lby is an emerging e-bike company with a mission to offer “reliable, environmentally conscious mobility solutions” that promote healthy, active lifestyles for all abilities. The new Elby e-bike has already garnered a Design and Innovation Award in 2017 and an E-Bikes & Pedelecs Award last year at Eurobike.
The Elby is the first e-bike that comes in one size to fit all, with six different colour options. The fit can be easily adjusted by changing up both saddle and stem height with Allen keys – the bike conveniently comes with its own set. You can wear just about any skirt, dress or slacks with the step-through frame design, hopping on and off the bike easily with style and grace.
The nine-speed drivetrain has more than enough gears with BionX’s 500-watt rear-hub motor with its four pedal-assist levels. There is even a throttle button that I couldn’t help but take advantage of – cruising at top speed (32kph) without pedaling for almost five kilometres until I actually felt guilty when flying by other cyclists. Your speed, assist levels, battery and distance range, and time are displayed on a screen mounted on the stem.
Elby even comes with a phone mount as well as an app that you can download onto your smartphone to monitor your ride. The bar-mount control ring is affixed to the handlebar beside the rear shifter, which makes the right side of the handlebar a bit busy and right-heavy for my taste. I would prefer to have the thumb control mounted on the left side to even out the cockpit.
The lithium-ion battery sits low and central just above the crank, and when fully charged, can take you as far as 145 kilometres on the lowest pedal-assist level. You should always charge the battery before your next ride though, especially if you like to ride fast and easy on the top-assist level, or you will have a good workout without the advantage of the e-motor – as I learned when I drained the battery from throwing down the throttle on my commute home, and unfortunately left the charger at work.
With 5% battery left for the morning ride in, I ran out of juice quickly. But a cool feature on the Elby, like all BionX-equipped bikes, is its four regenerative modes to recharge the battery when braking downhill. My commute is pretty flat, so I wasn’t able to recharge the battery, and hence I got a bit of a workout, as this bike weighs in at 55lbs.
The Elby comes stocked with such commuter features as front and rear Super Nova lights that easily turned on/off with a flip of a bar switch, aluminum fenders, a built-in rearrack system, ergo grips, a sturdy kickstand and my favourite bonus features – a USB charging port and the previously mentioned phone mount. The Tektro hydraulic disc brakes also add a touch of unique “stopping power”. On the downside, what seems to be missing is a bottle-cage mount, and I’d swap out the saddle, which is more of a personal choice.
The Elby is a fun e-bike that felt a bit like a scooter with its turbo throttle and one-size-fits-all sturdy frame and wide tires. With the freedom to whiz past traffic and park anywhere, you quickly realize the advantages of this bike. As with any e-bike, there’s a trade-off on weight to consider, yet adapting to this newfound freedom versus sitting in traffic in your car seems worth it, given all of the smiles that are sure to follow. This is a great eco-option to get you around town.