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Bad guys won't notice cops coming on Spir's new e-bike

Published September 18, 2015

 

LAS VEGAS (BRAIN) — Fast, powerful and unassuming — that's what bike cops are looking for in an e-bike, according to Spir Bikes, a new Indianapolis company.

Spir — pronounced "spire" — is developing a homegrown e-bike to serve the unique needs of police forces.

Spir developed a patent-pending 750-watt motor system and controller that, distinctively, are concealed within an oversized seat tube. The motor delivers 100 Nm of torque, while its placement keeps the weight distribution low and centered on the bike.

"Community policing's a big thing. They need to get cops out of their cars," Alan Lewis, the president of Spir, said this week at Interbike.

A police force can buy five Spir bikes for the same $30,000 cost of a police cruiser. "With five of these, you have five policemen who can move as fast as a car, with gear, in a tight urban environment," Lewis said.

Spir is testing its bikes with police forces in Chicago and Indianapolis. Lewis said Spir should begin commercial production next year.

One police force asked Spir to conceal the battery in the downtube so the bike wouldn't look like an e-bike.

"One bad guy told a cop that he was a pussy (for riding) an electric bike," Lewis said. "He could see the battery."

Other high-tech touches include a Gates Carbon belt drive and NuVinci Harmony internal hub system. The internal hub is both for performance and durability.

"When they're chasing someone and they throw the bike down, the derailleur breaks and they're dead in the water," Lewis said. "So this is all sealed and, ideally, less maintenance."

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