- Electrically assisted bicycle with removable motor and battery via the Michelin e-drive system
- The weight
- The propulsion system
- The special Michelin tire
- Disc brakes
- A removable propulsion system
- A mobile application
- The price
- VAE video test
Electrically assisted bicycle with removable motor and battery via the Michelin e-drive system
Urban mobility is advancing more and more quickly with an exponential number of solutions from monowheels to scooters and especially through electrically assisted bicycle or VAE.
Presentation of the VAE Wayscral Hybrid Michelin
So the question of "for or against" no longer arises. It is rather now "when?". The electric bike thus appears as the final solution with prices ranging from 599 euros to several thousand euros, especially among motorcycle manufacturers, such as Ducati with its Mig-RR (6,250 euros) or even more recently Harley-Davidson but with bicycles. for children. Even the scooter manufacturer Kymco got started by offering several electric bike solutions from 2399 euros to 4899 euros. And at the top of the basket, there are electric two-wheelers-bikes-motorcycles with models like the Bultaco Alebro 4.5, but which require helmet, insurance and license plate. This explains why the market is exploding with more than 250,000 models of electric bikes sold in France per year, compared to the 2.7 million bikes sold..
There are therefore plenty of solutions and even Michelin does not land in the field, since the manufacturer had already presented in 2012 a model of foldable bicycle with electric assistance. And this famous Wayscral-Michelin model had already been announced in 2017. And it actually took more than three years between the start of the project and its actual arrival on the market..
And for those who do not know Wayscral, it is a brand of the Mobivia group, having already sold more than 70,000 bikes..
Wayscral Hybrid Michelin Electric Bike
So what is Michelin doing in electric bikes again? just another player among all the players in the market simply because it is a tire manufacturer and a bicycle has tires? Nay. The reality is elsewhere, the proof is with 9 patents filed for this new model Wayscral Hybrid Michelin, truly innovative on the market.
There is nothing more like an electric assist bicycle than another electric assist bicycle. Bike enthusiasts will naturally say the opposite, because there are indeed differences, but for the neophyte, it’s always two wheels (28 inches here), a frame, a saddle and for the electric a battery, resting on the frame or placed at the level of the luggage rack.
Wayscral Hybrid Michelin Electric Bike
The Wayscral Hybrid powered by Michelin model is elegant, with a design signed Sacha Lakic but its characteristics are not only based on elegance but on three major points: the weight, the propulsion system and the fact that the engine and batteries are removable.
Designed by Sacha Lakic
Why is weight important? Because when the battery is empty, it’s good not to drag an anvil, especially on a hill. The VAE has been designed to represent a light weight in the market, without causing the price to explode. Because we can use noble and light materials, but which increase the final bill. The VAE weighs here only 18 kilos fully equipped and functional, thanks in particular to an aluminum frame (but a steel fork) while a number of entry-level VAEs revolve around 24/25 kilos.
The propulsion system
It is important to note that we are talking about a Wayscral electric bike with Michelin for the tires. Of course, like all bicycles, there are indeed tires. But with this VAE, it is the propulsion system that changes the game, taking up a system similar to the Solex, based on the principle of a toothed wheel that presses on the tire to propel the bike. But unlike the Solex, where the roller was placed on an almost standard tire and where the weight of the engine provided friction, here the roller presses against the edge of the tire sideways and at the rear. This changes from the solution usually based on a motor placed in the hub of the rear wheel..
The drive roller mounted on an axle to disengage from the wheel
And inside, there is a 250 W brushless motor developing a torque of Nm powered by a 36 V / 7 Ah Lithium battery incorporating Panasonic cells..
Roller with the toothed wheel which comes to rest on the tire
The special Michelin tire
One could imagine a standard tire to lean on but Michelin has developed a specific tire with the Michelin Protek Urban hypbrid not only to ensure stronger resistance of the tire but to include notches in the tire so that the tire and the roller interact. like a gear, thus ensuring efficient propulsion, even in the rain. Thus, the system cannot slip. The roller is only present on one side and the tire is therefore also notched on one side.
The roller is here well protected towards the interior. We can therefore have normal side bags on the right and resting on the withdrawal handle on the left on the other hand..
The rear tire also incorporates Aramid Protek technology, in the form of an anti-puncture reinforcement placed under the tread. The front tire incorporates a 1mm rubber layer to enhance puncture resistance. It accepts a pressure between 3 and 6 bars !
At the front, we have an almost standard tire with the Michelin Protek e-bike, which is characterized above all by its reflective strip on the sidewall. It accepts pressures between 2.5 and 6 bars !
Both tires incorporate a 37-622 (700 * 35C) inner tube.
The bike incorporates front and rear disc brakes, with pads exerting pressure on the discs to brake.
A removable propulsion system
As a result, the motor and its roller as well as the battery and its controller are placed at the level of the rear luggage rack and can be removed. The advantage is twofold. First of all, you can take the battery to recharge it at the office or at home. There is no longer any need for an electrical outlet at the bottom of your house or in the bike room. Then, of course, 70% of the price of the bike lies in the motor and its battery. So, by removing it, we decrease the risk of being stolen (or we reduce the cost of the theft).
Removable motor and battery
A mobile application
Like almost all electric vehicles, there is a Michelin Drive mobile app (on Google Play and Apple Store) which works via Bluetooth which allows you to give information on the battery, its charge, but also to choose between the two speed modes. electric (in addition to traditional handlebar gears) normal or performance. Like any app, we also have information on the average speed, the trip. It also makes it possible to obtain a global diagnosis.
Normal mode provides an average of 30-40 km of range while performance mode provides a range of 45 km.
Mobile smartphone application
The VAE is placed just under the psychological bar of 1000 euros to 999 euros, a generally "mid-range" price, knowing that the motor + battery kit can be purchased as a replacement thereafter is at 649 euros. As for the famous notched rear tire, it is sold 34.90 euros. But Michelin ensures that the tire must do at least 3,000 kilometers.
As it is a global solution, this model is distributed by Norauto in its centers and stores (650 in Europe, 400 in France) but also on the internet with a possible home delivery..
There are two versions, male and female, or more exactly a high frame model and a universal one, which just change the overall shape of the bike as usual. After the two models are based on exactly the same technical basis.
Electric bike for men and women
A bike remains a bike, it just has 7 Shimano RevoShift Altus speeds on the handlebars, speeds that do not change the assistance in any way. They just allow you to provide a different muscular effort, like on any bike. On the other hand, inevitably, when we are on a low speed and knowing that the motor helps in the same way, we suddenly make less effort..
The saddle is adjustable in height in the traditional way with a quick release system.
The handlebars can be adjusted both in height and in inclination, with an "ahead set" type stem. Just use a 5mm hex wrench for adjustments.
We appreciate the original side stand.
A certain elegance with leather reminders on the handles and the saddle
You just have to turn on the system with a single button located on the right of the bike, which allows you to see the battery charge status by five blue LEDs. The other possible settings are only made via the mobile app. It is turned off by the same button. With a little practice, we even manage to turn on the system while pedaling at the same time, by sliding the hand backwards and feeling the button under the finger.
In fact, the VAE makes it possible to pedal without assistance or with an assistance, the assistance varying according to the pedaling. When tested, the help is really noticeable when starting and then up to a speed of 25 km / h where we hear the slight hum of the engine. A hum less than certain noises of electric motors which could be likened a few years ago to a small electric drill. But we can hear it all the same. You can then continue to pedal to feel the help. And as soon as you stop pedaling, the system separates from the wheel and stops helping to resume as soon as you pedal again.
The VAE can be set to two modes – eco and performance – the eco mode tends to help up to 17 km / h while the performance mode helps up to 25 km / h. It is just a shame to have to go through the mobile application to switch from one mode to another, while on the flat, the eco mode is more than enough to feel that you are pedaling anyway. On the other hand, as soon as you are on a hill, you would like to be able to switch to performance mode to be more helped. Better since the mode can be chosen via the application and even if it means installing its mobile application on the handlebars, we would like to be able to choose more finely the help provided or with more predefined choices.
In the meantime, the eco mode is the most pleasant mode on a daily basis, avoiding having a too clear recovery when turning the pedals, especially when making a U-turn when stationary; what to be destabilized otherwise.
And we can feel the transition from one mode to another in terms of assistance, especially on the side. While we have to force on a slightly steep hill in eco mode, we just have the feeling of pedaling normally in performance mode.
And to completely disengage the aid or, on the contrary, to reactivate it, all you have to do is back pedal, about half a turn back. A simple gesture that is immediately effective and above all that does not generate jolts as we sometimes experience on some models. Here, the help is clear, appreciable, efficient, but flexible … which means that we just have the impression of being helped to reach the real 25 km / h (verified by GPS), even if the manufacturer says it can reach 26.5 km / h, since the model was designed to develop the 10% more possible by the standard.
In fact, what is even more pleasant with the VAE is that I had to dismount on certain slopes around my home. And there, without forcing, certainly slowly but surely, it climbs, not by itself, but it climbs.
And last point, the bike also works without any help. And to have tested it without engine assistance, on the flat, for several tens of kilometers, it is also feasible. The bike is not light but once you have started pedaling it can also be used without any motor..
This coupling between pedaling-backpedaling explains that it is not enough to equip just any bike to have the equivalent of a VAE. Wayscral is currently the only manufacturer of this type of bike, even if in the long term, other manufacturers should offer this type of solution..
Standard on pedelecs, the braking is mechanical, therefore with cables, but with the discs offers a good feeling and a good braking … to be coupled with the fact of stopping pedaling to stop cleanly.
Small anecdote, but as the engine makes noise, the fact of arriving automatically alerts any pedestrians in front of you (in a quiet area, the noise is not deafening but quite noticeable anyway).
The motor and the battery are removable but locked by a key. Everything is easily extracted in three seconds by performing a quarter of a turn of the key and weighing only 3 kilos is easily transported at home for recharging, verified in three hours. The toothed wheel is well protected and the motor unit can thus be placed on the ground without paying particular attention to the direction of placement on the ground..
You just need to have the technique to properly re-clip the engine battery unit in the other direction, otherwise the assistance system will no longer help. So you have to go there until you hear a sharp noise. We got screwed during the test, so we share the little subtlety. The system can also unclip after a few meters if it has been improperly engaged. So do not hesitate to get off the bike, to push it again so that it stops. And you have to remember to place the locking flange in the front and under the case..
The five leds are used to judge the load, greater than 75% with 5 leds, greater than 50% with 4 leds, greater than 30% with 3 leds, greater than 10% with 2 leds and less than 10% with one led. And when the last led flashes, the battery is dead.
The 5 diodes showing the state of charge of the battery
Note that the battery turns off automatically after 15 minutes of inactivity.
Wayscral announces a range of 30 to 45 kilometers. On our usual path, there are many false flats and odds which mean that despite the fact that it is also a descent when we do it on the outward and return journey, we rather came across a range of 30 kilometers.
Charging is done directly on the bike or at home in three hours or less, depending on the state of charge of the battery. Charging is done via the charger (in the photo above, with a standard plug on one side and the charging tip on the other to connect to the battery). The charger indicator light stays on red while charging, then turns green when the battery is charged.
Wayscral recommends to load the box flat (in other words with the pinion on the top, upwards), quite simply because the system with the toothed wheel comes to life for a few seconds when plugging in..
The extractable engine and controller unit with its charger
The lighting supplied includes a headlight, a rear light, two reflectors (one white in the front light and one red in the rear light) and orange reflectors on the wheels. We note the presence of a reflective strip on the sidewalls of the tires also to ensure better visibility at night..
The front light includes a small switch on the top of the lamp. Inside there are two button cells (CR2032). The rear light is turned on with a press button. There are two batteries inside (LR6 AAA).
The original luggage rack is naturally used, if only to place a real and large lock of the type used for motorcycles. And the luggage rack is well-designed enough that a tensioner can be easily attached to it..
Remember to take a real motorcycle type lock to hang it on a fixed point
The handle on the side will get in the way if you want to put certain child bicycle seats; but it is possible with certain seats (to be tested absolutely according to the child seat).
VAE video test
We’ve been looking at electric bikes for a while. But we found the entry-level models heavy and we had doubts about reliability, especially with batteries of unknown origin. The brand and the Michelin guarantee are reassuring here with a two-year guarantee to also offer an Electrically Assisted Bike that is really pleasant to use, in particular with a reasonable weight, if only to go down or up a sidewalk or to handle it when stationary. . And the eco and performance modes allow you to choose the help given according to your physical form, there are days without and days with it and the bike is expected to adapt..
- motor that can be disengaged when pedaling
- removable battery
- engine / assistance approval
- bike style
- mobile app
- switch to eco / performance mode only via the mobile application
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