Tony Ellsworth launches fancy new belt drive carbon frame e-bike

World-renowned mountain bike builder Tony Ellsworth, of Ellsworth Bikes fame, is back with a brand new electric bicycle brand known as The Ride Bikes. And its first model eye-catching model, the Radiant Carbon, just launched today.

The Radiant Carbon is a commuting and cruising-oriented e-bike that comes with a slew of fancy features on top of an out-of-the-box carbon fiber frame design.

Tony has spent decades building high-end mountain bikes for top riders. He recently set his sights on building an electric bike brand based on top-shelf local manufacturing and high-end components.

As Tony explained:

“I have a real desire to pack all of the quality and all of the features that I personally would want, that would deliver to my expectations in every bike I design. And after doing it for 30 years I’m pretty in touch with the quality pieces and all of the quality features that could go into a bike model.”

The Radiant Carbon features a unique carbon fiber frame design with a single support fork and a single asymmetric chain stay and seat stay at the rear.

But you won’t find an old-fashioned chain cranking past that chain stay. Instead, the Radiant Carbon uses a Gates Carbon Drive belt system rated for an incredible 50,000 miles (80,000 km) of use.

The belt-drive links a 500 W and 60 Nm Shimano mid-drive motor to a NuVinci optimized Enviolo continuously variable transmission in the rear hub. The use of an internally geared hub means no hanging derailleur and no noise, which also compliments the silent belt-drive.

As a Class 1 e-bike system, that Shimano drive will power the bike up to 20 mph (32 km/h) on pedal assist, but does not have a throttle.

Powering the motor is a 630 Wh battery that is entirely hidden in the frame and achieves a claimed 100 miles (160 km) of range.

I tested a similar Shimano setup and found that with moderate pedal assist, such ranges were achievable, though required self-discipline to not rely too heavily on the pedal assist.

Other high-end components include four-piston Magura hydraulic disc brakes, front and rear LED lighting integrated directly into the bike’s frame, Schwalbe Super Moto 27.5 tires, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Only 360 of the bikes will be produced, which of course doesn’t do the price tag any favors. To get your own Radiant Carbon, you’ll need to fork over $4,995.

While that fits with other carbon fiber e-bike prices we’ve seen recently, it still doesn’t take the sting out of it.

But Tony wasn’t trying to build an affordable bike, he was trying to build a top-of-the-line bike, as he explained:

“Any time you get in a space where there’s a lot of product flooding that space because of the popularity of it, you get a lowest cost offering to get more people to adopt it. Which is great, because more people adopting e-bikes is wonderful in a million different ways and we could have a wonderful dinner conversation about it. The problem is that in that space, it becomes a little bit of a race to the bottom, of ‘How cheap can we make it?’ And while I agree that it’s nice to be able to have people get in at a lower cost, there’s no substitute for quality in any space where there are products, when you look around at automobiles, at cameras, at cell phones, there’s always a premium product in the space. And the Radiant Carbon from The Ride Bikes, my new e-bike brand, is the top of that space.”

What do you think? Could you see yourself riding a Radiant Carbon along the beach in your town? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

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