New Orbea Kemen and Kemen SUV: escape the everyday

Urban Cycling 19 may. 2022 16:05 Migue A.

Orbea has just presented the new models Kemen and Kemen SUV. A new eBike perfect for adapting to the needs of everyday life and a commitment to urban mobility.

Orbea Kemen and Kemen SUV arrive to be part of the solution

Sustainable mobility is a concept that is increasingly present in a society that is beginning to be aware of the implications of climate change and with cities that seem to have reached their limit when it comes to absorbing motor vehicles.

Orbea, aware of this, has decided to be brave, precisely that is the meaning of the Basque word Kemen, and build a bicycle for those who think that another way of moving around on a daily basis is possible.

What is needed?

Before facing the project, it was necessary to have a clear idea of what we were looking for. If we analyze the range of urban bikes on the market, it is easy to see that there are a multitude of approaches.

In the case of this Kemen, versatility and comfort had to come first. Regardless of whether we had to carry loads or our route was on road or asphalt.

When it comes to versatility, ebikes win by a landslide by extending the range of use and allowing us to carry heavier loads. However, by analyzing the habits of electric bike users, they discovered some details such as the fact that few of them ride more than 60 kilometers, so it is not necessary to have huge batteries, or that most of the journeys are made on roads and stretches of land without technical difficulty, mainly using the Eco mode of the motor.

With these data Orbea was clear that they were looking for an e-bike that behaved like a bike and in which the motor was an aid without interfering more than necessary in pedaling.

Shimano EP8 custom-made

The motor best suited to the premises proposed by Orbea is the Shimano EP8, which combines great thrust capacity with its 85 Nm of maximum torque, but at the same time is efficient, silent and does not add friction when it is not assisting the pedaling.

In addition, thanks to the customization possibilities offered by the Shimano Software, it has been adapted by the Mallavia firm to achieve the desired behavior.

Compact

The second important aspect when configuring the assistance unit is the battery. Orbea was looking for sufficient autonomy but without making the bike bulky and difficult to handle. That is why they have worked hard to achieve a higher energy density, managing to concentrate the 540 Wh it is capable of storing in a density of 1.5 Wh/cm3. In addition, it has been decided that the battery should not be removable, an aspect that would require further reinforcement of the bike's tubes.

Therefore, the bike still maintains dimensions similar to those of a conventional bike. In fact, it takes a close look to realize that we are dealing with a model with electric assistance. An aspect that also has an impact on the final weight of the whole and its handling. In addition, the use of an integrated battery means less noise and greater protection of the electrical system.

The battery is accompanied by a new smart charger that provides charge depending on the state of the battery, ambient temperature and other parameters, thus optimizing charging time and extending battery life, which the brand estimates at a minimum of 500 cycles while maintaining at least 80% capacity.

Note that, in case you need more autonomy, Orbea has a Range Extender, an auxiliary battery that is placed in the position of a hypothetical water bottle and adds 252 Wh extra.

First class

Very often, the frame of an e-bike is a secondary element. The aim is simply to make it robust without going much further. This is not the case with this Kemen, whose frame is constructed from hydroformed, triple butted 6061 aluminum tubing with polished welds for a premium finish and a solid but reasonably light frame that comes with a lifetime warranty.

The Kemen is based on a geometry that prioritizes comfort. It is manufactured in two frame versions

  • Top bar, with the horizontal tube in traditional configuration to achieve a more stiff structure.
  • Mid bar, where the tube drops down to anchor near the bottom bracket and make it easier to mount and dismount, especially when the bike is loaded, which is also helped by the dropper seatpost that some setups are equipped with.

In any case, it is noteworthy that both models have a true size S, something that is possible thanks to the reduced dimensions of the battery and that will be appreciated by smaller cyclists. The size range is complemented by sizes M and L in the Mid bar version, to which an XL is added in the Top bar configuration.

Kemen and Kemen SUV, country or city?

The needs are not the same when it comes to moving around if we only move around the city or if we have to pedal on paths. That is why Orbea has developed two different lines of this bike, the Kemen and the Kemen SUV that, by the automotive simile you can imagine the orientation of each one.

On the Kemen the tires preferred are less lugged and more rolling, such as the Schwalbe G-One Allround in 29x2.25, the mudguards are narrower and tighter, offering full coverage, and the simpler luggage rack supports a maximum of 18 kg.

The Kemen Suv version has mountain tires, in this case Schwalbe Jhonny Watts 2.35, wider fenders and a more robust luggage rack capable of carrying up to 27 kg.

Full equipment

In both versions we find similar set-ups where the first thing that catches our attention is the integration of its control panel with the cabling inside the frame, although without reaching the limits that we see on road bikes to enable the regulation of the different elements to each rider.

As standard, in addition to the aforementioned mudguards and luggage rack, they have powerful, quality lights integrated into the system by Lezyne. The groupset is provided by Shimano, which supplies its Linkglide groupsets, the specific version of the Deore and XT for electric bikes in which priority is given to effective shifting and a longer transmission life at the cost of losing some speed compared to the usual Hyperglide.

The equipment is topped off with suspension forks that can be either Fox Float AWL 100 RAIL or Marzocchi Bomber Z2 100 depending on the set-up.

In both models, we find two levels of assembly called 10 and 30 that we can choose in Top bar or Mid bar configuration. The 10 models, with XT and Fox fork, are priced at €4,799, while the 30 models, equipped with Deore and Marcchi fork, have an RRP of €3,999.

You can get more information about the new Kemen on Orbea's website and remember that there, through the Rider Connect program, you can find out which stores near you have the models you are interested in.

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