We tested the Bolide, a French electric two-seater bike that really deserves your attention

We tested the Bolide, a French electric two-seater bike that really deserves your attention

Present at Eurobike 2024, the Kino Bike brand exhibited its two-seater electric bike called Bolide. The opportunity to chat with Paul-Hugo Quesse, the company’s sales manager, and to get to grips with their electric bike, the frame of which is 100% made in France.

Cinema Bolide
Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Coming across an electric bike whose frame is 100% made in France is a relatively rare thing today. Of course, the French industry and the players in France are working to make things happen by increasingly favoring local industries, but the costs incurred logically impact the final price for the consumer.

Kino Bike, based at the Grand Plateau in Lyon, is one of these promising young shoots that today believe in Made in France. And above all, in a qualitative Made in France, from which successful VAEs come. In any case, this is the bet taken by the two co-founders Simon Kapoian Favel and David Jabaly.

A frame made in Ain

The frame is 100% Made in France, in Ain, and the steel is even French“, begins Paul-Hugo Quesse, sales manager of the company, whom we met at Eurobike 2024, organized in Frankfurt. “The tubes are also bent and welded in France” he continues.

To push the Made in France concept even further, Kino Bike even called on a Norman seamstress to design its saddle.And then we put the foam inside from our workshop“, says our interlocutor.

Cinema Bolide
Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

While a large majority of e-bikes today have an aluminum frame, the French start-up has opted for steel. Why?Because the idea is to make a durable bike, not a disposable one. Steel is also robust, it provides comfort by filtering the filtrations a little more“, the person concerned believes.

The DNA of the Bolide is also based on modularity.Our swap system allows us to modulate a lot of parts. There is a plastic block that we implement on a lot of accessories“, he continues. It is thus possible to easily add a baby carrier, a child seat or even a front tray according to your desires, and especially your needs. “An assembly manual and all the tools to install, for example, a baby seat are provided.“.

Huge 4 inch tires

The Bolide’s philosophy is also safety. Safety provided by its enormous 20-inch tires with a section of… 4 inches! It’s huge.It is an innovative format, which brings grip, confidence and fun.“, firmly believes Paul-Hugo Quesse. “The idea is to offer a bike to people who have no affinity with the traditional bike.“.

For once, the Bolide has this real capacity to reassure you once you are on its handlebars. I was indeed able to try it alone, with Paul-Hugo and behind as well as a passenger. Alone, its ease of handling is disconcerting. You are dealing with a machine whose ground grip is so important that it is impossible to panic.

The Bafang motor associated with the rotation sensor responds relatively quickly to your needs. This is relatively rare to emphasize: generally, a rotation sensor can be slow to release. Here, a certain form of reactivity is felt. All alone on the machine, 25 km/h are quickly reached with mode 5, the most powerful.

Once Paul-Hugo is seated behind, the situation is logically not the same. However, the level of stability remains very good, whether at a high or low speed. For the start, a small trigger capable of propelling you to 6 km/h does the job very well to get you going without too much gesticulation on your seat. It’s pleasant.

Grip, you want it, here it is

This test ride was done on wet ground. A great opportunity to test the bike’s grip on bends and with a rear passenger. Obviously, caution is required, but I never felt the bike was capable of giving way excessively. Once again, the level of assurance is particularly high.

I then slid into the back seat, nestled on the footrests, to put myself in the passenger’s shoes. There are no handles built in to hold on. Two solutions: you work your abs, or you hang on to the driver in front.

In any case, the Bolide’s electric behavior does not rush you at the rear: acceleration is fluid and gentle. You even have the impression of being one with the driver, especially when cornering. Obviously, it is advisable to carry out a complete test in an urban environment to confirm these feelings.

On the braking side, the Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc brakes, tested many times, do the job very well despite the inertia of the bike and its passengers. Everything is associated with a relatively smooth 8-speed Shimano Altus transmission. At 3,000 euros, we would perhaps have preferred to see Kino move upmarket on this type of component.

A nice level of customization

But it is important to understand that the Bolide is an electric bike made of choices. The choice of a frame made in France and necessarily more expensive than a frame made in Taiwan. And therefore the choice to make concessions on certain components, in order to control costs.

Cinema Bolide
Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

For other features, the Bolide comes with a center stand and a double saddle as standard. However, you will have to pay for the optional addition of mudguards (89 euros), a luggage rack (189 euros) or an additional battery (599 euros). The first 522 Wh battery provides between 35 and 40 km of autonomy with the most powerful assistance mode.

One of the strengths of the Bolide is also its customization: 4 frame colors (black, beige, dark blue, pastel green), 2 fire colors (white or yellow), 2 types of tires (urban or notched) with various colors on the sides. Available in one size, the bike is aimed at users measuring between 155 and 185 cm and claims a weight of 32 kg.

Choosing the most virtuous model possible

The Bolide is not to be confused with electric longtails: its more compact format gives it better practicality and maneuverability. Its extended saddle also tends to reinforce human interactions during a journey: it is thus very easy to exchange with the pilot, or the passenger. Something that was more difficult to do on a Gaya Cargo, for example, since the rear passenger is further back.

For 3000 euros, the Bolide has assets to show, and especially a part of its Made in France design which is necessarily more expensive, but also and above all more virtuous and ecological. This is a significant element, which it is important, in our eyes, to highlight.

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