Karmic Bikes

Modern electric bicycles handcrafted in SF

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I absolutely love all things cycling, and recently, that's included "e-bikes" or electric bikes. Compared to the smooth aesthetics of classic bike frames, today's e-bikes tend to be clunky on the down tubes (where extra large batteries are fitted) and overall, look ugly. @quan gave me a test ride of one of the early builds of the Karmic Koben a few months ago and it was hands down, one of the most delightful (and exciting) rides I've taken on a bike. A few "ahas" from the experience: 1. It was the first time I rode an e-bike. The bike is heavier than others I've ridden (whether that be a road or a commuter) but it's not terrible. 2. The thing is FAST. I rode around downtown SF and cruised to ~26 MPH without pedaling hard. It's a great way to get around town. 3. It's crazy fun.
Maker
@daveambrose Thanks Dave! The prototype you rode was quite a bit heavier than the latest version we showed to TechCrunch. You'll love the new ones!
Maker
Great question Walter! We're bike enthusiasts first and foremost, so our bikes are pedelecs, or European style pedal assist only. It's easy enough to add a throttle, but that changes the whole experience and it doesn't quite feel like a bicycle anymore. We think that pedal-assist is much more natural and fun.
I only rode this for a few blocks, but I can say unequivocally: it's impossible to ride this without grinning like an idiot. I can hardly wait to get my hands on this,—and I live in the relatively flat Oakland.
Maker
@willimholte Thanks Will! People associate ebikes with hilly terrain, but as you've experienced, it's awesome for flat areas too. We like to say it shrinks your city!
Love that this is coming from a dude that loves building/riding bikes, not another company just trying to capitalize on a trend.
Maker
Hi 'Hunters, I'm certainly biased, but I love Karmic Bikes and want everyone to love bikes as well. Let me know if you have any questions. There are a few details left out of the TC article/video so I'm happy to fill in the gaps if anyone is interested in learning more about what we're making.