Last time we saw the Faraday electric bike, it had just emerged victorious from the Oregon Manifest design competition. Designed by Ideo and built by Portland's Rock Lobster Cycles, the retro-styled ride was destined to rot in concept hell for all eternity -- that is until lead designer Adam Vollmer quit Ideo to press the bike into production under the Faraday Bicycles name. Now he's perfected the design, the company's launching a pre-sale on Kickstarter to, er, kickstart the first production run.
Don't be fooled by its low-fi looks, parallel top tubes hold a series of lithium-ion batteries which power a front motor, good for between 10 and 15 miles of travel. The two front prongs are the basis of a modular racking system and contain a pair of LED headlamps that activate automatically in bad light. It charges in 45 minutes and weighs around 40 pounds. The bike will set you back $3,500, $300 less than when a second run is produced next year -- significantly cheaper than the current price for the $5,400 Grace One we rode around New York. If you've got some baller-style cash to throw around, you can spend $10,000 on a collectors edition hand-finished by Rock Lobster's Paul Sadoff. After the break we've got video and more details, but be warned -- you might find yourself opening your wallet a little too rapidly.
AWARD-WINNING CITY BIKE REDEFINES E-BIKE CATEGORY
The ultimate electric propelled utility bicycle to be launched on Kickstarter
PALO ALTO, CALIF., July 17, 2012 - Faraday Porteur™ -- the award-winning electric bicycle that captured the imagination of cyclists, tech enthusiasts, designers, and the press last year -- is coming to market. The first production run of Faraday bicycles will be pre-sold on Kickstarter starting July 17, 2012. Faraday evolved last year when the Oregon Manifest bicycle design competition invited the global design and innovation firm, IDEO, to create a modern utility bike for the contest. After winning the People's Choice Award at the Oregon Manifest and widespread accolades in the media, lead designer Adam Vollmer left IDEO to found Faraday Bicycles™.
The Faraday Porteur looks and feels like a high-end city bicycle, but it performs in a class of its own. The bike appeals to a broad range of consumers, from bike lovers to commuters, baby boomers, techies, gadget gurus, and anyone with hill phobia. Inspired by the classic European delivery bikes of the 1940's and 50's, the Faraday Porteur has been updated with state-of-the-art components and construction techniques. An integrated, all-weather computer manages the intelligent pedal assist system that senses the rider's output and powers the front wheel. A "boost" switch provides an extra surge of power, but only when desired. High-powered, integrated front and rear LED lights turn on and off automatically, and the batteries are hidden seamlessly within the frame. At just under 40 pounds (without the removable rack), the Porteur is light enough to easily carry up stairs or load on the bus.
"Bicycle ridership and commuting is booming in the U.S., yet there is still a total lack of compelling electric bike products. With Faraday, we are redefining people's expectations for what an e-bike – or any bike – can be," explains Vollmer. "People are drawn to Faraday because it's an elegant solution to their daily transportation needs – but they fall in love with it because it's just too much fun!"
Faraday was named after Michael Faraday, the 19th century physicist whose pioneering research in electromagnetism helped pave the way for the safe, modern electric motors we use today. The name Faraday is our homage to one of the greats of modern science.