The E-Tracker by Vintage Electric
If the Trefecta DRT E-bike was a little too pricey for you, you could always opt for this classic looking machine instead. Unlike the DRT, the E-Tracker by Vintage Electric Bikes has shunned the modern design aesthetic and taken inspiration from the classic 1915 board track racer, featuring beautiful, elegant lines and more character than any of us ever expected from a battery powered bicycle. If William Harley and Arthur Davidson were in the business today, perhaps they would’ve come up with something like this?
Unlike Harley and Davidson’s Milwaukee born board tracker, these new E-bikes are rolling out of Andrew Davidge’s Santa Clara HQ in California. The whole ethos behind his company, Vintage Electric Bikes, is about crafting beautiful products that are built to last, without any of the additional bullshit – what you see, is what you get. And what you see is a retro-cool electric bicycle that can handle the hills and the city streets with relative ease.
The first thing that grabbed out attention is the classic looking V-twin inspired battery box, nestled within the hydro-formed, aluminum frame. Most modern electric bicycles struggle when it comes to hiding the battery; they either stick out at an odd and unsightly angle or a hidden away underneath the fairings. Similar to the Meijs E-bike we covered before, Vintage Electric have tucked their batter away within in a classically styled motorcycle component. The box itself is made from aluminum and protects the internal electrical components whilst dispersing heat; allowing the bike to run better at lower temperatures, increasing the bike’s overall efficiency.
The battery itself is a 52v 12.5AH lithium affair with an estimated life span of 30,000 miles. It only takes 2 hours to re-charge, has a top speed of 20 mph in street legal mode (36 mph in ‘race’ mode) and a range of 30 miles per charge – the charger is compatible with both 220 and 11o volts too. Economy wise, a full charge should cost the bill payer around $0.18, which ain’t bad at all.
Of course, Vintage Electric have also installed their own in-house built and designed regenerative braking system to allow for a bit of charge on the go by recouping the energy lost through braking. The brakes are Avid Mechanical Road S disc brakes and they’re certainly more than powerful enough to get you stopped in a hurry.
Control wise, Vintage Electric have opted for a minimalist approach, leaving any complex gadgetry back in the box. You’ve got the usual brake arrangement and a twisty throttle, as well as the choice between ‘street’ and ‘race’ mode. Simple.
Aesthetically, the bike is a work of art; each model is powder coated and a wide range of custom colors are available. The real art is in the details though, such as the iconic Brooks leather work. Established in 1866, Brooks of London specialize in building top of the range saddles out of premium leather. The saddles are sprung for extreme levels of comfort and they also come with matching grips on the handlebars too. Tire wise, the Vintage Electric E-bike comes shod with Schwalbe Fat Frank rubber, with KevlarGuard.
It’s a lot cheaper than Trefecta’s $25,000 military machine but the Vintage Electric E-tracker will still set you back around $5000 – which is still a lot of money for an electric bike. However, if you’ve got a bit of cash to burn on something eco-friendly, burn it on this.