The JIVR is a new electrically assisted bike designed for urban riding. It was created from a kickstarter campaign, and is going on sale now. I've been lucky enough to take one out for a test ride, and was very impressed!
Firstly, why an e-bike? Because Getting around under pedal power alone isn’t always ideal - perhaps the journey includes a lot of hills, or it’s an urban ride with a lot of stopping and starting. Let’s be honest, it’s not always practical to shower, freshen up or change clothes when reaching your destination.
The JIVR has an electric motor which drives the front wheel to assist the mechanically driven rear wheel. The rear wheel is driven by an internal mechanism concealed within the frame - there is no greasy chain on this bike. This is a huge advantage for commuters and casual riders alike – no one likes getting oil on their clothes – and there is no risk of the chain coming off either. It really can't be over sold how good a feature having no chain is.
The matte-finished, powder-coated, aluminum frame is sleeker and smaller when viewed in real life than compared with the photos on JIVR.co. The bikes shape is unique to the JIVR as the frame houses the drivechain mechanism, the Tesla (that’s right: Tesla!) batteries, and charging point too. Those batteries can provide up to 50km (31 miles) of range. Unlike an electric car the bike is not unusable without charge though – it still works as a normal bike.
During my test ride I gave the bike a chance with the bike in ‘off’ mode, to simulate the impact of running out of battery charge. The result was certainly acceptable, the fixed gearing ratio allowed for comfortable running on the flat. I should imagine the 18kg mass feeling pretty heavy uphill with the fixed gear ratio however, the bike can be charged quickly so it’s very unlikely the bike would be needed to be used without charge.
The futuristic look also continues with the asymmetrical seat post and single sided forks on both the front and the rear wheels. The wheels themselves are skinny and lightweight, reducing the bulk of the bike further. As a bonus the tyres include a reflective strip on the side wall - much like the Santander Cycles in London. The vast majority of components on this bike are specifically designed for the JIVR.
A key part of choosing a bike comes down to the style and the feeling you get when you ride it. A sporty stance can give you the strength and stability to tackle that single-track section, a racing posture can help you eek out every last Watt from your legs - and as for the JIVR - it feels like a bike from the future. As you ride this bike in one of the three electrically assisted modes the bike feels light beneath you and pulls you along like you are being towed by an invisible pack of huskies. | DM
Review by David Mather. Video filmed and edited by Hamish Andrews. David and Hamish test rode this e-bike courtesy of JIVR. Sign up for your trial ride at JIVR.co.