Review: Coboc TEN Torino — a gravel ebike with commuter equipment

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Already at its launch in February it was clear that the Coboc TEN Torino is no ordinary urban e-bike. In particular, the racing handlebars and the comparatively thick tyres have never been used by the Heidelberg-based Coboc company before. And in combination with the equipment of the rear rack, mudguards and lighting system, the new model is also quite unique among the available e-bikes in general. It is a mixture of an off-road gravel bike and a commuter bike suitable for everyday use. The Coboc TEN Torino can now show in this test who this special bike is aimed at and what it is particularly suitable for.

Clean look despite complete equipment

Design

Design has always been a central theme at Coboc – after all, these bikes were probably the first to install the electric drive largely invisibly in the bicycle (as a reminder: that was in early 2014).

Over the years and the expansion of the range, in addition to the clean and minimalist Singlespeed models, those with comfort features such as mudguards and lighting were added. The new Torino is also based on these. This means that the frame itself is typically Coboc without frills and houses the user interface with its five LEDs on the top tube. The rear light is embedded with three LED strips of seat tube — already known from other Coboc models, but still a rather unique solution. Similar to the integrated rear rack: it runs parallel to the rear wheel, so it’s hardly noticeable; but it can hold a luggage bag on each side when needed.

Apart from that, it is mainly the many small details that give the design that certain something. The cockpit is very clear and tidy with the cables running along the handlebars, and these are also integrated in the frame in the best possible way. The mudguards and the rack are kept in plain black and thus form a visual unit with the equally dark tyres — which makes them as inconspicuous as possible. This directs the eye to the frame with its high-gloss metallic paint in Silent Green. An unusual color tone that perfectly reflects the possible area of application of the bike.

Five embedded LEDs indicate the battery status and operating mode

Features

As mentioned at the beginning, the racing handlebars make the difference at first glance — but not only that. The genes of a Gravel-Bike are also evident in the Apex 1 shifting group from Sram, which was developed exactly for this type of bike. The front derailleur has a single chainring, and at the rear there are 11 gears with a huge 42 sprocket for the smallest gear that is suitable for mountain use. Shifting is done by a separate shift lever on the right brake lever; simply pushing to the left brings the next higher gear, by pushing one more step to the left you shift down. The hydraulic disc brakes are also from the Apex 1 series and have 160mm discs at both the front and rear.

The lighting system consists of the specially designed tail light in the frame, which shines very brightly and is clearly visible. The same can be attested to the front headlight Mini 2 from Supernova, which is centrally mounted on the stem. Mudguards and rear rack are not part of the standard equipment of the Torino, but were mounted on the test bike. The former are from the manufacturer Curana and 55 mm wide from a stable aluminum-plastic sandwich construction. The luggage carrier, on the other hand, was developed by Coboc itself and can also be removed — unlike the version on Coboc’s SEVEN model series, where it forms a single unit with the frame. The maximum load capacity is 10 kg on each side, which is quite suitable for everyday use.

The Torino is powered by proven Coboc technology: the hub motor in the rear wheel offers 250 watts of power in line with the pedelec standard, and even 500 watts at the top. The motor is controlled via a torque sensor in the bottom bracket, which corresponds to a particularly natural riding experience: if you pedal hard, a correspondingly high amount of motor power is emitted. The battery in the down tube has a capacity of 352 Wh and can be recharged in just over 2 hours. Coboc states the range as 70 km to 100 km.

Operation

Coboc has also remained true to its operating concept: apart from the five LEDs on the top tube, you can’t really tell at first glance that the Torino is an e-bike. The switch is also hidden on the underside of the top tube, directly next to the charging socket. Thus, it is not visible from a normal viewing position, but still absolutely easy to operate — if you know it. The LEDs give information about the capacity of the battery in 20% steps, by pressing the on/off-switch for a long time, one activates the lighting if needed. There is no further information, which is not disturbing – the bike basically rides like a conventional bike, but with a strong support.

If you want more information, you can use your smartphone with the free Coboc app. It also displays information such as speed, range, engine power or battery temperature. There is also a new feature here: Already in the past it was possible to adjust some drive parameters in the app, such as acceleration or support level. Now two driving modes can be saved, which can be switched directly on the bike at the push of a button. The currently selected riding mode can be recognized by the fact that the colour of the LEDs changes between blue and green.

As mentioned above, the charging socket is also located on the underside of the top tube. What at first sounds impractical in handling, is actually a piece of cake: thanks to the magnetic connection, the plug finds the charging socket almost by itself and snaps in cleanly. A very simple system, which is also well protected from external influences thanks to the position of the charging socket.

Riding impression

Anyone who has only ridden ordinary bicycles so far, might think of a sporty, stooped and rather uncomfortable sitting position when riding a racing bike. But already on the first few meters it shows that the upper part of the handlebars is actually positioned almost at saddle height — the sitting position is therefore quite upright and comfortable. If you grab the handlebars at the bottom, you really get a sportier feeling. However, even this position is by no means exaggeratedly low and offers a good compromise between a position that is still easy to control and the lowest possible air resistance. You quickly learn to appreciate this versatility and get used to the possibility of varying the seating position, especially on longer distances.

By the way, brakes and shift levers are easy and safe to operate from both sides of the handlebars (up/down). The Apex 1 shift does its job unobtrusively and the large 42 sprocket in the lowest gear proves to be particularly useful in steep passages. So you can ride uphill with the Torino quite effortlessly, although this discipline is not necessarily one of the strengths of a hub engine. By the way, it is not quite as silent as other current engines of the same type and does its job slightly humming. To put this into perspective: it is neither noisy nor disturbing — but it is noticeable. Above the 25 km/h limit, the motor has to switch itself off anyway according to the pedelec guidelines, which is done very gently. The transition is hardly noticeable and you can continue to accelerate as best you can.

The Schwalbe G-One Speed tires are quite wide with their dimensions of 27.5″ x 2.00″ and can also be driven with rather low air pressure, which makes it easier to compensate for uneven ground. With their fine knobs and reinforced puncture resistance, they make the bike ideal for off-road riding and feel right at home on gravel roads or paved forest tracks.

The measured weight of the Torino-Testrads is 15.9 kg for frame size L including mudguards and luggage rack. Without the removable mudguards and luggage rack, the weight should then drop to 14.5 kg, which Coboc also mentions on the website. This is a very good value for an e-bike with this complete equipment, which also contributes to the agile handling of the bike. Keyword “carry”: Steps are therefore not a real problem, and the low weight means that the bike can be lifted easily if necessary.

The perforated saddle is tight and sporty, but not uncomfortable to ride and should fit many users. Another Coboc proprietary development is the CNC-milled pedals made of aluminium, which provide a good grip. Their solid and angular design becomes noticeable when you bump into one of the pedals while pushing the bike with short trousers. After a short period of getting used to it, you will automatically make sure that there is a sufficient distance 😉

A gravel-commuter-all-purpose-bikr: the Coboc TEN Torino

Conclusion

If you regularly commute off the asphalt and need a bike that is suitable for everyday use in all weathers and that is also not without good design, you may have found your dream bike here. The lightweight Coboc TEN Torino is equipped for almost all conditions and, thanks to the racing handlebars, is not only sporty but also surprisingly comfortable. This versatility can also be seen in the equipment installed on the test bike, which is equipped for just about any task with its integrated lighting system, mudguards and luggage rack.

Why the latter two are optional, however, is not quite clear — it is precisely these parts that make the bike so interesting in its overall package. Apart from a bell and, if necessary, a stand, the bike offers complete commuter equipment that is absolutely suitable for everyday use. The price of 4,999 euros (without the aforementioned optional extras) is a tough nut to crack, but it is not really surprising in the case of Coboc’s more expensive bikes. But in return you get solid components paired with a good workmanship, a lot of driving fun and a lot of uniqueness.

All information on TEN Torino is available at Coboc’s Website.

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