There used to be times, not so long ago at that, when no one from the cycling industry in my native Bulgaria would take the topic of electromobility seriously. It was an area that required serious research and efforts which eventually meant slower sales. But to me, the idea was 100% worth exploring. It was just the start of a journey that I personally recognized as my own cause - to inspire people to live and move about sustainably.
Today, a few years later, I’m proud to say that my team puts their hearts into creating electric bikes that tick every box in the hybridity scale, have excellent adaptability to a range of surfaces and are super good to the environment. The latest entries in theEconic One e-bike range, Bandit and Adventure, are the living proof for that.
How it all began
It was the middle of the pandemic and we had plenty of time to work on upgrading our products. We never stopped trying to build the smoothest ride, a machine that would roll swiftly anywhere, anytime. We loved the performance of the rear hub and yet, we wanted to step it up a notch, add more juice to reach more places, at higher speed.
In the midst of prepping for Eurobike 2021 we came up with the prototype of our mid-drive bike. It was a gravel bike, as it offered great rideability and didn’t quite fit into popular categories, like e-mtb or commuter bike. We used the expo as an opportunity to take notes and work on the concept of our e-gravel project.
The time was very challenging as the supply chain was struggling, so we thought - what better period to develop our ideas and find our way to the best possible mid-motor bike. Soon the prototype turned into Bandit, our е-gravel machine.
Beyond the gravel
My dream of infinite bike lanes goes hand in hand with my love of nature. I realized that should translate into a bike that is both eco-friendly and sporty enough to get the rider farther. We needed to challenge the standards and re-think the frame we had built. The idea of an even more powerful e-bike started to emerge, a machine that would challenge the limits of fun and terrain.
So, instead of one mid-motor model, we decided to make two. We knew there were people who were fond of mountain adventures, without necessarily being super skilled, and we had just what they needed - a strong and swift e-mtb that could go for miles on end and easily overcome various mountain obstacles. This was to become the Econic One Adventure.
Both names, Bandit and Adventure, were crowdsourced from the team and the customers. We really felt we had to involve more people in the naming process and this proved to be very exciting.
Testing is the biggest part of the launch of our products. It’s the most fun, too. Each of our crew members can test ride the bikes and share their thoughts. As you can see, we even tested how good they look on camera.
I always take a ride on the beach to test the balance of the bike and to enjoy the sand in my most favorite way: on my e-bike.
This is our Co-CEO, Vladi Davtchev, who’s in charge of the Econic One US branch. He and his brother, Andrew, took these pictures when we sent them a sample bike and they test rode it across Utah - one of those wallpaper locations that cyclists dream about.
Our e-bikes may look like traditional ones, but the difference is you can really ride them anywhere, they're super capable and versatile. Our ride across Utah was a blast. We test rode in the Moab desert, one of the top (most iconic) mountain biking spot in the US. Both of the bikes we rode, Cross Country and Adventure, passed the test admirably and offered excellent stability, but the higher torque of the mid-drive powers up the fun in a new, unexpected way.
Back to the team test ride, after the long wait for bike parts, we were finally able to assemble our first mid-motor samples and let every enthusiast from the team take a ride. This was super helpful as it encouraged us to experiment with the fork, the frame and, most importantly, the Econic One element - the frame integrated IoT devicethat connects to the app and brings on all the tech fun.
I am really excited about the opportunity to take Bandit and Adventure to the Vitosha 100 race in June. It’s definitely a great test of character, both for the rider and for the ride. Last year our talented Graphic Designer, Nadia, was in the top 3 in the women's competition.
This year we're aspiring to get even more medals, as more and more people from our growing team are eager to take part in the race.
The new Econic One models are now available for pre-order and we hope you're as excited as we are.
Galin Bonev, Founder and Co-CEO at Econic One