Tested: The puristic e-bike Coboc ONE Brooklyn Fat

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The first Coboc model, the almost 5,000 euro Coboc eCycle, was tested here as early as 2014. At that time it was a completely new concept: e-bikes were mostly city bikes for seniors and the opposite of “cool”. The Coboc ONE Rome was then tested two years ago. The basic principle of the bike was the same, but at around 3,900 euros the purist e-bike had already become much more affordable. In the meantime, the Heidelberg-based company offers the current ONE Brooklyn model with a largely maintenance-free belt drive and the price has dropped to 2,999 Euros. However, the Fat version, which is 300 Euros more expensive and lives up to its name, has arrived for testing!

Features

So new and yet familiar: Coboc ONE Brooklyn Fat has all the qualities that are essentially part of the Heidelbergers’ DNA: A puristic bike, which hardly shows the electric drive. The 250 watt motor is installed as a hub motor in the rear wheel, the battery with 352 Wh is located in the down tube and should provide a range of 70 to 100 km. The bike is equipped with a torque sensor in the bottom bracket for the most natural riding experience possible; if more power is applied to the pedals, the support of the motor increases. This is combined with a single-speed drive and a Gates belt drive – so you won’t find a gear shift here. This reduction to the essentials also gives the ONE Brooklyn Fat an absolutely clean look. The most noticeable feature is probably the surface of the aluminium frame in jugla-brown, matt-metallic: a brown colour tone that varies according to the incidence of light and which can hardly be reproduced realistically in photos.

The difference to the regular ONE Brooklyn can be noticed in the Fat version by its corresponding fat tires: Instead of 35 mm wide tyres with 28″ rims, the Fat uses 50 mm wide tyres on 27.5″ rims. The weight advantage is however invisible: The ONE Brooklyn Fat weights only 13.5 kg, while the ONE Brooklyn weights 14.1 kg.

The bike does not offer an integrated lighting system, but mudguards, a rear rack and a kickstand are now optionally available for 189 Euros with a utility kit. But let’s not fool ourselves: this puristic bike is most attractive without those sensible components!

Operation

The drive system has now been well proven at Coboc for years and offers no surprises compared to the models tested so far. The bike has only one on/off switch on the bottom of the top tube, where the magnetic socket for the charger is also located. This one is quite bulky, but recharges the battery in about 2 hours.

By double clicking the switch, a second drive mode can now be set, which is configured in Coboc’s app. Among other things, the acceleration or the general assistance can be adjusted there according to your own preferences and within the limits of the pedelec guidelines. The change of the driving mode can be recognized by the green or blue colour of the LEDs. In addition, they show the remaining capacity of the battery in five steps, which is easily recognizable for the rider. There is no additional display and there is no need for one – but if you still want to be kept informed with more information, you can also use the smartphone app.

Ride impressions

In the test, the Coboc ONE Brooklyn Fat showed its agile side: thanks to its light weight, the bike can easily be chased around corners thanks to its motor power. This is additionally supported by the wide, balloon-like Schwalbe tyres, which make the bike feel even more responsive and straightforward when turning. So the favourite spot for the ONE Brooklyn Fat is certainly the urban area, where even the most twisty routes can be mastered with ease. Appropriately enough, the wide tires can also be ridden with less air pressure and thus more comfortably over bumps or cobblestones – conditions that you can rarely escape in the city.

As already with the tested TEN Torino, the ONE Brooklyn Fat’s somewhat humming motor was also noticeable. It is neither remarkably loud nor annoying – but in direct comparison with similar current systems it is more noticeable. Apart from that, the Gates Carbon Drive belt drive makes the bike almost completely silent. Furthermore, the belt does not require oil or grease and is almost maintenance-free – all in all, the perfect companion for this bike!

Thanks to the torque sensor, the electric drive is supported in a pleasantly smooth manner and regulates itself automatically according to the rider’s needs. By the way, thanks to the motor, normal inclines are no problem for the single speed bike, but you should only dare to ride enduring mountain stages if you are in sufficient physical condition 😉 The gear ratio with a 55 chainring and 20 sprocket is okay and makes the bike still rideable even with the drive switched off. In view of the strong support of the electric motor when riding off, a longer gear ratio would be attractive for long flat straights. This shows again that with single speed drives you always have to make a certain compromise.

The ONE Brooklyn Fat’s combination of riding position, saddle and grips is basically rather sporty, but neither uncomfortable nor too stretched. The hydraulic disc brakes from TRP do their job reliably, a nice detail are the platform pedals developed by Coboc, which also offer sufficient contact surface.

Conclusion

With the ONE Brooklyn Fat, Coboc offers an attractive alternative to regular ONE Brooklyn. The fat tyres ensure greater comfort and more agile handling, while the weight advantage of 600 g is nice, but hardly significant – both of these models are real lightweights among e-bikes. What they have in common is the maintenance-free, whisper-quiet belt drive and the unique matt metallic frame colour.

Coboc’s drive system has been well proven for years and offers an absolutely natural riding experience. The single speed design fits perfectly with the puristic concept of the bike. And while Coboc’s high prices have been criticised in the past, the ONE Brooklyn models have forced a rethink. With retail prices of around 3,000 and 3,300 Euros respectively, both bikes are currently in the mid-field between comparable single-speed models from Ampler, Schindelhauer and Desiknio and should therefore be on the shortlist of many interested parties. All further information on ONE Brooklyn and ONE Brooklyn Fat can be found directly on the Coboc website.

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