The electric bike market is getting awfully crowded, so if a new e-bike startup wants to stand out, it had better do something more than just slap a motor and computer system onto a bike. Slovenian shop Noordung does a few things more with its new e-bike, including designing a curvy take on the traditional diamond frame and integrating a boombox into its removable battery pack. This bike provides pedelec motor power, blasts music and charges your gadgets. It's basically a multifunctional power pack with wheels.
The heart of Noordung's design is its multifunctional, removable battery pack. The 450-Wh lithium-ion battery is packaged with a dual-speaker boombox, providing up to 100 hours of Bluetooth music play per charge, on or off the bike. It also features dual USB charging ports for gadgets like smartphones and laptops and two air quality sensors designed to monitor the air around you.
The multifunctional battery box looks like a compact motorcycle tank when secured to the bicycle's top tube, adding to the smooth, street-savvy styling. When removed, a carry strap attaches to integrated loops at the ends for easy handling.
The battery does fulfill external charging and speaker duties, but its main role on the Noordung is of course powering the electric drive. Noordung uses the sleek Vivax Assist 4.75, a cylindrical drive that's concealed in the seat tube. That unit offers up to 19 miles (30 km) of range after being activated by a power button at the handlebars.
The Noordung is also a pretty stylish bicycle. Its carbon frame features distinctive curves accented by a shiny fork, Brooks grips and saddle, and wheels shod in 26-in Cruzo tires. It has a Shimano Metrea crankset and front and rear disc brakes. Noordung lists weight at 34.4 lb (15.6 kg) for the bike itself and 6 lb (2.7 kg) for the battery/boombox.
Overall, we like what Noordung has done with this bike. In addition to designing one of the better-looking e-bikes out there, it's packed the bike with features and functions that the competition doesn't have. The charging feature adds to the electric bike's utility, turning a battery that might otherwise be sitting idle into an active portable power bank. It's a strategy also used on the Immotor Go scooter, and we'll be surprised if we don't see more and more bikes, scooters and urban transporters with similar designs in the future.
We don't love the idea of cities filled with cyclists blasting music off their top tubes, but the Bluetooth speaker could certainly be useful and non-intrusive for off-bike use or for riding in more solitary areas.
City residents don't have to worry much about their city centers filling up with blaring Noordungs, at least not yet. The company introduced its bike last month and is currently offering only 15 handmade models in the "Angel Edition" series. Buyers of this €8,000 (approx. US$8,500; €9,760 after VAT) pre-production prototype bike essentially become beta testers, gain special access to key company employees like the lead engineer and lead designer, get a copy of the company business plan and special investment terms, and earn the option of hand delivery by company founder Gregor Fras (for orders in the European Union, at least).
Noordung doesn't mention when it will roll out a regular production model, but we guess it'll depend on how things go with those Angel Edition models and the "angels" riding them. Other folks can sign up for updates on the company's website.