Budnitz announced a new entry to the e-bike market, dubbed the Model E. It features an aluminum frame and sticks to the Budnitz preference for a belt drive and internal gear hub – but adds a Fazua Evation e-drive system for pedal assist. With a nod towards future proofing and service, the entire battery and motor are removable – also giving the option to drop ~8 pounds and ride it like a normal non-powered bicycle.

Budnitz Model E aluminum hybrid commuter e-bike with removable drive system

While Budnitz is best known for their titanium bikes, they’ve offered aluminum and steel as well – all featuring the Gates carbon drive system. Now they’re getting in to the pedal-assist e-bike game, with the all-new Model E. Based on an aluminum frame, it adds the Fazua Evation battery and motor, giving 400 watts of peak power.

Interestingly, the entire battery and motor system are removable, giving you the option to carry a spare battery for long rides. Or if you want to go lightweight and au naturale, you can ditch the motor and battery entirely, dropping roughly 8 pounds from the bike. This short video shows the removal of the system, along with the overall design philosophy of the bike:

The 2019 Model E from Budnitz Bicycles on Vimeo.

If you choose to ride the bike with no battery and motor, a placeholder may be installed to cover up the otherwise open downtube.

The rest of the drivetrain get completed with a Shimano Alfine 8-speed internal gear hub, for a virtually maintenance-free drive system.

The Budnitz Model E is available immediately, for a price of $3,650 USD. It includes a ten year guarantee on the frame, along with a 12-month wheel-to-wheel warranty.



  1. Is there not a whole rumors website that was started just for electric motorcycle news and discussion? Since there has been an influx of motorcycle stories on the bicycle site I can only infer that the traffic to the motorcycle site is far too low for advertisers to continue paying so the articles are posted here as well. Where everyone knows they will generate clicks if for no other reason than to comment on or read the comments.

    Please keep the cheater bikes on the cheater page.

    • Have you ridden one? If not why not just not say anything, you clearly believe something that is not based in fact and actual knowledge.

      I have a friend who rode almost daily and did triathlons and some other racing here and there and just enjoyed bikes! She had open heart surgery and couldn’t ride a regular bike anymore she now has an e-bike and on her first ride she was able to ride 32 miles and now can ride with her husband who she got in to cycling heavily. If you want to call that cheating you can go fornicate with yourself!

      If people are riding bikes that is a good thing, who cares if someone has assistance when they pedal or not? The folks who are now riding an e-bike could be in another car clogging streets and polluting the air!

      • Some people understand that words have meaning, that bicycles don’t have motors, and take offense at the industry’s gaslighting on the issue.

        Epeds aren’t bad. Pretending that they’re bicycles is.

        • Always curious how a bike is not a bike? Unless it has a throttle how is it not a bike? Bikes are two wheeled pedal powered vehicles because it has an assist feature that can only be activated by pedaling, it is not?

          When you don’t have to pedal the thing then sure call it something else. Not going to argue that at all. However trying to argue that a bike is not a bike because it can assist you in some way when you are pedaling is just silly.

          I mean if we are going to be such sticklers a bike should only be fixed gear/wheel so you don’t get any assistance from the artifice of a derailleur especially not a modern one like Di2 or EPS or eTap and it certainly should be super stiff so you don’t get any help from a nice springy lively frame and make sure those chainrings and cogs are stamped so they don’t provide help from the aid of modern CNC machining. Also let’s make sure we don’t use any designs that might have been tested in a CAD program or wind tunnel keep technology out of bikes completely because then they cease to be bikes because that technology might assist you in some way!

          • That argument is more than a little hyperbolic: there’s a difference between gears (which provide mechanical advantage but don’t fundamentally change the mode of propulsion) and a motor which can provide upward of 70% of the driving force in its lowest regulatory category.

            The arguments about CNC machining and CAD are red herrings, as is the throttle mechanism. The amount of rider energy preserved by electronic shifting is as close to zero as you can imagine and doesn’t change the fundamental nature of the vehicle.

            E-bikes are motorized by definition. I agree that more people on the two wheels is generally positive and that they should’t require licensing or registration like a full-blown motorcycle. And I’m all for quieter, displaced-emission motorized recreation. But e-bikes aren’t even majority human-powered and pretending otherwise doesn’t do anyone any favors.

            • There’s no getting around the money to be made selling motorbikes. Worldwide, motorized vehicles are the most popular way to get around for obvious reasons. I have to wonder, though, that despite the financial incentives if trying to peddle ebikes to hardcore cyclists is not such a smart idea. I would think the target demographic would be non-cyclists; sedentary folks with cash who might be tempted onto two wheels if riding a bike were, you know, a lot easier.

          • That is quite literally the worst straw man argument I have ever heard. Also, I am not saying these are not bikes. I am just saying that they are motor bikes, because they have a motor. it is beyond ridiculous how the proponents and bike industry have tried to say that these are just like other bikes. Except for that motor, but don’t look at that. if I put pedals on a Honda dirt bike can I come join you E-Bike club and ride through your neighborhood bike paths. that extra 50hp is only assisting me and I still have to pedal so it is just a really heavy bicycle right?

            As others have stated, this biggest issue that most people have with these motor bicycles is that the industry keeps trying to make it out that they are just like a non-motorized bike and they are not.

            • “if I put pedals on a Honda dirt bike can I come join you E-Bike club and ride through your neighborhood bike paths?”

              Absolutely. Challenge accepted – you’re on! Do it Bob…..dooooooooo it.

              This thread delivers.

            • Sorry Bob like it or not E-bikes have become a big part of the bicycle industry. You can be pedantic about it all day, but since most of the big name bike manufacturers now carry e-bikes, they are going to be discussed.

    • Mate, its 2019, 2010 was 9 years ago. The world is moving forward. I dont like recumbents but do you hear my whining when a recumbent article is posted? Nope. Like it or not (and for the record unlike it) times they are a’ changing.

          • Yep, looks like it’s been over two years since the last recumbent article. That being said, the Carbontrike from 2012 is pretty cool.

            You (Bikerumor) should have a vote. Recumbent vs eBike. The voter picks which one they want to stay. The loser is banished for one year. Until the next lesser of two evils vote. 🙂

      • It can be readily assumed that putting motorbikes on a bicycle page will garner negative response. This is obvious and normal. While I have zero interest in downhill mountain bikes, recumbents, baby walkers that transform into kiddy bikes, and triathlon bikes, I recognize that it all falls under the category of bicycles so I would never object. For most people e-bikes, on the other hand, fall outside a categorical delineation and are thus low-hanging fruit for less than sanguine response.

      • Did bike rumors start a recumbent rumors or a trikerumors, or a trirumors or any other rumors to post articles to? also, all of those are still pedal power only. Unless they post an E-Recumbent in which case I would complain.

        • Yes, cash talks. Until the car companies take over the e-bike market and brush aside the bicycle industry entirely, we’ll keep getting barraged with motorbike ads like this one. Sad!

    • Dear Bob. Quite funny. History repeats itself. When I started snowboarding in the late 80‘s, this is how skiers confronted me. When I changed to freeride skis in the early 2000‘s, I got confronted the same way by snowboarders. Nobody needs to ride an ebike, but open up your mind and your ass will follow.

  2. How come bikerumor doesnt publish my comments? I’m going to stop coming here. Anywho. Seen lots of broken belts on belt driven drivetrains – not maintenance free like the article says and a pain in the neck to order new belts.

    • Very curious how many belt driven bikes you have seen vs number of broken ones and where you live that you cannot get belts? I have yet to see a broken belt and I don’t hear about them breaking often. I see a lot of broken chains but not that many compared to the number of chain driven bikes I see.

      Anything can break but belts are a pretty neat way to go. No lube, minimal cleaning and low weight seems pretty decent even if you have a lot of issues like having to have a specific frame and belt length and not being readily sold at a shop (but easy to get with some time) and only being able to use heavier IGHs for gears!

  3. I have owned a Budnitz #1 for 7 years or so. Love it. It’s become my favorite bike, and has mostly cured me of my +1 affliction. The belt drive is definitely low maintenance, only needing a tension adjustment every now and then. Mine has never broken. The biggest pain is buying the proprietary Shimano oil for the hub, which needs to be drained every couple of years.

  4. We the readers should definitely keep voicing our opinions, whichever side you’re for. There have been a growing number of these stories about pedal assist motorized bikes, so yeah, speak up against it if you want to

    • Or go elsewhere for your bike articles. We dont need no hate around here. Its love for all, assisted power or otherwise.

  5. +1 for e-bikes that sell pedal action bikes to those who don’t care for power meters, strava and lycra. -1 for all the cycling old guard bores going on about how they’re not bikes, they’re motorbikes. Yawn. Whatever you think, on balance, e-bikes are a good thing in this messed up petrolhead world.

  6. Thanks BikeRumor for the down-low on the new Budnitz e-BIKE. Now I can read the review and decide for myself if its for me or not.

  7. What I’d like to see a poll of is from what country people are from that have these negative attitudes towards e.bikes and e.bike articles. We know that people in Europe have accepted e.bikes of all types with open arms. I’m from New Zealand and riders from elderly to urban commuters to hard core mountsinbikers are riding them. So where is the hate coming from and why? It’s not from the land of the free is it? Surely not.

  8. How about all the e.bike haters start their own website? That would be awesome! All the people who don’t like e.bikes can run away to their own website and have their own e.bike hater discussions over there. I’ve just checked and ebikehaters.com domain is available. Then everyone who likes reading about bike news about all types of bikes (ie those who genuinely like bikes) can still hang out here and enjoy the articles and have fun and postive discussion. Yeah let’s do that! Okay, so the 8 or 9 people in the world who still dont like e.bikes run along now and make your own website.

  9. I’ve got $100 that says most if not all ebike haters are males aged 30-45, and that 90% or more are from the same country. If so, that says more about their own ego issues than what it does about the awesomeness of e.bikes and how so many people worldwide are having so much fun riding e.bikes. Man, e.bikes are such great bicycles.

    • Way to stereotype Craig. E-bike boosters like to paint those who raise valid questions about them as insecure, but from what I have seen it’s the e-bikers who seem most sensitive to (and likely to bring up) ego and ‘cheating’ issues.

      As noted above, I’m not against e-bikes. It’s the false equivalency and, as Celeste says above, gaslighting* about their nature that is offensive and short-sighted.

      As a former land manager with 25 years in the bicycle industry, we don’t do ourselves any favors by pretending that e-bikes are bicycles. They’re not by nature nor by the numbers. I’m more than happy to displace some percentage of motorized recreation and transportation with something quieter and cleaner.

      Setting aside the commuter use case, as a mountain biker who is sensitive to access issues I understand that high-speed motorized vehicles (yes, a sustained 20mph on most singletrack trails is a very high speed) that are virtually indistinguishable from bicycles are the single best way to get bicycles banned from nonmotorized areas altogether.


      * I had to look this up but it fits: “Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief.”

      • Hi Marc, I’ve been mountain biking for 30 years, have worked in the bicycle industry for 25. Ive been around since the days where farmers or government agencies thought mountain bikes were motor bikes. My understanding of the issue would be as good as yours. Where I live land access is not an issue. The bigger question I pondered was in what country are the e.bike haters from, and in this country why is land access an issue. I wonder if its centered mainly from one country. It ain’t Europe, so where is it and why?

  10. Jeez, what a load of hand wringing and pearl clutching. They’re bikes, they don’t go unless you pedal them. So what if they provide assist, they won’t sully your strava segment unless you allow them to do so. With any luck, they’ll get MORE people on bikes, and perhaps there will be more understanding for the rest of us pedaling our standard bike.
    The superior attitude of some commentators is one of the reasons motorist/general public don’t like us.

  11. bikerumor says “The Budnitz Model E is available immediately”

    but Butnitz says “Shipping worldwide fall 2019.”

    Perhaps bikerumor should clarify that butnitz is taking pre-orders now, but fulfillment date is TBD.

  12. I had one of the very first Budnitz Model E bikes. Looked just like the bikes I rode when I was a kid and all the Italian tech lived in the rear wheel
    In the shiniest of chrome hubs. Unfortunately the tech really didn’t deliver on its promise – it was underpowered and poorly implemented. Kudos to Budnitz for yanking that version and partnering with a German maker. Ok this new version isn’t as pretty as the original but it looks like it is a winner on the tech front. It is still a bike no doubt about it. Flame on!

  13. First time visitor to this site.
    Very glad for this review. Thank you!

    After bike commuting through Michigan winters for several years — and destroying several drive trains in the process — I switched to a belt drive Priority Continuum a couple years ago and promised myself I’d never buy another chain drive bike.

    Belt drives are amazing and I for one can’t believe they’re not more popular.

    But then I broke my no chain promise this year to get in for cheap on the Gofundme financed initial production run of Blix’s new Packa model: a 400 pound carrying capacity electric cargo bike. I am not wealthy, but I love bikes. So I take the best of what I can find and afford.

    Now I’m hungering for a lighter weight ebike with a belt drive for my daily commutes. Chain drive ebikes may be everywhere you look these days, but good luck trying to find one with a belt drive — especially for anything close to a reasonable price.

    This Budnitz Model E looks wonderful and comes in just a little cheaper than the Embark model from Priority.

    Can’t start saving up to spend this kind of money without reading some reviews, though, so thank you very much indeed for this write up.

    Thanks also to some of the commenters here for reminding me why I stay away from “hardcore” cycle purists. What a bunch of elitist, exclusionary jerks. Y’all might want to check out a recent documentary called “Motherload” if you want to expand your horizons a bit and learn about an area of bike culture you might not have allowed yourselves to be aware of yet.

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