Monday, August 23, 2010

New for 2010: Kalkhoff USA Launches New Models, Upgrades Current Line

Kalkhoff USA recently announced new additions and changes to their product line for 2010. They reflect a refreshed approach to the American market for ebikes, as well as targeting a broader audience for ebikes.

Sahel Pro Disc, courtesy KalkhoffUSA
The biggest news is certainly the launch of 2 new models, the Sahel Pro Disc and Sahel Comp.  The Sahel Pro Disc seems to me to be a more urban-friendly version of the Pro Connect Sport, with disc brakes and fully integrated lighting. It sports an aggressive riding position and wider tires - better for crossing railroad tracks and providing a somewhat smoother ride. The Sahel Pro goes a step farther, sporting a step-through frame, leather hand grips, and a Brooks leather saddle. I rode a pre-production sample of the Sahel Pro Disc recently - I'll be posting a more comprehensive review shortly.

The bars, top center, indicate real-time assist level.
Changes also come to the Pro Connect Sport and Pro Connect models. The Pro Connect Sport is now also available with SRAM's Dual Drive technology - a nine-speed rear derailleur coupled to a 3 speed internal rear hub, yielding a total of 27 available gear ratios. Both Pro Connect models have been upgraded to a 300-watt motor from last year's 250-watt model, as well as 2:1 power assist.  The additional power also comes with an upgraded "dashboard", which includes a power meter, detailing in real time how much assist the motor is providing. Not merely good to know; this information helps enable a rider extend their range by monitoring battery usage. I would expect some impact to range due to the increased power, but I can't estimate what that impact will be.  I briefly rode the new Pro Connect Sport recently, and the additional power is a seamless and welcome addition. Sadly, the ergonomic hand grips with integrated bar ends have been replaced, but the new grips are fairly comfortable, too.

The entire line of Kalkhoff ebikes receives an upgrade in color selection as well. A somewhat more muted palette, the new colors might make the Kalkhoffs a bit harder to pick out in a crowd, but also reflect a commuter's sensibilities in color selection.

Xtracycle'd Sahel Comp, c. KalkhoffUSA.
Kalkhoff USA is also researching an Xtracycle-equipped version of the Sahel Comp model, with a Tasman Wave to follow. A USA-only offering, the addition of the Xtracycle vastly increases the load-carrying capacity of the ebike; the reassuring stopping power of hydraulic brakes is a necessary feature when carrying larger loads.

Kalkhoff USA is hosting an open house at their Pearl District showroom (528 NW 11th) this Thursday, August 26th, from 5:00 to 9:00 PM. Drop in, enjoy a complimentary bratwurst (they are German ebikes, after all), and check out the new additions and changes to the Kalkhoff ebike line of offerings.

5 comments:

  1. Looking for a worst case scenario range and # of watt hours in the battery.

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  2. test rode last year's Pro Connect Sport model and got about 35 miles per charge, worst case scenario - with pedaling, of course, it's possible to greatly extend this range. Watt-hours is a straightforward multiplication of amp-hours and voltage, so these batteries are running 260 watt-hours.

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  3. that doesn't seem like a very powerful assist. riding for 35 miles on highest setting in stop n go - hills - worst case, hard ride and using only 260 watt-hours. thats 7.4 watt-hours/mile.

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  4. It's not a terribly powerful assist, but it is enough to keep you moving and is more than enough to keep you flowing with traffic. The Kalkhoff mid-drive system leverages gearing as well. That's one of the reasons I don't like to rely on numbers when gauging distance - real world experience is much more meaningful than what pencils out in theory.

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  5. They reflect a refreshed approach to the American market for ebikes, as well as targeting a broader audience for ebikes.car covers

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