Das Bike

Germany debuts the first high-performance electric bike. It's the world's fastest, but is it worth the price?

electric bike

The Black Trail electric bike    Photo: Courtesy of PG-Bikes

Brooks's B17 Champion Special retails for about $150.

Ventilated Hope Tech V2 Disc Brakes retail separately for about $565 per pair.

A standard pair of high-end carbon-fiber mountain-bike wheels runs around $2,500. BlackTrail asks $16,400 for a spare set of its custom VARUS treads.

Electric bicycles aren't known for high performance, but that's changing. The BlackTrail, from Germany's PG-Bikes and UB Composites, tops out at 62 miles per hour, making it the world's fastest e-bike. To hit that speed, its frame was built using Formula One–grade carbon fiber, and the high-torque motor was wired to convert seven kilowatts—enough to power your entire house for about six hours—into forward thrust. Amazingly, the BlackTrail still weighs just under 44 pounds and can go more than 120 miles on a single charge. The $80,000 price tag and 667-unit production run mean you probably won't see one locked to a parking meter near you, but the point has been made. By the end of the decade, e-bikes will be out-scooting mopeds and Vespas in both price and performance.

Filed To: Science, City Biking

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