Focus’ Views on E-Bike Future
CLOPPENBURG, Germany – Currently Focus’ ‘mother’ Derby Cycle Holding GmbH has e-bike sales that stands at some 100,000 units annually which is about a quarter of the company’s total bicycle sales. A number that will grow in the near future. How that will happen has been recently revealed by Focus.
Derby Cycle Holding GmbH is a part of Pon.Bike Group and is the biggest bicycle producer in Germany by revenue. With the Kalkhoff, Focus and three other brands, Derby Cycle sells approximately half a million bicycles per year, of which as said over 100,000 e-bikes and pedelecs.
To grow that e-bike sales number Focus has started what it calls its Project Y. This is the company’s “platform for the electric future,” states Focus that furthers with “It’s a playground for innovations and a forum where dreams are the topic of conversation. Here is where we showcase what is possible. We scrutinize the developments in our industry and blaze new trails.” This new trail includes e-road racers.
E-road is still a relatively unexplored segment of the e-bike market. Though such models might not be in the spotlight like e-MTB’s, there are some serious brands offering a range of e-road race bikes. Like Haibike, or Giant while road race specialist Ridley also has announced to include one or more models in its 2018 range.
Focus, as it stands now with Project Y, will come up for MY 2018 with three e-road models. They all come with carbon frames and Shimano groupsets; one with Dura-Ace Di2 which is a straight forward e-roadracer. The other two Focus models are more Gravel bike look-a-likes suited for what Focus calls “Road Adventures as well as Adverse Conditions”. They are fitted with an interesting mix of Dura-Ace and XTR Di2.
What obviously has to remain secret is what the Focus e-road model use for electric drives. No more than that they are 250W – 25km/h drives is stipulated in the Project Y information. A closer look seems to reveal that these are mid-motor drives. They have to make sure that the Focus e-roads “Offer the same riding characteristics as a standard racing bike. There is no pedal resistance. At less than 12 kg, the bike is really light and fast. Wherever weight becomes an issue (e.g. going uphill), the drive kicks in and assists you with up to 400 Watts of additional (peak) power. The assistance feels completely natural at 25 km/h and you get the very best out of your ride. The future of racing bikes offers maximum performance in every situation.”
With such a set-up Focus opts for a completely different approach to e-roads as for instance Haibike. Their 2016 Xduro Race model are available in two 45 km/h versions, the Xduro Race S Pro and the RX.
What looks certain now is that the upcoming Eurobike show (taking place August 30 – September 2, 2017 in Friedrichshafen, Germany) will see much more 2018 e-road models.