It’s lighter than many non-assisted bikes, made from titanium, and links a Gates belt drivetrain to an innovative Zehus motor. Barcelona’s NUA, a boutique company that exclusively makes titanium touring, commuter and hardtail mountain bikes, has just released their first ever e-bike – The Electrica.
Initially created as a customer’s custom order, the Electrica turned out so well NUA decided to add it to their line of bikes. The Electrica became their ideal e-commuter, which could provide the same advantages as a non-electric commuter like light weight and simplicity. They also sought to eliminate the drawbacks of typical e-bikes by crafting one that can easily be pedaled above its maximum assisted speed, and with no assistance in case your battery runs out.
Over at Bikerumor we’ve checked out NUA’s Pinion and Gates equipped Dual road/off-road bike, but in this article we’ll cover the details of the new Electrica.
The Electrica is powered by a Zehus Bike + All-In-One Motor. This kit packs the motor, battery and sensors inside the rear hub, with the entire assembly weighing 3kg. The motor puts out 250w, and the battery is a 30v, 160Wh unit. The Bike + system doesn’t use a handlebar-mounted control unit, but pairs to your smartphone for controlling functions and viewing ride metrics. Riders can choose between six power assist levels.
At its max speed of 25km/h in Turbo mode, the Bike + motor provides 30km of range, but that range jumps to about 90km if you cruise at 14km/h. However, this motor has another clever trick; It’s ‘Bike +’ mode allows the motor to regenerate power as you brake and while you pedal along flat terrain. This mode only provides assist when you’re pedaling uphill, or when you’ve just started cranking.
In ‘Bike +’ mode, the motor can generate enough power that you don’t even have to recharge the battery between rides. Zehus currently has the only e-bike motor that offers an infinite range. If you do have to recharge the Electrica, the charger plugs neatly into the drive-side end of the rear axle.
Gates’ CDX Carbon belt drive keeps the Electrica’s drivetrain clean and practically maintenance-free. The bike is set up as a single-speed with a 2.8 gear ratio (60/22t) which NUA feels is ideal for this assisted bike. The gearing is tall enough that a rider can exceed 25km/h at a comfortable cadence, but with the motor’s help it’s not too high for climbing hills.
The Electrica’s Ti frame offers a lightweight, comfortable ride, and won’t corrode. The complete bike’s impressively low weight of 13kg/28.6lbs means the Electrica’s handling feels just like a normal bike, not a typically overweight e-bike.
The frame was designed specifically to handle the added torque from the hub motor, and has a belt port and unique dropouts to accommodate the Zehus/ Gates drivetrain. The newly designed dropouts incorporate a torque arm so you can remove the rear wheel without having to release and re-set the tension on the drive belt.
The Electrica’s frame features an integrated seat clamp, can accept tires up to 42mm wide, and has internal routing for the rear brake hose. It also includes post-mounts for disc brakes, plus mounts for fenders, racks and two bottle cages. Final details include an engraved NUA logo on the head tube and a hand brushed finish. As a custom build-to-order bike, the Electrica’s geometry will be determined by each customer following a consultation with the team at NUA.
The Electrica’s frame, fork, seat post, stem, handlebars and headset spacers are all NUA’s own titanium parts. The fork uses a 1-1/8th steerer tube, and has post mounts for disc brakes, internal cable routing and fender mounts. Other components include Shimano Deore disc brakes and Alfine cranks, and 29” DT Swiss 533 rims with Panaracer Gravelking tires.
Of course, what high-end commuter would be complete without a Brooks Cambium C-17 saddle and Cambium Comfort grips? A pair of platform pedals are also included.
In addition to personalised frame geometry, NUA will be offering the option to customise the Electrica’s component spec – An online Bike Builder tool will soon be appearing on their website. NUA’s frames are covered by a lifetime warranty. After assembly in Barcelona, bikes will ship to anywhere in the world within 12 weeks of their order date. Pricing for the Electrica starts at $3995 euros.