In 2010, Fabian ‘Spartacus’ Cancellara gained notoriety for the alleged use of a battery and engine stowed in the seat tube of his bike to win the Tour of Flanders and the Paris–Roubaix events. ‘Mechanical doping’ is just as out-of-bounds as the use of performance-enhancing drugs for professional cyclists, but there’s no reason why the rest of us shouldn’t benefit from it, especially when it can look as good as this retro-styled eBike.
We’ve seen a couple of eBikes on Cycle EXIF, predominantly designed to look closer to Tron bikes than an Elgin roadster. But Till Dellisch, an Austrian entrepreneur, dreamed of creating a bike that could ascend hills with ease. The dream became reality with the evolution of modern eBike technology, but for Till it should also carry the same romance as a 1956 Porsche or an Aston Martin. Enter Viennese frame builder, Peter Gross.
Till made contact with Peter, who was able to realize the vision through a trussed, fillet brazed Reynolds 725-tubed frame. The truss design proved to be a challenge, but Reynolds supplied a 700mm long tube, which first had to have it’s wall thickness reduced by 0.5mm on a lathe. Peter had to shape the tube using his Anvil fork bender. He also had to re-configure the controls for the motor to fit a smaller handlebar diameter with the use of shims.
Peter tells us: “The alignment of the belt drive required attention too, so a stainless steel adapter for mounting the freewheel to the electric motor had to be made, as there was no freewheel rear sprocket for the belt drive until June, when Gates came out with one based on a White Industries free hub. Most electric motors are made for thread-on cassettes, and belt drive sprockets are available for cassettes or thread on without a freewheel, but we didn’t want to use a cassette.”
To maintain a clean silhouette, the cables are internally routed where possible. Wooden Ghisallo rims help complete the picture—laced with tied-and-soldered spokes to gorgeous hubs by Curtis Odom—and a custom leather frame bag houses the battery and electronics. If you’re wondering about the head tube design, it’s a headless chicken, although I can’t tell you the reason why. Find out more on the Vienna Bikeworks Facebook page.