BIANCHI BRINGS E-OMNIA TO AMERICAN SHORES
Famed Italian bike manufacturer Bianchi is finally bringing their e-bikes to North America. We featured the new bikes a while back, but now they’re here in the flesh. The e-Omnia (“omnia” is Latin for “everything”) line includes three bikes—the C-Type (city bike), the T-Type (trekking/touring) and the FX (full suspension). The C-Type is a low step-though frame, the T-Type comes with either a diamond-shaped frame or a mid-step frame, and the FX is a full-suspension frame.
All three feature some cool edges and a fairly intricate design, which they were able to achieve by gravity-casting the aluminum frames. They all also have Bianchi’s integrated lighting, including a bright headlight that also has side-mounted LEDs that offer 180 degrees of visibility up to 100 meters away, while taillights in the chainstays offer 90 degrees, and visibility of up to 500 meters behind.
We were invited to the launch event, held at the Marconi Automotive Museum, and had a chance to take a test ride on one of the T-Types. It has a Bosch Performance Line Speed motor (Class 3, 28 mph) and really voluminous Schwalbe Supermoto street tires. Testing the cornering at full clip, the tires offered ample grip and a really smooth ride. The bike loved to be up above 25 mph and got there easily.
The C-Type is also a Class 3 bike with the same Bosch powerplant where the FX uses a Performance Line CX motor (Class 1, 20 mph). The FX is a full-suspension e-mountain bike with 150mm of travel in the rear and 160mm in the front.
The other bikes in the lineup, including the flagship e-SUV, aren’t available in the U.S. at this time.
They have promised they’ll be introducing more bikes in the near future. Currently, they’re operating at about 90-percent racing and 10-percent e-bikes. Pat Hus, CEO of Bianchi USA, said that within four years that number for e-bikes should be 40 percent.
BIRD ENTERS THE BIKE–SHARE MARKET WITH E–BIKES
Bird started the e-mobility movement with electric scooters, starting in Santa Monica, California, and has since expanded to more than 250 cities globally. They’re now expanding into electric bike-share bikes in Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland and France in 2021. There will likely be North American cities included in this plan.
“Shared e-scooters catapulted shared micro-mobility to the center stage of eco-friendly transportation in cities by providing more than 150 million zero-emission trips globally,” said Travis VanderZanden, Bird’s founder and CEO. “We are launching our shared Bird Bike and Smart Bike-Share platform to meet fast-growing demand from cities and riders for more sustainable transportation options while expanding our serviceable, addressable market by five billion trips per year.”
The bikes have 26-percent wheels and a step-through frame, the claimed ability to ascend a 20-percent grade, a 56-mile range and a 15.5-mph top speed. Bird says the bikes are perfect for 3–5-mile trips and have a sturdy basket up front to allow users to carry groceries, gym bag or anything else.
ROTOR EKAPIC CRANKS
Spanish component manufacturer Rotor has new e-specific cranks that are made to be compatible with many popular motors, including Bosch, Brose, Fazua and Polini. The eKAPIC crankarms are forged from 6082 aluminum, featuring their Trinity Drilling System, which drills three full-depth holes, along the axis of the crank to make the crankarm lighter without compromising its stiffness-to-weight ratio.
They’re designed to have a narrow Q-factor, and their chainrings are designed with a universal tooth design made to be completely compatible with all of the 1x e-mountain bike groupsets on the market, and compatible with SRAM, Shimano and KMC chains.
There are also several color choices for a bump guard to show off a little flair. Price ranges from $12 to $260.