Electric bicycles are nothing new, but the demand for sensible commuter transportation that doesn’t rely on gasoline has increased their popularity in recent years. Most range from around $1,000 to just under $4,000, depending upon quality, range and components. If you’ve priced high end mountain or road bicycles lately, you’ll realize that the cost for a decent electric bike is about the same as the cost for a good mountain or road bicycle. As with cars, speed costs money: the question is, how fast do you want to spend?
One manufacturer, M55, isn’t content to exist in the world of commuter electric bicycles. Since there are already enough two-wheeled-Prius’ on our streets, M55 has decided to build an electric motored super bicycle, dubbed The Beast. The Beast’s frame is made from CNC milled 7075 aluminum, fitted with carbon fiber plates to hide the batteries, wiring and motor. Like a hybrid vehicle, the motor provides supplemental torque to enhance the riders own output; that said, it’ll still take you 27 miles on full throttle, should you get too lazy to pedal. Top speed is a more-than-sufficient 48 miles per hour, and components are best in class. Brembo twin-piston brakes? Check. Rohloff Speedhub gearing? Check. Fox front fork? Also, check.
The M55 Beast weighs in at about 70 pounds, so the “Beast” moniker is strangely fitting. Electric motor assist or not, I can’t imagine having to pedal the thing uphill if and when you forget to charge up the lithium ion battery pack. Then again, if you can afford the Beast’s price of admission ($35,300), you probably have someone on staff who can pick up the bike for you and drive you to work in comfort. If you like the concept of a bulletproof electric bike, but can’t cough up enough money to buy a Beast, M55 is also working on a kinder, gentler version dubbed The Daemeon. It won’t be quite as heavy-duty as the Beast, but it will sell for a more reasonable $13,300, or nearly the price of a Brammo Empulse 10.0 electric motorcycle. You know which one I’d opt for.