In Europe and parts of Asia, electric cargo bikes are fast becoming alternatives to cars when it comes to urban personal mobility. Cargo bikes themselves have come a long way in terms of design, with manufacturers getting more creative when it comes to practicality and utility. We’ve seen some of the weirdest and coolest electric bike designs out there, and Germany’s new Maniac and Sane cargo electric bikes surely top that list.
The Maniac and Sane electric cargo bikes are the brainchild of German inventor Martin Fleischauer, who focused on two key elements when designing these electric bikes: light weight and ease of use. Maniac and Sane look very similar, however they are designed to serve slightly different purposes.
For starters, the lighter of the two, the Maniac is equipped with a carbon fiber frame and weighs just 12.8 kilograms ready to ride. It also has a payload capacity of up to 200 kilograms. The manufacturer claims that the bike is dynamic and manoeuvrable, with driving qualities similar to those of a road bike. Sure, this might be hard to believe given the unique design of the front end of the bike, but that’s something we’ll talk about in a bit.
The Sane, on the other hand, is slightly heavier at 22.8 kilograms. It is more powerful though, as it has a Neodrives Z20 rear hub motor with an output of 40Nm. In addition, its V8 battery with a capacity of 626 Wh promises greater autonomy. Overall, the Sane has a top speed of 16 miles per hour and the same 200-kilogram payload capacity as the Maniac. The Sane, in general, was designed to serve a more utilitarian purpose, unlike the Maniac, which is designed primarily with ease of use in mind.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering how exactly the weird-looking front end of the bike works. Clearly adding some sort of mechanical link from the handlebars to the front end is going to add a lot of weight. To prevent this, both the Maniac and Sane make use of a unique steer-by-wire system, in which the rotation of the front end precisely matches that of the rider’s inputs to the bar. This allows you to pack your load between the front wheel and the handlebars, and keep it very low, keeping the bike stable at both low and high speeds.
Naturally, such technology doesn’t come cheap, and Maniac and Sane command a fairly high premium. The Maniac, for starters, comes with a sticker price of 9,995 Euros or $10,575 USD. The tougher Sane commands a premium of €11,995 or $12,700. Both models are open for order on the official Maniac and Sane website linked below.
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