Kalkhoff Agattu Premium Impulse 8 Review

Kalkhoff Agattu Premium Impulse 8 Electric Bike Review 1
Kalkhoff Agattu
Kalkhoff Agattu Mid Drive Impulse Motor
Kalkhoff Agattu Lithium Battery Pack
Kalkhoff Agattu Display Bell Handles
Kalkhoff Agattu Bottom Bracket Center Drive
Kalkhoff Agattu Kickstand Nexus Hub
Kalkhoff Agattu Lcd Display Panel
Kalkhoff Agattu Rear Led Dynamo Light
Kalkhoff Agattu Rim Cafe Lock
Kalkhoff Agattu Suspension Fenders
Kalkhoff Agattu Suspension Seat Post
Kalkhoff Agattu Premium Impulse 8 Electric Bike Review 1
Kalkhoff Agattu
Kalkhoff Agattu Mid Drive Impulse Motor
Kalkhoff Agattu Lithium Battery Pack
Kalkhoff Agattu Display Bell Handles
Kalkhoff Agattu Bottom Bracket Center Drive
Kalkhoff Agattu Kickstand Nexus Hub
Kalkhoff Agattu Lcd Display Panel
Kalkhoff Agattu Rear Led Dynamo Light
Kalkhoff Agattu Rim Cafe Lock
Kalkhoff Agattu Suspension Fenders
Kalkhoff Agattu Suspension Seat Post

Summary

  • Truly premium electric bike with top of the line accessories and a sophisticated mid-drive motor system
  • Dynamo powered LED lights, ergonomic grips, quality fenders with mud flap on the rear, rack and mini-pump
  • Balanced weight distribution with motor and battery kept low and center on frame, suspension fork with lockout and suspension seat post for improved comfort

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Kalkhoff

Model:

Agattu Premium Impulse 8

Price:

$3,750 USD (€2,799 Euros)

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Commuting, Urban, Touring

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

3 Year Frame, 2 Year Motor and Battery

Availability:

United States, Europe

Model Year:

2014

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

55 lbs (24.94 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

17.71 in (44.98 cm)18.11 in (45.99 cm)19.68 in (49.98 cm)21.65 in (54.99 cm)23.62 in (59.99 cm)(4 Wave Sizes, 3 Diamond Sizes)

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, High-Step (Wave and Diamond)

Frame Colors:

Silver with Red Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Verso III Magnesium Suntour NCX-D-LO Suspension with Lockout

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Nexus Internally Geared

Shifter Details:

Grip Twist on Right Bar

Handlebar:

Concept EX Metrostyle

Brake Details:

Magura HS11 Hydraulic Rim

Grips:

Ergonomic

Saddle:

Selle Bassano Feel GT

Seat Post:

MCU Suspension

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Marathon City

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Accessories:

Shimano 3N72 Sport Dynamo Hub Powering B&M Toplite Flat Safe Tail Light and Concept EX PRO Headlight, Alloy Kickstand, SKS Fenders and Chain Guard, Concept Spring Rack with Mini Pump Attached, Pletcher Spring Loaded Kickstand, Cafe Lock

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Impulse II, Shift Sensing

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Battery Brand:

Impulse 2.0

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

17 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

612 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

55 miles (89 km)

Estimated Max Range:

125 miles (201 km)

Display Type:

Impulse LCD

Readouts:

Walk Mode, Assist Level, Speed, Battery Level, Odometer

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)(15 mph in Europe)

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Written Review

The Kalkhoff Agattue Premium Impulse 8 is a top of the line city style electric bike that would be excellent for long commutes thanks to its enormous battery pack and efficient mid-drive design. It leverages the Impulse II drive system that is smoother, quieter and smarter than the original Impulse used on earlier models. While the motor only offers 250 watts of power, it leverages the eight speed geared hub for improved climbing and speed of up to 20mph. It senses pedal torque and cadence and is smart enough to cut power when shifting gears. everything on this bike is top of the line including ergonomic grips, suspension fork and suspension seat post. The fenders look amazing and connect with the rear rack that comes with a mini-pump built right in. While it’s currently difficult to find this bike in the USA and take it for test rides, rumor has it that Kalkhoff is going to be entering the US market in 2015.

The motor on this bike offers 250 watts of power which is the upper limit for European electric bikes. It’s relatively quiet and surprisingly powerful thanks to the mid-drive configuration. It senses pedal cadence and tork and also lets up when you shift gears as shown in the video review. I like that it keeps weight extremely low on the bike and appreciate the amazing efficiency of this system paired with the eight speed Nexus internally geared hub in the rear. There are three levels of assist and if you only use the first one and ride on moderately flat terrain it’s efficient enough to reach 100+ miles!

The battery pack is also mounted low and center and locks directly to the frame for security. It is removable which makes charging easier (especially if you commute to work and top off the charge there) and if you do take it off you’ll also reduce the overall weight of the bike making it easier to transport. This is especially handy if you’re lifting the bike onto a car rack or putting it onto a bus. The pack uses Panasonic cells with Lithium-ion chemistry designed to be light weight and long lasting. The overall capacity is 612 watt hours and it’s a 36 volt system. Rather than running the front and rear light off the battery pack, they rely on a separate capacitor which is powered from the front dynamo hub. It’s a wonderful solution that ensures the bike will be safe to ride at night even if your main battery runs out.

The LCD display panel on this bike shows speed, distance traveled and battery capacity and is mounted right at the center of the handle bars. It’s small and unassuming, staying out of the way, but is not removable. Operating the bike through this console is easy thanks to a rubberized control pad mounted near the left grip. You can reach the plus and minus arrows here to change assist levels when riding without releasing your hand which is great for safety. while the bike does not offer throttle mode (aside from a slow walk mode), the pedal assist feature is smooth and immediate thanks to torque activation. The ergonomic grips are nice, the brake levers are large and easy to use and I like the unique bell that’s also attached at the left side. A grip shifter is located near the right grip and provides access to eight speeds in the internally geared Nexus hub.

The Agattu Premium Impulse 8 follows in the footsteps of other Kalkhoff ebikes, delivering quality and performance. It’s not the most affordable bike out there but it’s built to perform like a car. If you care about safety, efficiency and comfort this is an excellent choice. The wide range of frame sizes are great and I love that they come in low-step as well as diamond configuration for a sort of his and her aesthetic. The only downside with this ebike is a slightly weaker motor and limited availability in the US at the time of this review. I’ve seen these bikes sold in San Francisco at the New Wheel and New York at Long Island Electric Bikes which are both premium shops. Considering the varied terrain and wet conditions of those locations it’s easy to see why they like this electric bike.

Pros:

  • Verso III Magnesium suspension fork lessens the impact of bumps and includes lockout to reduce bob on smooth sections
  • Front and rear lights are dynamo powered and include a built in capacitor for standing mode when bike is stopped
  • Excellent accessories including front and rear fenders by SKS, integrated LED lights, adjustable stem, ergonomic grips, chain guard, standard gauge rear rack, built in pump and adjustable kickstand
  • Solid two year warranty, bike is made by Kalkhoff which is part of Derby Cycle Werke, one of the largest German ebike manufacturers with a solid reputation
  • Mid-drive motor leverages gears in rear hub for improved climbing and overall efficiency, also keeps weight low and center on the bike frame
  • Enormous battery provides 612 watt hours hours of capacity for long range commuting, the battery is removable for convenient charging on or off the bike
  • Rear wheel “cafe lock” immobilizes the bike for short stops and uses the same key as the battery pack
  • Hydraulic rim-brakes are easy to with just one or two fingers and provide more stopping power than disc brakes when the rim is dry
  • Rear rack uses standard gauge tubing, includes side rails to protect panniers and reinforces the rear fender
  • Full length fenders match the bike and include a mud flap in the rear, work well with the chain guard to avoid messing up pants or dresses when riding
  • Selle Bassano Feel GT saddle is super comfortable and benefits from a suspension seat post from MCU
  • Adjustable stem works great with the slightly swept back handlebars to create a comfortable and safe upright seating position
  • Tires have a reflective stripe painted onto their sidewalls for improved safety when riding at night
  • Wires and cables are all run through the downtube to avoid snags and improve the overall aesthetic of the bike

Cons:

  • Offers torque sensing pedal assist mode only, no twist or trigger throttle (does include a walk mode throttle)
  • Very limited availability in the USA, harder to test ride, service and honor warranty as a result
  • Rubberized platform pedals work well enough but don’t offer as much grip in wet riding conditions as metal studs
  • This is one of the more expensive electric bikes due to the high end accessories and larger battery pack
  • No water bottle cage braze ons added to the downtube or seat tube, have to carry water separately in a pack or use an accessory
  • LCD display panel is not removable without using tools, though it’s fairly small and not attention grabbing

Resources:

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Comments (4) YouTube Comments

Glenn Grayson
5 years ago

At 5:28 in the video review, you said it is a 350-watt motor. Everywhere else on this page, you say 250-watt.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Yep, made a mistake quoting the specs in the video. It feels relatively powerful given the 250 watt size and this bike has been unlocked to reach 20mph in the US vs. 15 in Europe so I got a little confused. Great catch ;)

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Hi Dan, great questions… I think Optibike has done an excellent job with the City and really delivered something comparable to this Kalkhoff. The parts are similar but Kalkhoff probably has the edge with their accessories, especially the display and mid-mounted battery vs. rear. For me 20mph is plenty on an urban bike (especially with a less stiff step-thru frame) and the shift sensing feature is nice because there were times on the Pioneer City when I tried to shift but the force of me pedaling + the motor kept it from happening. I think I’d be happy with either bike and unfortunately have a hard time differentiating between the motor power levels (partially because I’m light at ~135 pounds and partially because my rides are limited to moderate terrain). Kalkhoff will be entering the US more in 2015 and beyond but is still hard to find at shops (just the New Wheel in SF and Long Island Electric Bikes in New York) which makes it similar to Optibike in terms of test rides and support. I like that you can just call Jim Turner and get straight answers from Optibike.

  Reply
Bike_on
5 years ago

Court,

You recently reviewed a very similiar mid drive, the Optibike City. This bike seems to have a bit higher quality parts and 2x the battery for 800-900 more?

I’m curious if the 500W Opti City gives a noticeable difference in feel than this Kalkoff, in your opinion? Beside the auto shifting, which is easier or more desireable to ride? Is the 20mph limit a drawback vs the City 24mph, or is it fast enough?

  Reply

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