Spinciti is the latest company to offer a mid-priced electric bike with impressive specs and an attractive design. The Amsterdam, Spinciti’s first model, comes in two different frames, with a choice of three different motors for each. And like many of its competitors, Spinciti is turning to crowdfunding to get its first bikes into production.
The three rear-hub motor types are 250W, 350W, and 500W. I got to ride the 350W and 500W versions on a recent chilly Friday in lower Manhattan, and found them both to be deceptively light and ludicrously speedy. The battery is nicely integrated into the alloy frame of the bike, making this one of those rare, incognito e-bikes that usually cost a premium to own — but surprisingly doesn’t. If you’re looking for an electric bike that’s fast, affordable, and doesn’t wear its motorized tendencies so loudly on its sleeve, this could be the bike for you.
The 250W version is rated as a Class 1 e-bike, meaning it is pedal-assist only, no throttle, with a top speed of 20 mph. The 350W and 500W versions are rated as Class 3, meaning they could achieve a top speed of 28 mph. I only got to ride each bike for a few minutes, so I don’t have a more precise sense of the motor’s nominal and peak power ratings.
I could feel the motor kick in after a half turn of the pedals, but it wasn’t jolty like some e-bikes I’ve experienced. The acceleration was smooth, and my short rides with both were comfortable and left me wanting more. That said, the faster bike was certainly louder in operation. The 350W motor was practically silent compared to the whine of the 500W one, but this is fairly typical, especially as you scale the power ratings.
What really impressed me was how light the bikes felt. Of course they get heavier as the motor gets more powerful, but even the 500W version felt decently balanced at 52.36 lbs. If that’s still too heavy for you, the 250W clocks in at a mere 48.4 lbs, while the 350W weighs 47.74 lbs.
The batteries — 36V for the 350W, 48V for the 500W — are from LG Chem, while the motors are custom made in China. The bikes are Bluetooth enabled, allowing riders to pair their smartphone to the bike. Spinciti makes its own app so you can track your speed, miles, and battery power. The app also integrates with popular health apps like Strava, MyFitnessPal, Apple Health, and others. But if you’d rather use the bike’s own digital display, you can do that, too.
The Shimano eight-gear shifter helps riders tackle those ultra hilly commutes, while torque sensors help regulate the rear-hub motor based on how hard you’re pushing the pedals. Spinciti says riders can get up to 50 miles of range on a full battery, but it’s likely to be less depending on which power setting you’re riding in. Hydraulic brakes by Tektro make stopping on a dime fairly seamless.
Spinciti was founded by Bernie Gonzalez and Carlos Gomez Andonaegui, two entrepreneurs from Mexico City who have a background in health and fitness. They decided to start making e-bikes after surveying the market and discovering that there was no “incumbent player.”
“If I ask you to name a regular bike, you’d come up with Specialized, Giant, maybe two or three other brands,” Andonaegui told me. “If I tell you to name an electric bike, you won’t come up with one.”
The first prototype of the Amsterdam had a throttle, but Gonzalez took it out after “a huge discussion,” he said. Their decision to make a bike without a throttle traces its roots to their background in the health and fitness industry. While some bike-makers are trending toward pedal-less bikes that blur the line between bike and scooter, Andonaegui and Gonzalez believe that e-bikes marketed toward the health-conscious commuters can be successful.
“When you see people with an e-bike with a throttle, they end up not riding,” Gonzalez said. “And then what happens is people get frustrated because you kill the battery very fast.” He allows that the “throttle is really cool when there’s a lot of traffic,” but otherwise can detract from the overall experience.
Spinciti’s Amsterdam e-bike comes in both high and low frame styles, in black, red, oxford gray, navy blue, “blue jeans,” and “dusty pink.” The 350W version retails for $1,500, while the 500W is just below $2,000. Both bikes will be available for preorder on Indiegogo starting this week.
Photography by Andrew Hawkins / The Verge