CANNONDALE MOTERRA, $5500 OF UGLY

The industrial designers at Cannondale must have been on vacation when the Moterra was created. This bike represents everything wrong with e-bike design. The bloated downtube and engine cradle mated to the aluminum top tube, rear triangle and seat tube give the distinct impression of a Segway welded to bicycle. The Moterra appears to be the result of a production line collision between two different models (“Hey Charlie, I think the Bad Habit parts got delivered to the Moterra assembly line by mistake.”).  And let’s be honest, the under-powered 250-watt motor is going to spawn an online community devoted to hacking tricks to get this beast up hills.

Bicycle companies have got to start looking for outside assistance in their e-bike designs or we will be seeing more awful abominations like this one offered for a small fortune (plus the cost of pedals that are not included). Want to bet that you see this model heavily discounted from its $5500 asking price?

It is becoming clear that traditional bicycle companies are fumbling the transition to motorize their products in hopes of reviving sinking sales. Instead of approaching the claimed-consumer demand for electric-motorized bikes with unique vehicles and components designed from a fresh perspective, bicycle companies seem resigned to pulling from their current supply chain and adapting their current bicycle-design beliefs. Unless bicycle companies realize that adding an electric motor to their bicycles does not create anything new (you can buy an e-bike kit and convert your own bike), an automotive or motorcycle company, or Apple, is going to come to market with a product that breaks from tradition and inspires new riders.

Gaps between the motor and battery with graphics that appear to accentuate the downtube’s girth ruin the bike’s profile.

 

The Bad Habit appears designed by one team. The Moterra looks to be created by two design teams who didn’t talk to each other.

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