The Van Raam Balance may not look that different from afar, but upon closer inspection you’ll see a novel-looking frame that, among other features, helps the Netherlands-based company tout it as the safest two-wheeled electric bike in the world.
The biggest difference between the Van Raam Balance’s frame and that of any other step-through bike is the depth that the frame plunges to and the steep seat angle allowed by the design.
The idea is that not only can riders easily step through the bike to mount it with two feet flat on the ground, but they can still keep their feet flat on terra firma even while seated.
Many riders with limited range of motion in their legs and hips find it difficult to swing their leg up and over a tall bike’s rear wheel. Others with balance issues can have trouble coming to stop while trying to tip-toe on one side of the bike.
The Van Raam Balance tries to solve both problems at once with its unique frame design.
As the company explained, the seating position also has other benefits:
The great advantage of the Balance is the unique ergonomically designed seat. Wrists, shoulders and neck are hardly burdened while cycling. The more forward pedaling motion ensures that you use the power of your legs better than in case of conventional bikes. The lower centre of gravity makes the cycling easier and more comfortable. This bike is much safer than a normal low step through bike because you do not have to get on and off the saddle at a stop.
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New version of Van Raam Balance released
The company recently released several new updates to the Balance, including widening and lowering the entrance through the frame, moving the wheel lock from the front wheel to the rear wheel, sturdier injection molded chain guard, and new colorways.
There’s a non-powered version of the bike (or rather human-powered) that starts at €1,627 (approximately US $1,606). For the e-bike version though, you better not be on a pensioner’s budget. That model will cost you closer to €3,950 (approximately US $3,900).
For that extra cash, you’ll get a front-mounted hub motor with a rear-mounted 490 Wh battery pack. With just a 25 km/h (15.5 mph) top speed and no throttle option (it’s pedal-assist only), the company claims an impressive average range of 82 km (51 miles).
Whether electric-assist or not, all of the Van Raam Balance bikes include 24″ wheels, hydraulic rim brakes, adjustable handlebars, rear wheel lock, on-bike lighting, and a five-year warranty on the frame.
With another popular step-through e-bike recently grabbing headlines for frame-snapping issues, that five-year warranty should offer some added peace of mind.
As electric bikes grow in popularity among older riders and those returning to the joys of cycling they remember from years past, safer and more accessible bikes that offer riders more confidence could play a major role.
It’s a bummer to see how expensive the e-bike version is (and the pedal bike version too, to be honest), but many electric tricycles cost just as much or more. I guess these niche bikes with smaller markets have to make their money somewhere.
What do you think of the Van Raam Balance e-bike? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below!
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