Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Early summer is the time when most companies start announcing new products and I thought this would be an appropriate time to announce updates on this model - Samurai.
Some key highlights of the bike are presented below and full specifications will announced sometime in July once the production-ready builds are done. We are on track for product launch sometime in August or early September.

Zen Samurai Diamond

Zen = Manufacturer
Samurai =Model platform
Diamond = frame design

The goal was to design a bike that is agile, reliable and fast. The new Bosch Gen 4 system is lighter than the predecessor, offers very smooth power application and has decent power. The bike should feel at home whether commuting, touring or light off-road. Hence the name - Samurai. A bike that is versatile but has certain finesse.

Internal gear hubs on a mid-drive provide two kinds of advantages:
  1. Because of the hub flange spacing, the spoke tension is even for both sides and as a result, you can build extremely strong wheels.

  2. Because all the shifting happens inside, the drivetrain wear and tear is greatly reduced. Paired with Gates carbon drive, it offers extremely low maintenance setup.

In terms of drive train options, Gates belt drive is chosen because it is perhaps the lowest maintenance option especially for northern US and Canadian weather. Road salt, slush etc doesn’t affect it as much and it works really well between -30 to 45’c. Perfect for Canadian conditions. For those that prefer chain-derailleur system, we have that option as well. We have the freedom to upgrade just about anything on the bike to match customer requirements as the bikes will be fully assembled in Canada. Only the frames are manufactured in Taiwan and this helps with avoiding certain tariffs and logistical issues.

The prices are shown for the base model and it took a lot of work to offer something that is high-quality and relatively affordable. In the past, by keeping the prices high, the E-bike industry has pushed away people who would otherwise enjoy E-bikes immensely. So, it was a conscious decision to retain dynamic pricing within certain bracket without compromising on quality.

Service: We found that there are several regular bike shops that are willing to work with OEM companies and help the end customer. We have populated a list of such stores in every state. To aid the end user, we will have a video library of bike assembly instructions, maintenance and riding tips.

Sizes: Small - Medium - Large - Extra Large.

More details will be available on https://zenebikes.ca/ in the coming weeks. [The website is still under construction.]


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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Looks like a really great group of products....

Thanks for your comment!
Assembling right components is essential for any great E-bike.
Bicycle production is not complicated but it is not easy either. It is one of the most established industries among all automobiles.

Any E-bike on the market can be dissected to its fundamentals and you will notice what separates one company from another are:

  1. frame design
  2. leveraging high volumes to lower material/assembly cost
  3. and marketing/service capabilities
It's easier to go to China and bring container worth of bikes, which several companies are already doing but we are not interested in that.
 
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byunbee

Well-Known Member
Just curious, but I didn’t see the $2000 ebike from your post back couple of months ago on your website. Did you decide not to offer that model?
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Did you decide not to offer that model?

No. we are working it.

That particular model needs lots of work. As someone who has put over 40,000 E-bike miles, I am acutely aware of the issues. The issue with that particular model is getting the torque sensing right.
Majority of the bottom bracket sensors you see on the market become huge headache after a year or few thousand miles. This leads to customer frustration and ultimately loss of revenue, time and trust.

I am trying to avoid that. I will be testing the system very thoroughly before we release it and that is why we need time.

With Bosch, I don't have to worry about torque sensor, display, battery connectors etc. Everything is dialed in perfectly and works great.
 
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Johnny

Well-Known Member
Ravi, this design looks good and your component choices are great(dt swiss hubs, maguras, ). Well done.

What do you think the weight would be with carbon fork + rohloff - seatpost suspension?
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Ravi, this design looks good and your component choices are great(dt swiss hubs, maguras, ). Well done.

What do you think the weight would be with carbon fork + rohloff - seatpost suspension?

Thanks, John!

Rohloff hub + belt setup adds about 2 lbs extra compared to a 1x10 chain drive train.
Of Course, the frame size matters a lot too. XL frames obviously weighs more than a medium frame.
With carbon fork and tubeless tire setup, you're looking at ~49lbs for a Rohloff +carbon fork + Kinekt seatpost on 49cm frame.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
Thanks, John!

Rohloff hub + belt setup adds about 2 lbs extra compared to a 1x10 chain drive train.
Of Course, the frame size matters a lot too. XL frames obviously weighs more than a medium frame.
With carbon fork and tubeless tire setup, you're looking at ~49lbs for a Rohloff +carbon fork + Kinekt seatpost on 49cm frame.

That is very impressive, sub 50 lbs with rohloff. I hope you will have great success with this one.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Ravi, this looks very promising and can't wait for the release of the final product. Best of luck with this new endeavour. I will be watching this thread :).

Thank you, @NatPedaler for the encouragement.

Will certainly update here as the builds are finalized.

@Johnny , thank you very much.

Sub-50 is doable because the Gen 4 motor weighs 6.3 lbs as compared to 8.8 lbs Gen 2 motors.
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
Looks very impressive, Ravi.
If I hadn't already ordered two Watt Wagons superbikes I would have seriously considered ordering a couple of your new ebikes.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Competition with the larger manufacturers ! Any hub drives coming?

Mark, thanks for the helpful remark.
Right now there are not many OEMs offering similar spec with gates belt drive. Even if they do, it's $2500 higher for similar or lower component level.

I did some analysis of this particular model comparing it with Trek Allant+ 8S and Charger 3 from R&M.
I will post that at some point before launch.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
An update to those who are interested:

The bottom bracket yoke that connects to the motor shell was strengthened and we made some subtle changes to the frame to make it stronger.
If one wants to remove the fenders and rear rack and convert it to a capable hardtail mountain bike, it would work nonchalantly.

3D prototyping is almost done and the improved version of these frames are expected arrive in the month of August.
Bosch kits have started arriving and Really excited about building a capable Samurai bike ...


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