Affordability and Swiss craftsmanship are a rare combination, especially in the world of bicycles. However, the EGO Movement Skarabäus Flex combines Swiss engineering with the latest technological refinements, all wrapped up in a stylish package. So, what is the fly in the ointment?
Skarabäus, which translates to “scarab” in English, represents good fortune and divinity in Egyptian mythology. Is that the reason the new urban ebike from EGO Movement is named after this mystical beetle? Possibly, but more likely, it’s because the ebike has adopted the animal’s intriguing colour scheme. In any case, the Skarabäus Flex aims to impress with its modern design language and state-of-the-art technical features. The city bike with a tailwind comes with an IoT module with GPS, Bluetooth and 4G wireless connection, along with a BAFANG rear hub motor, 350 Wh battery and a dash of Swiss precision, all at a very affordable price of € 2,499. Can you really get precision Swiss engineering on a budget, and what contributes to the ebike’s remarkably keen price?
EGO Movement Skarabäus Flex
Motor BAFANG H600 LG 30 Nm
Battery LG Cells 350 Wh
Display Bafang DP E.160C
Brakes Logan 160/160mm
Drivetrain LTWOO 1x10
Tires Kenda 700x42c
Size S/M L
Tuning tips: ergonomic grips with palm rest | comfortable saddle | better brakes
Stylish, dynamic and affordable: Unveiling the unique charms of the EGO Movement Skarabäus Flex
Very stylish and exceptionally urban-contemporary! The EGO Movement Skarabäus Flex makes a strong visual statement, at least from a distance. The dark blue metallic paint shines on the aluminium frame and fork. EGO Movement offer two distinctive variations: the Flex model featuring a low-slung down tube to help you effortlessly hop on and off, and the Flow variant with a classic diamond frame. In addition, the frames feature mounting points for accessories such as bags and locks. The Swiss brand offer a cohesive aesthetic with the matching brown tires, grips and saddle adding a touch of retro class to the overall design.
Upon closer inspection, though, the initial high-gloss impression doesn’t quite hold up. Some no-name and off-brand parts are integrated alongside mid-range components. The absence of branding is noticeable across the drivetrain, brakes, saddle, and handlebar. Fortunately, some familiar names find their place among the assembled parts, such as the BAFANG rear motor, Busch + Müller rear light, Curana mudguards, and Kenda tires.
The frame leaves a positive impression overall, despite the somewhat rough welds and the rather half-hearted cable routing. Even with the integrated battery, the bike’s silhouette remains slender, and the motor assistance only becomes evident upon closer observation. The weight is a bit more of a giveaway – 19.8 kg is a little on the heavier side for such a slim city bike.
The integrated IoT module is a highlight of the EGO Movement Skarabäus Flex, offering a plethora of practical functions such as GPS tracking and a keyless AXA spoke lock. The accompanying “EGO Movement – Electric bikes” app is included free of charge and can be used for the usual ebike functions such as ride tracking. As for the motor, the Swiss company have opted for the 30 Nm BAFANG H600 rear hub motor. It’s worth noting that the torque specifications for rear hub motors are not directly comparable to mid-mounted motors, but 30 Nm is more than enough for most urban scenarios. The accompanying BAFANG DP E160.C display allows you to switch between the 5 support levels, operate the light, activate the walk assist mode, read the battery status and switch the motor on and off. EGO Movement specify an approximate range of 100 km for the 350 Wh battery, although real-world use may result in a significantly lower figure depending on factors such as gradient, system weight, assistance level and riding style. Nevertheless, for most urban cycling, a single charge should last for a couple of days of commuting, as the bike holds speed well and rides smoothly, requiring minimal effort on flat terrain.
“Made in Switzerland” but with a catch: What is the EGO Movement Skarabäus Flex really capable of?
The EGO Movement Skarabäus Flex doesn’t just look sporty – it also feels sporty. The dynamic, forward riding position increases the pressure on the palms of the hands. Unfortunately, the grips fall short on comfort; opting for ergonomic grips would have improved the riding experience considerably.
The BAFANG rear-wheel motor is reliable and almost completely silent. It’s rarely audible over the city bustle, and provides unobtrusive support with refined power delivery. The motor’s subtle engagement during startup and gentle tapering above 25 km/h creates a gentle tailwind rather than a forceful thrust.
Instead of using a connectivity solution from BAFANG, EGO Movement opted for their own app. The connection to the smartphone is fast, but occasionally drops out. Nevertheless, most adjustments that can be made via the app can also be made through the remote. This includes accessing a comprehensive array of ride data and managing the AXA spoke lock.
The IoT module shows the Skarabäus Flex’s last known location on a map, providing a sense of security. The SP Connect smartphone holder on the stem is a practical feature and can be used with a variety of smartphone models by using special mobile phone cases.
Although the unbranded parts contribute to the clean overall look of the bike, they unfortunately don’t do anything to dispel the myths about generic components. Despite their leather look, they feel artificial and uncomfortable, and it is difficult to make predictions about their durability. The ride quality is quite harsh, which is not helped by the hard saddle and grips. Discreet, high-end equipment would have been the better choice here to live up to the Swiss-made standard. As for handling, the bike is pleasantly responsive without being overly nervous. On well-paved roads and long straights, the e-city bike performs very well. It’s only at very low speeds that it becomes shaky. While the going is great, the stopping is not so good – the brakes are not particularly effective.They provide just enough braking power in normal city traffic, but their effectiveness diminishes when confronted with heavier loads. The integration of the front light is seamless, yet its compact size and narrow beam coverage limit its practicality beyond urban confines. Although it aids your visibility, it offers limited illumination in areas outside well-lit city environments. On the other hand, the reflective strip along the downtube improves your visibility after dark. The Kenda tires are a good choice for urban use. However, their low-profile tread isn’t particularly effective at maintaining traction in rainy conditions or within city parks.
Who is the EGO Movement Skarabäus Flex for?
If everyday practicality is your priority, the EGO Movement Skarabäus Flex is worth your consideration, thanks to its luggage rack, mudguards and connectivity features. It’s suitable for anyone who wants a bike that is not too flashy, but still exudes style. Essentially, it combines practicality with urban chic, at the expense of optimal comfort. This ebike is perfect for city dwellers with short commutes, who value simplicity over the inclusion of high-end components. For those who consider their bike as a functional tool rather than a work of art requiring meticulous upkeep, this is the right choice.
With a retail price of around € 2,500, the EGO Skarabäus Flex has to compromise on certain aspects of its Swiss engineering. While it might not qualify as a price-performance miracle, it does provide a range of smart features. The use of budget parts and the resulting modest comfort level narrows its target audience to a youthful urban demographic less focused on premium components. Despite some good ideas, the city bike falls shy of meeting the Swiss pursuit of perfection.
- chic urban design
- discreet rear hub motor with pleasant support
- practical everyday features such as mudguards, lights and a lock
- many no-name parts with poor performance
- limited comfort
You can find more about at egomovement.de.
Words: Martin Staffa Photos: Martin Staffa