Pope Benedict Smart Cycle

Reproduced with permission from Daimler AG


No matter what your religious affiliation, you have to respect some of the things Pope Francis has done.  He urges priests and nuns to drive and dress more humbly while doing so himself as much as his position will allow.  The first pope from the Americas and from the Southern Hemisphere (and the first Francis, based on Francis of Assisi known for championing the poor, peace, and the environment) has refused various ostentatious vestments traditionally worn by the pope in favor of dressing like a simple parish priest.  AND he has refused the papal limousine and Mercedes on various occasions in favor of more humble vehicles or even walking.  So instead of just giving Pope Francis keys to a new PopemobileDr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, also presented Pope Francis a new Smart ebike and discussed sustainable mobility last week.  The Italian version of Vanity Fair even elected Pope Francis man of the year this week.  But enough about the pontiff, let’s check out that sweet new ride with some videos after the break.



Moving past the lack of helmets, you’ll notice the Smart ebike has  a few features that makes it the perfect pontifical pedaler.   The Gates carbon belt drive won’t chew up or besmirch his white habit.  The 48V, 423Wh Li-Ion battery with brushless BionX electric rear-wheel hub motor and Sram integrated I-Motion 3-speed hub will ensure that the pope gets just the right amount of exercise without overexerting himself (he is, after all, 76 and only has one lung).  The Cane Creek headset will keep him steering down the right path, while the 180mm Magura MT-4 disc brakes will allow him to stop and smell the roses or preach to the birds like his patron saint.  The Ergon grips and pedals will even keep his hands and feet comfortable, pure, and ready to bless.


Now let’s take a look at how a more advanced rider, Danniel Dhers rocks the ebike:


Yeah, I know, I wanted to see a wall tap, Superman, backflip, something on the ebike, but at least it’s nice to know even pros still enjoy leisurely exploration by bike and even enjoy the occasional push.


  1. Brian on

    Too bad a bike that is being marketed as a perfect commuter solution has no ability to carry packages on rack mounted to the back. Close, sigh…

  2. DG on

    @satisFACTORYrider you’d have thought he’d have more faith…

    What is it with company bumming the pope? campagnolo send him special edition groupsets.

  3. Kornwallace on

    the pontif foregoes riding in a 250k merc for riding a 6k bike from merc…such a champion of the poor! #cynical

  4. Luiggi on

    I agree with Kornwallace. As an Argentinian citizen all I can think of when I see this picture is this guy got placed as the pope for the same reason Obama got the Nobel: the institutions they command now needed to clean their public image… Sad but true, the church has always been a way to subjugate the poor. And what happened to Obama’s promise of closing Guantanamo?

  5. Tandumb on

    @Luiggi & Kornwallace… Read the post – Papa was GIVEN the bike. He didn’t take a few grand from a church basket and skip over to the local bike shop to get himself an ebike. Way to take a good thing and make it bad.

    Subjugate the poor?! Brother, pleaaase. Let’s go ahead and pick & choose our history and just disregard all the GOOD the Church has done for the poor… Hospitals, free healthcare, charities, food banks, missions… What next, you’ll tell me how Mother Teresa was just vacationing in India all those years?

  6. Tandumb on

    Thanks for the insight. I’m seldom shocked when some choose to demonize the saints before them. Study her life with some detail then answer me this… Would the world be a better place with or without people like Mother Teresa?

  7. Psi Squared on

    Wow. The comments got stupid real fast. I thought the article was about an E-bike, not a treatise on ethics or political debate.

  8. 80 on

    It’s nice to see Dr. Z bounce back from his American exile.

    That episode feels now like some kind of overly elaborate punishment.


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