Frequently Asked Questions
Why not Bosch?
The Shimano STEPS E6100 and E8000 are more compact that the Bosch mid-motors. They weight less and they integrate better in the frame. The Shimano STEPS have also minimal drag when the motor is off or when riding beyond the speed cut. The range on a battery charge is optimized. The integration between the Shimano motor with the Shimano gear systems, designed to work together is a big advantage. The Di2 fully automatic shifting is only available with the Shimano STEPS E6100. It’s the most convenient, lightweight and cost effective solution on the market. Finally, Shimano is the undisputed world leader in bike components, the quality and reliability of their product is trusted and supported worldwide by bicycle dealers.
Which motor to select?
The Shimano E6100 offers 60Nm of torque, and is matched with the brand new superb Nexus Inter5E for ebikes. Shifting under load is possible, and of course at stand still too, unlike a cheaper derailler system. The E6100 is able to operate the Di2 electronic shifter in manual or fully automatic mode. The automatic mode guarantees that the motor is always revving fast enough to deliver power. This drivetrain is the most advanced system on the market, it is lightweight, energy efficient for maximum battery range and robust. The Bike43 Performance series will cover the needs of all users.
For those living in mountain areas, of wanting ultimate performance and good vibes we recommend the Alpster series fitted with the E8000 eMTB mid-motor.
The Bafang front drive system builds on the experience from the previous seasons. It’s the result of lateral thinking. It does not follow the trend but it is nevertheless a solid performer. The transmission deals with no extra power from the motor. It’s AWD, it’s a good and strong offer. We’ve tested it intensively and confidently decided to build this most affordable version for you.
What is the weight distribution the Bike43?
The weight distribution on the wheels is 50/50 with only the rider, and 40% (Front) / 60% (rear) with heavy children. It’s way more balanced than a boxbike, and even better than a regular bike. The benefit is that the grip of both tyres is used in an optimum manner for braking and for speed in the corners. It’s easy to ride, and if you want to ride actively you’ll enjoy a great feeling of confidence.
How long is it?
The total length is 197cm, which is 5 to 15cm longer than a normal ebike. The wheelbase is 141cm. It will fit in any constrained size environment just as a normal bike.
The length of the bike is the minimum achievable while complying with the mandatory children seat installation, according to the EN14344 safety standard.
In combination with the footbox which allows the children to seat as much forward as possible, the length of the carrier is enough to allow both seats to be installed complying with the EN14344 §14.2.5a, as shown below.
Why do make the kickstand yourself?
It’s correct, we don’t buy an off-the-shelf kickstand and bolt it under the frame. We do our own.
As users, we noticed that the stability of the bike for loading and unloading is extremely important on a daily basis. We couldn’t reach this goal with standard products, they were just too weak. Our kickstand has a wide spacing on the frame and on the ground.
Also, it has the exact correct length such that it’s easy to fold and deploy even with 60kg of load. You don’t have to lift the bike to fold or deploy the kickstand, you simply push the bike forward or rearward.
What is an internal gear hub?
An internal gear hub replaces a more basic regular derailleur. There is one chainwheel at the front and one cog at the rear. The chain never shifts, and never drops off. It’s kind of the goal because you would not like to experience this with your kids on board.
Second benefit, the gears are inside the sealed rear wheel hub, nicely lubricated and protected from the dirt and sand. There is no maintenance and it’s trouble free. The internal gears are made of steel and will normally last the life of the bike. As opposed to a regular cassette which has to be changed regularly together with the chain.
Third benefit, you can change gears when stopped. If you’re surprised by a traffic light going to red, you can change back to 1st when standing still.
Fouth benefit, you can change several gears at once.
Why a small real wheel and larger front wheel?
The rear load had to be low for stability reasons, that was a hard point. Going for a 20” rear wheel was a no brainer.
In an urban environment the front wheel has to be able to go over kerbs, then it could not be 20”, it had to be bigger. 26” was cumbersome, and after much testing we decided to go for 24” as being enough for a smooth and comfortable ride, yet manoeuvrable. A bigger front wheel, for instance 24″ compared to 20″, offers more grip, thus better braking and more safety.
If you’re a dynamic rider, even very dynamic, don’t be afraid to go out of the footsteps: see how we are committed to test for you. Imagine how easy it will be in the city. Still willing a 20″ in the front? Nah!
Basically we’ve invented the modern longtail bike segment with the combination of a 24” front and 20” rear wheels.
Steel frame, not aluminum alloy, really?
Oh Yesss! The development team made their teeth on high performance race cars, like Le Mans LMP1 racers of 700BHP traveling in the Mulsanne straight at 330km/h and taking high speed corners under 3.5 lateral g’s. And they do so for 24 hours in a row. Extremely harsh conditions, and such an amazing school! Guess what, the frame of the Bike43 is made of the same grade of steel as the suspension parts of those cars, the proven high performance SAE 4130 (chromium and molybdenum alloyed steel). No need to say that those parts need to be both strong and lightweight.
Your benefit is that such steel will not crack from fatigue failure, as opposed to aluminum. As an example, most world touring bikes (remember the pics of those bikes heavily loaded in the beautiful landscapes of Mongolia) are made of this refined CrMo steel.
Steel also offers an unbeatable comfort, because the material itself absorbs the roughness of the road better than aluminum alloys. It’s a physical fact.
Don’t be confused with regular steel used for low cost and children bike. The CrMo steel is twice as strong, therefore two times less material can be used, and a construction will weight half the weight. On the frame of a Bike43 the weight penalty of CrMo steel vs aluminum alloy is minimal, around 1kg. It’s the weight of your drinking bottle. Trust us, on such a transport bike it makes no difference at all. But all the benefits will matter to you.
CrMo steel is the choice of the connoisseurs.
Why the hell do you still use a front wheel motor ?
Our development team broke the mold when they designed the Bike43.
First there is a lot more weight on the front wheel than on a regular bike, so, no, there is no front wheelspin. The pedal torque sensor drives an intuitive, smooth and predictable power delivery. The more you push on the pedals the more support is given by the motor, it’s like being super strong.
Second, the transmission will last very long even with little maintenance, because there is no additional stress from a mid-motor. Shifting remains easy because the internal gear hub receives the load that it’s designed for, not more. Finally, with this layout KMC rates their X1 chain for 20.000km. No need for an expensive belt. Plain and simple.
Third, the pedal power goes to the rear wheel and the motor power to the front. Meaning the bike is basically an all wheel drive vehicle. With a mid-motor all the power (pedal + motor) goes to the rear tires, and on slippery terrain it cannot handle it. Instead, the Bike43 handles beautifully on mud and snow. Finally, most road cars have also their front wheels driven by the engine, why would it be bad on a bike?
It’s a tiny bit below the Bosch Performance Line in terms of acceleration, but very strong in constant speed.