Lemmo One: An Analogue to Electric Bicycle Transformation with a Simple Attachment

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Springtime Design, a mobility design studio, has developed a two-in-one bicycle for German manufacturer Lemmo that aims to avoid the pitfalls of e-bikes. Called Lemmo One, this bicycle can function as both an electric bike and a conventional mechanical bike. The conversion is achieved by using a removable battery pack that attaches to the frame and a hub motor on the back wheel that can be easily disengaged to allow normal pedaling.

With Lemmo One, users have two cycling options depending on their preference for ease or exercise. Additionally, it addresses a common problem with e-bikes, which is their frequent need for repair. According to Springtime Design, the typical lifespan of a pedal bike is 15 years, while e-bikes usually last only three to ten years. To address this, Lemmo One houses nearly all of its electronic components in a detachable battery pack called the Smartpac. This allows the pack to be easily sent for repairs and upgraded every few years, effectively extending the lifespan of the vehicle.

Lemmo, a German start-up, worked with Springtime Design to develop the overall design concept and detailing of the bike. The studio was responsible for defining the location of the Smartpac in the frame, as well as developing its industrial design, user experience, and user interface.

The main challenge faced by the design team was making the Smartpac have a logical role in the bike, ensuring that the bike makes sense with or without it. According to John Kock, managing partner at Springtime Design, they succeeded in achieving this. He stated that the Lemmo One looks and rides great both as a commuter e-bike and as a sporty pedal bike.

The only electric component that cannot be removed from the bike is the 250-watt hub motor, also known as the Dual Mode Hub, which can switch between two modes. When the mechanical clutch is applied, the motor disconnects from the drivetrain to eliminate resistance when pedaling. This ensures that the bike can be ridden like a regular pedal bike without any friction caused by the hub motor.

Without the Smartpac, the Lemmo One weighs 15 kilograms, making it much lighter than the average e-bike and similar to a conventional road bike. The bike has a powder-coated aluminium frame with a carbon fork, giving it a sleek and smooth look. The no-welding technique used in its production further enhances its overall design.

Springtime Design views the Lemmo One as a significant step in the right direction, especially after the bankruptcy of leading e-bike manufacturer VanMoof. Kock explains that VanMoof’s high level of integration and customisation resulted in each component needing to be developed from scratch, leading to initial flaws and difficulties in customer service. In contrast, Lemmo chose to use trusted third-party components and made the Smartpac detachable for easy repair and replacement. However, Kock notes that Lemmo must also build a proper service organisation to support its growing customer base.

Lemmo launched the Lemmo One in Germany earlier this year and has since expanded to France and the Netherlands. The innovative design has been longlisted in the product design category of the 2023 Dezeen Awards, alongside products such as Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip smartphone and an upright piano designed by Lorenzo Palmeri Studio.

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