Vintage game developer Elite Systems, which is responsible for classics like Chuckie Egg, Saboteur and BombJack, is building its own electric bike – and it’s looking pretty good.
There’s very little explanation as to why Elite is launching a bike, which is named Paperboy, after the 1984 game for the Acorn Electron. In a video on its IndieGoGo crowdfunding page, the company simply says that it was “inspired by others” and is aiming to create “one of the sleekest and best concealed e-bikes we’ve seen yet”.
The Paperboy will have a 36V 10.4aH battery hidden away in the downtube and a 250W electric motor on the rear wheel. It’s fitted with disc brakes (something we always look for in a battery-assisted bike), and 21-speed gears. An LCD display sits atop the handlebars, but there’s no mobile app for navigation and delivering firmware updates.
A full charge will take quite a while (Elite says that the battery can be recharged in 300 minutes, or five hours), but the range looks impressive, at around 50 miles in power assist mode three.
The Paperboy will face stiff competition though, particularly from Ribble, another UK company and one that’s well established in the field of ‘stealthy’ e-bikes that could pass as conventional push-bikes at first glance.
The Ribble Hybrid Al E, which currently sits in the top spot in our guide to the best electric bikes, also has a 250W battery, but has a maximum range of 60 miles, and can be charged from flat in a mere 3.5 hours.
There are no hints yet about the Paperboy’s eventual retail price, but it’ll need to undercut the Hybrid Al E’s price tag of £1,999 (about $2,700 / AU$3,600) if it’s going to be competitive.
We’ll be speaking to Elite Systems to learn more about the Paperboy, and will keep you updated as soon as we know more.