Kalkhoff Pro Connect
The Kalkhoff Pro Connect electric bike is seen by many users to be the best in its price range. The 2009 and 2010 models have had great reviews from owners and the 2011 S (for Sports) model is even more powerful, with greater range than ever. You might call this the “Smart People’s” choice of E-bike, the one many go for after thorough research.
A technical marvel, this bike uses the brand new Shimano Deore XT 10-speed rear derailleur gears. The drivetrain consists of a 41-tooth chain wheel and an 11 to 34-tooth cassette with 9 titanium sprockets. The SL-K Light carbon compact crankset comes from FSA (Full Speed Ahead). Stiffness, lightweight, and strength are the crank qualities a cyclist needs and these cranksets have all three.
Giving travel distances of up to 140 km per charge, the new 18 Ah battery developed in Kalkhoff’s factory in Germany is the first of its kind and the largest on the market today. Previously having a life of 500 charging cycles, these new Kalkhoff batteries have a life of 1100 cycles. From 2011 onward, all Kalkhoff’s e-bikes with a frame lock will use a single key for the cylinder locks on both the frame and the battery.
The Kalkhoff Pro Connect electric bike is powered by a Panasonic motor, mounted low down behind the seat tube. With its low center of gravity, this gives it the best handling capability. A torque sensor, linked to the motor, monitors pedaling power constantly, to identify when the powered assist should kick in. The motor, with the chain drive, will provide the required assist level, up to 200% from 2011. Assistance ratios range from 1:0.7 (Eco) through 1:1.3 (Medium) and 1:2 (High).
The wheel rims are BlackJack XC400’s, with Niro Schwarz spokes and Top Contact tires from Continental. These include puncture protection in the form of a breaker strip made of Vectran, a reinforcing material used by NASA in spacesuits and Mars landers. Braking is provided by Magura Julie Speed, hydraulic disc brakes, with front and rear hubs both being the popular Shimano XT Discs.
The forks are Suntour NCX-D with lockout and coiled spring suspension, weighing in at around 2 kg. The lockout feature means that the amount of suspension travel can be eliminated for more efficient cycling on flat terrain. FSA K-Force Flat bar handlebars, with a Carbon/Kevlar composite construction and a stem of the same make, are finished off with Ergon ergonomic handlebar grips with bar ends.
With a Fizik Rondine saddle mounted on an FSA SL-250 Seatpost, you’re guaranteed a comfortable ride over the distances you’ll be traveling on this e-bike. The SKS mudguards come as standard, complete with a reflector. Reflectors are also fitted to the light aluminum pedals. The luggage rack has a stainless steel spring flap, strong enough to hold small, lightweight items. A Revolver Sport chainguard and a Pletscher Comp Plus Kickstand complete the mechanical components that come with these e-bikes.
The Kalkhoff Pro Connect electric bike has a Panasonic LCD display with an integrated speedometer and backlight and for safety on night cycling trips, a high-quality AXA LED Nano front light. Finished with a powder-coated magic black matt finish, this e-bike is the one to seriously consider in its price range, given Kalkhoff’s great reputation for quality.