February 20, 2018
Obviously, no company really likes to talk about competitors a lot, but as we are often enquired on how the UNIMOKE compares to the Super 73 series of e-bikes from Lithium Cycles in California, here are our 2 cents about the topic:
The UNIMOKE was iterated from prototype stage (Early 2017) from very first handmade units to the now actual V2 version of 2018. As we went on producing, we added more functionality, changed many details and kept improving the product as we learned from our customers and by experience.
We also designed and chose a wide selection of different useful accessories and add-ons like seat options, cargo carriers, fenders, foot pegs and other features to make our bike realy useful for everyday operation.
Original or Pineapple?
When talking about the "Super 73", most people actually still refer to the original, mid drive, Mini-Bike frame Super 73 that popped up in 2016. This early version became a great succsess on Kickstarter but is currently not available for buyers. They added a new e-bike to the line, the originally called “Pinnaple Bike” that now is sold under the name Scout and Rose Ave.
As we do not want to compare pineapples with bananas here, lets focus on the now actually produced new "Scout" version:
The UNIMOKE features a complex full chromoly frame that is reinforced by means of stiffeners, gussets and crosstubes to make it very stiff, yet lightweight. The unique bottom bracket and battery carrying structure is made of 1,5 mm sheet metal and forms a solid unit including the vertical portion that acts as a solid seat support structure, meaning the rear tubes pretty much take the bumps and shocks, while the battery structure holds the riders weight.
Just to show you an example on about for how much load the UNIMOKE was designed for:
The Super 73 "open" frame is simpler and there is no secondary or diagonal structure to carry or distribute rider weight and vertical loads from bumps. It is easy to see how the rider basically sits on an inverted U-shaped tube only. The front part of the frame consists of two parallel tubes with no angles or extra reinforcements.
Handle bar and front fork design
The UNIMOKE features a foldable and adjustable handle bar/ front fork design that allows riders to adjust their seating position and allow for enough leg space, important for larger riders when peddling. The front fork has a drop-out protection for the front wheel and mounting points for fenders, lights and front cargo rack. Because the upper, adjustable part of the fork goes deep into the lower fork, the UNIMOKEs fork design is incredibly strong.
On the Super 73, the control bar setup is 100% rigid and just screwed to the lower fork and can not be adjusted in height or pitch.
The UNIMOKE has a molded PU-foam seat that streches from front to rear and folds up for battery removal. Together with the optional rear seat extension and the adjustable handle bars, riders of any size are able to adjust to their most comfortable position. Also, you can even take a second person in comfort on the rear seat and/ or have a child on the front seat.
The Super 73 features a short cushion type seat that is not adjustable. In combination with non-adjustable handle bars, that means: You fit on it... or you do not! Taking kids or passengers is not a real option.
Your battery is the most expensive and heaviest part of your e-bike, so it needs to be mounted in a well protected place, as close as possible to or below the center of gravity of your bike and protected against shocks. Also, the battery should NOT be be exposed to strong sunlight if avoidable.
This is why we have chosen an upright, low position in a solid metal structure to protect the battery.
On the Super 73, the battery is mounted high up on top of the frame. In case of a fallover or crash, that is pretty much the worst place for a battery to be. Also, Super 73 pilots should really watch for battery temp when they leave their bike outside on a hot summer day in direct sunlight...
The UNIMOKE by default comes with 7-gear Shimano "rapid fire" gear shifter, high qaulity 180 mm disc brakes, thump throttle (outside EU), LCD display and a full metal, LED motorcycle lamp which alone retails on the internet for over 120 USD.
Adding gears to an electric bicycle is a standard today and makes driving not only a lot more efficient, but also more enjoyable. In addition to that, it gives you a true option of coming home in case your battery runs empty.
The Super 73 Scout comes as a "single speed" without gear shifter, display or lights and a basic 160 mm set of brakes. Being single speed, peddling really is secondary on The Super 73 and riding it for any longer distance without engine is not a comfortable option.
Accessories and extras
UNIMOKE riders have a lot of extras to choose from: Cargo racks in different styles, passenger foot-rests, fenders, seat covers, mirrors, trailers and many other things to make it a real safe and useful everyday vehicle.
You can even upgrade the UNIMOKE to a full cargo or courier bike with 3 trailers sizes to choose from.
Lithium Cycles does not yet offer a lot of urban minded extras for cargo and transport.
Shipping and crating
The UNIMOKE comes 99% ready to ride in a stable crate. Assembly takes about 15 Minutes if done slow and by an unexperienced person.
Basically, the hardest part is opening the sturdy shipping crate and unpacking...:-)
The Super 73 comes pretty much as an assembly kit in a box. Be prepared to have quality tools, a free day and someone with a good mechanical background handy, as you will need to mount brake discs, put on your tires and chain assembly, install the fork and handle bars and install the wheels.
So all in all, we actually just do not think that UNIMOKE compares well to the Super 73 by Lithium Cycles in any way other that both share a certain vintage Mini-Bike heritage.
So Pineapples and Bananas that is... Both bikes are great bikes for their target group, but not directly comparable.
We hope this explains it once and for ever..:-)
January 24, 2018
Great to see this comparisson… my boyfriend was looking into both bikes… And I had a hard time seeing the small, but important differences… Seems like the Super 73 is more a teenager-fun-oriented concept, while the UNIMOKE aims more at commercial/ utility applications…
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