Evolving from the development and deployment of delivery bikes for the New Zealand Postal Service, the Smartmotion range was designed for New Zealand’s rugged conditions, with the aim being to produce a durable bike with quality components at an accessible price.
Smartmotion’s New Zealand based design team travels the world, researching and rapidly integrating new technology to improve the performance and ride of the Smartmotion electric bikes. The range now covers a wide spectrum of customer requirements, from commuting, leisure riding on Cycleways, RV auxiliary transport, to mountain biking.
The SmartMotion electric bicycle range was a natural progression after Anthony Clyde (director at Neal-Clyde Designs ltd) developed the Smartmotion eDrive system for the New Zealand Post delivery bicycles, in conjunction with NZ Post bicycle manufacturer Reiker Cycles. He spent nearly two years working with Reiker Cycles and NZ Post, trialing components, upgrading, redesigning, until the SmartMotion eDrive system was robust enough to meet the extreme needs of Postal delivery.
One year of Postal delivery use equates to about 10 years of ‘normal’ electric bicycle use – the posties ride (rain, hail or shine) for over 250 days a year, fully loaded, stopping to deliver, then accelerating away hundreds of times every day. There are SmartMotion-powered delivery bikes with NZ Post that have been in use for 4-5 years now, still on original motor and battery.
Meanwhile, Anthony sponsored Catriona Williams on the first ever handcycle ride by tetraplegics from Lhasa to Katmandu, via base camp Everest! Over 1000km and 10 Himalayan passes.
A higher torque 300w system was developed for Cat’s front, handdriven, wheel and powered by a larger 36v12ah battery. Catriona’s was the only bike to make it all the way without failure and the first
With the success of the 250w and 300w SmartMotion eDrive systems, the idea formed to create a range of super-reliable, yet affordable, SmartMotion electric bicycles. Anthony kept the same ‘industrial/commercial use’ design standard that was required for NZ Post. In a nutshell: high-end components, simple modular design, affordable quality.
Anthony travelled to China, inspected many assembly factories and chose one that ticked all the boxes…
• They already supplied Europe, so understood Western needs.
• The staff were highly skilled and well looked after by management.
• The company was flexible and happy to work with Anthony’s specific frame designs, battery case upgrades, high-end components, etc.
• The factory was close to Anthony’s China production manager.
Anthony spent a year evolving four SmartMotion models, the eCity, eMetro, eUrban and e20. Production began, with the 300w and 250w bikes selling into the NZ market.
Throughout 2012-13, as the bikes evolved from the original ‘whitebike’ V1’s, into the V3 ‘brownies’, the SmartMotion reputation quickly spread. With the release of the V4 bikes late 2013, sales exploded and the brand became NZ’s top seller (and best reviewed).
Interest for the bikes from around the world started to build and SmartMotion International was born to meet the demand. Within three months of its
2014-15 saw the V5 range, with upgraded LCD screens, Samsung 36v15.6ah high capacity batteries, custom cnc chain ring and alloy guard, frame lock, and the new Classic Red and Midnight Blue options.
The SmartMotion dealer network grew to over 40 nationwide and sales continued to expand rapidly. Shipments were often sold out before they even landed in NZ. Meanwhile, in Australia, SmartMotion was evaluated along with all major eBike brands and recommended by both Choice and RideOn magazines