Compact, lightweight, yet powerful: is this the end of the e-bike diversification era?

Compact, lightweight, yet powerful: is this the end of the e-bike diversification era?
Lightest drive unit on OEM carbon frame

In recent years, e-bike manufacturers faced a tradeoff: whether to adopt powerful yet heavy motors or lightweight and low-performing ones. Until now, these two options were considered mutually exclusive, however, a new drive unit could change the game.

Introducing the 'Lightest': a new drive unit developed by the Italian startup, Bikee Bike. Weighing just 1750 grams, it positions itself amongst the lightest motors on the market. Even with the addition of 150g for the bottom bracket, it maintains an impressive level of lightweight efficiency. What sets this compact motor apart is its exceptional combination of power and weight. It can deliver 120 Nm of torque at the crankset and reach peak power output of 1000W, while fully complying with the EN15194 directive.

About the Company

Bikee Bike was founded in 2014 by Matteo Spaggiari, a passionate mechanical engineer who was born and raised in the Italian Motor Valley. With a background of more than 15 years in the field of custom electric motors, he started the company with the aim of manufacturing high performance ebike motors. “We always stood for deep innovation: we introduced the app to control the motor tuning in our first model in 2015, we introduced integrated bike lights in 2018 and we continue innovating with this motor."

The future of lightweight e-MTBs

The market for electric bicycles that mimic the appearance and performance of traditional mountain bikes is witnessing an increase in the number of companies producing compact power units.

The Lightest drive unit combines the advantages of more powerful e-bikes and the advantages of engaging, reactive, and playful bikes when riding downhill. It’s the synthesis of two extremes to achieve optimal performance, making it an ideal choice for riders who want the best of both worlds.

"For example, you can have a nimble ebike with an integrated 400Wh battery. Use the app to limit power output and torque for a natural ride. But when you crave it, simply attach a 250Wh range extender to unleash the motor's full potential for epic adventures", Spaggiari explains.

Collaboration with local manufacturers

Over the past four years, the motor has undergone refinement based on feedback from leading Italian bike manufacturers. "We're incredibly thankful to the Italian OEMs. They played a vital role in refining our product. Some even incorporated our system in e-MTB competitions, yielding impressive results," Matteo Spaggiari, CEO and founder of Bikee Bike, shares. "We’ll be seeing the Lightest featured on some of the high-end Italian e-bikes soon."

Automated production line

The company designed and created a completely automated assembly line, from the winding to the final test, to craft one motor every 5 minutes. Spaggiari: “I believe that a fully automated assembly line for a bike drive unit is something quite unique in the industry. Having the design center and the manufacturing facility under the same roof, in Italy, allows us to be very reactive and flexible to European OEMs requests, when it comes to design support, after-sales and production scheduling. At  the same time, the automated line makes us extremely cost-effective."

Open to new investors

The next target is to step up from the current production to 50,000 units per year, and the company is now opening a financing round towards that aim. “Startups are the natural place to quickly find expertise and know-how to save years of development and millions of investments. Our motor is extremely well-performing and innovative, plus, being already in production with a ready customer portfolio, can place anyone ahead of the competition in just one move.”

This article is sponsored by Bikee Bike.