UK distributor of Kalkhoff electric bikes, 50cycles, talk to Pedelecs about the launch of the Impulse Evo range and what’s new for 2016.
Tim Snaith explains the background:
“The 2016 season will mark our ninth year importing Kalkhoff electric bikes into the UK. From small beginnings with a single premises in the Midlands, we’ve expanded with a further three showrooms (in London, Bristol and Sussex), over a dozen employees and many thousands of customers. Kalkhoff electric bikes have proved very popular because they combine the latest technology, significantly greater range and a very reassuring level of build quality and support.”
The NEC Cycle Show saw 50cycles launch the Impulse Evo in the UK; what’s the background to the new 2016 range?
“Kalkhoff have brought in a lot of changes for the next season. They’ve rejuvenated their brand, adopted a new logo and taken their established Impulse motor system into its third generation. Their new Impulse Evo and Impulse Evo RS drives offer more power and smart navigation-enabled displays, as well as a design philosophy that unites the chassis and drive system together in harmony, rather than merely bolting an OEM motor onto a modified frame.
“There’s thoughtful coordination down to the smallest detail, with numerous innovations that make for some very eye-catching and highly capable bikes in 2016. The new Impulse Evo drive is more powerful, quieter and more durable.”
So how have Kalkhoff improved the delivery of the power?
“The maximum torque of the Impulse Evo has increased to an impressive 80 Nm. This means that a more powerful start-up is achieved at every assist level, without any change to the characteristic riding experience of the Impulse. A new cadence sensor ensures the Impulse Evo assists the rider even more smoothly. The drive can still be adjusted according to your individual preference, with three different basic motor settings.
“The drive has also been made significantly quieter. The new motors are 20% quieter than their predecessors.
“Data transfer is carried out via the CAN-Bus system, long the standard in the automotive industry, and operates extremely quickly and efficiently.
“All the components of the Impulse Evo motor are designed with durability in mind: the gear unit has been reinforced, the new deflection shaft and new drawn-cup roller clutch are even sturdier. An innovative multi-tooth axle ensures a secure crank assembly. For ease of maintenance, the battery-charging socket now doubles up as a service interface, making the system easier to read out or update.”
What range do Kalkhoff say the Impulse Evo can achieve?
“The new Impulse Evo battery models each have 50 high-performance cells and a 17 Ah capacity. Under ideal conditions, a range of up to 127 miles / 205 km can be achieved. The Impulse Evo batteries are either completely integrated into the down tube or positioned cleverly behind the seat tube. The perfect centre of gravity for the battery gives the e-bike even safer handling. These batteries offer an impressive service life, easy handling and remarkably fast charging.”
Connectivity between the bike’s new display and your mobile works in a slightly different way to others on the market we understand?
“The new Impulse Evo Smart Display is fully networked for the first time, so is able to utilise the intelligence of smart phones. Using the Impulse navigation app, which is based on the popular Naviki software, your mobile phone and bicycle computer are linked together via Bluetooth, transforming the display into a navigation system.”
“This makes a clever division of labour possible: your smartphone supplies the computing power but can remain in your pocket in battery-saving mode, rather than sitting vulnerably on your handlebars. The free app plans your route and displays the navigation directions on the LCD display.
“The exclusively developed Impulse E-Bike Navigation app is easy to use. It provides mapping data for the UK & Europe free of charge so there’s no need to buy maps to cover new territory and no need to install updates on your bike’s display. The app’s maps are automatically updated over the network.
“The navigation app also features many other functions, including route calculation, storage of routes ridden in the past and information on interesting routes around your current location.
“You can also be directed to points of interest such as hotels, restaurants and the nearest cycle shop. The actual route travelled can be recorded and synchronised via your Naviki user account.
“Each rider is able to make their own decisions regarding what is displayed and in what format. The display itself now includes a USB connection as standard, enabling you to charge your smartphone.
“This is in addition to the clock, assist level, battery charge status, speed, remaining range, cadence, average speed on current trip and total distance ridden (odometer).
Kalkhoff are based in Europe’s leading country for the sales of e-bikes. What’s Kalkhoff’s history and ethos in that market? Which models are you stocking for the new season?
“Kalkhoff is a German bicycle maker, with almost 100 years of experience; they use nothing but high-quality components, including some developed exclusively by engineers in-house, such as the Concept EX LED front light with its 80 lux output and stand light, the optimised mudguard mounting, the meticulously hollow-forged dropouts, to mention just a few.
“Several 2016 models feature belt drives. Gates belts don’t squeak or rust and don’t require any lubrication, so therefore cannot make your hands or clothing dirty in the way that conventional chains do.
“To ensure riding stability, strength and low weight, the frames are hydroformed in a complex process with the aid of a water/oil emulsion and an internal pressure of up to 3,000 bar. The controlled forming process enables up to three different wall thicknesses to be produced within the same workpiece.
“Kalkhoff has now sold well over 400,000 Impulse e-bikes, making it market leader in the field of e-bikes. The components and the complete bicycle undergo comprehensive testing, applying test criteria that far exceed the specifications of the relevant European standards.”
“Kalkhoff also has its own test centre –one of the largest and most modern in Europe –at its Cloppenburg plant, but also works with specialist engineering firms.”
The 2016 line-up for Kalkhoff
Kalkhoff Integrale LTD 11
“The Integrale comes with 8- and 11-speed hub gears with a carbon belt or 10- or 11-speed derailleur gears; you’re going to love their design and components.
Kalkhoff Include Premium 8
“The Include Premium 8 is Kalkhoff’s top-of-the-range model, making its mark in terms of both design and functionality. The new, powerful and virtually silent Impulse Evo drive system is elegantly integrated into the overall design of the Kalkhoff Include Premium 8.
“This e-bike features hydraulic disc brakes, ensuring maximum safety in traffic, along with the low-maintenance belt drive, plus the pannier rack system designed exclusively for the Kalkhoff Include, with a carrying capacity of 25 kg. A child seat, for instance, can easily be installed using a Racktime Snap-It adapter. “
Pro Connect Impulse 9
“This was one of our most popular models in 2015 and it returns in 2016 with a new paint job and a larger battery capacity, up from 11Ah to 15Ah, in three gents and two trapezoid frame sizes. It’s sporty, well-equipped and versatile, perfect for commuting, in fact.”
“This semi-folding model is becoming more popular year-on-year. The latest version sees the introduction of the largest 17Ah battery for the first time, as well as a new 11Ah battery version. It’s short wheelbase, folding pedals, quick-release rotating handlebars and adjustability make it a superb urban e-bike.”
Agattu 7 speed
“Two budget-beating Impulse 2.0 bikes here, bearing the well-known Agattu name. The Agattu has always been a comfortable, capable all-rounder.”
Agattu Premium 8
“This is the Agattu that has everything – largest battery capacity, comfort features, built-in lock, hydraulic brakes, Impulse 2.0 Premium LCD and quiet and gunge-free Gates Carbon belt instead of a chain. Smooth, quiet, comfortable.”
“All these bikes will be available to see, test ride and order from any of our showrooms, our network of agents or to purchase online via our website, www.50cycles.com.”
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