Ohio-based motorcycle company Cleveland Cyclewerks has taken the wraps off its first electric bike, the Falcon. Two models are going on sale, the Falcon 01 and the Falcon BLK, both of which are manufactured in the U.S. using parts that the company says are largely sourced from the surrounding Cleveland area. The entry level 01 model will set buyers back $7,995, while the BLK edition will be limited to 20 units and cost $14,995.
The Falcon has a pretty minimalist design while still taking some style cues from old-school mopeds. The bike features an aluminum chassis, a removable battery pack, and on the high-end BLK model you'll get "Lumilor paint" that emits a blue light. Cleveland Cyclewerks says the paint isn't glow in the dark, but rather an electroluminescent layer that illuminates when current is run through it. That means you can turn it on or off or adjust its brightness. It definitely gives the bike a Tron-esque feel, albeit with a boxy minimalism.
We love it. But you can bet not everyone will. If the Falcon is a bit too boxy — or pricey — for your tastes, we've got a full list of other, equally solid e-bikes available at different price points. But we're not sure any of them are quite this cool.
Choose your steed — The Falcon 01 is the lower-end and thus more-affordable of the two retro-futuristic bikes, though it still has impressive specs. In its restricted "e-bike mode" it tops out at 20 mph, but there's also an "e-moped mode" with a top speed of 27 mph, and an "unrestricted mode" with a top speed of 65 mph. Unless you have the proper license, though, these higher speeds should be restricted to off-road use.
The Falcon BLK has the same restricted modes but its unrestricted mode tops out at a whopping 85 mph. Normally you'd be cautious riding at those speeds on an e-bike, as most of them use off-the-shelf parts designed for standard pedal bikes, but we feel reassured by the Falcon's fully-custom-made parts, advanced dual-piston hydraulic disk brakes, and rear hydraulic shock. We may need something more substantial than a bicycle helmet, though.
Manic pixy dream bike — Both bikes also feature an "Angry Pixy" mode that will gives you a 20-second power burst for when you really want to have some fun/get the attention of your local traffic police.
In terms of range, the Falcon 01 comes with a single swappable, 2.3kWh battery rated for up to 50 miles on a charge. The Falcon BLK comes with two swappable packs, giving it a range of up to 100 miles. These top ranges are probably with the bikes in "eco mode" rather than hitting Angry Pixy often which, let's be frank, you're going to want to do. Both bikes come with a Level 1 charger that can charge one or two batteries simultaneously, and Cleveland Cyclewerks says the batteries can be charged to 80 percent in 45 minutes.
Limited editions are limited — If you want one of the Falcon BLK bikes you best move fast. Cleveland Cyclewerks is only making 20 of them, and they'll be individually numbered and signed before delivery. If you're wondering why even the 01 model is so, well, pricey, it's probably got something to do with the chassis being bent by a robot before being hand-welded, and the fact that the company is not a large-scale factory-style operation but, instead, a bespoke one that focuses on small numbers and high-end craftsmanship.
With the coronavirus pandemic giving everyone thoughts of a possible apocalypse, a good bike that doesn't need fossil fuels (though, Cleveland Cyclewerks makes a great selection) might be just the thing you need to escape when the brown stuff truly hits the rotating air-moving devices. Plus, you know, money will be worthless, so you may as well spend it on a sick e-bike. You may have to get to Cleveland, Ohio, to fetch it, though. Which could prove tricky. So we recommend thinking ahead and just getting it delivered.