CAKE has just unveiled its latest heavy duty electric two-wheeler at CES 2023. But unlike the company’s electric motorcycles and scooters that came before it, the CAKE Åik is an electric bicycle complete with pedals. But don’t think that this e-bike isn’t ready for some hard work.
This isn’t your typical electric bike. It’s part of CAKE’s “:Work” line of heavy-hauling utility vehicles on two wheels.
The CAKE Åik is similar in concept to the CAKE Ösa electric motorcycle that has been described as a “workbench on wheels” thanks to its highly modular work platform. And just like the Ösa, it’s another model that I’ll have to hunt around my keyboard to be able to type each time.
The Åik may be a street-legal electric bicycle, but it’s like no e-bike we’ve covered before. That’s because it’s actually built for heavy duty utility and work jobs.
The aluminum frame is designed to be ultra modular to fit a wide range of utility accessories. The bike comes with an impressive gross vehicle weight rating of 441 lbs (200 kg). Subtracting out the 78 lb (35.5 kg) weight of the bike and a single battery, that still leaves 363 lbs (165 kg) of cargo capacity.
You might want to use some of that extra capacity to mount a couple spare 12 pound (5.5 kg) batteries. A single battery offers a range of up to 74.5 miles (220 km), but the Åik can actually support three batteries (sold separately) that boost the range up to 223 miles (359 km) on pedal assist. The 750 Wh batteries use 21700-size cells and also function as powerbanks that can be used to power devices and tools.
Throttling around instead of helping pedal will certainly net you less range than that lofty 223 mile figure, but with 2.25 kWh of battery you’re still looking at all day operation.
If you do choose to ride by throttle assist, you’ll be able to hit a maximum speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) without your feet doing any work. The top speed without electric assist? That’s listed as “as fast as you can pedal.”
The drivetrain uses a 1,000W peak mid-drive motor with a nominal rating of 500W and a 100 Nm torque rating. It is paired with a chain drive but is belt drive compatible. All the press photos show a belt drive, and that seems to be the nicer choice.
Both the belt and chain drives dump the motor’s power into an Enviolo Extreme CVP hub that functions as a continuously variable transmission (CVT). It includes automatic shifting, meaning riders can enjoy the smoothness and low-maintenance of a belt drive while still getting effortless shifting. It also means that the bike can shift at a standstill, which is useful for cargo e-bikes that carry heavy loads.
The CAKE Åik rolls on 20″ x 3.0″ tires and features Tektro Auriga four-piston hydraulic disc brakes on large 203 x 2.3 mm rotors. There’s no suspension to be seen, so those 3-inch tires are going to be doing the brunt of the shock absorption.
The frame is a single size step-thru model that is recommended for rider heights from 150-195 cm (4’11” to 6’5″), so basically everyone.
The bike features a USB-C charging port to power your personal electronics and includes surround LED lighting.
For connectivity, the CAKE Åik features a telematics unit with GPS, Bluetooth, and GSM connections that is compatible with the Cake App, Cake Fleet Management App, and external API integration. To keep the bike yours, anti-theft features include a GPS-activated alarm and tracking, as well as security screws for both wheels and an anti-theft seat clamp so no one walks off with your saddle.
If you’re thinking, “Well this looks great, but surely it’s expensive,” then you don’t even know the half of it. The CAKE Åik starts at a healthy US $6,470 with a single battery and without the extra “:Work” series accessories. Extra batteries cost US $780 each, plus another couple hundred bucks for the docks and wiring to run them in parallel (though you could also just swap them in one at a time).
If that seems pricey, well, it is. But it’s also probably not meant for you. CAKE is largely targeting commercial customers with its “:Work” line, as the company’s CEO Stefan Ytterborn explained:
With Åik joining the :work series lineup, we’re now offering a complete assortment of electric two-wheeled solutions for any business in need of a transportation solution. Our range is optimized for artisanal needs, from the fastest deliveries in town through to surveillance work in the backcountry.
It’s great to see CAKE expanding its product line so widely, from full motorcycles to mopeds to kids e-bikes and now adult utility e-bikes. But hot damn is that an expensive bike!
Sure, you’ve got that European design and manufacturing. But where is the rest of that cost coming from? They saved a few bucks with the lack of suspension, though I can see the argument that a rigid frame will be much more durable over the years.
Price tag aside, it really does look like a great bike. For a business that uses a vehicle for eight hours a day, five days a week and 52 weeks a year, a high quality e-bike is necessary to withstand that kind of punishment. It’s like the difference between the truck your neighbor bought to do grocery shopping and the truck a towing company buys.
Without seeing the Åik in person yet or testing it myself, I can’t say for sure that it’s built to that level. But that certainly seems like the target CAKE is aiming for here. Here’s to hoping they put one under me so I can give it a test. Perhaps I need to sign myself up for DoorDash soon…