Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Review

Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Electric Bike Review
Kalkhoff Integrale S11
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Impulse Evo 3 Mid Drive Motor Belt Drive
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Impulse Battery 36v 16 75ah
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Impulse 3 Evo Smart Display
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Concept Ex Twin Headlight 100 Lux
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Racktime Rear Rack Bm Toplight Line Brake Light
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Shimano Nexus Internally Geared Hub
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Adjustable Kickstand Magura Mt5 Brakes
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Battery Charger Energybus Rosenberger Interface
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Electric Bike Review
Kalkhoff Integrale S11
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Impulse Evo 3 Mid Drive Motor Belt Drive
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Impulse Battery 36v 16 75ah
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Impulse 3 Evo Smart Display
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Concept Ex Twin Headlight 100 Lux
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Racktime Rear Rack Bm Toplight Line Brake Light
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Shimano Nexus Internally Geared Hub
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Adjustable Kickstand Magura Mt5 Brakes
Kalkhoff Integrale S11 Battery Charger Energybus Rosenberger Interface


  • A premium speed pedelec designed for hassle free, reliable and quiet commuting with a two year warranty, available in four frame sizes for improved fit, adjustable stem
  • The Gates carbon belt drive is near-silent and stays centered with CDX tracking technology, an 11 speed internally geared hub requires less maintenance and is less vulnerable than a derailleur if the bike tips
  • You get a sleek rear rack, integrated lights and fenders, a battery that can be charged on or off the frame and one of the deepest interfaces I've seen with lots of adjustability
  • The battery rotates in vs. clicking straight down and can get a little tight at times, the display is rather large and isn't removable, the bike costs a lot

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Video Review

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Integrale S11


$5,699 USD

Body Position:


Suggested Use:

Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedalec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes


2 Year Comprehensive


United States

Model Year:


Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

56.5 lbs (25.62 kg)

Battery Weight:

6.9 lbs (3.12 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.4 lbs (3.81 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18.7 in (47.49 cm)19.69 in (50.01 cm)21.65 in (54.99 cm)23.62 in (59.99 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

32.5" Stand Over Height

Frame Types:


Frame Colors:

Matte Black with Red Accents

Frame Fork Details:

RST Pulse Air, Magnesium, 60 mm Travel with Lockout Adjust, 15 mm Floating Axle

Frame Rear Details:

11 mm Axle with Bolts

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

11 Speed 1x1 Shimano Nexus Internally Geared Hub, Gear Ration Front 46, Rear 22

Shifter Details:

Shimano Alfine Triggers on Right


Miranda, Aluminum Alloy, Black


Plastic Platform with Rubber Tread


Tapered 1-1/8"


Concept EX Integrated, Adjustable Angle


Concept EX Low-Riser (Almost Flat), 27" Length

Brake Details:

Magura MT5 Speed Hydraulic Disc, 180 mm Rotor in Front and 160 mm Rotor in Rear, 4 Piston Calipers, Magura MT5 Levers with Brake Light Bright Activation


Ergon Ergonomic Locking


Concept Integrale

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy, Concept EX

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

31.6 mm


Concept EX Alloy, Black


15G Stainless Steel, Black

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Big Ben, 28" x 2"

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

Performance Line RaceGuard, LiteSkin, Reflective Sidewall Stripe, 35-70 PSI

Tube Details:

Presta Valve


Adjustable Length Kickstand, Full Length Wide Alloy Fenders, Racktime Alloy Rear Rack with 15 kg Max Weight, Integrated B&M Toplight Line with Parking Delay in Rear, Integrated Concept EX Twin LED Headlight (100 Lux) in Front, Gates Carbon Drive CDX, Alloy Bash Guard


Locking Removable Battery Pack, 1.8 lb 3 Amp Charger

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Impulse 3.0 Evo

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Torque:

100 Newton meters

Battery Brand:


Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

16.75 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

603 wh

Battery Chemistry:


Charge Time:

6 hours

Estimated Min Range:

55 miles (89 km)

Estimated Max Range:

125 miles (201 km)

Display Type:

Impulse Evo Smart, Fixed, Monochrome Backlit LCD with Adjustable Angle and Bluetooth App Integration for GPS Navigation


Battery Level with Range Estimate, Time, Assist Level (Off, Eco, Sport, Power, Ultra), Speed, Cadence, Odometer, Trip Time, Trip Distance, Trip Max Speed, Trip Average Speed, Tour Distance, Tour Average Speed, Climb Assist Mode, User Profile

Display Accessories:

Backlit Independent Button Pad Near Left Grip

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Cadence, Pedal Torque and Bicycle Speed, Offers Physical Shift Sensing)

Top Speed:

28 mph (45 kph)

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Written Review

The Kalkhoff Integrale S11 is a speed pedelec (capable of 28 mph top speeds, assisted) with an internally geared 11 speed hub. It runs a clean, quiet belt drive instead of a chain and comes outfitted with a sleek rear rack, plastic fenders and a bottle cage mounting point so it’s ready for commuting or a bit of touring. I was impressed with the name brand extras… locking ergonomic grips from Ergon, hydraulic disc brakes from Magura, integrated LED lights from B&M and a light weight air suspension fork from RST. You do pay for these upgrades however and at $5,699 this is not a cheap electric bike.

The first thing I noticed about the Integrale S11 was how nice the frame, fork and battery looked together. Everything is color matched here and the integrated design nearly hides the fact that it’s an ebike. Kalkhoff is using the Impulse 3.0 drive system for this model and the custom battery was designed to rotate in from the side instead of clicking down. This reduces the vertical clearance required to seat and unseat it which makes bumping the pack on the top tube and seat tube less likely. Getting it on and off required a bit of experimentation for me (I approached the bike without any kind of introduction from the team). First you unlock it then pull at the top of the pack from the left side of the frame and it will start tipping out. After doing it once, the process got a lot easier and you can see it in action in the video review above. The one thing I noticed however was that there’s a bit of play even when the pack is securely locked in. I didn’t notice it rattling a lot during my rides but there was a gap along the bottom and perhaps some foam pads or bumpers would help with future designs?

The battery charges using an EnergyBus port that’s magnetic, it can be charged on or off the bike and weighs about seven pounds so removing it will bring the bike down to ~48 lbs total making it easier to lift onto car racks or carry up stairs. The front wheel is removable using quick release but the rear is bolted in, perhaps since it uses an internally geared hub without a chain tensioner. Thankfully, the upgraded Schwalbe tires have a puncture resistant layer. I mentioned lights earlier but the tires also have reflective sidewall stripes keeping you visible from the side. Considering the bike only comes in this dark gray/black color scheme, I’m glad they added those for safety. You can get this bike in four different sizes for optimal fit and it felt stiff and responsive to me during the tests, even at high speed! Instead of using a standard 11 mm skewer up front, Kalkhoff upgraded the axle to 15 mm like you’d find on some mountain bikes. This improves strength and makes the wheel easier to get on when you’re lining up the disc brake rotor in my experience. This, combined with the tapered head tube and diamond frame make the bike feel solid.

While the battery configuration is more range oriented than power, I found the bike to be quite capable when accelerating and climbing… It offers 36 volts and 16.75 amp hours. The motor is rated at 350 watts nominal, but offers a massive 100 Nm of torque! That’s more than almost any other mainstream mid-drive I’ve tested. In practice, it feels similar but that may be due to my lighter weight of ~135 lbs. I had a great time climbing and speeding along on the flats. I had no problem hitting ~28 mph in the ultra setting and noticed the responsiveness of the assist sensors which measure rear wheel speed, pedal speed and pedal torque. Along with that power, you also get sensitivity because this is one of the few e-bikes out there with physical shift sensing. It’s designed to ease off a bit when shifting gears so you don’t end up straining the belt or mechanical shifting mechanisms.

So many of the drive settings can be adjusted with the Impulse 3.0 system, it’s truly versatile and delightful to explore. Whether you want the lights to stay on for a few minutes after you’ve stopped ridding (for safety) or you want to dial up the shift sensing… you can link the display to your mobile phone for GPS enabled turn by turn directions, you can dial in how quickly the motor responds to your pedal input and you can adjust the maximum speed. Note that riding over 20 mph significantly increases air resistance and drag which will cut into your range. If you enjoy the speed and don’t have as far to go, enjoy the zippy Class 3 performance but otherwise, consider dialing it down for maximum range. While I wasn’t super impressed with the large plastic non-removable display panel, I did like the options it presented and that fact that you didn’t need to download an app to access all of them. I love that it had a Micro USB port built into the back for charging your devices on the go and at least it can be angled to reduce glare. All things considered, this is a fantastic bike that’s ready to dominate urban landscapes. It looks great, handles well and comes with an impressive two year comprehensive warranty. Kalkhoff is a leader in the European market where they thoroughly test their frames and final builds. I could see the quality and felt more comfortable at high speed than with some other competing bikes. Big thanks to Kalkhoff for partnering with me for this review.


  • As far as speed pedelecs go, ebikes that can top 20 mph, this one is super streamlined and quiet thanks to its internally geared 11 speed hub and carbon belt drive
  • The belt drive is from Gates, a trusted leader in the space, uses carbon strands for strength and has an alignment strip down the middle so it won’t slip
  • The internally geared Nexus hub isn’t as vulnerable if the bike tips and shouldn’t require as many tuneups as a more traditional derailleur… it can also be shifted at standstill
  • Sleek rack design capable of supporting ~15 kg (~33 lbs), it isn’t as wide or bulky as some other racks I’ve seen but also can’t carry as large a load
  • I love that the bike has integrated lights, they run off the main battery pack for convenience, you don’t have to take them off each time you stop and the rear light is integrated with the rack so it won’t get blocked as easily a seat post lights (jackets can sometimes hang down over that style)
  • 2″ wide Schwalbe Big Ben tires improve comfort, have a puncture protection lining, reflective sidewalls for safety but still roll efficiently thanks to an urban tread, I like that the fenders are wide enough to completely cover them and how good the fenders look
  • High quality physical shift sensing protects the gears when pedaling hard and shifting simultaneously, it’s one of the best designs around
  • Lots of system adjustability here including how quickly the bike responds and how long it continues after you ease off on pedal torque (that’s their climb-assist feature), how much battery is reserved to power the lights if you’re getting low, you can even connect with your phone with Bluetooth for turn by turn GPS feedback or tune down the top speed from 28 mph to 20 mph or lower if you want to optimize range or just improve your own feeling of comfort and safety
  • Quick release on the front wheel for easy maintenance (I would say it helps with transport but the fender is still there and could be vulnerable without the wheel), I like that the axle is upgraded to 15 mm for strength given the higher top speeds here
  • Very sturdy adjustable angle stem to help dial in your body position, ergonomic grips and a suspension fork… consider a 31.6 mm seatpost suspension for even more comfort
  • Excellent weight distribution, the motor and battery are centered and low, in my opinion the weight of the bike is actually fairly low at ~56 lbs given all of the accessories and suspension as well as the large battery… I think the fact that it uses an air fork helps
  • Available in four frame sizes for improved fit, this is important considering that the frame only comes in a high-step design, I love that the managed to squeeze in bottle cage bosses on the seat tube! Consider adding a side entry cage or sturdy folding lock here
  • You can adjust how long the lights stay lit after you park (for safety as you lock the bike) and the rear light activates more brightly when you squeeze the brake levers
  • Solid two year comprehensive warranty, Kalkhoff is part of the Pon Group which also owns Gazelle and Focus, they are a leader in Europe
  • The charger uses the EnergyBus Rosenberger interface standard that sends data and electricity for easier diagnostics at the shop and a safer plug (it’s magnetic and just unclips if you trip over it vs. bending pins and knocking the bike over), it charges at 3 Amps vs. just 2 Amps for most e-bikes I test
  • I love that they included a Micro USB charging port on the back of the display panel! This lets you charge mobile devices like phones or music players and it’s mostly out of the way so you won’t snag your feet or arms while riding the bike
  • The button pad that you use to interact with the display panel on this bike is excellent, it doesn’t take up too much space on the bar, is backlit for easy use in low light conditions and seems very durable – well sealed against water
  • This bike offers excellent torque power with up to 100 Nm output, it should climb easily if you’re in the higher levels of assist and shift gears appropriately
  • This is a completely custom, purpose built electric bike with internally routed cables, matching paint across the frame, battery pack and fork and it just looks great


  • The display is kind of big, clunky and ugly in my opinion… you can’t take it off and the plugs at the back can get squished if you angle it far forward
  • The “rotate in” battery pack is unique and allows the top tube to be lower but can be a little tricky to work with… I also felt like it was a little loose and rattly on the bike I tested (which was a demo model that goes to the Ebike Expo)
  • There’s a lot of high quality hardware on this bike including the belt drive, internal gearing, hydraulic brakes etc. but the price is pretty high at ~$5,700
  • The rack doesn’t offer pannier blockers or an obvious clip point at the bottom and can only support 15 kg vs. 25 kg on a lot of other racks I see out there
  • This isn’t a huge deal but I was surprised that the seat post was so short, usually they are 300 to 350 mm long but this one was only about 250 mm and I wanted to put the seat higher
  • This may be adjustable but I feel like the response time for power cutoff on the motor when you stop pedaling is a little long as shown in the video, Bosch feels faster and more responsive
  • The seat tube collar was unique and maybe not my favorite, it uses a vertical bolt and different wedge design vs. the horizontal quick release, I appreciate that it comes with a rubber cap and maybe that it is less vulnerable to theft?


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Tom V
2 years ago

I test-rode one of these but decided against it. It feels like a really well built, high quality product but I was put off by a few small points:

  • The high price.
  • I tried starting off facing up a steep hill and there was a good few seconds before I got any assistance and there is no throttle to help in this situation.
  • I live in Seattle where the transit buses have a bike rack on the front which can carry up to 3 bikes. The city is OK with electric bikes using the racks but there is a weight limit of 55 pounds which the Integrale exceeds. (Note it was quite hard to find this out because Kalkhoff annoyingly do not seems to publish the weight of their bikes).
2 years ago

Great points Tom, interesting to hear about the weight restrictions for ebikes on busses in Seattle… I was just visiting, great town! Many ebikes these days are in the 50 lb range… the Integrale does weigh more due in part to the higher battery capacity and accessories. I’m assuming you’d want fenders on any ebike you got given the rain? One of the big reasons I dig so deep for details on these reviews is that indeed, many companies do not list weight, stand over height etc. and even if I’m only looking at one of the four sizes, the weight should be fairly close. Appreciate you sharing your thoughts on the bike :)

2 years ago

Yes, fenders are a must for Seattle riding :)

I appreciate the details in your reviews Court, and the consistency. I don’t have the same priorities as you (eg I have never used a bottle cage) but having your reviews as a reliable baseline when comparing bikes is very useful.

Eric Smith
2 years ago

Thanks Court for the great work you do here! With the help with your site and after test riding many myself, ended up buying an Integrale S11 in August 2016 (despite the fact I think you hadn’t done a full review yet). I really love almost everything about this bike and it was a pleasure to ride. But there’s more to share here…

I concur with everything Court mentions about this bike (Pros and Cons) in his review. A few other ‘pros’ to mention:

  • There’s a single-speed “walk mode” available if you hold down the ‘+’ button. This is very welcome because I have a steep sidewalk on part of my commute where riding is prohibited. Although the walk mode speed is more like a trot or jog speed, and I’m 6′, it’s still a welcome feature.
  • The charger is very light weight.
  • The lights work good, although some night commuters might want to supplement the front with something brighter if they ride on very dark paths, or super bright roadways for visibility. The front light can be aimed up and down a little on the fly, and more with tools.
  • The bike feels solid and offers a comfortable ride.

Cons. As mentioned in my story below, there are some things that I hope Kalkhoff improves:

  • I hope they devise a way to install a pannier front rack with at least three attachment points and goes over the fork. (A front rack that just clamps onto each side separately of the suspension fork tubes, is unstable, wobbles, and possibly even dangerous.)
  • The display should be delivered to US customers set to English. Without a manual, or speaking German, it was frustrating to figure out how to do that.
  • The license frame should be removed, or at least fully attached so it doesn’t bounce around.
  • The dealer should be instructed to make sure the rear internal gear hub is properly tested and adjusted before customer delivery.
  • The front fender needs a rain/mud flap. (Ok, I’m in Seattle, so this might not be applicable to those of you in dry zones.) Otherwise the sturdy fenders are great!

I ended up returning it in October after both the shop and the bike itself gave me a less-than-expected experience. I only had use of the bike for ~2 weeks during that two+ month time due to service challenges and delays with the bike shop. But I did mostly enjoy my 12km (7mi) Seattle commute a couple times. One of the issues was before purchase, the shop told me they could put a front low-boy pannier rack on it. (Riding with low boy bags in front is so much nicer and more stable than rear bags.) After an unstable wobbly front rack solution from the dealer, and then their proposal to custom manufacture something I gave up on the front rack idea, and them. Another issue was that the S11 rear internal hub was either defective or not properly adjusted from day-one ownership. It sometimes skipped, failed to shift, and made loud cracking sounds. The shop claimed it was not adjusted properly, …after telling me it was defective. I still don’t know. The shop did not properly prepare the display for delivery, did not have the correct owner manual, and left on a partially attached EU license plate accessory which rattled over every bump. I also later discovered the bike I purchased was over a year old (August 2015), yet they told me it was a 2016. (My bike shop experience should not necessarily dissuade others from considering this fantastic speed pedelec bike.)

I plan to purchase a different make/model that tied with this one in my research and test rides. I’ll report back after that. And thanks again Court. Every time I watch one of your road test vids I feel nostalgic for South Bay in So. Cal. where I grew up! Nostalgic, but I still love the Pacific Northwest. :-)

2 years ago

Hey Eric, that’s some GREAT feedback… you were objective and related that each shop works differently and I appreciate that. Interesting points about the front rack, the license plate holder and your experience getting the display set to English. Most of this was either taken care of or irrelevant during my tests and it’s the kind of feedback that can only come from real life buyers! I’m hopeful that Kalkhoff team USA will see it and maybe work more closely with their dealers in the future. I wish you luck with your next electric bicycle, whatever it may be ;)


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Ravi Kempaiah
2 days ago

@imboJim , @.R.

A lot has happened with Haibike in 2017. Their parent company is Accell but Haibike itself was started as a standalone German company by Susanne Puello's father several decades ago.

She (Puello) went on to head the Accell's Winora and Haibike brand. In early 2017, because of differences between them and the Accell's team, they left company they had started and built.



While Haibike was bringing in lots of revenuw, other brands under the Accell were going bankrupt.
On top of that, Dick's sporting good's contract fell through and this made things worse for Accell.


Then she joined hands with KTM and launched PEXCO E-bike brand and will be rolling out the famed Husqvarna brand E-bike.

This had ripple effects in the North American quarters. They had let go of all the Haibike employees early 2018 and amalgamate the brand with Raleigh, Lapierre, Izip etc.

The excess inventory that was left in 2017 had to be liquidated at astonishingly low prices. Every company wants to grow, Kalkhoff wants to grow, BULLS wants to grow, Trek wants to grow, (Juiced, M2S, Rad, FLX) wants to grow, every other manufacturer is going full force ahead. They have to compete with direct to consumer companies, Lunacycles, tons of Chinese import bikes. So, there is a lot of reorganizing thing going on both within the dealer network, and in sales channel etc.

Dealers were not happy with the liquidation process and prices. They were used to good margins and suddenly, they don't want to deal with extra work for less money. It's like parents got their kids hooked on cookies and chocolates and suddenly they are switching to veggies. So, some dealers dropped off and started focusing on different brands.

Anyway, Trek or Specialized has not changed. @imboJim , you could always get a Trek bike and they will reply back to your messages. It's very rare that you can drive 50 miles without finding a Trek dealer. Haibike may not because the personnel were let go and it's under transition. They do make awesome bikes and they are spearheaded by a team which has very experienced folks like Larry pizzi etc. I think they are in it for the long haul.

Overall, business is bound to change as the market evolves.

David Berry
4 days ago

South Pacific, Australia...

Moreton Bay Cycleway (southbound), Redcliffe Peninsula, Queensland

Moreton Bay Cycleway (northbound), Shorncliffe Pier (Brisbane), Queensland

Out-and-back distance for this ride : 80 km
For map and details of the ride click my https://ridewithgps.com/trips/14235799 record.
Top photo at about 45 km.
Lower photo at about 21 km.
Bike : Kalkhoff Integrale i11 (Alfine Di2), EU spec.


David Berry
1 week ago

JV & >50 -

After another three weeks, I have the Kalkhoff back. Shimano replaced the broken Di2 motor unit without charge but I had to pay for freight both ways, plus seven and a half hours labour which was about the same as the previous charges combined.

Shimano reported internal damage to the Di2 motor unit which appears consistent with the circumstances related above that led to the chain failure.


David Berry
2 weeks ago

Virgil -

My ebike is a https://www.kalkhoff-bikes.com/en/bikes/2017/e-bike/e-trekking/kalkhoff-integrale-i11-di2.html with EU certification...
[*]250 W; 80 Nm
[*]25 km/h maximum assist speed
[*]battery: 17 Ah (approx. 600 Wh at 36 V)
[*]tyres: 47-622; 3 bar (Schwalbe Marathon Plus)
[*]gross weight: 100 kg (bike, rider, cookies)
[*]four assist levels
[*]range: at least 80 km in Ultra (highest assist).
The terrain ridden is typically undulating and quite often with a jarringly rough surface. Almost all of the time, the bike is left in Ultra, the highest of four assist level. This might seem profligate to most EBR readers but bear in mind that Kalkhoff's Impulse Evo RS motor has a mind of its own (actually its programmer's): assistance fades above 25 km/h and disappears at 27 km/h. The motor also eases up as pedalling cadence exceeds 70 revolutions per minute. In brief: the motor rations its generosity which is probably why I am rewarded with an above-average range.


2 weeks ago

Thanks so much. Most of these are entirely new to me, and the power information is rally helpful. I don't think I am going to get what I need under $3k, and I would like to keep it below $4k. I am going to have a briefcase with me all the time and perhaps a box of documents from time to time.

2 weeks ago

To clarify and help narrow down the results:

The legal max power is 750w for a bike to still be considered a bicycle. If you have that large of a hill and want to maintain a high speed; a mid drive motor is probably your best bet. To maintain high speed on serious hills, hub motors require a lot more power due to the limited gearing.

Batteries degrade over time so to prevent you from having to charge your bike at work while maintaining a high speed, you want to plan on 30wh/mile plus some room for the battery to degrade. If you have a 14 mile commute and desire to use this for multiple years; I'd plan on 18*30 = 540wh minimum. Your wh/m will be less if you're pedaling more but that doesn't appear to be the desire.

Do not believe the estimated range of most bike listings. They are taking a 135-150lb person and testing at 15mph with moderate effort to get those numbers. At 20mph with lazy-medium pedaling you'll use 20ish wh/m, at 28mph (which you probably won't get with any of the bikes above doing lazy pedaling up an extreme hill using pedal assist) you'll use 30+ wh/m. The flats will lower it back down so its safe to plan for at least 30wh/m as an average.

Since your goal is to travel at high speed for as long as possible, I highly recommend whatever bike you get have hydraulic disc brakes. The bigger rotor the better.

Doing an advanced search on this site for 28mph bikes with 540wh packs, there are a ton. This is where you start asking question like:

* Will I be carrying things with me? (If so, a bike with a solid rack should be considered.)
* Do I want to have to avoid every puddle to keep from getting soaked at high speed? (No? Okay needs fenders.)
* What body position do I want to be in? (Personally I prefer a more up right feel so a road bike isn't the answer for me.)
* Is it hard for me to step over a high frame? (If so, a step through or drop frame might be beneficial.)
* Is it important for me to carry the bike? (If so, look at weight.)

At a $2k budget your options are mostly the Magnum Metro, Metro+, Cruiser and the Juiced CrossCurrent S.
At a $3-4k budget you move into the Bulls Lacuba Evo 45 and 45s models as well as the SmartMotion Pacer.
At the $5-6k budget you get the beautifully designed Specialized Turbo Vado, Stromer ST1 X and Kalkhoff Integrale S11.

Once you decide on a budget, I'd recommend looking at some of the list above. If there is a shop nearby with multiple in stock; this would be extremely helpful. Please let us know if this helps and what you end up doing!

2 weeks ago

Hi all. I have looked around, and the comments and suggestions about choosing a bike that I have seen seem to be unusually thoughtful and helpful. Those who donate their time are doing a real service.

I am 53 years old, reasonably fit and weigh around 170 pounds. Maybe a few more than I would like, but neither overweight nor limited. I live in Seattle where I am an attorney. I have been looking for a nice office near me, the market is tight, so I am expanding my search. Monthly parking in Seattle costs $300, and even if I could afford it, I don't want to. I live in a part of Seattle called West Seattle, and I am considering office space about 7 miles away. When I leave my house, I immediately go up a hill that is about a mile long and a 300 foot climb. It then immediately descends about the same 300 feet in the same mile distance. Beyond that, my commute would be dead flat.

The City of Seattle is now run by a bunch of lunatics who, among other things, have a bike fetish. They have been installing bike lanes even in places that have not seen a bicycle in years. The City passed a huge levy for bike lanes. We were told that they would cost about $865,000 per mile, and a big report came out a month ago that the actual cost has been $12 million per mile. Mistakes happen, right? The point is that I live in a city that is at least nominally very bicycle friendly.

Personally, I think that the solution is a Lightning LS 218 motorcycle so that I could get anywhere yesterday, but my wife and two sons think that my lengthy history of mishaps like a 30 foot fall into a a ravine while hiking alone off trail somehow disqualifies me. My wonderful mother was an ER nurse in her younger days and seems to have created a long list of false memories of treating motorcyclists whose brains and bodies were splattered here and there. She says I cannot come home to visit if I have a motorcycle.

So maybe the answer is an electric bicycle that goes 90 miles per hour. OK, that last part was a joke. But my commute would be on fairly safe and normal roads. I can take the low bridge, and the speed limit will never exceed 30 mph. I can park a bike and even an electric bike for free, and I might end up finding it useful for broader purposes.

I am a researcher by nature and profession. I have more spreadsheets with more information that I do not understand than you would believe. I have not yet test driven an electric bike for the same reason that I would not test drive a car until I was ready to buy. Since I have never ridden any electric bike, every test drive is going to be amazing. I am going to have no ability to make meaningful distinctions.

In looking at bikes so far, I have realized a few of my preferences. Faster is better than slower. Up to a point. Movement on electricity alone is better than having to pedal. The Delfast Prime claims a range of 236 miles, a top speed of 34 miles per hour and costs $5,000. Those are impressive statistics if true, and if I were inclined to send $5,000 to the Ukraine on a whim, I might think about it. But it is not a bicycle. It is a wannabe little motorcycle, which gets me kicked out of my house with no way back to mom.

So I am thinking that an electric bike should look and as much as possible feel like a bicycle.

28 miles per hour sounds a lot better than 20. A lot better. Assuming a 7 mile commute and top speeds, 28 mph would get me to the office in 15 minutes, and 20 mph in 21 minutes, or a difference of 6 minutes. Time is precious, and I even bill in 6 minute increments, but the day I get bent out of shape over a 6 minute difference in a commute is the day I should try walking for comparison purposes.

Aesthetically, I much prefer straight lines. No matter where you put the battery, I just do not like it. Bosch now has its PowerTube 500, and I suspect that other companies have or soon will have similar products. That strikes me as an elegant solution. Making this a requirement would limit the number of candidates, but it seems that it would limit them to high quality, up to date models.

The motor is something that I do not understand at all. Bosch seems to be the Microsoft of electric bikes, but others swear by Brose or companies I have never heard of. On top of that, I tend to generally follow technology advancements, and the last month of two has me wondering if I might be setting myself up for regrets. First, a British engineer named Ian Foley, who has a deep Formula One racing background, allegedly has found a way to economically manufacture motors with spoke magnets. It is a known idea, but making them cheaply is new. This whole area is new to me, so I may be missing the boat, but the focus seems to be one the watts per kilogram. the Bosch Performance Line 28 mph mode weighs 4 kg with 350 watts. So that would be .0875 kw/kg. Foley's company Equipmake claims that they can produce 9 kw/kg. I must be missing something because that would be 102,000 times more than than the Bosch. But it must be quite a bit more because the article said the Siemens made a world record prototype in 2015 that reached 5 kw/kg. It looks like major advancements might be on the horizon. The Equipmake is not entirely vaporware because it is being used in a new Ariel Hippercar that claims 1,180 hp and significant range. Before the smoke had even cleared on that one, A Belgian startup called Magnax claimed that it has developed a compact axial flux electric motor and says it produces sustained 7.5 kg/kg with a peak of 15. Again, I am way out of my league here. My information largely comes from newatlas.com, supplemented by the companies themselves. No one wants to be the Schmuck who bought the last electric bike before they started flying.

All that said, Bosch and Brose, probably in that order, seem like solid, safe bets.

When it comes to the rest of the normal bike parts, I am hopelessly clueless. Some of the posts here have emphasized how important that is, but I do not know where to begin.

So with all this in mind, my woefully inadequate thought process looks like this

Bulls E-STREAM EVO 45 FSBrose 350W 28mph28118 miles37V/17.5Ah/650Wh

Bulls Lacuba EVO E45Brose 350W 28mph28118 miles37V/17.5Ah/650Wh

Bulls STURMVOGEL E EVOBrose 250W2013737V/17.5Ah/650Wh

Bulls URBAN EVOBosch Performance Speed (350W)28134Bosch PowerTube 36V/ 13.4Ah/ 500Wh

HAIBIKE SDURO TREKKING 9.0Bosch Performance CX, 350W20Bosch PowerTube, 500 Wh

iZip E3 MODABrose Speed, 28mph , 250w, Made in Germany.2835Fully Integrated & Removable, HTE, 497Wh

Kalkhoff 2016 Integrale S11Empulse 3.0 Evo 350W2855Impules 36 v, 16.75ah, 603W

KALKHOFF ENTICEBosch Performance CX, 36 V / 250 W28Bosch PowerTube Li-Ionen 36 V, 13,4 Ah (500 Wh)

MOUSTACHE SAMEDI 27 XROADBOSCH Performance CX 250W20Bosch PowerPack 500 Performance

Raleigh Redux iE250W Brose Centerdrive system, 90NM of torque3536V Li-ion, 13.8Ah, 496.8Wh

Riese & Müller SuperchargerBosch Performance CXBosch PowerPack 500 Performance,

SCOTT E-Aspect ATBrose 25Km/h, 500WH, 4 Amp charge500Wh integrated Battery / 25Km/h

Specialized Turbo SGo SwissDriveSamsung

Stromer ST seriesSYNO DriveStromer

Trek Super Commuter+ 8SBosch Performance Speed motorBosch PowerPack 500 Performance,

Maybe I am overthinking this or underthinking it. Thoughts would be appreciated

David Berry
2 weeks ago


I regret having a bike fitted with an Alfine 11 Di2; however, I suspect that the problem could be related to the bike's Impulse Evo RS motor so I won't rubbish the Alfine outright.

You an check my experiences in the https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/kalkhoff-impulse-evo-rs-250-watt-motor.6422/ (posts #6 & #9).


David Berry
3 weeks ago

Mobits -

You can always make a too-small bike bigger, but you can't shrink a big bike. When I bought the Kalkhoff Integrale I had to choose between S and M - knowing that whichever I chose, I would wonder afterwards whether it had been the correct choice. I went with the medium, which is theoretically correct, but now poses problems with fine tuning; for example, replacing the standard seatpost with a Thudbuster which only just fits.

The Haibike Trekking, my original ebike choice, was unavailable in my backyard early last year; therefore, I chose the Kalkhoff Integrale which has given me six months acceptable service (out of fifteen months). A fickle beauty, if ever there were one.


3 weeks ago

Hey David, I just saw your post. The Bike looks good! I saw a similar one while checking out one of the local shops around me. Very nice, but pricey! I'll check out the links you posted about your experience too.

I checked out a retailer for the Haibikes near me and took some measurements. No way I'll fit on a 60, even a 58 was tight. 54-56 would probably be right where I am used to. I've upped my budget for this and have been looking at the higher end models in the Haibike Trekking series - the dealer I visited yesterday showed pretty low stock for the US 9.5 models in this size from their distributors (AKA, single digits).

I did some back and forth with a UK e-bike shop, with VAT removed the difference to pick a US Haibike Trekking 9.5 or ship a European Trekking 9.0 (with powerpack) is just shy of $700 or so. That gap lowers to <$200 due to sales tax if I were to buy local. (The Kalkhoff I inspected locally was more expensive than either of those options! :S) I could by online in the US, but ultimately that still leaves me with a few problems that are easier to solve with a little more money upfront and the peace of mind that comes with it. So I'm leaning more and more leaning towards the Euro bike and having it shipped.

3 weeks ago

Thanks for your on point suggestions, gentlemen. I will look into several of them, including reading the reviews of the bikes you mentioned and finding out about availability in our local area. (I've got to actually ride a bike before buying it).

If I sound partial to Specialized it's because that's what the best bike shop in our area sells and services.

My next move will be to take David's advice and get over my residual macho attitude and ride a women's Vado and the other one with the really low step-through. I've learned that once you reach 70 nobody else cares what you wear, drive, or ride, so get what works.

I can still sling a leg over a rear rack and high top tube, but a few years from now, who knows? Second, I had a near over-the-handle-bars experience recently on my Bike Friday when another rider cut me off abruptly at low speed. I was able to get my right leg over the low tube to the left side and land both feet on the ground to stop myself and the bike without needing an ambulance ride.

Again, thanks for the tips. Please keep them coming if you think of anything else.

Happy riding!


David Berry
3 weeks ago

Brent -

Will you be able to get on and off the Vado with ease? Ebikes tend to be big brutes. If you ever put a trunk bag on the rack (and why wouldn't you?), it will be mighty difficult to saddle up.

My suggestion is that you seriously question the need for traditional-looking bike with a top tube - it is quite possible to make a step-through frame that is just as strong and stiff, albeit a kilo or two heavier. Ride a R&M Nevo or Homage if you can arrange it - fabulous bikes and so very easy to get on or off. A dropper seat post is also a good idea, too.

No? If you want a Vado, please consider the so-called women's version which has a low top tube - very much the same design as my own ebike which you can see in EBR's https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/lets-see-your-best-pic-of-your-electric-bicycle.1113/page-30#post-143376 thread (post #597). Then scroll up to Richard's R&M Nevo (post #583). Both Richard's Nevo and my Kalkhoff Integrale have similar trunk bags; I think it's clear which is easier to mount.

Incidentally, my avatar photo shows what I looked like nine years ago when I was just two years younger than you - I still am.


6 months ago

I'm 6'5 with a 34 inch inseam, and weight 200 pounds. I'm looking for a commuter bike with mid drive.
There are a lot of hills where I live and from what I've read a mid drive would be preferable for this.
Price range is $3,000 - $4,500. I can go higher if needed, but would delay the purchase some.

Any thoughts for a quality bike that would fit my needs? I live in Southern California

On my list thus far
KALKHOFF INTEGRALE S11 - more than I want to spend, but is an option
OHM Urban - Rear drive that may not do as well on the hills where I live

8 months ago

I agree!

Ok, in Germany I heared that the warranty is longer ... but 2 years is also good. And that is the thing, all other manufacturers won't give another 2 years warranty on the changed drive unit. So if there is still a problem, you can be sure to get the motor replaced for free.

Motor from Aug. 2015? Give it a try - else you will get a new 2017 drive unit. So no risk - if the dealer is not that far away! The Kalkhoff Service is really good.

This is an overview of the current situation.
You can see here:
- number of registered motor systems
- mileage of all motor systems per type
- members year of purchase per motor system

There aro no failures in it. The failures are summarized in the "motors & statistics" section under each run time chart.

So buy it if the price is ok. Ask if you get another bike if your new one needs to be fixed.


8 months ago

Thanks so much for your help. I noticed that you are creator of that database. Great job! Looks like a very good resource. As I've been looking through it, I'm understanding a bit more. Google translate is pretty good!

The Kalkhoff Integrale S11 looks like such a nice bike and has a lot of features (e.g. belt drive, internally geared hub, speed pedelec). I talked with the dealer today about warranty and he says that Kalkhoff has been good on their warranty support. He mentioned that there is a 2 year warranty, and if the motor needs to be replaced under warranty, the new motor would have a new 2 year warranty. The bike I was looking at had a motor date of Aug 2015 and was an Impulse EVO RS.

I found the chart below in my searches. Is this yours? Is it showing reported failures per calendar year for each of the drive systems? I wonder if it's possible to find out how many of each of the drive units have been manufactured.

You mentioned that one user may being having issues with a torque sensor. Have you ever found a motor tear down on the web? I've looked and haven't seen any.

Thanks again!

Ravi Kempaiah
1 year ago

There are few bikes that match your criteria!
Riese and Muller is def one of them.

Kalkhoff Integrale S11

Lacuba E8 (except that it's 20mph limited but the motor can be swapped out for a Speed version)


2 years ago
2 years ago

Cool! What a nice looking ride! I'd be eager to hear some rider feedback once you put some miles on it. I'm considering the Kalkhoff Integrale S11 so I'd really like to hear what you think of the belt drive and motor system (Kalkhoff and Focus are same company so perhaps traits of one will apply to the other). I wasn't sure Focus still made the 1.0 but definitely a bike I would consider if some of my other choices don't pan out. Anxious to hear your take on the bike after some use!

2 years ago

Thanks Fig - Great to hear from an actual owner. I've only seen the Integrale S11 in pictures/video. One thing that impresses me at least in the photos is the integration of the motor housing with the frame. It has to be one of the cleanest I've seen (again judging from photos and videos only). Have you had any interaction with Kalkhoff for any service or warranty related items? I'm just wondering how their customer service is (recognizing you would probably go through the dealer first). And last (probably dumb) question: I can't recall if I've seen any weight statistics for the Kalkhoffs - at least they don't put them on their website. Do you have an idea on the weight of the bike? I would bet over 50 pounds but lighter than a Stromer - maybe about 55 pounds?

2 years ago
2 years ago
Georg Münich
1 week ago

I am having great Troubles with my Kalkhoff Integrale bike. - Had it replaced after 2 weeks as complete electronic failure! Replaced bike had a major motor damage. - So the Motor on my second Kalkhoff Integrale got replaced. - Now, after 965 kms the second bike has electronic failures. - Watch videos below! 

Riesenärger mit Kalkhoff Integrale! Elektronikausfälle bereits bei zwei Integrale (nach Austausch durch Händler) und Austausch des Motors beim zweiten Rad, nach Motorschaden!
siehe meine Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBVeJvv4ldY, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns_BwS6X95g, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6asqTLTIzuw
Daher: Warnung! (Support von Fahrrad XXL Walcher (dem Händler) und Derby Cycle (Hersteller) sind eine Katastrophe!

Koenraad Sorensen
1 month ago

Impulse engines are rubbish !!! My Kalkhoff Speedbike is now 2yrs and 3 months old and has been in the repairshop for 11 months in total (2 new motors !!!) I expect Derby-Cycle/Kalkhoff to provide me with a solid solution !

Kim Jong
2 months ago

hi, I love your bike reviews, I have watched probably all of them, more than once, if I asked you which bike was your favorite, for urban use what would you say? thanks

5 months ago

Thanx for the great review. I've seldom watched such an informative, detailed and agreeable bike-review. And yes, it's really expensive. Here in Europe you get it for 3750 € (lowest price on the net) and you've got to save, let's say 250 €/year for a new battery, which I guess becomes due after about 4 years. And you've got to insure a speed-pedelec (faster than 25km/h) for about 70€/year in Germany. You've got to wear a helmet, a back mirror has to be installed, you need a lighted number plate and you are not allowed to drive on cycle paths (kind of crazy, isn't it?). Anyway it still remains a good alternative for a car.

Noah Amiri
1 month ago

Kanal yeah on Germany we just have far to many restrictions for s-pedelecs otherwise I would have bought one, maybe someday they change the policy

al gibson
8 months ago

This review was posted about a year ago. Any word on the reliability of the motor over the past year? I've heard there have been issues with the Impulse motor in the past and some people are reporting issues with the EVO motor that comes with this bike.

10 months ago

Solid Build so you get what you pay for also e Bikes are still new to the scene so MSRP is going to be really high due to demand levels being really low... Remember when the 1st computers and E Vehicles came out they where a lot of money but now you can get the new Tesla for 35k and a computer for 200-500 bucks, patience is a virtue so waiting on e bikes is ideal!!! even the DIY e bike kits are pricey so if your on a budget just wait it out!!!

Le Lu Yan
1 year ago

How popular is the brand Kalkoff? i'm not sure how is going to be when this bike needs servicing. I would like all the motor choices however i really don't want to end up with a very heavy bike when the motor breaks. For instance in NL bosch is most popular but lesser brands like kalkoff is very rare.

1 year ago

So how long do those CDX "belts" tend to last? I ride through a lot of dirt and rain = wear on traditional chains.

6 months ago

Gates says their carbon belt drive gets 3X the life of a standard chain.

Michael V
6 months ago

VideoNOLA I read it should last roughly 3 times longer than chains, a chain on hub! But by the rule of physic little stones or hits are not good for belts. Because of that I wouldn't chose it for mnt bike.
I'm riding Gates CDX up to now 2000 km and I'm still very satisfied with it in rain, icy and bone dry condition but prevent dirt or mud. Riding city and forest ways. I clean the pedelec and belt once a month by using bicycle soap cleaner and a teeth brush. After that apply some try silicon spray on the belt, that's all.

1 year ago

I just bought the i8 version of this bike and it's incredible. I love the large display and the fact that it's permanently attached. No need to remove it every time you run into the store! Quality German craftsmanship. I already have over 200 miles on it. The only thing I changed was the seat. I swamped it for a Brooks real leather touring seat which added a lot for comfort.

1 year ago

Fantastic bike! I just bought mine and couldn't be happier :)

1 year ago

Anybody know What's it like for a trailer? Like a Bob Yak? This bike is a rear hub. Others have a cassette with a pin which would be compatible with a bob yak, for example. Yes I know I should look up Bob Yak website, but does anyone know here? Have experience with them?

Hugh A N
2 years ago

I'm giving serious consideration to one of these. However, the last few hundred metres to my place of work consist of a *very* steep hill. Can I assume that this bike would handle the daily climb? It's a very important factor in my decision to take the plunge (or not).

6 months ago

Update? Did you wind up purchasing one?

Sjaak De Winter
2 years ago

This e bike is the creme de la creme.
Try it and you buy it.

Predrag Starcevic
2 years ago

Hey man, I'm really liking your reviews - they are very educational and concise ! I'm really eager to see what the future brings for this industry, because even in smaller and less economically powerfull countries like my own the culture of e-bikes has grown really fast in the last couple of years.

One thing I dont like tho, and please dont mind me saying, it is the way you produce your videos. I wish less frames were hand held shots, maybe if you had yourself camera stand of some kind it would be much more eye pleasing to watch. I do believe so... I understand that you dont have a huge crew etc and you do this in a most efficient way on your own, these reviews. It is really appreciated.

Dan Martin
2 years ago

Court, looks like a nice bike for long distance commuting, so might be a good option for me! How does it compare in terms of effort and feel with a Stromer or Bosch S-pedelec for cruising 25-28 mph?

Propel Electric Bikes
2 years ago

I think it's comparable. It's easier to maintain higher speeds with the Stromer and the Bosch system is slightly more refined as far as power delivery.

Bernard Manansala
2 years ago

Looks like a Mid-Drive Stromer

Omid Zade
2 years ago

Your videos are so dumb dumb ass

2 years ago

this is a nicely designed bike. Definitely would get one if i could spare the cash.

6 months ago

Still interested in buying this bike?

Flo Mo
2 years ago

Kalkhoff belongs to the upper class. It is a Mercedes at the eBikes. The price is high and the quality is also. Typical German. Thank you Court for the awesome video.

ᛒåᚱᛏ טייַך
2 years ago

"A lot of this stuff is pioneered in Europe"; can confirm. Stromer is a latecomer compared to European markets, lol.