Three new e-bikes from the Italian company Noko have been unveiled; the company claims they can run for up to 100 kilometers. The WAU Bike, for instance, can travel up to 215 miles when equipped with an additional power pack. However, Noko’s bikes will be incredibly light, making them much more useful for commuting and storage.
The WAU weighs a whopping 22kg before you attach its battery, but Noko asserts that its new bikes will only weigh 14.2kg. The Nokourban, which goes on sale in April 2023, costs €2,990.
It’s also one of the most fashionable e-bikes on the market, with a style that is inspired by traditional city bikes and only reveals its electric nature with a downtube that is slightly larger than average and a single covert button on the top tube. Other than that, it might be mistaken for a typical hybrid smart city vehicle.
The fact that this e-bike is also among the least expensive options available is surprising. Despite not having the same raw power as more expensive pedelecs, the Nokourban still has enough power to eliminate the grunt from hilly routes.
|Frame||6061 aluminum 3 size (S, M, L)|
|Motor||250W FSA System HM 1.0|
|Max speed||25 km/h|
|Range||up to 100 km|
|Transmission||SRAM Apex 1x11|
|Lights||Front and rear|
|Recommended Rider Heights||5'3" ~ 6'5"|
Nokourban: Design and Build Quality
The Nokourban is one of the most clever electric bikes available right now. At first glance, only a slightly chunkier than average downtube and a covert power button on the top tube give it away as an electric bike. Four frame sizes are available to accommodate riders from 5’4″ to 6’4″ in height. The relatively short reach creates an upright riding position.
One of the cleanest and best-integrated e-bike frames to date is the 6061 aluminum alloy frame from Noko. When I showed it off to my roommates and coworkers, they were all surprised that this was even an electric bike.
Standard frame colors include only black, but the Bike Builder also offers custom paint options. Mudguards and a pannier rack were also included on our test model.
The Nokourban weighs only 14.2kg thanks to its aluminum frame, carbon forks, and incredibly light drive system, making it simple to carry upstairs or onto public transportation.
Large rubber grips were also added to the test bike, which are comfortable but may not be to everyone’s taste. In Noko’s Bike Builder, a more road-style design in faux leather is the default selection.
There is plenty of stability because the bars are on the wider side. They are typical for a hybrid, though some riders may find them a little too broad for winding city streets.
Nokourban has added full mudguards, a rack, and lights in addition to the usual assortment of bottle, rack, and mudguard eyelets. The elegant paint job and decals deserve special recognition; they give the vehicle a great-looking finish.
Nokourban: Motor and Battery
It’s a pleasure to ride the Nokourban. Its 250 watts of power effectively smooths out your route while its motor is whisper-quiet, with only the slightest whirr indicating the presence of a motor.
The hydraulic disc brakes are reassuringly firm and make riding without power a pleasure as well. With three different power modes available via the bike’s single button, the ride is incredibly smooth. Your current power level is indicated by one tap, and the next level is selected by a second tap. The top level is, undoubtedly, the most enjoyable.
If your bike has lights, you can control them with the button as well. A brief press followed by a long press will change the button’s color to yellow to show that the lights are fully on.
Although we’d steer clear of anything that could get the Nokourban completely filthy, it can handle roads and light trail riding as a hybrid. Despite the bike’s IPS rating of 5, which indicates splash resistance, you shouldn’t wash it down with a pressure washer.
My tests have shown that the estimated battery life is fairly accurate. Like the majority of cyclists, I have been using the full power mode more often than not. Over a 30-kilometer mixed terrain ride with a few hills, and taking into account my 74 kg weight, I have discovered that it drains the battery by about 25 to 30 percent. The battery drain is much less – around 20% – when the power modes are varied and the factory power settings are followed.
The system is controlled by a covert top tube mounted button that, when pressed, changes and displays which of the three power settings you are in. The button illuminates in one of four colors to show the battery status.
The system works well over a wide range of cadences, making it easier for riders new and experienced to stay “on the power.” The assistance is apparent almost as soon as you start pedaling.
In most ways, riding the Nokourban is a real joy. Its engaging handling and high-quality construction make it a bike you want to ride rather than a dull and lifeless commuter. However, it doesn’t encourage you to go quickly, and like the majority of pedal-assist bikes, it works best when you’re just above the assistance threshold.
When you inevitably find yourself picking up the pace, the overall light weight makes it easier to pedal. This bike excels at off-road riding on forest trails and towpaths when the tyres and handling make it enjoyable to ride. This sets it apart from many of its competitors. If you plan to spend a lot of time on this type of terrain, I would advise removing the mudguards because they do make a racket.
The size and effect of the frame’s short reach did strike me as a minor problem, though. I felt like I needed to raise the handlebar because my weight was pressing down a little too much for this style of bike at 183 cm or 6’1″, which is right at the top of the Noko recommended large frame size. I would prefer to ride an XL size and advise that if you are only a few centimeters away from the size boundary, it is best to go up to the next size.
According to Noko, the battery can be fully charged from empty to full in 3.5 hours, and a full charge allows for up to 60 miles or 100 km of assisted riding over varied terrain. In our tests, that appeared to hold true, with a 10-mile ride using only a little more than 20% of the total charge.
The Nokourban is easy to carry and won’t attract unwanted attention like more obvious electric bikes because of its low weight and understated design. The Nokourban is a fantastic option for weekend cruising because it has a comfortable ride and a long battery life.
The Nokourban is a hybrid, so it can handle some light trail riding, but it’s not made to withstand being pressure washed afterwards. For more difficult terrain, there are specialized electric mountain bikes available. The Nokourban’s relatively short reach encourages a more upright riding position. The Nokourban might be a better choice if you prefer a sportier ride.
When compared to its competitors, the Nokourban offers almost unbeatable value for a fully equipped electric bike with a superb frame, high-quality motor system, and really decent parts for less than €3000.
The Nokourban has many advantages when you’ve been considering purchasing an electric bike. It has a smooth ride that smoothes out the hiccups in your trip so you can take it easy and arrive rested, it looks great, and it’s surprisingly affordable.