- A unique blend of bicycle and motorcycle performance, one of the lighter weight electric bikes capable of going 30 mph
- Completely custom frame with integrated battery and controller for even weight distribution, powerful halogen headlights with built in horn and bright LED brake lights
- Several options including custom color, rigid fork or suspension, SRAM X7 or X0 drivetrain, fenders and rear rack
Warning, in some configurations this electric bike is classified as a moped or motorcycle and may not be ridden on cycling trails or paths. It may require licensing, insurance and lights when used on public roads.
The Grace One is part moped, part bicycle. Its tube construction is oversized and reinforced with 15 mm thru axles and a gusseted head tube, top tube and downtube. Instead of a half-grip twist throttle this thing has a full grip throttle that activates a 1,300 watt gearless rear hub motor (that’s twice the legal limit of 750 watts for low speed electric bikes). It’s perfect for neighborhood and city riding because you can park it just like a bicycle or motorcycle and slip through traffic jams. When you activate either brake lever the rear LED light turns on for safety (much like a car’s brake light) and the iconic halogen headlights go from normal or bright and really stand out. All else fails, you’ve got a pretty serious horn that’s positioned under the bottom bracket as shown in the video review above. With three drive modes to choose from, three standard colors (or a custom color) and three fork options (rigid or two suspension setups) the Grace One can really be customized. In most cities you’ll need a license and registration for this bike and possibly a turn signal kit but unlike a noisy and heavy moped, this bike offers a nine speed cassette which means you can get a workout or extend your range. My biggest complaints are the lack of water bottle cage mounting points on the oversized tubing (which would be difficult to find an aftermarket adapter for) and the non-removable battery pack.
The motor powering the Grace One is a 1,300 watt gearless direct drive hub from Ultra Motor. These motors are extremely durable, quiet and powerful depending on which drive mode the bike is set to. In the video review you’ll notice that I wasn’t getting above 20 mph and I believe that was setup for safety reasons given the demo setting at Interbike 2014. You can choose from Eco, City and Sport mode which is capable of ~30 mph top speeds and that really lets the motor shine. While I was not able to weigh the hub motor itself, it’s definitely heavier than most of those I’ve tested on low speed electric bikes and that’s because it uses large magnets to create power. This means there aren’t any parts rubbing together inside as with a geared hub motor and it should help the motor to last longer. I wish they would have taken full advantage of the gearless configuration here and offered regenerative braking. From the photos you can see that the rear dropout is a completely separate piece of hardware on both sides of the frame which widens the axle mounts and provides room for a 203 mm disc brake rotor and nine speed cassette with SRAM X7 or X0 derailleur. It all feels very custom and tough but another downside is the lack of quick release levers for truing the wheel or fixing flats. The Schwalbe Crazy Bob tires look durable but the heavier frame and higher speeds may test their durability and they just don’t seem as thick or thorn proof as moped or motorcycle tires.
Powering the bike is an impressive ~43 volt 12 amp hour Lithium battery pack that’s built into the bottom side of the downtube. This keeps weight low and center which helps to balance out the larger motor in the rear wheel and also creates a clean look. The battery can offer upwards of 40 miles per charge depending on the drive mode, rider weight and terrain and that sounded a bit low to me compared with other electric bikes that can go 50+ miles on a 500+ watt hour battery. A big difference here is the throttle-only configuration and higher top speed. Efficiency for cyclists drops significantly above 20 miles per hour and given the 30 mph top speed of the Grace One, this could be one area to consider if you start to run low on a longer ride. So the battery design and position are fairly custom and take weight into consideration while riding but unfortunately not when parking. The battery is not easily removable which means that you cannot easily reduce frame weight for transport or protect the battery fro rain, extreme cold or extreme heat without bringing the entire bike inside. I do appreciate the USB diagnostics port and would rather have a more permanently integrated pack that was low and center like this than a removable rear pack (especially for the higher riding speeds) but it would be nice if it were removable.
Activating the Grace One feels novel because it uses a wireless RFID card vs. a traditional key. This might reduce tampering or theft through increased security. Once the key fob has been waved over the display panel, it lights up and displays your speed, odometer, battery level, watts and drive mode (Eco, City or Sport). Most of the buttons for the display are integrated into the side of the display which completely covers the stem. It took me a while to find the drive mode buttons which are on the left side and they aren’t very natural to reach while riding but I think most of the time you wouldn’t need to adjust them. the horn and light buttons are much easier to see and reach, positioned near the right grip, and they really come in handy. The horn on this bike is no joke and the headlights are both stylish and functional. The rounded glass lenses are more visible from the sides than traditional bicycle lights and the halogen bulbs are extremely bright. The rear light activates automatically when the brake levers are pulled and if you go for the white frame I feel like this bike would really stand out, day or night. I really enjoyed the full grip throttle which offers precise power output and got a sense of power and speed akin to mopeds or motorcycles that other light weight electric bikes struggle to balance with human-input. Very few “motorcycles” offer nine speeds for pedaling that actually let you make a difference as a rider but this bike does.
Given the optional fender kit and rear carry rack the Grace One can offer a lot of utility. At just over 72 pounds (depending on the frame style you choose) it’s not going to be easy to carry up and down stairs but the diamond style frame could still easily be mounted to car and bus racks. This is essentially a neighborhood electric motorcycle and a product that bridges the gap from low speed electric bikes towards products from Stealth and ZERO that’s more fun to pedal and quite a bit lighter weight. What really stood out to me during the ride tests was just how quiet the Grace One is, it lets you enjoy your surroundings much more than a gas powered motorcycle and could be perfect for nature rides and tours or urban environments where hearing the traffic passing by could save your life and convenient parking could significantly enhance it.
- Extremely customizable with three standard color choices (dark blue, white or black) or a custom color, rigid fork or two suspension options, SRAM X7 or X0 drivetrain and Red Dot saddle, fork and grip upgrades
- For those interested in commuting, the Grace One is available with matching fenders and rear carry rack
- Available in three frame styles including City (largest), Universal (medium) and Race (more aggressive)
- Nice accessories here including a double leg kickstand which helps to support the extra frame weight, an aluminum alloy bash guard on the front chainring, and heavily reinforced rear dropouts to handle the increased motor power and 50 Nm of torque
- The 26″ Crazy Bob tires from Schwalbe add a bit of comfort and improved grip through larger surface patch and pair nicely with a rigid fork or suspension option
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) activation means you don’t need keys dangling around and the bike may be more secure from theft and tampering
- Large, bright and unique double-stacked halogen headlight with iconic lenses reminiscent of a motorcycle
- Backlit LCD interface is front and center with great readouts, the horn and light activation switches are easy to access and the full twist grip is more like a motorcycle than a half-grip twist on many low speed electric bikes
- Stiff oversize tubing on frame, seat post, bottom bracket and 15 mm thru-axle for a sturdy feeling ride at higher speeds
- Large, high quality Magura MT4 hydraulic disc brakes with oversized 203 mm rotors for excellent stopping power at high speeds
- Extra bright LED Backlight is activated when you use the brakes just like with a motorcycle or car
- Battery pack is built into the frame and not easily removable for charging separately from the bike
- At ~70 pounds this electric bike weighs more than some low speed options but also goes faster and feels sturdier
- No bottle cage bosses built into the frame despite plenty of space in the triangle area for a downtube or seat tube mount, the larger tubing also makes adding an aftermarket part more difficult
- No turn signal lights included here so the bike may have to be modified for legal street use in some parts of the world where hand signals along are not deemed adequate