Eclipse is a very useful all-purpose e-bike

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You might know their wheels, but Darkhorse has now launched a bike, too (Photo: Darkhorse)
You might know their wheels, but Darkhorse has now launched a bike, too (Photo: Darkhorse)
  • Darkhorse is going after the 'one-bike-for-everything' rider
  • Its Eclipse uses a rear-hub motor, to help you power through those challenging miles
  • There are three Eclipse variants, including one without a chain

Darkhorse is a local wheel and accessories brand that has now branched into bikes.

With its new Eclipse range, Darkhorse is offering a multipurpose e-bike, suitable for many roles.

It can work as a gravel grinding adventure bike, for those mindful miles into the Karoo. Or you can have one as a single-speed, low-maintenance, city commuter.

Riders who wish to smash those later afternoon training miles on the road, balancing a tight schedule between work and family time, will find the Eclipse’s pedal-assistance ideal.

gravel bike
An e-bike is great if you want to conquer some steep climbs, in a short period of time (Photo: Darkhorse)

Doubling your pedal inputs

Most e-bikes use a mid-drive motor that is mounted in the bottom bracket. Darkhorse chose to configure the Eclipse differently.

Its drive motor is part of the rear-hub, using Mahle’s latest Ebikemotion X35+ set-up, which is a proven system.

This rear-hub motor is good for 250W of power, with three grades of assistance, depending on your fitness levels or the steepness of that gradient, you plan traversing. It effectively doubles your power output on demand, to reduce fatigue when climbing or riding into a headwind.

e-bike
The Eclipse e-bike motor, is contained within its rear hub. (Photo: Darkhorse)

Does the rear-hub always run?

Once you reach 32kph, the motor automatically disengages.

Thanks to Mahle’s sophisticated engineering and appropriately linear software, the Eclipse should feel effortlessly integrated, with its hub motor only drawing power as necessary.

The Eclipse has comprehensive device convergence, with ANT+ and Bluetooth signalling. This should allow riders to seamlessly their Smartphones, smartwatches or Garmins, for the harvesting of riding and training data.

gravel bike
If you love bike packing through the Karoo, the Eclipse can do that with great aplomb (Photo: Darkhorse)

Gravel riding and bike touring, with pedal-assistance

The Eclipse features generous tyre clearance, allowing for 45mm wide rubber, if you want to run the latest oversized gravel riding tyres, to smooththose corrugated Karoo roads.

With an aluminium frame and carbon-fibre fork, the Eclipse is credibly light for an e-bike, at only 14kg. That also makes it easier to carry upstairs, or rack on a wall mount, if you are living in an apartment.

Darkhorse is marketing three versions of the Eclipse. The AL-D1 has drop handlebars and aSRAM Apex1 1x11 HRD groupset, retailing for R55 000. You can swap out the drop handlebar for a flat bar, which trims the price to R52 000.

city bike
This is the Eclipse single-speed, which is a super-efficient commuter (Photo: Darkhorse)

What about the one, without a chain?

An interesting option for those who are keen on becoming more active commuters, is the Eclipse AL-B1, at R52 000.

This version is configured as a single-speed, with the promise of preciously low maintenance.

It uses a Gates carbon belt drive, which never requires clearing or lubrication, and is impervious to rust if you plan on riding through harsh winter conditions.

 

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