A local recumbent expert wants to bring relaxed, comfy, fun riding to the masses. Rose City Recumbents has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a manufacturing run of their unique “Roselandia” electric bike.
The first drawing of the design was created just over two years ago on the floor of Rose City’s shop on Southeast Powell and 37th. Now shop co-owner Jonathan Garcia says he’s ready to take the finished product to the next level. With the design dialed-in, he’s looking for investors to help get a 100-unit production run off the ground. In March he’ll travel to Taiwan to display the bike at the 2020 Taipei Cycle Show where he’ll be looking for distributors and investors.
The bike itself is a mix of influences including vintage BMX frames, beach cruisers, and cargo bikes. The “crank forward” design (which looks similar to RANS Bikes, a company Garcia has close connections to) allows riders to be nearly flat-footed at a stop which makes it a comfortable ride for a range of body types and skill levels.
Garcia says response to the bike has been excellent. “The appeal has really been for basically anyone, but particularly shorter riders and women like it a lot as most e-bikes out there are pretty large and a lot to handle,” Garcia shared via email yesterday, referring to the bikes svelte 49 pound weight. “It has also appeals to those wanting to get into cycling but maybe don’t have a lot of space to store a bike.”
“Our design will forever change how you think about e-bikes,” reads the marketing brochure.
Not only is the design relatively compact with 20-inch wheels (standard road bikes have 28-inch wheels), but the bikes can also stand up on their rear rack for storage (or an easier fit on the MAX). Other spec highlights include: disc brakes, a Bafang M400 electric drive system with a range of 25 to 60 miles, integrated rear rack, ergonomic seat, SRAM components, and super wide and tough Schwalbe Big Apple tires. The bike’s frame and fork are made out of lightweight aluminum.
Asked why the name “Roselandia,” Garcia said, “It was a bit of a play on Portlandia and to pay homage to Portland. This is our hometown and we love it. We also think it has a quirky compact style that is a bit old school yet has awesome modern features – kinda like the Rose City itself.”
Once Garcia gets the $175,000 or so he needs for an initial run, he says he and his team can get the bikes out in 6-9 months. You can get in on the pre-order for just $2,400 right now on Kickstarter.
See more photos and learn more about the bike at RoseCityRoseLandia.com.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
— Get our headlines delivered to your inbox.
— Support this independent community media outlet with a one-time contribution or monthly subscription.
Am I wrong in thinking that this bike would be great for some sweet wheelies?
Go wheelies! Actually though – the geometry is very balanced between the wheels. The long rear stays act to prevent the bike from feeling like a wheelie machine and keeps panniers well out of the way of the riders heel strike. The mid-drive at the cranks and overall low center of gravity really create a stable riding experience.
I’m assuming this is Class 2 since it is Bafang. Class 1: pedal – electric (pedelec) up to 20mph, Class 2: has a throttle – ebike, Class 3: 28 mph pedelec. Class 2 is great for old people.
Saw a fellow on the Burnside bridge this morning easily going crazy fast without pedaling his ebike…. which makes me wonder, why have the pedals if you don’t really need them?
This is my basic issue as well. At least a class 2 ebike doesn’t have the nasty, weed whacker motor.
I have a class 3 pedelec, for the sake of transparency. I still expend effort and my heart rate gets up there, but not to the degree that I get totally drenched in sweat. Plus, going from downtown to Mt Tabor in 10-15 minutes is pretty stunning. It opens up a whole new level of functional bike commuting.
Anyway, I Rose City should indicate the class of their bike. This is as important as the material it’s made of. Or any other metric for that matter. Leaving it out is an oversight to say the least.
Noted – thanks for that input. We have updated the project and website to list the class. It is a Class 1.
Hi Jason – this is actually a Class 1. Very smooth with just the right amount of power to be fun and helpful. We definitely wanted it to be a real bicycle with assist, as opposed to a motor that just happens to look like a bicycle. 🙂
As a devout roadie & bike commuter I refuse the allure of an e-bike, but this thing makes a lot of sense.
As a roadie/gravelie, I really want to dislike e-bikes. But they really are used for a different purpose – transportation.
I’ll still look down my nose at anyone who uses them to pedal up mountains, but for getting around town and running errands, I think they really are fantastic.
I saw so many different kinds and shapes in Europe, it really blew my mind how far behind we are here with these things.
Thanks for the comments – yes having seen the usage of bikes like these in other countries it becomes very clear that we are a long ways behind. As a small shop we are trying to help turn that around as much as we can. As a small commuter or around town bike the Roselandia is perfect.
I always thought the same thing, I actually detested ebikes. Until I was faced with a 14 mile commute over the SW hills. I asked myself, will I ride my analogue bike everyday, as I do on shorter commutes? The answer was, well, I don’t know. And I don’t want to succumb to driving a car. So, in short, I think the choice can be circumstantial. If that 28 miles a day was flat, I may have abstained from getting a pedelec.
That’s the exact question I, and a colleague, have been wrestling with for the last year.
Good luck “Roselandia”.
Once you get closer to final design / production please consider these issues:
– fenders that are useful, the parking on end my require a Brompton type fender design
– LED headlamp wired into battery
– the rear rack design looks like it may have a rear wheel bag suck..so might need to “bow out” the rear rack stay
We have worked out a fender set with Cody of Woodys Fenders in Bend, Oregon. They bolt straight on which is very nice.
As for lights – we have found that many people like the option of using their own, so for now we don’t have integrated lights – but definitely thats a future item we would like to include.
The rear rack is very strong and fully supports a bag, so no worries at all about anything going into the wheel.
That man makes some gorgeous fenders.
how much weight can that rack take? Looks sweet, esp. if if could tote a friend/kid for short distances
We will get that information – but it is a solid tubing integrated rack, so very likely could mount a seat for a small child
Why the chain-drive? In other words, why have the motor power the chain which drives the wheels, when you could have the motor power one of the wheels (preferably the front wheel) directly? Is it a weight issue? I hope Jonathan will chime in.
Mid-drive is more natural and the motor probably has torque sensors and cadence. Hob motor are all throttle.
Our Bafang M400 mid-drive is indeed torque sensing – and sensitive enough to get you going right away so no throttle is needed. It also rides much more like a real bicycle – requiring the rider to pedal – as opposed to just throttling around.
The real amazing part of this bike is that when you put the assist at zero or just leave it off, it truly feels like you are just riding a very comfortable, smooth solid bicycle.
Fred: Please do a bit of research here, these guys are waaaaaa ahead of you.
The crank-forward design of the Roselandia will certainly appeal to some. Unfortunately, seems like a hard sell when compared to other options out there. I find it particularly reminiscent of the Bosch-equipped Tern HSD P9; except for the Tern has also has fenders and lights from stock, a shock-absorbing fork, hydraulic disc brakes, is more compact while still retaining the full-size bike feel, more adaptable to multiple riders of different heights, and features an impressive range of cargo- and kid-hauling accessories. That’s tough to beat!
There are indeed a lot of competitors out there. We feel that our geometry allows for a much better fit when actually pedaling however, while still allowing for a rider to come to a complete stop and get their feet on the ground. That is a real difference between the Roselandia and other small wheel offerings out there. We are happy to be part of a resurgence of getting people on bikes.
Hopefully more and more people will be getting these types of compact, realistically powered e-bikes and we can get more and more people commuting and enjoying Portland on a bicycle – which is the ultimate goal.
Comparison to the Tern or cargo bikes doesn’t fit. This is a compact, sporty ride and the pedal assist makes starting efficient and can be increased for the hills… The rest of the time, let it be and enjoy the comfortable cruise. I haven’t seen or ridden a bike that matches Roselandia for overall features. Great design.
The Tern HSD is a cargo bike??
Please get your moped out of the bike lane. Ease and convenience are the pillars of environmental destruction. BTW, I have no issues riding from downtown to Mt. Tabor in 15 minutes.
This bike will appeal to trendy young urbanistas, but I think it’s a great design for Boomers with creaky knees and disposable incomes. I rode Roselandia and I plan to buy 2. Great compact bike for travel and RV.
I’m excited to see more types of electric assist bikes available to meet diverse needs.
Jonathan designed a 20″ wheel bike for me about 13 years ago that is still my primary, and most capable bicycle. I have no doubt that the Roselandia will have confident handling and prove to be versatile as well.
Will these be manufactured by local framebuilders or will these orders be fulfilled by Asian factories, and if so, in which countries?
Our manufacturing partners are in Taiwan – Tonjin enterprises and Pacific Cycles.
Unsure if you knew this or not, but not everyone has your same physical abilities. Please get your ableist BS off the bike forum.
Sort of an anti-bike.
Heavy, non-ergonmic, self-powered.
Just like a car!
See you at the Portland Auto Show!
This is another step toward the all-electric, pedal-free bike. I don’t see users pedaling this at all. It would be too much trouble, too hard.
Actually, this little e-bike rides just fine even with the assist off. It is a Class 1 so you must pedal. It is also not overpowered like so many e-bikes out there, so to keep the ride-ability of it more like a bike and less like a huge motor that happens to be on a bike frame. We welcome you to test ride it – its easy to critique something from afar but everyone who has ridden one loves it.
There’s too much ignorance about eBikes around. ebikes have pedals because, for the most part, the rider has to pedal. It’s called PEDAL assist. It means it assists while you pedal. The battery doesn’t have enough power for full throttle for a long time. Many eBikes don’t have full throttle anyways. Full throttle drains the battery quickly.
eBikes have the right to be on bike lanes just like any bike. I ride an eBike. I pedal just like you do (with some assisting when needed). My eBike doesn’t put out fumes just like yours. My bike’s size is like yours. I have seen many regular bikes go faster than me. So stop telling eBikes to not use bike lanes!! Equating an Ebike to a car or a moped is silly.
I was hit by an ebike walking on the Tillikum bridge 3 weeks ago.. The moped rider was doing 20mph on the uphill, passed a scooter to hit me…. Some people may ride like you but a whole lot do not….
The guy who hit me admitted he is not a cyclist, just purchased his nice new ebike which he has no clue how to ride…
This product looks like it was designed by a child…
So was it an ebike or a moped or a scooter? You seem to use or describe all three with some lack of understanding your own self.
Well.. you should blame the rider not the ebike when you get hit. I mean you didn’t get hit because he was going uphill at 20 m/hr. You got hit because he doesn’t know how to ride a bike properly by your admission. At least ebikes are controlled by a computer controller not to go above 20. There’s no limit on regular bikes.
Relative positions of saddle and pedals show that this machine is not optimized for propulsion by humans. This bike needs electricity to move quickly.
Way back in the 1890s Archibald Sharp figured out the best positions for saddle and cranks using the abstract mathematics of the hodograph.
“Entrepreneurs” have been in denial ever since.
Well as a recumbent bike company they are at least getting closer.
You do know that the fastest human-powered bicycles are recumbents, right?
Not all people are comfortable in the traditional “optimized for propulsion” riding position. Fortunately, there are different types of bicycle geometry that allow for individual optimization.
Indeed – there are a lot of “optimized” bikes and plenty of bikes designed to win races, go super fast, etc. The Roselandia is optimized to get you from A to B as comfortably and smoothly as possible with the ability to feel secure at 20 MPH and also at 0 when you are stopped at a busy intersection.
Its a good thing that there are so many bike styles out there.
Like it. I have a folder, Electra Townie and an Class 1 (mid-drive) city style ebike.
This one looks like a blend of all three. Just not in the market for another bike at the moment.
It would be great if there was a second set of eyelets for another water bottle cage, maybe the bottom side of the top tube near the seat post.
Also looks like plenty of room for another frame bag in front of the rear tire/behind seat post.
Most hub motor bikes seem to use cadence sensors (or just throttle), but they could use torque sensor bottom brackets instead . My assist kit from from Grin Technologies uses a torque sensor and a hub motor. They’re a bit out of fashion these days, but personally I like shifting for me rather than for a motor.
Ah, thanks, I wasn’t aware that Hub motors could tap into cadence and torque at the pedals. The hub based e-bikes I’ve seen, very few honestly, were just throttle based. I still think mid-drive is more efficient than a hub, and feels the more natural to a rider. YMMV
I would like to see more bike shops In Portland doing eBike rentals. This bike can be fun to ride on a nice day around Portland. For example, the bike rental place by Salmon Street Springs can have them.
It will be interesting to see if the crank-forward design, which has many merits, will get past the recumbent stigma. Seriously, I worked in the recumbent field for over ten years, and it sure seems like there’s a glass ceiling limiting how many folks will ride this style of bike. Being hybridized [1/2 upright, 1/2 recumbent] gives it a good shot.
Everything else being equal, the electric mid-drives are going to be more efficient than hub motors as they allow the motor to gain the benefits of gear-changing. Like humans, motors have sweet spots of RPM/cadence.
Having said that, we use hub motors in the rear wheels of our cargo eTrikes. Combined with FWD for the human power, this provides lots of flexibility in size and configuration of the final vehicle. As a bonus, we don’t have to mix the two power sources – we let the ground do that for us.
There are always design tradeoffs.
I have both mid drive and hub motor bikes. All over 750+w. Both types work pretty well.
Recumbents are fast on the flats because of low drag but hard to get started because it is not possible to ride vertically out of the saddle. This is why they are marginal for ordinary urban cycling.
JM said this machine was “svelte” at 49 pounds. A 20 pound fixie is svelte. E bikes are a modest example of “Tesla syndrome:” batteries are very heavy as sources of energy; a battery stores less than 5% of the energy as the same mass of combustible propellants. This is a fact of chemical physics. A battery frees electrons to generate current but does not allow the reaction to run to completion, which is where the large proportion of energy is released.
We humans utilize our chemical energy much more effectively than batteries and motors. A fit person on a light bike can travel much farther than any E bike.
Cool to see this come out of Portland.
At first I thought the saddle angle relative to the BB was silly. Then I kind of thought it kind of makes sense to fit a big variety of sized people without changing the frame geo each time. This would allow people of different sizes to potentially share the bike. Which makes sense, because I know if I bought an e-bike I know my girlfriend would steal it to do errands on it too.
-With such a small front wheel I would love to see a sturdy front rack, like the Crust cargo fork.
-What is up with that saddle angle tho?