Smart eBike electric bicycleEnlarge Photo
The best Smart?
Our ride took in the cycle-friendly streets of the U.K. town of Milton Keynes.
The pace at which the bike accelerates with only light pedal effort is intitially surprising, though not unwelcome. Only three forward gears are offered but unless you live in a particularly hilly area, you're likely to leave it in top gear most of the time and let electric assistance handle the rest.
Top speed is only 15 mph--any more and the bike would have to be registered as a motorcycle--and that speed is easy enough to hit on the flat and up gentle hills
The relative lack of effort required to make progress is the real benefit, and while we didn't ride far enough to test Smart's claim of 62 miles of assistance, range barely diminished during our 30-minute ride--energy is regained when you brake, just like an electric car.
The touted price of $3,700 is quite expensive, but if you use it to commute every day rather than just keeping it in the garage as a frivolous toy, then it's something of a bargain--after all, a car would be much more expensive.
The Smart eBike, then, is both easy to ride, and fun to use. So much so, that it makes us think that it might be the best vehicle Smart makes.
After all, while the talented Smart Electric Drive is stuck in traffic with all the other cars, eBike users will be able to slide by unhindered, reaching their destination earlier--and not even out of breath.
You'll still get wet when it rains, of course...