Monday, June 7, 2010

A Week With: the Kalkhoff Pro Connect Sport

Since Joe Rose at the Oregonian recently published a story highlighting his experience with the Kalkhoff line of ebikes, I've been interested in trying one out myself. This week, the team at Greenlight Bikes, who distribute the Kalkhoff brand in the US, agreed to let me run one through its paces. I'm looking forward to it, and virtually comparing notes with Joe.

Are there any particular things you're interested in learning about the Kalkhoff ebikes? Specifically, I'll be riding the Pro Connect Sport, which is their top-of-the-line model. Some things I'm particularly interested in:

1) 26 volts. I've only ridden 36v systems, so I'm interested to see the difference. (Corrected from 24 volts.)
2) Mid-drive. I've only ridden hub motor systems.
3) Related to the above 2 items is range - pedal assist seems to generally improve battery range over throttled ebikes, and mid-drive leverages the advantages of the gearing. The Kalkhoff USA website claims up to 50 miles per charge, so I'm curious to see what my "worst case scenario" range will be.

After completing the week-long test, I'll try several of their other models for briefer test rides, and see if my observations are applicable across their line. And I'll keep you posted as the week goes by.


  1. i'd love to see a chart comparing all these models. :) i am especially interested to see you push the 50mile mark. i'll be so envious!

  2. I'm working on a spreadsheet summarizing all my longer review experiences. Thus far, it has 2 lines. This review will make it 3!

  3. I bought a Kalkhoff Tasman about a month ago. I have started commuting, depending on weather, from Lake Oswego to the Pearl. I have found I can make the full round trip on a single charge with about 20% to spare using a variety low/medium/high on the power setting depending on the hill. I find on the flat I can zip along between 15 and 20 mph pretty consistently with a 8-12 mph in hillier areas like Terwiliger.

  4. I'd be interested in the range. I have a Giant Twist Freedom DX w/2 batteries, it'll do 35mi per battery which would be 70mi. It's nice to run one battery all the way down and switch over, I am worried w/single battery systems in being stuck out w/o power or juicing up the battery w/o it fully used.

  5. Mid-test update: I'm really liking this bike. I'm going to do a range test tonight. You know, riding up to 50 miles in "representative traffic" is not going to be as easy as it might sound. Nor as dry.

  6. Followup: 34 miles on a full charge, worst case scenario. Anonymous, doubling batteries is an option for just about any bike. Your lithium batteries don't have a memory effect, charge 'em like they vote in Chicago - early and often. I think Kalkhoff also addresses the dead battery concern by building a fairly light ebike - I wouldn't dread a dead battery nearly as much on it as I do with my ebike (which is some 20lbs heavier).