I had the opportunity to enjoy a test ride on one of the first BH Atom Street at 50cycles headquarters last week.
BH Atom Street is a fresh model for the 2020 season
It’s new for 2020 and uses the BH-1E centre motor and a 500Wh battery to do its stuff. The battery is fully integrated into the frame (though easy to remove) giving it a very clean look with white powder-coating, front and rear lights, a good luggage rack, disk brakes and multifunctional display.
It’s a step-thru bike with 26-inch wheels, suitable for riders from 5’2″ up to about 6′. You spung forks, slightly bowed handlebars, a comfy saddle and rear luggage rack.
This is the class of bike that has proven most popular with tens of thousands of our customers over the years. This is why I was so keen to see how it performs in comparison with old favourites like the Kalkhoff Agattu and Cube Town Hybrids.
If we consider price alone, it already compares well at only £1895 for this version.
There’s also the Atom Street Pro with a couple of nice refinements like a colour display and 720Wh battery capacity, priced at £2495.
But it’s not all about price, of course. How does it feel to ride?
First Ride Report
Well, it feels like electric bikes should feel. You’re in no doubt that the motor is working for you, providing useful assistance from a standing start and plenty of power to help you glide up hills with minimal effort.
It gets up to speed very quickly, especially in the top assistance mode. One of the swifter electric bikes I’ve experienced, up there with the Winora Yakun and Yamaha PW-X motor. But much quieter. In fact it powers your ride least amount of fuss and noise we’ve seen.
It’s definitely more powerful than the Panasonic and Impulse motors that powered the Agattu, without the sludgy resistance many customers complained about on the lacklustre Bosch Active and Bosch Cruise motor on Cube Town and Elly bikes.
They tended to fade badly on steeper hills and then resist your efforts when cycling faster than the assisted speed limit. Fine for unchallenging riding in gently mixed terrain and over short distances but limited beyond that.
The BH Atom Street has more oomph and verve and works with you all the time, never against you.
The BH-1E motor is the real deal. It picks up quickly and provides strong assistance right up to the assisted speed limit.
It’s particularly impressive on hills, always the acid test for electric bike riding. After all, that’s why most people buy them, to get the better of the local hills.
The new Kalkhoff Agattu?
So, what we have here, at long last, is a worthy replacement for the Kalkhoff Agattu that dominated the step-thru electric bike market for the best part of a decade, both here and across Europe.
The Agattu was so popular because it offered comfort, power and respectable range at a reasonable price. We have several examples in our Refurbished Trade-In Bike range.
It’s the least expensive example of the BH Atom BH-1E powered e-bikes. There are other versions – like the impressive BH Atom Diamond Wave Pro with its hub gears, the sporty Gents BH Atom Cross Pro, both with super high-capacity 720Wh batteries.
But this entry-level model is exceedingly capable in its own right.