I’m approaching a very fine line with this one: any further and I’ll be crossing over into the realm of our elder brother site, Bike EXIF. Thankfully the Deutsche have laid down very stringent guidelines as to whether an e-bike is a bicycle or a motorcycle. The Grace Pro race still has cranks and is one of the most intense bikes we’ve seen on Cycle EXIF since the Krutor Hrotor, so here it is.
Grace is a collaboration between designer and entrepreneur Michael Hecken and Karl-Heinz Nicolai. The Nicolai brand already has an established reputation for incredibly impressive downhill and XC frames, and they’ve also recently diverged into urban and commuter bikes. The Grace frames are produced at the Nicolai factory, where most of the CNC machining for the bike is created as well.
The Grace Pro Race is powered by a pedal-assisted engine, which can attain speeds of up to 45km/h and pump out 500 to 1300 watts. A handlebar-mounted computer also houses the two headlights in a massive CNC-machined block of aluminum, and provides the usual information, including the level of charge in the lithium ion cells. The motor is encased within the rear ‘hub’, also carved from a huge aluminum chunk, and is virtually maintenance free—no oil changes. With an axle-mounted brushless motor, there is no loss of power through the transmission. It requires a one-hour recharge, which is good for about 30-50 perfectly silent, emission-less kilometers. Each of Grace’s three frame options is available in 64 colors, with variations available for the computer and waterproof battery case. Check out more detail shots on the Grace Bikes flickr page. Ordering is available through the Grace website, where you can read about it in more detail and watch a video of it in action.
The Pro Race is only one member of the Grace family, but will only be produced to order. The production series consists of the more approachable ‘City’ model, and the short-inseam-friendly ‘Universal’ model, which incorporates a sloping top tube. While this Teutonic behemoth could be viewed by some as intimidating, it’s interesting to note the Grace moniker is a reference to Michael Hecken’s appreciation of Grace Kelly.
PS: There are thirteen beautifully-photographed bikes featured in the 2011 Cycle EXIF Bicycle Calendar. Grab your copy here with no fear of missing out on a full year—we’ve included January 2012 as a bonus.