IZIP was at Interbike showcasing their new 2017 electric bike models and I got to hang out with some of their staff along with a COBI representative! IZIP and Raleigh are both part of Accell North America so I was walked through these updates with help from Curt and Chris again. The explained that Accell is one of the oldest ebike manufacturers in the USA (because it owns eZip and some other old brands that originated here) and that Accell is focusing on quality and support with the Electric Bicycle Competency Center (EBCC) based out of Simi Valley, CA.
For the first time ever, IZIP has married some of their electric bike specific frames with the Bosch ebike drive system creating some of the most affordable Bosch ebikes I’ve seen! In the past, IZIP mostly relied on TranzX motors in the form of gearless or geared hubs and some mid-drive systems. By comparison, Bosch delivers more complex and in some cases higher power systems with an industry standard battery pack that can be upgraded from 400 watt hours to 500 watt hours now.
The IZIP Peak Plus has plus sized tires and the Bosch CX high torque motor. It’s designed to work well on trails and mountains as well as pavement and has rack bosses to be used with racks. I love the thru-axle and air fork from SR Suntour. This bike is going to sell for around $3,100 which is a solid price point in my opinion. The second bike we looked at was the IZIP E3 Sumo for 2017 which also uses the Bosch drive system and has some awesome rack mounts on the front fork (which is rigid). I teased the guys a bit about being able to put a suspension fork on. It sounds like their bikes may come in different sizes. We checked out a full suspension Peak DS which uses SRAM components and also leverages the Bosch motor… it costs $4,200 which is pretty awesome for a full suspension electric bike (RockShox). Finally, we checked out the Protour which is also a speed pedelec (though it uses the TranzX M25 with integrated battery) and got an in-depth overview of the COBI system.
The IZIP E3 Protour is the first electric bike in North America with the integrated COBI system (the integrated phone bracket, front and rear lights and control pad. It’s an app-based system that allows people to update with software. The rear light is wireless and responds as you brake (using a built-in accelerometer, it’s an additional sensor because not all phones have it), this is an update they are hoping to push out this Fall. It uses ANT+ and has a stand alone battery that lasts ~25 hours. I was impressed that the they have special phone mounts that actually charge your phone using the bike battery. Steven, a marketing manager for partnerships was the person who walked me through it all. Apparently COBI has shipped ~25,000 units in Europe, some of the founders have actually worked closely with the automotive industry, some employees had worked at Audi and their headlight is inspired by some of those designs. I was told that the COBI App runs on both iOS and Android. You can make phone calls through the app, listen to music and one of the guys at the office was even experimenting with Pokemon Go. The phone case has some options for a silicon rain cover (at least for iPhone 6 right now). I was really impressed that the Protour is just $3,299 and it includes the COBI system and is a speed pedelec!
The COBI system also has an electronic bell, motion sensor alarm, low and high beams on the headlight, integrated charging with a micro usb port to work with android and iOS phones (based on the different dongles, has an integrated Bluetooth beacon to help you find stolen bikes
For more information on IZIP electric bikes, check out their official website at http://www.izipusa.com/