The Upstart is sporty, stripped down electric road bike for those wanting a lightweight fast and rewarding assisted road cycling.
This bike is really for tarmac and well maintained trails. Built in the spirit of a messenger bike,the Upstart offers tight, precise control, responsive, pressure-sensitive assistance, and a 2 gear automatic hub that those familiar with single speed bikes will be comfortable with.
The Upstart 2016 has a new lighter weight aluminium frame. Pretty ‘purist’ in terms of bike design, but the handlebars are still slightly raised to take the pressure off the wrists, and the saddle is well formed and supportive for a leant forward road ride.
The wheels size is 28″; enough width to carry the 35mm wide tyres (skinny, 23mm wide road tyres aren’t really up to the extra acceleration electric bikes dish out). The tyres have deep grooves to displace water and oily road puddles, so throw on a set of SKS mudguards and you can ride this bike in all conditions.
“The 250W motor is more than capable and will have you belting off at the lights thanks to an automatic two-speed gear system – no shifting required – that’s excellent whichever of the three power settings you’re using.” – The Times Driving and Technology supplement, June 15th 2014.
Momentum’s major ‘e-Bike’ sell point is the much-vaunted AuTorq system, derived from ‘Automatic-Torque’ sensor. It measures both pedal pressure and rotation, so it comes in snappily the moment you put your foot down, and keeps the bikes extra power applied smoothly as long as the pedals are moving round, without surges, starts or stops. It’s fast, slick, and cooperates with the rider instead of rocketing them along against their wishes.
The automatic gear is a SRAM Automatix – As you get up to speed, the centrifugal force inside the hub clicks the gear weights into a higher gearing, and you feel the bike change to a higher gear beneath you. The gearing range is comparatively low – don’t expect to get up Ben Nevis with it – but for the city environment an electric road bike like the Upstart is perfect. It’s brilliant for those who prefer to cycle without having to think about planning gear changes and just want to ride.
The brakes are road type caliber brakes – again, pretty rare in the e-Bike world, which tends to favour V-brakes for cost or disc brakes for stopping power. It shows that Momentum give a lot of thought to making their bikes as ‘bikey’ as possible and true to cycling convention and tradition.