Calamus One: Ambitious urban e-bike with many smart features

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Once again, a start-up is preparing to launch a particularly innovative e-bike for urban use. Calamus is the brand name, “One” the ambitious urban bike. Ambitious because the manufacturer wants to develop nothing less than the most advanced and safest e-bike — for the self-confidently redefined category of “Ultra Bikes”. The technical refinements include a blind spot assistant, biometric fingerprint scanner and GPS positioning of the bike.

The drive system: mid-mounted motor, belt drive and hub gear

The basic components of the Urban Bike are first and foremost a mid-mounted motor from Bafang, which is really well integrated into the frame. On the right side it is completely covered by the large chainring, on the left side it shows itself as a compact, circular and hardly disturbing element. The drive uses Gates’ CDX belt drive, combined with the Shimano Alfine 8-speed hub gears in the electrically controlled Di2 version. Alternatively, a Rohloff gear system with 14 gears will be available. The specially developed front fork has a suspension element with 35 mm travel, the frame houses the removable battery with 504 Wh or 672 Wh capacity. This should be sufficient for a range of 60 to 150 km, depending on riding style. The weight of the Calamus One varies – depending on the battery version it is probably somewhere between 18.5 kg and 23.5 kg.

5″ large touch display with fingerprint sensor

But now to the smart features of Calamus One: The central control element is a large 5″ TFT display with touch screen function, placed in the middle of the handlebars. Here you can not only carry out services like Google Maps navigation, but also lock and unlock the bike with the integrated fingerprint sensor. If the locked bike is stolen, the alarm system takes effect: an alarm signal is emitted via integrated loudspeakers and the owner is informed of the alleged theft via an app. There are integrated flashing lights at the ends of the handlebars and the bike also has a complete lighting system consisting of front headlights with a remarkable 500 lumens and rear lights. A blind spot assistant on the handlebars is supposed to scan the surrounding traffic by ultrasound and give a haptic feedback.

Elegant design with removable battery

Calamus One is currently available for order as a crowdunding campaign via Indiegogo. The founders had set the goal for a successful campaign at a comparatively small amount of about 22,000 Euro, but currently there are already orders for about 115,000 Euro. The bike itself can be pre-ordered in three versions: as Calamus One-25 with a 250 watt motor or as Calamus One 50/75 with a 500 or 750 watt motor. However, it is not really clear whether one of the models has a regular pedelec approval for Germany.

The prices are almost suspiciously low — compared to the promised equipment: For example, the 250 watt model is available as an early bird offer for 1,782 Euros (later it will cost 2,873 Euros). But so far only nine of these bikes have been sold, which are available in two frame sizes and three colours.

No doubt, the technical data and design of Calamus One makes you curious — especially at its relatively low price. Should the manufacturer manage to mass-produce this bike with the mentioned specifications, it would certainly be one of the most interesting urban bikes on the market.

Brave people can support the campaign and pre-order the bike at Indiegogo – always with the risk that the project might fail after all. You should also note the project status “The project team has not yet produced a working demo for their concept”; according to this there is no working pattern of the bike yet. The Experience Center shown in the video does not really seem to exist in reality, and Calamus only provides a mail address for contact. An imprint or a concrete address cannot be found on the website. So if you want to be on the safe side, it is better to wait until February 2020. Then you want to deliver the first real bikes to pre-orderers.

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