With the most powerful motor, this electric bike can run at a speed of 45km/h
We tried the SX1 crazy bike – designed by Bård Eker.
These days, Buddy Electric is putting the finishing touches on its newest electric bike, the SX1. This is meant to be a raw clutch for the bike, with Eker Design being responsible for the design among other things. The model is expected to go on sale in the first half of 2022.
We now have to try one of the ‘beta’ which is getting closer to the final product. In other words, there will likely be some changes until the final release, but many of the pieces are already there.
The bike is also expected to end up in a price range of 35,000 to 70,000 kronor – depending on what equipment you choose such as the engine and gear. Meanwhile, it will eventually be possible to register as an s-pedelec, that is, as a motorcycle with a top speed of 45 km / h – or as a conventional electric bike with a maximum speed of 25 km / h. Depending on the engine and equipment combination you choose.
With Bård Eker on the team, best known among other things for designing supercars for Koenigsegg, the SX1 undoubtedly has a resilient and tough look. And it’s clearly different from many of the traditional electric bikes we’ve tested.
The frame has a relatively low profile, but is still solidly built and has a distinct angle on the different parts that seamlessly overlap each other. From the forearm and rear to the rear axle, right up to the middle of the mainframe, there’s a kind of triangle where the sharp line and reflective coating on the interior give it a completely distinct character. At the same time, the bike is easy to see from the side.
We’ve tested three different versions of this new bike, and one thing they all have in common is that the frame is made of carbon composite – injection molded in Germany. And they can actually be redeemed over time, as the mortgage return scheme has been introduced.
So it can be drawn and converted to a new frame. They all also have a fixed front fork which is also carbon composite. In finished form, the attachment to the front tire is likely a little ahead of the models we tested, or you can choose to save a few kroners by purchasing this fork in lighter metal rather than composite.
The frame is quite compact, but still fits nicely in both locations below at 190cm, and the other intimidating frame that is somewhat lower.
The damping variant on test bikes are spring-loaded cases in the saddle and handlebars. These work well on country roads, but have a rather short ride – it becomes noticeable when the passenger is a little heavier or the surface is uneven. The seat damper is easy to slide out, although it can be adjusted slightly, and the damper on the handlebars doesn’t behave quite as well as you’re used to with traditional fork dampers. But as we’ve been told, a version of the bike with regular dampers is also being considered for a more off-road driving style.
One of the things we love so well after trying the SX1 a number of rides is how stable and stiff the frame is. It gives you good contact with the surface, while you have a flexible size that makes it easy to maneuver if needed. And it’s first and foremost this feature that you’ll appreciate when it’s electric as well. The introduction of batteries and the motor means that the bike is not particularly light compared to regular wooden bikes.
At the same time, the Sandmann rims are well built and do not have unnecessary malfunctions. They all feel stable and do good jobs when you’re traveling kilometer after kilometer. The test models had good tires, and on the sales model you will likely get tires from ReTyre.
As mentioned, the Buddy Bike SX1 can be delivered with different equipment levels. In our case, we tried a setup that would likely cost or minus 60,000 kr.
The cheapest solution comes with Shimano Deore’s traditional outer gearing and aluminum fork.
One of the things that come with the more expensive variants is a German Rohloff closed gear system with 14 gears. It provides less service needs, but additional costs. But after trying this system, and its former Norwegian Kindernay equivalent, it is well worth the price you pay. Especially if you are going to use the bike a lot. Then you just need to change the oil in the gear system at regular intervals.
If you’re coming from a conventional (electric) bike, it’s also unusual for the gear system to refuse to do anything while the pedals are on. But the big powers and the large amount of gearing mean you can usually easily plan as needed before the hill, and it’s very rare that you’ll need the most extreme gearing on this bike anyway.
Along with the locked gear system also comes the possibility of belt drive. Once again, a solution that gives you less maintenance than if you opted for a traditional open chainring system. And there’s something special about having a more silent system. The only thing you need to do is basically make sure that the belt is tight enough that it doesn’t slip.
However, we’re not entirely excited about the “gearshift” on the test models. It’s the kind you flip up or down to change it up, and it works just fine as long as it’s dry. But in rainy weather it becomes so slippery that you actually have to struggle a bit to shift gear.
On the test samples we tested, very good Shimano XT brakes were installed. This combination gives you very good brakes which, among other things, come in handy if you want to “pack” this bike for registration as a class called s-pedelec up to 45 km/h. So you need good brakes. But it’s also useful if you’d rather buy it as a traditional electric bike with a maximum 25km/h limit.
Depending on the price you want to pay, the engine option will vary. The cheapest solution is the M510 engine from Bafang, while in our case we tested the bikes Engine from German company Sachs. In short, this is the toughest motor we’ve tested on an electric bike and it’s “legal”.
The 48V motor can deliver up to 112Nm of torque. Simply put, how powerful this engine is is quite raw. Even with a belt drive, which absorbs a bit more power than a conventional gearbox and chain setup, you won’t have any problems maintaining a speed of up to 25 km/h even on long, steep hills.
The motor in the SX1 beta is so powerful that it’s almost a bit surprising when the support stops at 25 kph. It’s a bit of a luxury issue to quickly get used to offsetting the way you pedal.
We tested several rides, as we also had a relatively good Haibike electric bike. But although it was equipped with a Yamaha PW SE engine delivering up to 70 Nm of torque, it was completely off the slopes of the Sachs RS engine. Even bigger are the differences when the undersigned move away from the SX1 bike so that my colleague, who has a much lower body weight, can take over. Then it’s just going to be a rude party.
Even if you start in 10th gear, there is no problem with starting the engine.
But that powerful motor also means you need some battery capacity to get good range. Here, the SX1 comes with a 48V battery with a minimum capacity of 650Wh. It’s the type that also takes a lot of hits and handling because it’s so well-packed.
Note that the top model of the SX1 will have dual batteries, with a total capacity of 1,300 Wh.
It’s possible that the software on the bike isn’t fully developed yet, because it shows you only have 25 km of range at full power with the battery freshly charged. But in practice, you have at least 40 kilometers of range, in our experience.
We like the button system you use to adjust the effect on the motor, among other things. It has simple light rows that make it easy to see how much battery you have left, not least what mode you’re in. You can easily see this by changing the colors depending on how much power you want. Blue and green correspond to economy and standard, while pink and red indicate that you have a great deal or maximum power available.
The models we tested are conventional electric bikes that stay within the regulations, at 25 km/h (+-10%) as far as you get help from the motor. After that, it is much heavier to step on a higher speed.
But Buddy tells us that they’re also working on getting an SX1 accreditation so you can register it as a so-called s-pedelec. This means that you get a variant where you turn around in traffic on an equal footing, for example, scooters with a maximum speed of 45 km / h.
During our testing period, we have to say that it seemed natural for the bike to be able to go faster than 25km/h, because it gets up so easily at that speed. And since you have good brakes and a very good tire with well-balanced rims, you’ll almost feel like you’re rocking unnaturally when you hit that speed. And we tested downhill on a slope of up to 45 km/h, and this seemed completely unimpressive. So it’s likely that this bike will fit well into being usable at these speeds.
Before they can be registered, these requirements must be met:
- The bike must have side mirrors, horns, brake lights, signs and license plates.
- The engine must be disconnected at a speed of 45 km / h.
- Dekkmønster 1 mm minimum.
For such a bike, there will also be an age limit of 16 years, and the user must have a driver’s license for a class L1e-B scooter. In addition, there will be helmet requirements, insurance requirements, and the bike will of course only be able to be used on the road with other cars.
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