Coboc Aims To Strip You of $5,500 for an eCycle F1 Urban EV: It Might Not Be Worth It

Not all e-bikes are created equal. After all, terrains differ, and so does human ability. In this spirit, we explore the eCycle F1 e-bike from Coboc. It's nothing more than one of, if not, the sleekest e-bike currently on the market. Cowboy? Babymaker? Who are they? The F1 is where it's at.
eCycle F1 11 photos
Photo: Coboc
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Ladies and gents, feast your visual cortex upon the eCycle F1, an e-bike from none other than Coboc, a crew that officially unveiled what they can do back in 2013. Since then, they've been hitting the cycling market with bikes and e-bikes designed to be the answer to your car-less mobility needs.

Well, the F1 is one of those machines that's built for nothing more than the urban landscape. It's built to be light, fast, nimble, and, above all, electrified to give you that extra kick. However, just so we're on the same page, the F1 starts off at no more than €5,000 ($5,500 at current exchange rates). Let's see if it's worth your attention and cash.

Now, you'd expect a bike of this price range to be built out of carbon fiber, but the F1 isn't. Nothing other than 6000 aluminum is used to build the tubes. One aspect of the frame you need to take in is the way the top tube lifts upward near the seat tube, which gives a very track-bike feel to the whole thing and a clear indicator of the fact that this puppy is made for speed.

But carbon fiber does make its way onto this EV. The fork is carbon fiber, the saddle is also carbon, and so are the seat post, rims, cranks, and handlebar. Quite a bit of carbon, if you ask me. The result is an e-bike that's surprisingly light! With battery, motor, wiring, and all the other gear you need to get moving, we're looking at a machine with a weight of just 10.8 kg (23.8 lbs) for a size medium.

eCycle F1
Photo: Coboc
Since this puppy is built to be as sleek as possible, we need to remark on the way Coboc integrates the battery pack into the F1. The down tube is where we find a 352 Wh battery running under 36 V, suitable for up to 100 km (62 mi) of range in optimum conditions. So, in the real world, you can expect around 30% less range, a number I've derived from constant real-world testing of e-bikes.

As for the juice from this battery, it's all used to feed nothing more than a 250 W motor found mounted to the rear hub. This is an arrangement that's often seen on city-destined e-bikes, mainly because these types of motors are a tad lighter than BB-mounted ones. But, there are downsides, one of which is the susceptibility to vibrational damage in time.

Regarding the top speed on this bugger, you'd expect the name F1 to stand for nothing other than speed, but European laws state that an e-bike be limited to 25 kph (15.5 mph); there's no indication on the manufacturer's website that this would be any different.

But you're in luck. Often, e-bikes such as these have top speeds that are limited by software. This means that you can make friends with a computer nerd and mess around with limits here and there. Just remember, more speed means more stress on your motor, so play around to find the perfect balance.

eCycle F1
Photo: Coboc
Now, to continue keeping this puppy as sleek and clean as possible, Coboc decided to throw out the idea of a classic drivetrain; there's no chain or gearing on this puppy. Instead, Gates is called upon to furnish a carbon belt drivetrain with a no-service lifetime of over 11,000 km (6,835 mi). You'll replace countless tires before having to worry about belts. Did I mention that this drivetrain also requires no lube, so feel free to ride the F1 in your most formal suit? You'll only have to worry about the creases created by the seat.

But there is something about the F1 I don't like, the brakes. Sure, V-brakes or rim brakes are a great way to reduce weight on your bike, but they just aren't my style. Since I'm on about things I don't like, I also have to point out those wires coming out of the downtube and running to the motor. Throw on a pair of CNC aluminum brake levers and pedals, and that's the F1.

At the end of the day, bikes like these aren't for everyone, especially with the whole single-speed feel to it. Still, there are some of us out there that do feel this is a bicycle worth every penny of its $5,500 price tag. For example, the F1 has received the Design and Innovation Award given out by Focus E-Bike Magazin.

I think it's one of those e-bikes that you just have to ride to really understand and appreciate, which is good news for us; Coboc offers us the possibility to test-ride the F1 before buying it. You'll just have to go through a few steps to do so. The only catch is that Coboc only delivers these babies within Germany, so you have to make it out there for one. If the F1 is up your alley, it may be worth the trip.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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