Electric bicycles are in demand. Last year, a record number of 420,000 units was sold and this year, despite the corona crisis, demand is still high. The so-called speed pedelec, a bicycle with which you can reach a maximum speed of 45 kilometers per hour, can also count on a lot of interest. We set out with a homegrown product: the QWIC RD11 Speed.
Founded in 2006, QWIC aims to entice as many commuters as possible to leave their car at home and use the bicycle from now on. As far as the company is concerned, the electric bicycle is the alternative for the relatively short distances.
In 2020 commuters are indeed looking for alternatives, but then for public transport. The speed pedelec seems to benefit from this. In the first seven months of this year, about three thousand were registered, an increase of 40 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.
That is praiseworthy, since you cannot just walk into a bicycle shop and then ride it away. First of all, you must be sixteen or older and have a moped or driving license. In addition, you must wear a bicycle helmet or other approved helmet. A license plate is mandatory, just like third-party insurance.
A bicycle helmet is mandatory on a speed pedelec (Photo: Seren Aybas)
Seatpost as modern art
The QWIC already looks as if it is up to its task even when it is stationary. It has an air suspension fork and hydraulic front and rear disc brakes. The appearance of speed pedelecs in the Performance Series - which includes the tested RD11 Speed - is a plus in any case.
The appearance is not as clean and sleek as the VanMoof S3 recently tested by NU.nl, but just as you would expect a few more cooling openings and spoilers from a sports car here and there, so is everything on the RD11 on z ' one place.
The seatpost is a true piece of art. (Photo: Seren Aybas)
Ease of use when setting up support
Just like with the VanMoof, you can arrange and adjust a lot of things with a free app. The app also provides insight into your travel history, complete with calories burned. Fortunately, you can also set the level of support from the handlebar, which benefits the ease of use. The display mounted for this purpose is a bit on the small side and fairly limited in terms of functionality.
To the right of the steering wheel is a button for your horn. We noticed in the city that this noise cannot easily identify everyone on the cycle path. Fortunately, there is still a beautifully concealed bicycle bell on the left side of the handlebar. At high speed and in a noisy environment, the horn is a godsend.
The steering wheel is equipped with a real horn. (Photo: Seren Aybas)
Just as I had no experience with electric bicycles at the time of the test with the VanMoof S3, I also had no experience with speed pedelecs prior to the first ride with the QWIC RD11 Speed. So below are mainly first impressions, as people may also experience during their first ride with an electric bicycle or speed pedelec.
- Engine: TDCM
- Battery: 525 kWh (735 kWh available)
- Transmission: chain
- Gear system: Shimano SLX 11-speed
- Brakes: Magura MT5e
- Fork: Suntour MOBIE-45 Air
- Tires: Schwalbe Marathon GT
- Weight: 26.8 kilos (excluding battery)
Great speed sensation thanks to pedaling
Anyone who has ever sat on a scooter or moped knows that 45 kilometers per hour is reasonably smooth. Yet you don't always notice that much. Possibly because of a large helmet or the fact that you are still reasonably protected on a scooter. Not so with a speed pedelec, on which you are exposed to the elements and are pedaling.
The degree of assistance was set at position 4, the maximum position. As a result, the rear engine propelled me towards 30 kilometers per hour in no time. That is not recommended on the first attempt in the street. It is spectacular.
The support is a lot friendlier in positions 1 and 2 and also nicely even. You don't get the feeling that you run into resistance as soon as you go a little faster, something I did experience on the VanMoof. In combination with the hub gear, you can quickly find a nice rhythm on the QWIC RD11 Speed.
Anyway, the attraction is of course stand 4, which I immediately switched on again if there was enough space. On a wave of torque you steam for a few seconds towards 45 kilometers per hour and that experience is - let me be honest - great. Because you keep pedaling, you not only get more satisfaction from this speed, it also ensures more involvement because cycling offers more sensation in this way.
The rear wheel motor provides impressive thrust. (Photo: Seren Aybas)
Brakes are well suited to the job
Admittedly, in an urban environment, 45 kilometers per hour is often too much of a good thing. It is too busy for that and the speed differences are too great. You can even overtake mopeds easily.
Still, I totally envision commuting on a speed pedelec. On the road you will notice that the QWIC RD11 Speed remains comfortable even on bad roads. The brakes are also well suited to their task.
The speed experience provides a pleasant feeling, so that you arrive fully charged at your destination despite the effort. You also leave charged there, since the battery is removable and you can charge it anywhere. That is also necessary, because if you with the QWIC in position your four are quite busy, the supported driving range remains at 20 to 30 kilometers. A larger battery pack is available at an additional cost.
The battery pack is on the frame instead of on the back. (Photo: Seren Aybas)
The QWIC RD11 Speed is an impressive thing both in appearance and performance. The price tag is on the sturdy side at at least 3,899 euros, but you can see that. In addition, the competition is even more expensive.
The only thing that stands out is the small and sober display. An additional fee is required for a more extensive copy. In addition, the speed pedelec with 26.8 kilos excluding battery is quite heavy. From time to time I had trouble putting it away, but that was secretly mainly because the RD11 Speed is so addictive.
The control unit contrasts sharply with the rest of the bike. (Photo: Seren Aybas)