Affordable Vector E-bikes

Ukrainian electric bicycles hit the European and the U.S. market big. Competing on equals with upscale E-bikes, they cost much less -- the price for the most expensive model is under $6,000!

5/28/15 5:00 am chumakdenis 1

Electric bicycles are extremely popular, especially in Europe and the U.S.

Demand on them is already quite high and it’s more likely to increase within next years.

But, alas, not all people can afford to buy the E-bike. It’s corner stone that hinders the development.

Luckily, everything is not that bad. Big demand on something usually means price reduction.

And it works in our case.               

Is it affordable?

Yes, it is. The price for the most expensive model is under $6,000 and for the basic model is only about $1,500.Amazing, isn’t it?

Why it is so cheap?

I think that the question about so cheap price comes as no surprise.

It’s absolutely logical to doubt in something, especially when the full-scale electric bike comes for the price similar to electric drive for bicycles.

Luckily, we have an answer to that one.

Manufactured in Ukraine

Vector E-bikes are manufactured in Western Ukraine.

Local working force is much cheaper than in any other European country and it gives them possibility to sell goods for so low price.

Ukraine? Is it safe to buy something from this country?

 Although there has been some political unrest on the eastern border with Russia, Ukraine is a very large country, and Vectors are made near the western Polish border, in a very stable region.

So, yes, it’s safe.

About Vector E-bikes

There are 3 available models on the market – the 2000W Lightning with a popular-sized hub from Evel, the 4000W Tornado using a Crystalyte 4065, and the 7000W Typhoon with an Evel-branded motor that is very similar to the Cromotor.

*Vector can also source and mount a Crown motor as an option at the customer’s request.

Have a closer look on them and their specs below.

 LIGHTING 2000w

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Specifications

General:

Speed-mode power: 2 kW 
Street-mode power: 250-750 W 
Speed-mode top-speed: 45 kph/28mph
Street-mode top-speed: 25-30 kph/15-20mph
Range: up to 80 km/50mi
Battery capacity: 1080 Wh 
Weight: 39 kg 
Recharge time: 60 min. 

Battery-pack:
Capacity: 1080 Wh
Chemistry: Lithium Polymer
Nominal voltage: 72V 10WH
Founding power BMS 
Cell-voltage monitoring (refresh – every 10 ms) 
Cell-temperature monitoring 
Balancing 
State-of-Charge calculation 
Low-voltage protection 
High-voltage protection 
Temperature protection 
SoC protection 

Frame:

High strength steel tubes
Composite body panels 
FEM modeled structure

Drivetrain:

Motor: direct drive with Neodymium magnets Gears: freewheel or gear cassette

Front suspension:

Rock Shox Single crown 110mm travel

Rear suspension:

DNM, 190mm travel with 650lbs coil

Wheels:

26” front double wall rim 
24” rear double wall rim

Components:

Cycle Analyst 
Tires: Crazy Bob
Seatpost: 27.2mm 
Handlebar: 31.8mm 
Headset: Cane Creek
Brakeset: Magura MT2

TORNADO 4000w

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Specifications:

General:

Speed-mode power: 4 kW 
Street-mode power: 250-750 W 
Speed-mode top-speed: limited to 45 kph/28mph *limitation can be removed
Street-mode top-speed: 25-30 kph / 15-20mph
Range: up to 100 km /60mi
Battery capacity: 1.5 kWh 
Weight: 44 kg 
Recharge time: 60 min.

Battery-pack:

Capacity: 1.5 kWh 
Chemistry: Lithium Polymer
Nominal voltage: 72V 15WH
Founding power BMS 
Cell-voltage monitoring (refresh – every 10 ms) 
Cell-temperature monitoring 
Balancing 
State-of-Charge calculation 
Low-voltage protection 
High-voltage protection 
Temperature protection 
SoC protection

Frame:

High strength steel tubes 
Composite body panels
FEM modeled structure

Drivetrain:

Motor: direct drive with Neodymium magnets 
Gears: freewheel or gear cassete

Front suspension:

Rock Shox Boxxer Double crown 200mm travel 

Rear suspension:

DNM, 220mm travel with 650lbs coil

Wheels:

26” front double wall rim
24” rear double wall rim

Components:

Cycle Analyst 
Tires: Crazy Bob
Seatpost: 27.2mm 
Handlebar: 31.8mm 
Headset: Cane Creek
Brakeset: Magura MT2

TYPHOONE 7000w

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Specifications:

General:

Speed-mode power: 7 kW 
Street-mode power: 250-750 W 
Speed-mode top-speed: limited to 80 kph / 50 mph 
Street-mode top-speed: 25-30 kph / 15-20mph
Range: up to 120 km / 75mi
Battery capacity: 1.8 kWh 
Weight: 49 kg 
Recharge time: 60 min.

Battery-pack:

Capacity: 1.8 kWh 
Chemistry: Lithium Polymer
Nominal voltage: 72V 25WH
Founding power BMS 
Cell-voltage monitoring (refresh – every 10 ms) 
Cell-temperature monitoring 
Balancing 
State-of-Charge calculation 
Low-voltage protection 
High-voltage protection 
Temperature protection 
SoC protection

Frame:

High strength steel tubes 
Composite body panels
FEM modeled structure

Drivetrain:

Motor: direct drive with Neodymium magnets 
Gears: freewheel or gear cassete

Front suspension:

Rock Shox Boxxer Double crown 200mm travel 

Rear suspension:

DNM, 220mm travel with 650lbs coil

Wheels:

24” front double wall rim
17” rear motorcycle double wall rim

Components:

Cycle Analyst 
Tires: Crazy Bob
Seatpost: 27.2mm 
Handlebar: 31.8mm 
Headset: Cane Creek
Brakeset: Magura MT2

A few words about the company

The man who started this is Artur Ragulskyi. He felt the other E-bikes like this did not have enough options for the customers, and he also felt there was plenty of room to find reasonable compromises that could lower the prices to a more affordable level. So, he’s decided to create powerful electric bikes similar to the Stealth Fighter and the Qulbix Raptor for much lower price.

Some words about hubs

Extra-high power levels will break bicycle components, so a rear hub allows the power to go right to the rear wheel. The direct-drive (DD) hubs have the potential to run very quietly. Also, a rear hub leaves the central frame area free to have the largest battery possible. Most riders are to choose only two out of these three performance characteristics…high volts, high amps, and long range. However, with large frame housing and a rear hub motor you can have all three.

Good batteries

Artur appreciated the extra-large battery that the Stealth and Raptor could hold, but he also felt a very good battery size could still be achieved with a slightly narrower housing, in order to make pedaling easier. Their retail batteries are the safe LiFePO4 batteries.

Some might criticize Vector for such batteries, but Artur made sure that the housing was just wide enough to hold two side-by-side LiPo bricks from the affordable 4S packs that have become common. That’s very cool of him, isn’t it?

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If you do want an extra-large battery pack, for only $15 more, you can specify extra-wide side-plates to allow three LiPo bricks side-by-side, with extra 3-centimeters of width. And for those riders who don’t care about width at all, Vector has the option of 3D-shaped side-plates for a massive 18cm wide battery.

Choice of motors

Customers want a choice of motors, but there are several widths on the various axle shoulders. The Vector frame has a resting drop-out width of 154mm, and the steel swingarm has plenty of flex to safely and easily allow the 150mm width on the well-regarded Cromotor.

The Vector’s drop-outs

The drop-outs on the Vector are one of the features that have been long overdue for this style of E-bike. First of all, they use an integrated clamping mechanism which is the best way to secure a rear hub at these power levels. The other distinctive feature is that the clamping section is swappable from the inside of the swingarms to the outside. When mounted on the inside, they accept any common hub motor with 135mm wide axle shoulders. Then, if you later decide that you want to move up to the monster Cromotor -- you can unbolt the axle clamps and move them to the outsides to allow for the 150mm wide axle shoulders.

The disc brake mounting slots are extra-long to allow the caliper to adjust to a wide variety of disc diameters.

Vectors have an optional kickstand, and even if you don’t buy a Vector with it, you can bolt it on later. Other bikes even don’t have that as an option.

Suspension

For Vector buyers can select a bare frame, they have the option of outfitting their Vector with the components of their choice. And for buyers who want a turn-key bike, Vector has a choice of seven popular suspension fork choices, and eight rear shock choices. The production shock mounts will accept popular-sized units from 190mm to 240mm.

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One of the unique options on the Vectors that I haven’t seen anywhere else is the availability of two shocks absorbers. Some cyclists have commented that larger and heavier riders can swap-in a single upgraded shock, but Vector noticed that two mid-grade shocks can sometimes be cheaper than some of the upscale single shocks that were considered. There is nothing wrong with dual shocks, or single shocks, but Vector buyers have a choice that other frames don’t allow.

*If the combined weight of the Vector and rider is 145-kg, there is no single shock that would be adequate.

Options and Custom Parts

Off-road riders expressed their appreciation of a motorcycle-style seat, so Vector tried these and agreed that a seat is definitely a desirable option. So, buyers can choose that, or start with a bicycle seat, and then easily swap to the motorcycle seat later.

Available colors

Vector is open to adding colors to their options, and right now they have ten available. As seen on their page, they are: white, red, black, dark orange, light orange, yellow, light green, dark green, light blue and dark blue.

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Additional features

The side panels have two USB charging ports for maintaining a charge on your smart-phone and GPS devices.

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Plans for the future

Vector has made and sold over 100 frames, but in order to expand globally they estimated they will need a $100,000 investment to take their operation to the next level.

Their $100,000 Kickstarter campaign needs at least $20,000 to be able to walk their design through the EU certification process to make it street-legal as a moped (called an S-Pedelec, and the S = Schnell). However, this won’t be a problem because their 28-day campaign surpassed the goal of $100,000 on the third day!

 

So, the best choice is to eagerly wait Vector E-bikes hit the market globally in the nearest future (or to go to their site and make your order now).

It’s totally up to you.

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