One thing I’ve learned in all of my riding and testing of electric bikes is to appreciate subtlety. I’ve found that you often know a high-quality electric bicycle not by how much power it delivers at the flick of a throttle, or by the cleverness of its console, but in the silence of its operation, the smoothness of its shifting, and the intuitiveness of its controls. Designing an electric bicycle that amazes through subtlety is a feat. Perfecting a frame geometry, for instance, requires lots of theory and work, but the result is that the bicycle just feels right—a very subtle sensation.
Kalkhoff is a sophisticated producer of electric bikes from Germany, and the Pro Connect C8 is a bike that's a joy to use not for any single feature, but due to the combination of design decisions that add up to a whole lot. The Panasonic motor system on the bike has been tuned in combination with the gearing to offer plenty of power for acceleration and hill climbing, while still maintaining near silent operation and an extremely large gear range. In the name of making the Pro Connect C8 shift as smoothly as possible, the shifter has been upgraded from a standard Nexus twist-shifter to a higher end Alfine shifter. The combination of large tires along with a lightweight frame and component mix makes this bike feel nimble and sturdy, high-performance yet extremely comfortable. ->