A new line of e-bikes from the same company that created the original Mini Cooper are available, each with a small hub-mounted battery that provides a highly long-range thanks to regenerative braking.
Cooper Bikes (the cycling division of the Cooper Car Company) has accomplished the same form of kinetic energy storage system used in motorsports to improve performance. The Zehus Gen 2 steering system provokes the motor brake while recharging the battery when the pedal is pushed backward on the bike. Although you only need to rotate the pedals backward three times to begin the process, there will be some learning curve.
They are all designed for urban commuting, and they include the urban drop bar CR-7E Randonneur bike, the single-speed CS1E bike, and the "Classic Gents" and "Classic Ladies," represented by the CG-7E and CL-7E bikes, respectively.
Regenerative brakes necessitate a Direct Drive Motor, a different type of motor than the type found in most electric bicycles today. These motors are extremely heavy compared to the other types of engines available on the market. Because electric bikes are typically heavier than their traditional counterparts, the distance you will be able to travel on a single charge will be shorter.
It's also not as expensive as you might expect, with prices ranging from £2,099 (roughly $2,700/AU$3,700) to £2,499 (roughly $3,200/AU$4,400) for the four models in the line.
Our current top-rated e-bike, the Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0, begins at $4,000 / £3,900 / AU$5,000 (about £3,900 in the UK).
The Classic Singlespeed Cooper CS-IE is the entry-level model in Cooper Bikes' new lineup, and it is a stealthy Singlespeed explicitly designed for city riding.
The company claims that the system has an "unlimited range" because of its ability to recharge while the rider pedals. But this is misleading given its limitations. However, while it is theoretically possible, it is a very inefficient charging method compared to simply plugging your device into a wall outlet.
As soon as this mode is activated, the e-bike transforms into a bicycle that is even more difficult to pedal than a non-electric bicycle, slowly accumulating energy through higher-resistance pedaling that can later be released as electric assistance.
It would be analogous to climbing two flights of stairs to generate enough electricity to power an escalator that would later transport you up one and a half flights of stairs to reach your destination.
The battery for each bike is housed within the rear hub motor, which allows it to commute to 60 kilometers on a single charge. That's not as far as many bikes with large, heavy power packs, but it's still impressive for a battery mounted on its hub.
Unlike most of the models featured in our roundup of the best electric bikes, none of the new Cooper e-bikes are equipped with a head unit display, which reduces the need for extra cabling. Instead, the drive system communicates with a mobile application, which allows you to customize your bike's settings.
The problem with regenerative braking is that it generates a lot of heat when charging the battery. They generated heat while cruising downhill and pushing the current into the battery. Temperature extremes are wrong for lithium batteries because they shorten their overall lifecycle and are generally harmful to the batteries' performance.
In addition, Direct Drive Motors generate a large amount of force, which is helpful. Most electric bike frames are constructed of aluminum, which can become brittle over time, particularly at the dropouts, the points at which the axle engages the frame.