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Home / News / This minimalist folding bike has a powerful secret

This minimalist folding bike has a powerful secret

Watts can it be? We're not giving you any assistance

How is that bike not falling over?

Ah, bicycle photography witchcraft. All you do is shoot the bike being ridden then Photoshop out the rider, Photoshop out the spokey motion blur and Photoshop in a suitable background. E-Z-PZ. Speaking of witchcraft, though, the Austrian-designed Vello Bike+ is driven by a mysterious force.

Is it electricity?

You can smell it too! But, listen, where are the batteries? Do you see any bulky batteries on that minimalist folding bike? Unless Vello has quietly perfected wireless electricity transfer and then installed it in every street in the world, it is up to something sneaky.

Or it has one of those self-contained rear hub motors.

Or! It has a… wait, you know about this? Are you part of those wossnames, the lizard glitterati? Well, it won’t surprise you to learn that it does indeed have a rear hub motor, with all of its batteries built-in and a Bluetooth-connected smartphone app to change its settings.

It’s good for up to 30 miles in full power mode, but Vello say it also has a regenerative mode that can give it… wait for it, witchcraft fans… unlimited range!

Too good to be true?

It probably relies on your route being 95% downhill or something similarly improbable. But it hasn’t stopped crowdfunders reaching for their digital wallets: Vello’s Bike+ was funded to nearly six times its target. And it’s still taking pre-orders: €1799 for one with a boring old chain, €1899 for a rather more exciting belt-drive or up to €2989 for one made of lightweight titanium with all the belts and whistles.

It’s due in 2017, but we’ll be throwing our leg over one just as soon as we can. And then we’ll be re-attaching it and going for a ride.

Profile image of Fraser Macdonald Fraser Macdonald consulting editor


Fraser used to wear a Psion Series 3 palmtop in a shoulder holster. Perhaps he still does.Either way, his lifelong mission - including fourteen years for Stuff - has been to see whether the consumer electronics industry can ever replicate that kind of cyborgian joy.So far: nope. Despite a plan to combine a action camera and Olympus Eye-Trek goggles to become Man Who Sees The Vision Of A Man Three Inches Taller Than Himself.He also likes mountain bikes, motorbikes, cars, helicopters. Still thinks virtual surround is witchcraft. Dislikes jetskis, despite never having been on one. 

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