An e-Bike Made by Audi Offers Us a Look into the Future of Cycling
24 July 2020 - autoevolution
I honestly wasn't expecting anything less. With a name like Audi, you can put your bottom dollar on anything they push out. And this capable e-bike is no exception from that rule.
The e-bike you're looking at is called the Worthersee and uses automotive driven technology into its construction. Right off the bat, you can tell this isn't the type of bike you just take out for a Saturday cruise. It's the type of beast you take out to tackle those new trails you discovered the week prior. The ones with the jumps and speed-banks for when you bomb that 150-yard hill, although that last bit might need to be tested first.
Keep in mind that you may have seen something similar from Audi already, the e-tron MTB. Nonetheless, the only similarity would be the frame shape and function. Everything else is an upgrade.
The idea behind this bike was to act as a bridge between the transportation of today and that of tomorrow. Sleek, lightweight, resilient, and electric were just some of the points of focus for the team. With this in mind, Audi set out to use the newest tech and building materials available.
Not much you can do to tires, so we'll skip those. But the rest of the bike is absolutely amazing. Let's start with the frame. If you got a carbon fiber feel from it, you'd be right. The entire frame is composed of reinforced carbon fiber polymer. Excluding the electrical system, the entire bike, not just the frame, weighs in at just 24lbs (11kg).
That same carbon fiber is also used on the entire rear swingarm, on the handlebars, and even the seat. But the wheels are where the Worthersee really shines in its application of carbon fiber. The team has specially designed every component on this bike, up to even the pedals, but the wheels with their carbon fiber struts give it an almost floating and futuristic feeling. Each wheel weighs in at just 600 grams or 1.32 lbs.
And it still has that classic bike feel and function due to the exposed chain off to the side. That chain is driven by a 2.3 kW 48V electric motor that pushes out a top speed of 50 mph (80 kph), and a max range of 44 miles (70km).
That motor is driven by a lithium-ion battery pack. A 230V power supply will charge it in two and a half hours, but if you don't have that long, that battery pack can be switched out with another fully charged one.
But if that's the case, why even put any pedals on this thing? OK folks, let's not get lazy here. It is a bike after all and offers that possibility too. There are five different riding modes to choose from, some assisted by the motor, some none at all, so leave the pedals in there.
One of the things I found cool on this model is that the seat can be lifted or raised in order to provide support for the rider. But its functionality of being able to remain low when ridden is a preferred aspect amongst mountain riders.
That huge front fork is big enough to take a beating. Take it like this, when this bike debuted, it was taken and tested by athletes like Julien Dupont, just to make sure that its limits are pushed. And guess what, it passed.
Sure, that rear shock absorber doesn't look so technologically advanced, but why mess with a good thing if it functions perfectly for what you need.
If you like this puppy, keep your eyes open for the next e-bike designs right here.