconds.
And from there my impression only got better. Andrew Davidge, the founder of the company, encouraged me to just use the accelerator instead of the pedal assist. So I did it at the beginning. Notice I was driving a model with a race mode that can travel much faster than the typical 20mph limit. OMG. I rode it up a steep hill near my house that even the most powerful e-bikes can handle at 16mph. The Vintage did it at 24.7 mph. It probably could have gone even faster but I slowed it down because I felt vulnerable at that speed, well, that’s the speed limit for the neighborhood. At one point on a flat surface I was at 34 mph and didn’t even realize it until I took a look at the odometer. This is how it glides smoothly. I’m sure the Schwalbe Fat Frank tires helped to some extent. Overall, this is perhaps the most exhilarating electric bike I’ve ever been on.
If my experience was typical, this is without a doubt one of the best e-bikes on the market – definitely the best that I have put out. And at $ 7,144 for the race mode version, it should be. So what makes it so expensive? In a nutshell, it’s the components, the aesthetics, the ride itself, the quality of the build and, most importantly, the attention to detail. The retro-looking battery box – which is made entirely of die-cast aluminum – helps keep the controller inside 60% cooler. The motor is completely silent and maintenance free. And that lets you go up to 75 miles per charge. Other features include hydraulic regenerative disc brakes, a smooth front suspension and a large circular LED headlight. It also has full fenders if you’re riding in the rain, a rear rack and padded upright handlebars for extra comfort. There’s only one manual gear, with five levels of pedal assist – and it all works great. But I was so in love with the throttle power that I barely pedaled during my test drive.
“The inspiration for this really comes from the bikes that the board tracks were built from,” says Davidge. “So it’s all about comfort. You get a lot of range, low-end torque, and performance. It blurs the lines between electric bicycle and electric motorcycle, providing a motorcycle-like riding experience for customers who would not normally buy a motorcycle. It’s also for people who are getting older so they can’t hold their Harley anymore, but still want to be on two wheels. It has a redesigned rear hub motor (750 W for the non-racing version, 3000 W for the racing mode) and a winding, all to get more power at low revs. This bike will do nearly 40 mph in race mode, but that’s not where a lot of our customers really ride it. We’ve focused our engineering efforts and powertrain designs on that 25-30 mph acceleration – more in the legal category. He adds that the bike I rode has 180 Newton-meters of torque, which means it can go up hills quickly.
The company has been selling bikes since 2013 and Davidge says “it’s really important to make sure these bikes stay on the road a lifetime, just like a regular car or motorcycle. I grew up with racing bikes and cars, and I was so in love with track racing. So, I want to build bikes that I’m proud to be seen riding on. And it’s timeless, it will always look cool. Mission accomplished.