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Kalkhoff Sahel Compact i8

  • Frame type


  • Kalkhoff Impulse II 250W motor system

  • 17Ah Impulse Lithium battery

  • Shimano 8-speed hub gears

  • Compact 46cm alloy frame

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ElektroRad awards the Sahel Compact 'Very Good' in a recent test.

See the latest issue of Elektrorad for the full report (German)

The Sahel Compact offers impressive agility on your way to work, and also performs exceptionally well through zig-zagging back street short-cuts. Its short wheelbase means it can be stored and transported in all sorts of tight spaces. It's the lightest of the Impulse drive range at around 22.5kg. The Schwalbe Big Ben tyres look the business and take the edges off rough terrain.

It's powered by the Impulse 2.0 centre motor with either a 36 volt 17Ah or a 36 volt 11Ah battery. The Sahel Compact is superbly well-equipped with Magura hydraulic brakes, brilliant front and rear lights, new illuminated handlebar controls, puncture-resistant tyres, integrated mudguards and handy kickstand.

Impulse 2.0

Providing an enormous 70Nm torque and working with the gear shifter to provide seamless transmission it's the most capable crank drive unit around. Kalkhoff have engineered a more powerful, efficient, quieter motor that supplies massive assistance from a standing start and cuts all hills down to size.

Shift Assist

A genuine innovation this year - every time you change up or down a gear, power drops away for a matter of milliseconds for optimal gear shifting. This does a number of great things - it extends your gears mechanical lifetime, feels satisfyingly natural and makes for a smoother application of all that power. They had to invent a litte electromechanical gadget to detect gear changes that worked with the motor. They succeeded and the result brings a new feeling of confident power to riding a Kalkhoff electric bike.

Magura hydraulic brakes

It's been some years since Kalkhoff dropped cable-pull brakes on their most popular models. Magura's hydraulic piston design makes braking easy, well-modulated and reliable over time. There are no cables to stretch, the whole surface of the brake pad is applied to the rim (protecting both), pads last for ages and braking is strong and sure-footed. Looks cool too, with strong arch and neat braking assembly tucked against the forks.

Front and rear lights

Powered by a free-running Shimano hub dynamo, the lights on this and all Kalkhoffs are excellent. Few bikes on sale in the UK benefit from front and rear illumination of this quality and utility. The rear lamp behaves like a brake light, brightening when the bike's brain detects deceleration. Not only that, the rear lamp with remain lit for several minutes at standstill, for added visibility when waiting at lights or junctions.

The front lamp casts 30 lux of cool, bright LED light forward, enough to make night rides across the park something to enjoy rather than endure.

Other winning features


  • Compact multifunction LCD console - Speed, Charge, Assistance Level, Total Miles, Trip Miles
  • Compact, robust frame with short wheelbase and quick-folding features
  • Handlebar-mounted control - illuminated with Walk Assist button, on/off, power controls and options.
  • Magnesium alloy forks
  • 612 / 396 Wh Lithium tri-metal battery
  • 1100 cycle battery lifetime, more than twice that of the Bosch battery. So 50% extra capacity and 120% extra lifespan
  • Schwalbe Big Ben puncture resistant tyres

Ratings and Reviews

All you need and more

by from Cumbria England on

We purchased our bikes in February 2016, having read the reviews and spoken with a friend who owned a kalkhoff bike, though a different model. The design and quality build was very impressive and the bike certainly met our initial expectations. We live quite close to the Lake District National Park, so it was important that the bikes could cope with the many ups and downs which we would encounter. The bikes coped very well and always had something to spare, no matter how difficult the terrain. I have been on two long distance rides of over 200 miles and again the bike took each day of 50 miles in its stride, and i found that if you used the level of battery assistance carefully, I still had over 50% remaining. The general ride of the bike is very stable and comfortable and overall performance cannot be faulted. So all in all, though this is a small compact bike we have found that it is all you we need and more, wether we are just commuting or going on longer bike rides.

2017 Fold/Compact Test Winner

by from Germany on

The Sahel Compact Impulse, with a minor facelift, took a superb test win in the folding/compact category, repeating its victory from 2013 and 2016.

Fold/Compact Category: Test Winner
Easy Pedelec Category: Very Good

The compact Sahel from Kalkhoff is no newcomer to the line-up for the cycle manufacturer from Cloppenburg: a previous version had already been to ExtraEnergy for testing. Yet somehow, what seemed already to be an almost perfect product has still seen detail improvements. It’s a perfect example of how a product which has proven itself can remain on the market for many years with just minor product enhancements.

This mini-bike rolls on 20 inch wheels and comes in a single frame size, but thanks to a long seatpost and the versatile Speedlifter-equipped cockpit, it covers a wide range of rider sizes. The Sahel offers agile handling without feeling unsafe. The motor propels this pedelec superbly even on the steepest climbs, and the range of the battery is quite respectable. There is no suspension, but the balloon tyres absorb shocks well. The 2017 model of the Sahel Compact comes with painted metal mudguards and wider rims.

+ high range: city
+ high power assist levels: tour / hills / city
+ start and push assist

Sahel Compact 8 gear white with 17amp battery

by from Belfast Co Antrim on

Hi, I bought my Sahel Compact in October 2015, from 50 Cycles. I feel it is money well spend. I use it for work, and no longer have to stand and wait for four buses (2 each way). I also use it for commuting to the shops, visiting people and to the library where I relax and read or do puzzles or my colour theraby. I am also not driving around the city centre in my car looking for a parking space which I would have to pay for if I did find one.

Another great feature about this bike is it is semi folding great for lack of storage space. My wife who is four foot ten can also ride this bike thanks to the easily adjustable stem and seat post.

An electric bike is a great way to keep healthy without having to battle up hills or against head winds. More people riding bikes also means less cars. The less cars the less fumes from exhausts polluting our air. The streets and roads would be a lot saver for children to play in (when was the last time you saw children playing off ground tig or stuck in the mud etc). Yes I highly recommend this bike.

Technical Specifications

Frame Impulse Compact V4, alloy
Fork Urban Compact, alloy
Motor Impulse II Pedelec 36 V / 250 W, with Shift-Sensor technology
Battery Impulse Li-Ion 36 V / 540 Wh
Display Impulse Compact LCD, with pushing assistance
Shifting System Shimano Nexus Revo Shifter
Crank Kalkhoff Impulse, alloy
Cassette Starr
Gears Shimano Nexus 8 speed
Ratios front:38, rear:16
Handlebar Concept EX Riser
Stem Speedlifter Twist / Concept EX
Saddle Concept SL Trekking
Seatpost Concept EX
Brakes Magura HS11, hydraulic rim brake
Levers Magura HS11
Rims Rodi Web, Compact
Tyres Schwalbe Big Ben 55-406, with reflective stripe
Mudguards Plastic with edge protectors
Rack Tour 2-leg, alloy
Side stand Aluminum, adjustable
Headlight AXA Blueline, 30 Lux LED with parking light
Backlight Trelock LS 613, with safety back light
Colour Grey

Seat tube SIZE (mm) 460
Wheel size 20”
Wheelbase (mm) 1099
Standover height (mm) 492

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