Ebikes with drop handlebars are indeed available from Haibike and Giant, however, in general, ebikes use mountain bike components (brakes, shifters, etc) which are designed for flat/hybrid/mountain bike bars. Also, since 2015, higher-quality electric bikes have been shipping with hydraulic disc brakes, and there are very few options for hydraulic disc brakes that work well with drop handlebars, and the few options are quite expensive. Until the costs for hydraulic disc brake road brifters fall and their availability increases, we'll continue to see only a few ebike models sold with drop bars.I'm searching for an e-bike to replace stolen cyclocross but everything on the market seems to be straight handlebars.
Why aren't manufacturers distinguishing their product? And any thoughts on when this will change?
Mike,Thanks for all the feedback. I didn't realize the hydraulic brake issue, etc.
I couldn't find the KTM bike Eddie added a picture of on their website - they have 68 models - all flat handlebar or similar.
I should have mentioned I'm looking for something that I can add racks.
I'll be excited to make my first ebike purchase - looks like a lot of options getting added to the market.
Haibike Race has very narrow tires but that's not the case with Bulls Dail-E. It has 2" tires.As a pretty high mileage road cyclist (8-10k miles per year) I think that electric drop bar bikes are a pretty niche market. Narrow tires and a more aggressive position are good for efficiency but not for comfort . The narrow tires at high pressure are no fun cruising at the higher speeds of a speed pedelec. I do agree that drop bars are more comfortable on longer rides due to the multiple hand positions available (hard to understand if you've never used them.) But most e-bikes on the market just don't have the range to do 2+ hours of riding. When you throw an electric motor pumping out a few hundred watts of assist on an upright flat-bar bike you no longer have to worry about the ultimate efficiency of the riding position.
Also, it seems like most of the drop bar electric bikes are just a flat bar bike with a drop bar installed. So the geometry of the bike isn't going to be optimized for drop bars. That said, I would love to test a drop bar e-bike but I just don't see how I could justify one for myself. If I'm riding a road bike I'm looking to get a workout. If I want to wear street clothes and avoid sweating I hop on the e-bike.
You should try a bike with a torque sensor based PAS. My Cross Current feels much more like a regular bike than the cadence based PAS I've tried. I was on a cadence based PAS bike while my CC was getting fixed under warranty and the feel just doesn't compare to torque sensing IMO. On the CC I can dial the assist level down and get a good workout or turn it all the way up and do 28-30mph. All along it acts like a normal bike where the assist is more or less proportional to the pedaling effort. Unfortunately the only torque sensing systems out there are OEM complete e-bikes or something like a Bionx conversion kit which is big bucks. Bafang was supposed to be working on a 750W rear hub motor with built-in torque sensing but I don't know if/when it comes out.So yes I would have to say that Drop Bar bikes are possible and in fact probably most desirable for those that do mostly any road type riding. The ones coming from the big players are all PAS which as I said doesn't work for me.