Italian firm Ares Design has unveiled what it claims is the world’s lightest electric bicycle. The Super Leggera weighs just under 20 lbs, and features a 200-watt motor that provides cyclists a small boost as they pedal.
The bike was designed in partnership with High Performance Systems (HPS), an engineering company that specializes in mobility technology. Just 24 of the bikes are being manufactured initially, at a steep price of €18,950 (approximately $22,000).
While the road bike looks decidedly aesthetically pleasing, its low-powered motor raises some questions. Other e-bikes feature motors closer to the 500-watt range, which provide a noticeable boost as you pedal uphill. Still, 200 watts is definitely better than nothing.
E-bike considerations — And while it’s interesting that the Super Legerra is lightweight, with an e-bike, weight isn’t as important because again, you’re being assisted as you pedal. It’s like you have another person pedaling in tandem with you, requiring only a fraction of the energy you might otherwise need to exert. With e-bikes, it kind of makes more sense to use heavier but inexpensive components, including a larger, heavier battery and motor. Ares hasn’t disclosed the size of the Super Legerra’s battery, but it’s likely small.
Professional cyclists shun e-bikes, and with good reason, until there are e-bike races training on one is only effective if you turn off all assistance and contend with the added weight. Casual riders, meanwhile, will likely prefer something cheaper with a bigger motor. But there’s a market for everything, and we’re sure 24 people with loads of disposable cash will be happy to part with it for a bike this good-looking... or who don’t want observers to realize they’re riding an e-bike — in which case, the Scott Patron eRide is another option.