British company Bonc has revealed their design for their debut commuter ebike, the J1. At a first glance its specs and pricing look competitive: around $1,400 for 85 miles of pedal-assisted range from a 350W motor. It uses a traditional chain and gearing, disk breaks, and will offer a connected app.
It caught my eye how normal it looks, which is due to cleverly splitting the battery in two pieces. One is in the top tube, and one in the down tube. While that means it’s not removable to charge separately from the bike, the smaller diameter on each tube is very sleek. Total opposite from a modded normal bike that might have a bike battery awkwardly bolted to the frame. It contributes to a sleek overall package that wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.
To add 50 miles of additional range, they’re offering a battery module that looks like a water bottle sitting in its cage on the down tube. Other bike companies like VanMoof have something like this, but I love the disguised look. If you can’t get the bike up into your apartment every night, the bottle battery might be enough to take in and top up.
You can also purchase it with crypto, if that’s your thing. Customer data is also supposedly saved securely on a blockchain. (Aside: why is there no coin that gets mined with an alternator when you ride a bike. DM me.) They’re currently running an Indiegogo campaign so buyer beware, but they say they have experience working in ebikes under another name. We’ll keep an eye out when they come to market sometime next year.