December 30, 2010, 10:12 am / Categories: Biking
“If the Batman was a non-fictional person, he’d have a Beast in his garage for sure.” That’s a tagline of sorts for the Beast, a to-be-released hybrid bike built by M55. It weighs 72 pounds and was designed for road and off-road use with futuristic lines, abundant aluminum and an electric engine inside.
Honestly, to us calling this moto-hybrid a “bike” is a far stretch. The concept design — pricing and availability TBA — is huge and heavy, and with its abundant weight it likely cannot be pedaled seriously off-road without significant aid from its electric engine.
To be sure, in addition to its battery cells, the Beast incorporates bike parts, including Fox brand fork and rear shock, a Rohloff hub, twist shifters on the handlebars, and a Syncros seat post and saddle.
Further, the company says the motor is “not a substitute to your human power.” The bike needs to be pedaled, though it has sensors that “feel” when you need some extra torque, as M55 puts it. In short, the motor switches on to multiply your pedaling effort when needed, and the company says the bike then offers a “true living-tissue-on-an-exoskeleton experience.” Yes, the company’s copywriters really do put it that way! Sounds very “Batman” indeed!
The Beast looks like a downhill rig because the weight of the motor and battery pack require the burlier components. But it is not downhill-ready, the company cites. It is a cross-country “bike” that will coast and roll on singletrack. It has special brakes with extra power to skid your rig to a stop. Wear a black cape and a bat helmet, and you’re ready to roll!
—Stephen Krcmar lives in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., and regularly makes trips to Los Angeles to hike to the Bat Cave.
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