March 15, 2018: E-bikes have yet to catch on with people looking to ditch their cars in favor of an economical, maneuverable (especially in crowded cities) and more fun vehicle to operate. Plenty of “experts” have theories on why e-bikes have not met with the same acceptance in America that they are enjoying in some European countries. Few (if any) of these experts ever cite the most obvious objection: E-bikes are too much like bicycles.
Lohner, an Austrian company, is addressing this issue with their Stroler e-bike. They’ve tossed the traditional cycling saddle in favor of their own motorcycle-inspired creation. I guarantee this feature alone will get people who are not bicyclists to consider an e-bike for the first time. The Stroler handlebar will be scoffed at by traditional cyclists but will be another main attraction to the non-cyclist. Lohner hides the battery under the saddle, uses real-world fenders and adds lights, front and rear. Finally, the “fuel tank” gives the rider a different feel from a bicycle and it functions as a storage area.
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 long entrenched bicycle-design beliefs. Lohner seems unencumbered by these traditionalist restraints.
That’s not to say the Stroler is perfect. The body panel extending all the way to the passenger pegs results in a heavy appearance. Give Troy Lee Designs or Motomatic a few weeks with the Stroler and either design house would come up with a more appeasing design. Still, the Stoler looks better with a rider on it than in a static shot (compare the video to the still photos to prove this point).
Lohner has taken the best from the motorcycle and bicycle universes to come up with a hybrid that might actually click America’s e-bike revolution into gear (if they were available here).