Crowdfunding is all the rage for many things, including electric bicycles. And why not? It’s a way to raise money and gauge interest in a project. Electric bikes have been very successful on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and others. Some have simply been to start a company that sources parts from China and assembles them into bikes to sell.
Marty Schlesinger is starting a Kickstarter campaign for something perhaps a little different. A former professional BMX freestyler, he’s been very knowledgeable about bikes for a couple of decades. In 2010, he started Voltage Cycles, a custom electric bike builder with some of the most beautiful bikes, all with a very vintage motorcycle look. His philosophy was to build electric bikes that any rider would be proud to throw a leg over. Marty’s vast experience with great handling, sturdy bikes melded well with his design aesthetic. Voltage bikes are stunning, and on the higher end of the cost spectrum.
He’s decided to make a frame for people who want to custom-build their own bike, with either a mid-drive or a hub drive, that looks great and can handle any motor bolted onto it. That’s not an easy task, some motors can put incredible stress on a frame. The look of the frame harkens back to the BMX, muscle and mini-bikes we all lusted after in the 1970s and 80s. It features dual top- and down tubes with an incredible array of mounting possibilities for batteries, motors and other customization options.
The cool thing about the bike is the incredible adjustability of every part. There’s a choice of an American or European bottom bracket that bolts on in any of several positions. The provided seat mount grid comes with a 1-foot seat platform, with an 8-inch range of adjustment. It comes with an Ichi bikes seat, made from a classic skateboard deck that’s been padded and upholstered. They look amazing! There are grids for mounting everything, including 21 holes with 10-inches of adjustability for mounting batteries on the down tube using standard water bottle mounts.
The chain line runs above the chain stay, so there’s no need to break the chain. It can even run a Gates belt drive system. The dropouts are 10mm thick with a 3/8″ axle slot that offers 2.5″ of adjustment. There are also adjustable dual disc brake mounts. The frame can accept 24-26″ wheels with up to 3″ wide tires. Headset is 1’1/8″.
His Kickstarter campaign launches today for the month of December, 2016. There will be several options for supporting the campaign, from just a few dollars to frame kits to frame kits with a motor and battery system installed.
Early bird price for the frame kit, which includes the Ichi seat, a chain roller, and your choice of bottom bracket is $595 (eventual retail price is $795). If you’d prefer the electric system already set up, it can come with an eRad 750W mid-drive system paired with a 48V downtube-mounted battery pack with a battery lock, 2 keys, waterproof connectors, easy-to-read color display and adjustable performance options. That kit will be offered for an early bird price of $1795, which will retail for $2295. Complete, ready-to-ride bike will go for $2495 for kickstarter supporters and retail will be $3295.
As with any kickstarter campaign, if you pledge money, you aren’t charged until the campaign is fully funded and completed. If it doesn’t fund, there’s no risk. Delivery is expected in April/May 2017 if the campaign succeeds.
Click here for the kickstarter.