A bike that does not use a chain or belt!

CHARLES LEE | 15th May 2015 | NEWS

The Footloose IM is probably the latest electric bike introduced by bike-maker Mando to make this world a greener place to live in. Despite its genre as an electric bike, the Footloose IM sets itself apart by being one that does not feature what other bicycles, electric or non-electric, usually have – a chain or belt drive.

Modelled after the original Footloose, a foldable version which sports similar components, the Footloose IM has a unique drivetrain which allows its 36 volt, 8.2 ampere-hour lithium-ion battery to be recharged by an alternator when the rider pedals. The battery is located within the rear tube of the frame and the alternator sits within the crank’s compartment.

In electric mode, the Footloose is activated by a thumb throttle (a standard feature) and derives its kinetic energy from a 250 watt motor that could be found in the rear hub. According to its specifications, the Footloose IM, when fully charged, could cruise over a distance of 60 kilometres. At 21 kilograms, it is touted to be able to attain a top speed of 25 kilometres per hour.

The features of the Footloose IM are reportedly aplenty. Parking the bike could be conveniently done by using the side-stand that is factory-built into the left crank arm. Stocked with Schwalbe Big Apple tyres, the Footloose IM’s wheels require no truing as they are made of cast aluminium. It has built-in flashers and a bar-mounted Human-Machine Interface control unit that, apart from displaying information like speed and battery power, allows the rider to select the level of electric power to assist him or her in pedalling the bike. In the face of an ageing population, the Footloose IM might prove to be a convenient mode of transport for older riders who do not have enough strength or stamina to pedal to reach a specific destination.