We got a sneak peek at the modular Saigon e-bike with ModMo’s integrated Bekan seatpost brake light project late last year. Now the e-bike itself is almost ready, opening up pre-orders for what they call “the world’s 1st” modular commuter e-bike. Modmo developed the Saigon to address three core obstacles that keep more people from choosing a bike for urban transport: sweat, theft and utility. And the result is an adaptable e-bike that integrates all the tech you could want with modular attachments to haul most everything you could need on the daily commute.
Modmo Saigon modular-mount, integrated-tech urban commuter e-bike
Founded in Ireland but now based in Vietnam where they are able to be in direct connection with their manufacturing, Modmo – read: modular mobility – is a small cycling tech & lifestyle start-up on a mission to replace cars in cities with bikes for more sustainable, more efficient individual urban transport. Their first Bekan seatpost brake/taillight made for a tidy & theft-resistant solution for better everyday (everynight) visibility. Now the complete Saigon e-bike project solves how to move you around the city, with a modular platform to adapt to individual riders/commuters.
Modmo Saigon – Tech details, integration & modularity
The Saigon tucks all the smart electronics we’re used to seeing in an urban e-bike directly into the one-piece bar & stem – like the large Android-powered integrated display for turn-by-turn navigation, headlight & turn signals, including GPS tracking, Bluetooth connectivity, accelerometer motion sensors, etc. and integrated taillight / brake lights as well.
The drive system of the 6061 aluminum-framed e-bike is a Aikeam-made front hub motor, with a removable 17.5Ah Panasonic battery hidden in the slightly oversized downtube, and the option to add a Shimano Nexus 8-speed or Alfine 11sp internally geared hub out back to balance things out. Charging is simple too, with a plug built into the modular front mount.
Range is claimed to be an impressive 200km, with 350W 40kph possible for EU buyers (but with a 250W, 25kph mode that is the max you can use on public roads) or 500W & 40mph (with limited 20mph street mode) for US buyers. We’re not entirely sure how that is going to fly with EU or US regulators, so I guess they take a ‘wait & see’ approach.
The Saigon uses a Gates CDX belt-drive to keep clean and worry-free. It has 700c wheels and ample clearance for the 42mm WTB Horizon tires to take on any commuter road surface. Total claimed weight is just 13.9kg / 30.6lb.
Beyond all those tech & integration details that are thankfully becoming the norm in most city commuter e-bikes, the Saigon also leans hard on modular solutions to let riders customize the bike to how they need to get around town. Their patented front & rear modular mounting system accommodates a basket, rear rack platform, a trailer, or simply a kid seat. Plus, a fold-away stand at the rear wheel.
Modmo Saigon – Introductory pricing & availability
The modular mobility Saigon is being made offered in a limited number of just 100 more pre-sales now direct from Modmo (the first 200 were already sold before the pre-order opened officially. The Saigon is available in a single size M/L for riders 170-195cm tall (5’6″ – 6’5″) and in colors black or black.
The limited pre-order price of the city e-bike is 1999€, but you only have to lay down a refundable 99€ now as a deposit to reserve yours. Deliveries of the completed e-bikes are expected to begin shipping in September 2020, at which point the full retail price will bump up to 2800€ for those who didn’t get in on this pre-sale. While their first seatpost light was launched on a crowdsourcing platform when it looked like there was work still to be done, the Saigon has already been produced in a limited pre-production run that is undergoing late stage testing now (Modmo has said a complete Saigon is available for us to test.) With our EU team based in a large European capital, we’re always excited to see more viable & affordable options for alternatives to urban transport.