A US company has brought their already-in-production electric bicycle, Flash, to Indiegogo for funding. They’ve taken great pains to build a bike that offers good range on a single charge. They’ve also added security measures that ensure that your Flash remains your Flash.
You want to go green, and a bicycle is a step in the right direction.
But you have to pedal a bicycle. Pedalling is inherent to riding a bike.
It’s not that you hate pedalling; it’s just that you have this thing against overexertion. You’ve heard of people keeling over from it.
You don’t see yourself labouring to the top of that hill on the way home, after a hard day’s work, five days a week. You’re not sacrificing your muscles on the altar of stupidity.
An electric bicycle looks like a good idea. While it does allow you a measure of exercise, the electric motor bears the brunt. That’s a good balance.
And if the battery dies, you won’t be stranded.
But which one do you buy when there are so many to choose from?
Let’s take a look at the Flash electric bicycle, available through Indiegogo.
It looks like a decent build with some amazing features. To top it off, this bike is already in production, way past the concept phase.
Many crowdfunding projects seem more like crowdfooling schemes, which is why Flash is a refreshing face.
Let’s take a closer look…
The Flash gives up to 500 watts of power and 48 Nm of torque through a rear geared hub motor. A Shimano seven speed rear derailleur assists with pedalling.
Wheels are 26 inch aluminium double wall rims.
The Flash delivers a range of up to 80 kms on a single charge.
I live 2.9 kms from my office. That means I’d be able to commute to work and back for 13.8 days.
That’s more than two weeks of (week day) travel before it needs a charge.
Throttle and pedal assist
The Flash offers four levels of pedal assist. Choose your level and the bike lends a hand to your feet when needed.
If you need a Nacho Libre like burst of speed, twist the throttle and hang on.
It takes between four to five hours to charge a depleted Flash battery.
The Flash charges like a mobile phone or laptop. You stick one end of the charger into a wall outlet and the other end into a port at the bottom of the downtube.
The guys behind Flash made it high priority to build safety into the bike. Check these features.
Powerful front lights
The Flash’s adjustable headlight shines a distance of up to 131 m.
Auto brake light
The Flash’s brake light turns on when you apply brakes.
The Flash has 360 degree running lights up front and in the rear, which are active while the bike is moving.
The Flash has built in indicators that add another level of road safety.
The Flash sports an 85 decibel hooter.
Noise Help says this is the level of noise of a passing diesel truck or snow blower.
This is well above the noise of light traffic, which sits at 50 decibel.
You want to buy a Flash once. You also want to keep your insurance claims to a minimum.
The Flash guys added three layers of security to their bicycle.
The Flash houses a movement sensitive alarm.
If someone bumps the bicycle, the built in touchscreen shows a warning.
If someone tries to steal it, the 85 decibel alarm activates and a light starts flashing.
This creates a scene like something out of a Christmas movie, but with a police officer playing Santa.
Your Flash bicycle comes with a free mobile app.
When the Flash’s armed system triggers, your Flash app sends a push notification.
The Flash has built in location tracking.
If someone steals your Flash, the Flash company can help locate it via GPS.
The Flash has an IQ of well over 140. OK, that’s a joke.
But it does come with some amazing built in intelligence.
To turn on the Flash or disarm its alarm, use the bike’s built in touchscreen or the Flash phone app.
You can enter your destination into the app and receive turn-by-turn navigation.
I’m a Google Maps fan, so this feature doesn’t pique my interest. But you might like it.
Remote check in
You can check your Flash’s battery level and receive security alerts through the phone app.
Some information surrounding the Flash’s frame.
The Flash’s frame is made from aircraft grade T6-6061 aluminium.
The Flash comes in one size only.
They built the frame with an angled down tube, to make it easier for shorter riders to get on and off the bike.
Suggested rider height: from 1.6 m to 1.9 m (5’3 to 6’2).
The Flash’s standover height (over the downtube) is 24 inches. As long as the inside of your leg does not exceed 24 inches, you can stand over the frame, feet flat on the ground.
The Flash carries up to 136 kgs in weight. That’s a big guy with a huge lunch box and some extras.
More detailed specs:
- Seat Tube Height (C-T): 533.4 mm
- Standover Height: 609.6 mm
- Effective Top Tube Length: 558.8 mm
- Handlebar Length: 660mm
- Crank Arm Length: 170mm
The Flash comes in three colours:
The company makes custom mud guards for their bicycle. The Indiegogo campaign price is $50 for a set (front and rear). Shipping is free.
Details are available through their Indiegogo campaign page.
The Flash handles a number of third party add-ons like mud guards and baskets.
The Topeak Front Bicycle Basket fits onto the Flash’s handlebars.
If you buy the Flash and you’re not happy with it, you have 30 days to contact the Flash team, to discuss a return.
The Flash’s standard bicycle components carry a two year warranty, while electronics carry a 12 month warranty.
More details available on their Indiegogo page.
The Flash doesn’t ship internationally.
Due to certifications, regulations, and wireless performance, they make the Flash for the USA only.
If you manage to get one into your country, it won’t come with a warranty.
The Flash is available for an Early Bird price of $1199.
That’s 40% off retail and $75 off shipping.
What I don’t like about the Flash
It’s as close to perfect as you’ll get, but there’s one thing I don’t like about the Flash.
The lights aren’t modular
I’m not a fan of the built in lights.
I know this is one of their safety USPs, but I’d prefer a more modular approach. I’d like to add my own lights.
It’s a non-hipster guy thing. I want bigger and better.
That said, this is not a train smash. It wouldn’t put me off from buying the Flash.
The Flash is a good-looking bike loaded with safety and security features. The 80 km range is decent and the top speed of 45 kmh is not to be sneezed at.
If you’re in the USA and you’re in the market for an electric bicycle, take a look at the Flash.