The seamless shifting mechanism is perhaps my favorite feature of the Fat Free electric bike recently created by NTS Works in Santa Cruz California. I usually pick one gear and just stand up when the pedaling gets hard, however this bike has ultra simple ‘continuously variable transmission’ in the rear hub, just rotate part of the right hand grip like a motorcycle throttle and the bike seamlessly changes your pedal gear. Chain drivin, the motor is placed low, just under and in front of the pedal cranks, it assists the pedaling about 1 second after you start and gives you assistance for another second after you stop. Yes you have to pedal this bike and the 3 speed motor option details how much assistance, choose level 3 for light pedaling. Quite a bit of assistance comes-on for those 20 degree inclines. You can easily feel the difference in assistance when you turn off the power and go for straight pedaling. A simple look at the display screen show your motor speed choice and your miles per hour. I found it plenty fast going 18 mph on flat with a little head wind. I cruzed from just north of the santa cruz board walk almost to Scotts Valley in 30min, I broke a little sweat up the hill. The bike feels solid and well thought out. The comfort is excellent with nice leather palm supporting hand grips and leather seat too. The frames top tube curves low for ease of getting on and great for stand over clearance. Over all weight of the bike is 48 lbs, lifetime rebuildable battery and it carries an additional 100 lbs for the big shopping spree. Lock-it-up because it looks great and you may never catch someone with the 35 mile charge range.
Thank you heaps NTS Works for adding this inventive ultimate Cruz-ing machine to the world of travel.
Jolliffication Climbing Instruction
Rider: Mike Lowe, Easton-Bell Helmets
I had the opportunity to ride the Fat Free last week.
I’m an avid bike commuter for over 20 years. I ride a bike into work more than I drive. Over the last 6 years my commute has been from Santa Cruz, Ca to Scotts Valley. This is a 20 mile round trip with a climb that gets the heart pumping and sweat flowing.
I couldn’t believe how light the bike was. Other’s I’ve ridden needed 2 people to load into a truck. In addition to being light, it had a very strong pull.
While riding this bike with assist, all I could think about was all of the reason’s people don’t ride a bike. Too hard, too sweaty, range, etc. This bike closes all of those gaps.
Considering the cost and weight, I expect this one to hit the sweet spot and will get more people out of a car.
I put the bike to the challenge by doing my commute in sneakers, jeans and a t-shirt. In the same amount of time it takes me to get to work pushing hard, I made it to work without needing a shower!
I’ve always been skeptical about battery technology until this bike. They have a very innovative and serviceable battery technology that answers the question/worry, “What happens when the batteries go out?” This is still a concern for other eBike customers. I’ve heard of people being left helpless when the batteries go out on other eBike company’s eBikes.
Mike Lowe, Bicycle Commuter for over 20 years