We’ve got an upgrade to unveil this week. Our new handlebar design has passed mechanical testing and a sample has arrived in our office. We’ve been working on this for the past few weeks and are really happy with the result. What do you think?
Previously we had struggled to source a suitable stem for our ebike, largely because of the way it folds. To cut a long story short, when our handlebars fold down, they need to sandwich themselves between the front wheel and the main frame of the folded ebike. Because our ebike is so small when folded, this is a pretty tight fit and therefore the handlebars can’t be set forward on the bike. Instead, they must sit directly on top of their connecting tube. This is known as a zero offset stem.
Zero offset stems are pretty hard to come by and we weren’t happy with any of the ones that we could find, so we decided to make our own. For prototyping, we did this by cutting up an existing stem with a clamp for the handlebars, and welding the whole thing on top of a straight tube. Simple and effective, but ugly. We’ve been using this for a few months as it allows us to get a feel for how the ebike will fold and ride.
However, in the background we’ve also been working on a new handlebar/stem design that we think works much better. This new design welds the handlebar directly onto a straight tube which tapers up towards the weld, giving a much cleaner shape.
Because handlebars are put under so much force during riding, we were also careful to design for strength. The result is a stripped back, strong and surprisingly light handlebar that we think suits the cleanness of the rest of our design much better.
This is the last substantial change to the design before manufacturing. We hope you like it because from here on out, what you see on our ebike is what you will get in production!