14. Lighten your load - Issue 140 - Magazine | Monocle

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A huge uptick in the number of cyclists in 2020 prompted cities across the globe to roll out new bicycle infrastructure and pop-up lanes, so there’s never been a better time to get into the saddle. However, one issue remains: do you invest in a handsome old Bianchi or trade good taste for technology with an electric bike that can handle the steepest urban incline?

Benno Baenziger’s goal was to develop a bike that makes the choice a little easier by overcoming the common objections raised by most fair-weather cyclists. His remit was a model that makes riding easy, looks good and has the grunt to carry heavy loads. Enter the Remidemi by Baenziger’s company, Benno Bikes.


“A lot of bikes look cool but can’t carry much,” says Baenziger, when asked about the neat but nonetheless electric model. “Others carry a load but they don’t ride well, and some simply don’t look good. So trying to find the perfect blend was my mission.”

Based in California, German-born Baenziger established the brand in 2015 after selling his first cycling company, Electra, to Trek. Benno Bikes, he hopes, will be a brand like no other, using electric assist as a starting point for design rather than including it as an afterthought.

The resulting Remidemi is a smart e-bike powered by a lithium-ion battery, with Shimano gears and disc brakes. The bicycle can carry a range of cargo racks, from surfboard holders and child seats to more traditional baskets. Crucially, it doesn’t look bulky without them.

“It’s the balance of ride quality, looks and cargo that makes our bikes unique,” says Baenziger. What better way to cruise into 2021?

Monocle comment: By taking some of the strain, e-bikes should encourage more people to swap four wheels for two in the city, especially if they’re comfortable, can carry a load – and look great.

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