Monterey, CALIF. (2021 Sea Otter Classic) — The Bimotal Elevate is a 750W removable electric bike motor that’s designed to retrofit your existing mountain bike into a relatively light and powerful e-bike.
Electric Bike Report has had an eye on the Bimotal system for quite a while now, but the 2021 Sea Otter Classic was the first time we actually got to ride the system and see it mounted on a bike. In short, it’s relatively discrete, easy to use and surprisingly fun.
Removed from the bike, it’s hard to believe the compact Bimotal system produces the power it does.
The Elevate can consistently produce around 50 Nm of torque and can produce up to 100 Nm in short bursts, according to the company’s CEO and founder, Toby Ricco. It mounts to the bike via the rear brake post mounts and transfers power to the rear wheel through a specially-designed rear brake rotor. In addition to the actual braking surface, that rotor also sports a machined metal cog that meshes with another cog in the motor, transferring power to the rear wheel. Powering it all is a 250Wh battery that sits where your bottle cage would normally go.
The kicker is the whole system can be removed with the flick of a few quick release levers and viola — your retrofitted e-bike is back to a pedal-powered traditional bicycle.
Bimotal Elevate e-bike conversion kit review: First ride impressions
Considering the unit’s compact, lightweight and removable design, we were a bit skeptical that the Elevate could compete with dedicated e-bikes — but the Bimotal system quickly squashed that skepticism. I rode the Elevate retrofitted to a Juliana Joplin mountain bike for a quick lap around Sea Otter’s eMTB race course and it boosted up a ridiculously steep section designed to strain even the most powerful motors.
The Bimotal Elevate drives power to the rear wheel through a specially made rear brake rotor with an attached metal cog. It’s a pretty cool piece of engineering.
I’d competed in the Sea Otter eMTB race on a Bosch-powered Cannondale Moterra a few days before, so I had a very good idea of how the hill should feel when tackled with a well equipped e-bike. It tackled that hill with little issue and I was very impressed with the Bimotal Elevates’ power and torque. It’s also so light that I couldn’t feel the additional weight in the rear of the bike, something I always watch for when testing conversion kits.
Right now, the Bimotal Elevate is only usable via a throttle but pedal assist is currently being developed and isn’t too far from being released, according to Ricco. Even with just the throttle option, the bike felt impressively natural and I rarely engaged the motor without also pedaling — it just felt like a little added boost. That said, it’ll be really cool when the pedal assist version is released. Based on my positive experience with the Bimotal team and their product I’m really hoping their product takes off.
Thanks for reading! We’ll be bringing you a full in-depth review of the Bimotal Elevate soon. What questions do you have about it in the meantime? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll try and answer those questions when we do the full review.
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