It would seem that the electric bike market is a very crowded space these days. Every time you turn around there’s another company popping up with their latest entry into the e-bike arena. Heck, there’s even a website out there devoted strictly to reviewing e-bikes and they’ve covered hundreds of models.
As an outside observer of this genre of transportation, we can honestly say that most of what we’ve seen so far hasn’t caused the Excite-O-Meter’s needle to move much on the dial. The off-road variety tends to dominate the market and many of the other models are left lacking in style and design. Our outlook on e-bikes made a 180 recently when we laid our eyes on Ruff Cycles latest offering…the Ruffian e-bike.
Ruff Cycles is a German company that specializes in creating top quality custom cruiser frames and components. They manufacture their own frames in-house and have gained a great reputation over the past several years in the custom cruiser market. Company founder Petar “Pero” Desnica is obsessed with making sure his company is putting out the best product possible and being able to say that it’s made in Germany is also very important.
Up until this past year, Pero had been hesitant to enter into the e-bike market. It wasn’t until they perfected their new 7005 aluminum Basman frame and made a connection for German made Bosche Performance Line CX mid-drive motors that he felt comfortable jumping into the game. And boy did they jump in…
If you’re like us…you looked at the photo of the black bike above and said to yourself….man, they really nailed it. They are one of the first companies to conceal the battery in a way that flows perfectly with the frame design. No awkward rectangular box strapped to the downtube, no ugly canvas bag hanging off the bike, just a beautiful flowing tank that is reminiscent of the great motorcycles of the early 1900’s. The use of the Bosche mid-drive motor is also pleasing to the eye and gives the bike a cleaner look over using a big clunky hub motor. Everything about this bike screams quality, style and class.
Ruff Cycles recently unveiled the Ruffian at Intermot 2016 in Cologne, Germany, a major European motorcycle exposition and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Pero said that there were groups of people surrounding the bikes just staring and admiring the craftsmanship. He asked if they had any questions and many responded by saying they were just amazed by how nice they were. The more you look at the bike, the more details that you find that make you smile.
The company has a good start on preselling many of the first 500 bikes which will be shipping to the European market in March 2017. The U.S. will be in their sites later in 2017. They will be available in three different color combinations…gray, black and brown. All bikes come with the Bosche Performance Line CX mid-drive motor, Bosche Performance CX 250W (75Nm) battery, Shimano Alfine 8 speed hub and Shimano Deore Hydraulic disc brakes. The retail price on these is around $6,000 which isn’t chump change, but is right on target with other e-bikes of this caliber for sale today.
While it’s true that electric bikes of this level aren’t within everyone’s budget, we’re just happy to see that Ruff Cycles is putting the stake in the ground and showing everyone that you can build a gorgeous looking product that is extremely useful and fun to ride too. We look forward to seeing more innovations like this coming from our friends in Germany and can’t wait to see and test ride a Ruffian in the near future. Click here to find out more info on this bike and the great company behind it.