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Honbike is a micro-mobility pioneer, revolutionizing the e-bike category. With teams in the US, Europe, China, and Japan, Honbike is implementing aeronautical, automotive and consumer electronics expertise to e-bike design, engineering and manufacturing. And as more people become e-bike owners, whether it is for leisure or transportation, there is one thing for certain and that is e-bikes are reshaping the way people get from point A to point B. And Honbike wants to be a part of it with a chainless e-bike that is easy, safe and fun to ride, while being durable and convenient. Let’s dig in and find out what makes the Honbike so unique.
Honbike Unboxing and Assembly
The Honbike is incredibly easy to build. Out the box, there are five basic components to install on the frame. They are the rear tire and fender, the seat, the right side pedal arm and the pedals. These are all quickly attached with the included set of hex wrenches. Charge up the battery and it is ready to ride. The Honbike is by far the simplest bike assembly I have ever done.
Honbike Frame and Form
Applying their automotive and aeronautical engineering expertise to the Honbike, the company has produced a corrosion resistant frame that is formed from single weld, molded aluminum alloy.
Equating to a lightweight, but strong and durable frame with a distinctive minimalist folding form that includes single arm cantilevered forks, allowing for easy access to the 20” one piece magnesium alloy wheels, in the case of replacing a tire or tube.
The Honbike is easy to fold with just a few simple steps. Pull the folding stand release inside the fold “kickstand” stand, move it down to the ground to act as a second kickstand. Fold the pedals up, press the release button on handlebar stem hinge, fold down the handlebars, then push the safety lock of the frame hinge toward the front of the bicycle, lift the front wheel slightly and fold the frame clockwise. That is it!
It does take a few times of trying it to make it feel smooth and quick, but once you understand how it is done, the folding process is a breeze. The folded size of the Honbike is 33.5″ x 40″ x 18″ making it simple to store in the home, at the office or even bringing it along in the car for those far off adventures. And unfolding the Honbike is even easier and quicker, I could likely have it done in under 10 seconds.
Chainless Shaft Drive on the Honbike
One of the coolest aspects of the Honbike is the maintenance free shaft drive system. Unlike conventional shaft drives or traditional chain drives, Honbike’s system is fully sealed in an aluminum alloy shell which keeps out dirt and water, and is stated to deliver 25,000 miles of maintenance free propulsion. All of this meaning that you will never have to worry about a chain falling off or breaking and never getting greasy or dirty from unexpected drive system repairs. Not only does this provide a durable and reliable drive system, it also delivers the smoothest and quietest pedaling experience I have ever had on any bike.
Motor on the Honbike
The 250 watt brushless front hub motor was specifically engineered for the Honbike, merging the best power, torque, and efficiency into the smallest and lightest motor possible. It is more energy efficient than conventional e-bike hub motors with a reduction ratio of 14:1, generating the same torque with less effort. The motor delivers smooth and efficient takeoffs, plenty of power for hills and is ideal for sweat free commutes and relaxing leisurely rides with speeds of up to 15.5 mph.
Honbike Battery and Charger
The Honbike comes with a 36v 6a lithium ion rechargeable battery and a 1.7 amp charger. Battery capacity is shown on the Honbike display and when it gets low the battery will need to be charged. The battery can be charged on or off the bike, by opening the rubber cover and inserting the charger plug into the charging port. When the battery is fully charged, a green light on the charger indicates the charge is complete. A complete charge takes approximately 4 hours and will net you right around 25 miles of riding, which can be more or less depending on speed, hills, rider weight, temperature and terrain.
Control System on the Honbike
Unlike conventional e-bike power systems, Honbike’s integrated gyroscope works with its torque sensor and speed sensor to monitor and anticipate the rider’s behavior. Honbike’s tri-sensor system allows the bike to sense when the rider is going up or downhill and adjusts the power assistance based on the terrain and input from the rider. Which means there is instant power assist even from a standing start and when it comes to steep hills, the high torque from the pedal powered shaft drive instantly and seamlessly combine with the motor, making inclines effortless. There is no ungainly crank rotation to get the motor going, just immediate, buttery smooth power across all five pedal assist modes from Eco to Sport. It is as simply as choosing your favorite power assist level and leaving all the work to the smart drive system while you enjoy the ride.
Safety of the Honbike
Not only does the Honbike automatically detect and adjust to different types of terrains and apply power in tune with the rider. That same gyroscope technology reacts to acute cornering angles, cutting power if the bike tilts over 30° and slows on descents, giving complete control to the rider.
The ergonomically designed brake levers hinging at each end of the handlebars, preventing clothes from catching or the off chance of an impalement in the case of a collision.
An OLED handlebar display shows speed, battery life and trip status clearly during the day and night, rain, or shine. And lastly there are reflective strips on the handlebars and tires, front and rear LED lights, and an integrated bell to round out the safety features.
Durability of the Honbike
While I can only speak to the durability over the testing period, which has been great, the Honbike has a solid build with a corrosion resistant frame, while every component on the the bike has a precision fit resulting in a sturdy and stout riding experience, that seems like it will last for years to come. The Honbike has been rigorously tested in the laboratory and on the road for well over three years during it’s evolution, with the shaft drive system endured 3,000+ fatigue and durability tests during development. Honbike easily meets North America’s UL2849 and UL2271 safety standards, as well as Europe’s EN15194 e-bike safety standard and its mechanics and electronics are protected from the elements, meeting the IP4X and IP65 ingress standards.
Feature of the Honbike
- Chainless, brushless, sweat less, stress less.
- Patented shaft drive technology: sealed shaft drive – maintenance-free for 24,800+ miles
- Brushless motor: front wheel-mounted power; 49% lighter than conventional hub motors
- Smart 3-in-1 control system: gyroscopes work with speed and torque sensors for effective and efficient power distribution.
- Instant hill-start assistance
- Buttery smooth riding experience
- Convenient: molded aluminum alloy folding frame; cantilevered one-arm forks for easy access to wheels and tires
- Safety auto shut-off at tilts of +30˚
- 160mm mechanical disc brakes
- Integrated LED lights
- Huge maintenance savings versus conventional chain drive systems
Final Thoughts on the Honbike
The Honbike is truly a piece of engineering brilliance, that delivers a minimalist package with an ultra smooth maintenance free riding experience. It is easy to fold, simple to store and fun to ride. For me the Honbike falls strictly into the category of commuter bike, in large part due to the sealed shaft drive leaving you confident that you can make it from point A to point B without having to worry about getting greasy from an unexpected chain repair. If you are looking for an e-bike that offers a clean look, minimal maintenance, and is easy to ride the Honbike is definitely worth taking a look at.
MSRP $1999 For more information on the Honbike, please visit honbike.com