If you’re at all familiar with e-bikes, then you’ve probably at least heard of theMando Footloose. Besides simply looking unique, it distinguishes itself by having neither a chain nor a belt drive. Until now, however, all the models featured relatively small 20-inch wheels – not the greatest thing for surviving potholes, or maintaining speed. That’s about to change, as Mando has unveiled its soon-to-be-released 26-inch-wheeled Footloose.
Like the existing models, the new Footloose uses the rider's pedalling power to charge the bike's battery via an alternator in the crank. That battery in turn powers the rear hub motor. Riders can choose between throttle-only and pedal-assist modes, while viewing stats such as speed and battery charge level on a detachable 2.4-inch color LCD screen.
The 26-inch bike features a removable 36-volt/13.5-Ah lithium-ion battery, powering either a 250-watt (Europe) or 500-watt (US) motor. Those motor choices take it to a top speed of 16 mph (25 km/h) or 20 mph (32 km/h), respectively. Both versions have a battery range of 31 miles (50 km) in throttle mode, or 56 miles (90 km) in pedal-assist.
Featuring a carbon fiber frame and fork, it tips the scales at 48.5 lb (22 kg). For comparison, the smaller-wheeled Footloose IM weighs 47.3 lb (21.5 kg) and offers very similar performance figures. Like the IM but unlike the original Footloose, the big-wheeled version does not fold.
The Mando rep we spoke to at Interbike 2015 told us that pricing for the new model has yet to be determined, but it should be available sometime next year.