At first glance, the new Vaast E/1 e-bike doesn’t look like it has any rear suspension at all. Hiding the suspension components seems to be in vogue at the moment, but Vaast has hidden the suspension components for a very specific reason—to isolate the rider and cargo load from the suspension movement.
Why would they want to do that? Vaast says it comes down to preventing any additional load from having a detrimental effect on the suspension performance. E-bikes, especially commuter e-bikes, are often loaded up with all kinds of cargo—from kids, to dogs, crates of beer, heavy groceries, whatever you’d normally transport in a car, really. To offer a better ride, the suspension on the E/1 seems to suspend the rider, while the entire frame moves up and down as the rear wheel traces over bumps. The video above helps demonstrate this, which starts at 0:50.
It’s kind of hard to wrap your head around, but from the video it appears that as you hit a bump, the seat tube assembly which is attached to the motor housing effectively moves downwards (or stays in place as the rear wheel goes upwards). There is a pivot at the back of the motor housing to the “swingarm” (which doesn’t actually swing), and a linkage at the front with a small shock to provide the actual suspension. The result is a claimed 20% reduction in vibration compared to other suspension systems.
Aside from the interesting suspension, the E/1 is packed with features to make it commute-ready right out of the box. Powered by the most current Bosch Gen 4 Performance CX Drive with options for a Gates Carbon belt drive and internal gear hubs, a Bosch Powertube 500 battery is hidden in the seat tube making it easily removable. Because the seat tube is designed around the large battery, there is an integrated tool-free height adjust lever instead of a traditional seat post clamp.
Integrated heavy duty cargo racks are included with Supernova LED lighting, and a Bosch Kiox display is integrated into the stem. Offered only in a step-through frame design, the hydroformed aluminum frame has a low center of gravity and is based around 27.5″ wheels with high volume tires.
The Vaast E/1 will be offered in three build levels starting with a standard Shimano 1×12 derailleur-equipped drivetrain for $7,499. From there, there are two options for internal gear hubs with Gates Carbon belt drives including the Enviolo ST for $8,499 and the Rohloff E-14 Speedhub for $9,999. Bikes should be available in the USA, UK, and EU markets starting on October 1st, 2021.