Ampler’s 2019 e-bikes look promising

Ampler is back with its 2019 lineup of electric bikes that feature integrated batteries and up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) of pedal-assisted range from a 250-watt rear-hub motor. While the bikes still look the same, the Estonia-based company (with its service center in Berlin) is making numerous improvements to the underlying components and firmware. The bikes are also slightly cheaper this year, even as the base prices have increased into premium territory.

The lightweight and sporty Curt model I reviewed last summer is even lighter now thanks to a full carbon fork that helps drop the weight below 30 pounds (13.5kg) for the first time. The base model has been expanded to include full fenders, puncture resistant tires, a belt driven 10-speed derailleur, and integrated lights all as standard items. That significantly raises the starting price from €2,490 to €2,890 (about $3,200). However, that new price actually represents a savings of €145, Ampler assures me, compared to the same options purchased on last year’s Curt.

The more versatile Stout and Stellar commuter bikes are getting new color options, component updates, and more standard equipment which conspire to raise the starting price from €2,290 to €2,490. However, Ampler tells me that’s a cost savings of €70 on bikes configured with the same options in 2018.

Despite the discount, Ampler is taking a risk by increasing the highly emotive starting price into VanMoof territory. The new base models represent the most common configurations ordered by customers, according to Ampler, which is transitioning from built-to-order bikes to pre-configured bikes this year. It’s a move that should help the company reduce shipping times on new bike orders from weeks to just 4 to 7 working days anywhere in Europe. (Ampler does not sell or support its bikes outside of Europe.)

Ampler is also updating the firmware controlling the motor on all models with a promise of smoother power delivery and better hill climbing.

It all sound very promising so stay tuned for the review coming up in the days ahead.

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