What's new in the Kalkhoff Impulse Electric Bikes
New Kalkhoff Impulse 2.2 Motor
The latest Impulse motor version benefits from a number of technical and material improvements introduced in 2016.
- The entire freewheel assembly has been redesigned and now sits inside a new polished housing, allowing it to operate at maximum efficiency.
- An improved lubricant compound is now applied by robot, with much greater precision and consistency than was possibly with the earlier manual technique.
- Vital gear wheels have been re-engineered to be larger and more robust.
- Finally, a new waterproof membrane protects lines the inside of the motor, permanently protecting it from the elements.
These improvements make Kalkhoff's Impulse 2.2 motor system the most reliable in the E-bike market, with materials and precision engineering at a level you'd expect in the automotive industry.
The second generation of Kalkhoff's Impulse electric bike system brings greater power, improved components, Shift Assist, a multifunction display and larger capacity batteries across the range. It's now the most powerful and sophisticated electric bike system on the market and also offers the longest range.
Greater power than ever - demolishes hills
Kalkhoff have engineered the Impulse 2.0 elecric bike system with a crank drive motor that develops up to 70Nm of torque, the highest power of any centre motor on the market. That means stronger hill climbing, faster acceleration and better performance when towing trailers or when piled up with luggage.
New gearbox - more power, less noise
At the heart of the Impulse 2.0 motor is a new, precision-engineered gearing system, developed by a specialist engineering partner located in the German Black Forest. It's this, along with the new controller, that allows such an enormously increased power output, greater all-round efficiency and smoothness. It's considerably quieter too.
Shift Assist - smoother gear changes
Now this is really clever. The power of the new motor would normally put a serious strain on both the chain and gears, especially when shifting up or down the gears. Kalkhoff's technicians have designed a widget that detects movement in the gear cable and cuts the motor power for a fraction of a second while the gears go about the business of changing.
The duration of the Shift Assist effect, from zero up to 300 milliseconds, can be adjusted to suit your riding style. For the Endeavour Impulse Speed bikes, Shift Assist is set at 125 milliseconds while the standard 250 milliseconds is perfect for the other Impulse 2.0 models.
What does this mean out on the road? You'll find changing gear while riding is seamless - no need to pause pedalling while riding with hub gears. There's a very satisfying power boost on each gear change and it works particularly well while riding uphill. Both your bike's gears and chain are likely to last longer too as Shift Assist will shield them from the motor's power when they're most vulnerable, during gear changes.
Changing gears under load has presented a problem for electric bike designers for years. Kalkhoff have nailed it with their Impulse 2.0 Shift Assist system. The result is the most satisfying and confidence-inspiring riding experience of any electric bikes.
Climb Assist - helps you all the way to the top
This is another clever feature Kalkhoff's engineers have baked into Impulse 2.0. The motor uses a torque sensor (which measures how hard you're pedalling) to decide how much power assistance to give you. However, if it's too sensitive you could find yourself left without power as you ease off on pedalling when reaching the top of a hill, making it feel more like hard work as you get to the top.
Impulse 2.0's new Climb Assist technology maintains assistance even after the hill starts to level out as you reach the top. It's a a nice touch that makes for happier hill-climbing and unique to Kalkhoff.
Multifunction display and new handlebar remote control - crystal clear and easy to use
All Kalkhoff bikes with Impulse 2.0 are fitted with a multifunction display as standard. The LCD shows Speed, Charge, Assistance Level, Total Miles, Trip Miles.
There's also a new illuminated Handlebar-mounted control (shown to the left) - with Walk Assist button, on/off, power controls and options.
How Impulse 2.0 compares to the Bosch electric bike system
There are several centre motors like the Impulse 2.0 system on the market now. Bosch have recently offered their own pedal assist electric motor for bicycles, with manufacturers such as KTM, HaiBike, Moustache and others fitting it to their new electric models. But how do the Impulse 2.0 and Bosch systems compare?
|Bosch||Impulse 2.0||Impulse Evo|
|Motor power (Watts)||250 W & 350 W||250 W & 350 W||250 W & 350 W|
|Maximum torque||48 Nm - 60 Nm||70 Nm||80Nm|
|Maximum battery capacity||400 Wh (36V 11Ah)||612 Wh (36V 17Ah)||612 Wh (36V 17Ah)|
|Charge cycles (battery lifetime)||500||1100||1100|
|Gear shift detection / Shift Assist||Derailleur only||Both derailleur & hub||Both derailleur & hub|
|Multifunction LCD with remote||Yes||Yes||Yes + Navigation|
|Rear safety light
(brightens when braking)
|Motor weight||"less than 4kg"||3.8kg||3.8kg|
The Impulse motor system comes out as the clear winner:
- Far longer battery lifetime (your battery can be recharged more than twice as many times)
- Far greater battery capacity (the 17Ah pack will assist you up to 125 miles in ideal conditions and up to about 85 miles in more realistic conditions, compared to about 50 miles for Bosch)
- Greater motor power output for tackling hills and headwinds
- Integrated rear light that shows following traffic you're slowing
- Gear shift optimisation for hub gears, not just derailleur. This is important as it's hub gears that actually benefit most from this technology!
When you consider that the bikes Impulse 2.0 motors power are some of the best-equipped, most comfortable and well-constructed e even without a motor, Kalkhoff bikes are way ahead of the competition in every respect, especially at our prices, which are consistently below those for comparable Bosch-powered electric bikes (though it's hard to compare like-for-like due to Bosch's modest battery capacity, lower torque and lesser assisted range).
The Electric Bike Effect
I cycled in this morning and cut half an hour off my commute time. Absolutely adore the bike. Arrived at work bursting with happiness! Thanks hugely it really is a wonderful piece of kit - dare I say it, even better than the hype!! Very satisfied customer.
From Ian in London Kalkhoff Pro Connect S owner