The creator of Meetic, Marc Simoncini, is embarking on urban mobility with his Angell e-bike. Angell is a light and connected electric power-assisted bicycle. This e-bike relies on integration and design to seduce its riders. Its direct rivals are Belgian Cowboy and Dutch VanMoof.
It is not a secret that there are dozens of start-ups embarking on electric mobility, particularly electric-assisted bicycles. So when you hear about yet another designer urban bike, you have to look twice before starting to pay any attention.
Yet Angell is one of those which is not easy to miss. First of all, due to its futuristic design, but also due to the fact that one of its creators is Marc Simoncini, a famous 56-year-old entrepreneur who founded Meetic in 2001. Marc joined forces with Jules Trecco to found the Angell company.
The two entrepreneurs are not in their first cycling project together. They have already founded Heroïn Bikes in 2016, which is a brand specializing in top-of-the-range racing bicycles.
“We want to be to the electric bike market what iPhone has become to the mobile phone market,” says Marc Simoncini as he unveils Angell, his latest project. Coming from someone else, this kind of statement could be considered arrogant. But the founder of Meetic who became a serial investor in a multitude of European start-ups (Devialet, made.com, sensee, and others) has already proven that he was able to succeed where so many others had failed.
Marc is an entrepreneur who believes that it is necessary to start by helping to solve a problem in order to have a chance to succeed. Now he aims at the electric bicycle market. Not only is this market growing very strongly, but it is far from being saturated and is currently totally dominated by players who are already well established. Demand will continue to grow and new players can still dream of making their place.
Angell e-bike weighs less than 14 kg. Its design is remarkable.
First presented in Paris at a press conference, this resolutely urban e-bike belongs to the category of light e-bikes that do not want to sacrifice design to electrical assistance.
Angell, thus, has a grey metallic aluminum frame with its original geometry. The design takes advantage of beautiful finishing and also incorporates a carbon fork that can absorb some of the vibrations. The e-bike, therefore, has no suspension but, in return, its weight is limited to 13.9 kg. This is truly very light for an electric bike. Most e-bikes weigh above 20 kg and even Cowboy Sport V2 is 16.1 kg.
The motor is integrated into the hub of the rear wheel, as is often done when one wants to keep a classic frame. And there is no need to integrate a motor at the bottom bracket, in the pedal section.
Since the e-bike is available in one size only. Jules Trecco, CEO of Angell Bike, guarantees that the design will comfortably accommodate riders between 1m 55cm and 1m 95cm.
What is certain is that in terms of design, the choices made by the team are indeed rather radical and will probably not seduce the most pragmatic among us.
Those who are looking for a simple, comfortable bike with a plethora of equipment to hang their bags, rain gear, padlocks, etc. will probably not like what they see with Angell.
A compact battery with integrated lights and indicators
Angell’s 360 Wh battery charges in 2 hours and weighs only 2 kg. The decision was not to fit the battery into the frame, but instead to attach it to the rear of the seat tube. This aesthetic and functional choice may not please everyone, as it may give the impression that the e-bike has a luggage rack.
Well, unfortunately, this is not the case. Lack of a luggage rack is likely to limit the e-bike’s transport capacity. Nevertheless, a wooden transport basket can be installed at the handlebar. Positioned as it is, the battery gains another useful function. It directly integrates tail lights, left and right turn signals, and brake lights. This is smart.
In fact, the Angell e-bike will be delivered with 2 batteries. One to help you ride without too much effort – electric assistance. The other – to power the cockpit and the connection to the e-bike. This smart connection (via Bluetooth) is essential and you will have to use your smartphone with your e-bike.
First, you will have a special digital key to unlock the e-bike’s lock. This will already allow you to start your ride and to go from point A to point B. Second, this link with your smartphone will make your e-bike really smart (let’s see).
All-in-one cockpit with integrated touch screen
Turning lights and the front phare are also found on the handlebar. Turning lights are integrated into the left and right handles, and the front phare is on the front of the handlebar (integrated headlight signed Spanninga).
The handlebar is designed with a flat part, which allows better integration of all the bike’s electronics, including a 2.4-inch color and touchscreen LCD display. This display includes onboard computer information and even GPS navigation instructions.
Small vibration motors are also integrated into the handlebar to indicate to the rider when to turn. Thus, helping e-bike riders avoid having to look at the screen all the time.
Angell is not just a beautiful object to hang on a wall once you get home. It is also a concentrate of technology. It has a 2.4-inch high readability touch screen that can be fully customized.
This touchscreen would allow you to read traffic speed, GPS position, route, pollution index, and battery level in real-time. The e-bike can connect to the user’s Strava account or another health app on the user’s smartphone.
The rider will be able to register the performance during the ride (number of km / time / calories burned / Watts) in his or her favorite tracking app and will be able to combine this training on Angell with other daily activities.
Anti-theft and geolocation as standard
Angell e-bike also aims for security from its first model. The e-bike hosts a 2G chip (also used for automatic remote software updates) and a GPS to geolocate the bike and alert its owner in case of theft.
Motion sensors are also present to detect a possible attempted theft and trigger an alarm, if necessary.
Overall, it seems that Angell has been developed to provide the best possible protection for cyclists when they travel. It has all the features dedicated to safety: a cockpit with a navigation aid vibrator to keep your eyes on the road, indicators integrated into the cockpit and battery, an accident alert (in case of a fall, a message is automatically sent to an emergency contact), a brake light, etc.
Transmission and drivetrain
In terms of transmission, Angell plays it safe by choosing a 42-tooth single chainring that drives the wheel via a chain and a single 16-tooth sprocket. No gear change, therefore possible, as on the Cowboy Sport V2, for example. And no belt instead of a chain either, unfortunately, which would have reduced maintenance.
Angell’s rider can only rely on the assistance of the motor to help the e-bike climb hills and has to start without having to force electric assistance too much.
No torque level of the integrated hub motor is specified, unfortunately. And the motor itself is a 250 W power one, which is very common for many different models of e-bikes.
To compare, the motor of Cowboy Sport V2 has 30 Nm of torque, which is just enough to cope with steep climbs if you don’t mind pushing hard enough on the pedals.
Let’s bet that with only 14 kg of weight, the Angell e-bike will remain fairly easy to carry, but one will need to test it to confirm or not.
Braking should be quite effective thanks to the Tektro HDR 310 disc brakes and Michelin Protek tires (700x35c) generally providing a good grip.
Levels of electric assistance
In terms of range, Angell promises up to 70 km using probably the lowest assistance mode called Fly Eco. The e-bike also has the Fly Free mode, which is the one without electric assistance.
To get a little more electric help, one should opt for the Fly Dry mode which, as its name suggests, promises to arrive in a more or less dry state at work.
While the Fly Fast mode will deliver all the engine power to make the journey even less tiring and enjoy a better acceleration.
Not the cheapest model, available for cash or credit
What is left is to mention the selling price. Which is on the high end of the range for an e-bike of this type. It will cost €2,690 to buy an Angell e-bike.
Pre-orders are open (with €269 down payment) and the first deliveries are expected in spring 2020. Angell e-bike is assembled in France and will obviously be marketed in France, but also in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain.
As part of your order, you can add an optional front basket, mudguards, bottle holder, lever handle, and mirrors among other accessories).
There is a credit offer at 0% over 36 months, which would allow you to buy this e-bike for 74.90 €/month. Break and theft insurance are available at 9.90 €/month.
With urban mobility future in mind
Angell is a brand that is betting on a world of mobility that is changing, and that is only at the beginning of its revolution. “In less than 10 years, major world capitals will ban individual combustion cars from its city centers.
New York has just voted a budget of $1.7 billion for the creation of bicycle paths, while 63% of the journeys of Copenhagen residents to and from work are already made by bicycle.”
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