What is Unimoke?
The Unimoke is an e-bike, that is, a bicycle with an electric motor that helps you pedal. The final assembly of the Unimoke takes place in Berlin, Germany. The Urban Drivestyle manufacturer founded by Ossian Vogel has its roots in Mallorca and offers other vehicles, such as the Swing with low entry or the E-Roller Boost X. The manufacturer also has a folding electric bike in its range. The first Unimoke was launched through collective financing. Urban Drivbestyle has maintained the overall design, but is constantly making adjustments. Currently, version 5 of Unimoke is updated.
How does Unimoke work?
Unlike many other electric bicycles, the Unimoke's engine is clearly noticeable when driving, both acoustically and through its propulsion. Without the engine mount, which can be adjusted in nine stages with the buttons on the left side of the handlebars, the 30-kg steel steed is difficult to move. The 250-watt Bafang rear wheel motor, however, pushes the pedals hard after less than a quarter turn of the pedals. The sound of the engine always reminds me a bit of one of the Star Wars accelerators. The thick tires of the 20-inch wheels have a very strong and striking rolling noise due to the profile of the studs. So you're not really silent with Unimoke.
Do not fear any terrain. It doesn't matter if it's roads, cobblestones, forest roads, mud or even sand, the Unimoke pedals every meter and each rides easily. The change of seven speeds is very useful to start and climb slopes. The torque sensor on the bottom bracket controls the motor resistance. At the end of the test he had some failures from time to time, but they are easy to fix.
The 20-inch wheel diameter measured on the rim and about 23 inches on the tread ensures that the Unimoke is a fairly maneuverable wheel despite its weight.
The long seat, which makes the Unimoke look like a mixture of moped and Bonanza wheel, has two advantages. On the one hand, as a driver, you can vary the position of the seats between them and sometimes sit in front and sometimes behind. The optional seat extension is already recommended for taller people. But you can also take a second person with you, regardless of whether it is a child or an adult. This works very well and makes the Moke a family carrier. Even two children, one in front and one in the back, are theoretically no problem. The corresponding footrests can be mounted in three points of the frame.
What's good about Unimoke?
At first glance, you might think that this e-bike only looks like a design game, as it looks. The large lamp provides a lot of light and makes the Unimoke look like a motorcycle for cars – people tend to pay more attention than with a bike. Wide tires guarantee safe driving on all roads. The standing battery provides a very central low point and extreme stability in the steel structure. The long seat offers the option of transporting a second person. Accessories such as luggage racks, baskets and the like have fixed and stable points in the frame to which they can be fixed. The Unimoke is extremely versatile, although at first glance it does not seem so.
Especially at the highest level – and another that is rarely used – the Unimoke's engine is very steamy. From the traffic light to the other side of an intersection, the speedometer can measure 20 km / h. Of course, the engine can only support up to 25 km / h in public spaces, but anyone traveling on private property can set this value at 30 or 35 km / h in just a few seconds. Of course, this should not be made permanent, since the electronics and the engine are not designed for it, and one moves in the STVO area without insurance coverage – especially the latter can very quickly lead to very large problems.
The Unimoke also dominates the classic bicycle skills in the test. Tektro hydraulic disc brakes (Tektro HD-E350 type) are powerful and predictable. The Shimano SL-M310 with seven gears changes cleanly and directly. The pedals can be folded for transport. The easel has lost a part during the trip, but it always keeps the Unimoke safe in balance. The metal fenders, which must be given urgently to the Moke, are stable and of high quality.
In the test, Unimoke also showed a quality that has become rare in everyday objects: it's fun. Many people have driven our test bike in the last three months, and almost everyone has done it with a big smile on their faces. Also in the street people turn around after the bicycle, they are interested, they ask what kind of thing it is. Sounds strange, but these positive emotions belong to the Unimoke in some way. Of course, there are also people who don't like the design, and that's fine, of course.
What's wrong with Unimoke?
First is the shooting range. With a single battery charge I can travel between 45 and 55 kilometers depending on the terrain and the useful load. However, I am not the lightest person even without a useful load, other people can go a little further. With other E-Bikes like the Cowboy or the Ampler there is much more.
Of course, the range also depends on the driving style and the support level of the selected engine. However, almost no one use less than the highest level for a long time, because driving the Unimoke with pure muscular power is quite tedious. The motorcycle weighs a little less than 30 kilos and the position of the seat does not necessarily guarantee an optimal development of the power when pedaling. With an engine, it doesn't matter, but it doesn't have a double load. The engine always accelerates thoroughly, so you go fast and comfortable. Once the battery is completely discharged, but you still have a few kilometers to go, it starts to sweat.
Speaking of kilometers: not only the Unimoke battery is not ideal for very long distances, but also the chair. Here each person has a slightly different pain threshold and a different taste. I like to ride a bike every day, but after 20 25 kilometers in the Moke I need a longer rest. In general, Unimoke is not particularly suitable for very tall or small people because the seat height cannot be adjusted. The adjustable handlebar and the possibility of sitting further or behind help, but only to a certain extent.
How much does Unimoke cost?
If you want to buy a Unimoke, you have to put 2,890 euros on the table – and wait a bit, because delivery times may be a bit longer depending on the color. However, do not stop at these 2,890 euros, because Urban Drivestyle offers in its online store a lot of very useful accessories, which raise the price. Do you want matching fenders? 99 euros A seat extension? 179 euros. Back light? 59 euros Many of the accessories fit perfectly with the bike and make it useful, but they also want to be paid.
If you can wait a bit, you should take a look at the Urban Drivestyle website and the Facebook page. In the beautiful regularity there are offers and discounts, which make the purchase of the Unimoke a little cheaper – and therefore also more tempting.
Who should buy the Unimoke?
If you are considering buying a Unimoke, you should consider three things that should NOT apply to yourself: you should not be too small (less than 1.60 meters) or too large (more than 1.90 meters) and, above all, you should not Be shy. They are addressing you with questions about this e-bike all the time. I've been going to and from work for three months at Unimoke every day, and four out of five days someone tells me what a bike is. Anyway, they watch you all the time. You have to like that or at least be able to ignore it.
Of course, the Unimoke is not a bicycle for extremely long journeys, nor is it necessarily designed to travel long distances without motor support. But this e-bike feels like home on any surface, whether on the road or off it. It is powerful, reliable and pleasantly maneuverable thanks to its small wheels. It is also a very safe electronic motorcycle with a good center of gravity, firm brakes and wide tires that do not slip on a tramway. But above all, it is a very fun machine. I actually expected the fascination to diminish after the first few days or weeks, but that doesn't happen. Even after a good 1,000 kilometers with the Moke, I keep going around, just to sit longer on the paper, and go up and down again with a smile on my face. I really haven't had that on any bike.
By the way: in my first article I called Unimoke an "e-bike with family included" and for good reason. A very committed, fun and colorful community has established itself around this extraordinary bicycle, in which people help, exchange, support and know each other, even in real life on joint trips. Urban Drivestyle employees are also there to help and advise, every problem is solved immediately and in almost all cases a fast and accommodating solution is found, this community is something very special and somehow it gives the Unimoke buyer the feeling of being accepted into a family. If the Unimoke were no longer exceptional by themselves, with the support of this community, they are in any case.
An electronic bike like Unimoke will be something for you?
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