Almost unknown outside France, the VéloSoleX was a creation of Solex, the same company that produced carburettors fitted in many cars until the '80s, and it was basically a bicycle with a small two-stroke motor that powered the front wheel with friction. The motor was a 49cc 0.5 HP unit that could be detached in order to use the bike with exclusive human power.
The VéloSoleX is back but now it's called eSolex and instead of a combustion engine, the eSolex arrives in all-electric mode, still allowing you to use the pedals anytime. The new design is made by Pininfarina and all the details are set to remember the old model. Even the motor bulk on the front wheel is kept, but now for storage purposes instead of the two-stroke engine, the prominent carburettor and the side-placed gasoline reservoir.
Continue reading for full specs about this little jewel. There's a small surprise about the price.
Maximum speed is not really going to destroy your coiffage (hairdo, although you must wear a helmet in Europe to ride this), being 35 km/h (22 mph) or 22 km/h (17 mpg) in ECO mode, which uses less electricity and allows riding further. The motor is placed inside the rear wheel (brushless) and has 0.4 kW of power efficient up to a 85 percent.
The battery is lithium-ion (36V x 15 Ah) and weighs only 5 kg (11 pounds), which allows you to remove it from the eSolex frame and carry it with you for recharging. Since it's lithium, it has no "memory -effect" and can be fully recharged in 6 hours (70 percent in 3 hours) up to 700 cycles. Total weight is only 40 kg (89 pounds). Range? Good for 45 km in normal mode and 60 in ECO mode.
Inconvenient? Maybe not the most suitable option for long commutes due to the moped limitations, but the price is great: 1,150 EUR (taxes not included), cheaper than most of the gasoline mopeds available in Europe.
A pity it's only currently on sale in France, but they are expanding in Europe in the near future.
If you feel like learning a little bit about the old Velosolex, a jewel of classic motorbiking, visit this link.
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