- Flywheel: Introducing the Taur II | Vehicles from Velotric, Gazelle, PEGASUS, Heybike, & Benno
Flywheel: Introducing the Taur II | Vehicles from Velotric, Gazelle, PEGASUS, Heybike, & Benno
Exploring the new Taur II & featuring the top 5 vehicles of the week
Welcome to Flywheel, a weekly exploration of the owned and used micromobility. Each newsletter will highlight an observation of trends emerging in the industry and feature five of the most interesting used vehicles being sold in the secondary market.
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The observation of the week explores the recently launched Taur II. This week’s featured vehicles are three urban cruisers, a folding fat-tire ebike, and a utility commuter.
Observation of the Week
Introducing the Taur II
London-based escooter brand TAUR just launched the Taur II, an upgrade to their first generation model with better range and safety/rideability features. From TAUR Co-Founder and Head of Product Carson Brown:
The latest release comes in two models, the Taur II and the Taur II Plus. The Taur II features a 500W feared rear hub motor and a 415Wh battery pack for ~27mi of range, while the Taur II Plus features the same motor but a larger 620Wh battery pack for ~39mi of range. Both vehicles have a 24mph max speed and 15% grade hill climbing capabilities. The Taur II’s new geared motor is significantly more powerful than the motor of its predecessor and has a torque of ~35Nm. While that number looks smaller than the torque ratings of most ebikes, there’s more going on here than meets the eye. According to Carson:
The Taur II has extra-large 12.5” wheels, which give significantly better comfort on roads than the small wheels that are standard on most scooters. This is enabled by the vehicle’s forward facing foot platforms, which open up space in the chassis for larger wheels. The Taur II’s wheels are 50% wider than those of the gen 1 Taur, and give riders much better traction and handling.
Additionally, the Taur II also has industry-leading software and safety features. Its display has been replaced with a small battery indicator and a Quadlock phone mount that lets riders use the Taur app as the vehicle interface, and on-board GPS and cellular communications enable location tracking. The ride controls are also upgraded: an improved trigger throttle with manual cruise control gives riders higher fidelity control over the vehicle acceleration, and a synchronized dual braking system that automatically balances a battery-regenerative rear brake and a hydraulic caliper front brake with one brake lever significantly simplifies safe braking. There’s even a 100-lumen rear light that beams onto the rider’s back to improve visibility in the dark.
Lastly, the Taur II folds easily and can be stored vertically on its “bullhorn handlebars.” It’s an elegant trick that makes the vehicle look like a piece of modern art.
Taur is primarily selling the vehicle in the US and mainland Europe. Remarkably, Taur’s home market (the UK) still hasn’t legalized private e-scooter ownership, so Taur actually recently launched their #PayYourFine campaign where they will pay for customers’ fines if they’re stopped by police for riding on UK roads. They’ll even replace customers’ scooters if they’re confiscated.
On the back of the launch of their first generation scooter that caught the attention of the industry with its sleek design and distinctive forward facing foot platforms, TAUR has launched a second generation vehicle that I believe is one the most well thought-out and user-focused escooters on the market.
To learn more about the Taur II, check out their Kickstarter campaign here. Note: TAUR is a Trucks VC portfolio company.
For more observations and resources on owned and used micromobility, check out rideflywheel.com/resources.
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Top 5 Vehicles of the Week
The Velotric Discover 1 is a budget class-2 city cruiser that combines excellent design with features that belie its price. Its powertrain features a 65Nm rear hub motor and a 692Wh battery pack stealthily integrated into the down tube. The battery pack is actually made up of 21700 automotive-size cells as opposed to the 18650 cells most ebikes have. These upgraded cells enable the bike to handle higher power outputs with minimal cell degradation, offering not only better motor acceleration but also an impressively long battery pack life span. Additionally, the entire powertrain is also UL certified (UL2849). This is exceptionally rare for budget ebikes, and a growing requirement for many riders as regulations and tax credits begin to mandate UL certification (i.e. the proposed federal E-BIKE Act that will require eligible vehicles to be UL certified). Velotric was founded by Adam Zhang, a co-founder of Lime's hardware division, to offer ebikes with certified, automotive-grade electronics at prices that won't break the bank. This listing is being sold by a reviewer who has only ridden the bike for 6mi for the purposes of making a video review. Despite the fact that it is practically brand new, the vehicle is listed for $25 less than this model’s average resale price. Listing can be found here.
The Gazelle Ultimate C380+ HMB is a class-3 city bike with ultra-smooth, top-of-the-line componentry. Founded in 1892, Gazelle is one of the OGs of the bicycle industry that has been making some of the best premium bikes in the world for more than a century. In fact, they even received the “Royal Dutch” title from Princess Margriet in 1992 on their 100 year anniversary as a recognition of the quality of their products. The Ultimate C380+ HMB more than does justice to that title. Gazelle’s Ultimate lineup has long been one of their best selling pedal bike models, and their latest HMB versions represent the company’s efforts to electrify the lineup given the rising popularity of ebikes. The Ultimate C380+ HMB’s powertrain features the powerful 85Nm Bosch Performance Line Speed mid-drive motor and a 500Wh Bosch PowerTube battery pack. This is combined with an Enviolo continously variable transmission (CVT) and a Gates Carbon belt drive to make the Ultimate C380+ HMB feel like an extremely smooth extension of the rider’s legs. The vehicle’s upright Dutch-cruiser rider positioning with a suspension fork and shorter wheelbase further improve its rideability by giving it exceptionally comfortable yet responsive handling. While the Ultimate C380+ HMB is a bit heavier than other commuters, its weight is a worthwhile trade-off to make for high-end features like the Enviolo CVT. This listing was bought a year ago and has been “professionally maintained and serviced by bike mechanic.” Listing can be found here.
The PEGASUS PREMIO SPORT is a sporty class-1 commuter with a hybrid/road bike rider positioning. It’s PEGASUS’s most affordable entry-level model due to its smaller motor and transmisison, which slightly compromises the performance but results in a more agile vehicle that is ~6.5lbs lighter than its sibling models. Its powertrain features a 50Nm Bosch Active Line Plus mid-drive motor and a 500Wh Bosch PowerPack, and is combined with the intuitive Shimano NEXUS INTER-8 internally geared hub transmission. The motor controller is also more sophisticated than most; it measures pedal pressure, cadence, torque, and wheel speed to determine pedal assistance and also has shift detection functionality to protect the transmission. The PREMIO SPORT also comes out of the box with built-in fenders, a rear rack, a front suspension fork, and a suspension seat post. While it may be more expensive than your average commuter, the PREMIO SPORT provides much of the same urban use-case optimized functionality of a D2C ebike while also giving riders access to a large and easily accessible service network. This listing is in like new condition with a Flywheel estimated mileage of 198.38mi and is selling for $500+ less than its Flywheel Vehicle Value. Listing can be found here.
The Heybike Tyson is a unique class-3 folding fat-tire. Its unibody magnesium frame with integrative wheels not only gives the Tyson a distinctive design, it also gives it a strong yet light frame (400lbs payload capacity at a weight of <77lbs). Its powertrain features a 70Nm geared rear hub motor and a 720Wh battery pack. The vehicle comes with several integrated lights that make it safer to ride in the dark as well as a strong built-in rear rack to take advantage of the vehicle’s high payload capacity. Even the vehicle’s software is solid, featuring several anti-theft features (alarm, remote lock, and GPS tracking) that are fast becoming expected in the ebike market. The Tyson glides over uneven surfaces due to its 20” by 4” fat tires and dual hydraulic suspension. However, while these features add to the comfort of the ride, they sacrifice some of the agility and handling of the vehicle. That being said, these performance compromises are to be expected at this price point and are more than made up for with the accessories, software functionality, and notable design that distinguishes it from “the typical drop-ship 20-inch fat tire e-bikes from China.” This listing was originally purchased only about two months ago. Listing can be found here.
The Benno eScout is a class-1 utility commuter. Benno is famous for their etility (electric utility) design ethos, and they’re the leading urban utility-focused premium ebike brand. The eScout is their lighter footprint urban commuter with a bit more agility and a bit less cargo capabilities than the other vehicles in their lineup. Its powertrain features a 50Nm Bosch Performance mid-drive motor and a 400Wh Bosch PowerPack battery. At a weight of 55lbs, the eScout is about 10lbs lighter than its sister vehicles. However, its 240lbs payload capacity is also significantly lower than that of its sister vehicles, which are closer to the 400lbs range. That being said, this payload is more than sufficient for the typical commuter looking for a little bit of extra cargo capability for things like grocery hauling, particularly when combined with Benno’s ultra modular accessory ecosystem. The eScout is no longer available from Benno because they’ve pivoted their focus to cargo and compact cargo ebikes, so this listing for an eScout that is brand new with 0mi ridden is a rare find for those looking for a commuter/cargo form factor hybrid. Listing can be found here.
That’s it for this edition. Thanks again for joining, see you next week!
- Puneeth Meruva
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