Conscious Commuter, an electric bike company born in part by a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, has begun taking pre-orders at a discount for those wanting one of its 2013 limited production run of bikes. They have a rather interesting story, which we chronicled in an interview with co-founder Bob Vander Woude last year.
The limited time prior to production discount of up to 25 percent for pre-orders done online will provide you with a U.S. manufactured commuter electric bike, of which Woude points out is important because “it is estimated that 99% of all bicycles sold in the United States are imported from China and Taiwan.” They plan to offer for sale both electric bicycles and electric-upgradeable commuter bicycles, which will range in actual production prices from around $1,300 to upwards of $2,500.
The company produces both foldable and full frame bikes, all based upon what’s said to be “the same unique, clean, step-through frame design.” The non-electric models can be upgraded with a kit that will be available in the future, which includes a 350W electric hub motor, battery pack, throttle, controller and all other electric components.
The electric models make use of a 350W front hub electric assist motor to help one climb steep hills, offering a top speed of 20 miles per hour. The bikes have a battery pack that can fully charge in two hours in a standard wall socket. The folding Model Ue’s pack provides 7-10 miles of charge on average, while the full frame Model Ce’s pack offers 10 to 15 miles on average. These of course depend upon things like terrain, your pedal input and weight.
The Model Ue, like other folding bikes, is designed to collapse into a compact package that one can either easily take with them onto mass transit or store in a closet. Both it and the Model Ce are described as Flight Ready, meaning they meet U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines to be checked as luggage on passenger airlines without the need to ship the battery separately.
Other features of the Conscious Commuter electric bikes include a chainless shaft drive, three speed internal hub, 20-inch wheels and a so called gender neutral design that offers up low-step over height. As for the made in the USA thing, the bikes will be manufactured in Portland, Oregon, where the company is headquartered.