Luxury Italian coachbuilder Ares has teamed up with the manufacturers of the world’s lightest electric bicycle (e-bike) to build an ultra-lightweight e-bike which, weighing in at only 9 kilograms, will set you back $AU30,500.
What makes the Ares Super Leggera by HPS really interesting, however, is the use of the HPS-developed Watt Assist system, which stores the batteries innocuously in the water bottle cage such that it looks exactly like a water bottle. This also serves to balance the weight distribution close to the bottom bracket ensuring a low centre of gravity.
With such a hefty price tag, the Super Leggera is not going to be a particularly commonplace e-bike, but as with all high-end road bikes, the price tag is not completely wasted. A fully carbon fibre frame already puts a premium on the cost, and matching components including disc brakes, crankset, derailleurs, and brakes, only serve to continue racking up the cost.
Combine this with the HPS 200 Watt Assist system that is the lightest on the market and ensures that the bike behaves exactly like a top-of-the-line racing bike, and the mind-numbing price starts to become a little more coherent – albeit coherently well out of most peoples’ price range.
This is the first joint venture between Ares and HPS – where Ares designed the frame and finishes for the bike, and HPS dealt with the mechanical and engineering side of things. Some of those design-specific finishes include handmade leather parts and round tube carbon fibre frame alone with a 60s and 70s retro style colouring.
A limited series of 24 bikes are currently being exhibited and sold in Ares showrooms in Italy, UAE, Austria, Switzerland, the United States, Germany, Spain, and Monaco.
“The collaboration with HPS will continue, we will work further in the development of this project,” said Dany Bahar, co-founder and CEO of ARES.
“The first production of limited series bikes in August will be followed by a second limited series of top-of-the-range road bikes, always assisted with our technology but with even more demanding specifications.
It will be a different project from the previous one which is retro in style: it will be very modern, in terms of shapes, materials and colors. And in December, again taking advantage of the technologies developed by our joint research, we will offer a high-end city bike, always equipped with an electric motor.”
“I’m delighted to be working with Ares having been a huge fan of their work since I attended their amazing factory opening in 2014,” said Harry Gibbings, founder and CEO of HPS.
“Because of the high precision and attention to detail required by HPS we had to find a partner with the same values, who like us, strive for perfection. ARES ticked every box and bring with them a great deal of knowledge and skill along with incredible design flare. On a personal level, I’ve known Dany from our days in Formula One and working with Ferrari, so it’s very gratifying to be partners in this exciting next step for HPS”
No word, yet, on whether we’ll see any of these Ares Super Leggera by HPS make it to Australia, but given that there are only 24 of them and they are only being displayed and sold from Ares showrooms, it seems only the most enthusiastic cyclist wanting a retro-looking e-bike would be onboard.