The perfect adventure E-bike

The perfect adventure E-bike

First look at the KTM Prowler Exonic Reading The perfect adventure E-bike 5 minutes

A mastermind of the modern e-bike, Whakatane-based Anthony Clyde, is one step closer to the perfect adventure e-bike, combining hardiness, good looks and comfort in a way the international e-bike design community previously thought impossible.

And it’s not just Anthony who believes in this groundbreaking achievement. The bike recently picked up a design award at a major international Trade Fair in Shanghai and back home Consumer Magazine NZ has given it their top tick of approval with a Highly Recommend rating.

New Zealand was chosen as the place to launch the Kiwi’s latest creation - a step-through, full-suspension adventure e-bike that is also suitable for commuting.

Since 2007, Anthony has been a serial inventor within the international e-bike industry. In fact, his colleagues often refer to him as the ‘e-bike godfather’. His last invention, the UBCO 2x2 electric utility vehicle which has transformed on-farm and urban utility transport around the globe.

On any given day you can find Anthony tinkering with designs and components in his workshop in Whakatane, bribing his cycling mates to test bikes on some of New Zealand's most daunting terrain or testing them himself on his self-built test-track.

He’s also a consummate researcher, always keeping close tabs on how technology is evolving with makers of various bikes and e-bike components around the world.

With his latest invention – the Smartmotion Xcapade - due to arrive in the country in March, Anthony predicts there’ll be a few surprised people around who still believe it’s an impossible design feat – full suspension in a step-through frame.

“We’ve made the leap in terms of product development and I’m genuinely excited to see how the Xcapade is going to change things up. It’s going to get more people on bikes around our cities and on our trails and that’s just a win on every wellbeing and environmental front.”

Until now, Kiwis really have had no choice but to invest in either a commuter e-bike or an e-mountain bike, which are markedly different in looks, functionality and price. Only the most passionate e-bike fanatics with deep pockets can justify the cost of owning both.

Anthony has brought the best of both bikes together in the form of the Xcapade, coined ‘the SUV of the Kiwi e-bike’ because of its versatility.

“My vision for this new e-bike is that users can spend their leisure time tackling offroad trails up to grade 3 all over New Zealand thanks to its dual suspension, while also using it on their daily commute throughout the week. It does it all – and with affordability also key in my design brief, it’s accessible to many more people as it’s around half the price of comparable e-bikes.”

E-mountain bikes have traditionally been built to a far higher spec than the e-bikes you see around the city, making them expensive and overengineered for the daily commute.

Step-through commuter e-bikes, on the other hand, have always been under engineered for offroad use and without rear suspension, are too unforgiving on off-road trails.

“Developing a true adventure e-bike that can handle both onroad and offroad has been one of my toughest design challenges for sure, but I’m proud to say we’ve cracked it,” says Anthony.

The design journey, he says, has been all about finding the ‘sweet spots’, combining the ease of a step-through frame with the comfort of dual suspension. Making the frame stiff enough for responsive trail riding, but not so much so that it is too heavy.

Anthony also says he’s grateful the stigma once attached to the step-through bike design has well and truly been shaken.

“From a comfort and safety perspective, it’s the design that works for most people, especially if you’re over 50. You certainly don’t get extra strongman points for getting a leg over a cross bar these days, either around town or on the trails!’

“We have some of the world’s most spectacular trails and designing e-bikes to be as versatile as possible helps a wider demographic go out and experience them.”

“Plus, the reality is Kiwis don’t have much leftover in their pay packets right now to justify things perceived as luxury items. So, an ‘SUV e-bike' that can cover a range of tasks but is still affordable just makes sense to me.”

Not one to rest on his laurels, Anthony is already full steam ahead on his next project but is giving nothing away. E-bike enthusiasts: stay tuned.