This Fat-Tire Electric Cruising Bike Is a Motorbike-Wannabe's Dream

Gorgeous styling and a comfy ride make the NewGen 345-S a great, but a pricey e-bike option.

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Andrew Lanxon headshot
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Andrew Lanxon
4 min read
NewGen electric bike photographed with the sea behind.
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The NewGen 345-S is awesome. Built in England (with US shipping soon to be available), this fat-tire electric bike is big and heavy, and at £2,650 ($3,512) it's far from cheap. But boy does it look amazing, and it's hella fun to ride. I've spent some time with it, exploring the cobbled streets and coastline around the beautiful city of Edinburgh, and there's a lot I'll miss about it when it's gone.

I adore the look of the thing. It's built more like a classic motorbike, with huge tires and aggressive-looking suspension bars. The seat is long -- room for two, in fact -- and the handlebars are high, giving you a sitting position more in common with riding a Harley Davidson than a regular road bike. It's a bike that turns heads, and I've had multiple people asking me about it when I've been out and about. 

The NewGen 345-S on a patch of grass
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The seat is deeply padded and wrapped in luxurious leather, making it extremely comfortable to sit on. There's a handy wooden cargo shelf beneath it, and the front suspension forks make for a deliciously gentle ride, absorbing much of the rumble of the old cobblestones on the streets near my house. There's a built-in LED light on the front, too, with red lights on the back to ensure you're seen at night. It all feels extremely well built, which is reassuring given its price.

It's powered by a 750-watt Bafang motor in the rear wheel (250-watt versions are available) that will take the bike up to an electronically limited 20mph. There are five levels of power assistance to choose from, which is easily selected from the chunky buttons to the left of the LCD display on the handlebars. Even at low levels, the assistance kicks in early, making it very easy to get going from a standing start. 

The NewGen e-bike's headline and handlebars
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Alternatively, the bike can be ordered with a throttle fitted on the left hand side, which makes it even easier to get going and delightfully comfortable to simply cruise around without even pretending to pedal. 

At a touch over 68 pounds (31kg), the 345-S is far from light, which does mean it's somewhat awkward to store, especially if you normally keep your bike up a flight of stairs. Even the couple of steps outside my own house could be awkward to negotiate, and I found myself planning routes that avoided having to haul it up any steps. 

Thankfully, the battery is removable, so those of you who can store it downstairs can simply pull out the battery unit and take that indoors to charge. Newgen reckons you'll get 30 to 40 miles of range from the battery, depending on how you use it, and it's the one area I feel is a little lacking. 

The NewGen's seat, cargo shelf and rear tire
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A bike like this is built for cruising, rather than pure pedaling, and I found myself using it mostly with full assistance, usually using the throttle when enjoying the wide, off-road coastal boulevards that snake their way north of the city.

Personally, I think it's how a bike like this really wants to be ridden; more as a motorbike than a bicycle. But relying on throttle alone -- particularly at higher power levels -- will drain that battery quickly. I found that around 10 miles of mostly-throttle cruising would bring that battery level down to about 50% to 60%. 

You can improve the range by putting in some pedaling effort yourself, but I'd happily swap out that cargo shelf for a second battery pack to give even more range for those occasions when I wanted to go farther afield. As it is, I found myself recharging after every ride I did to make sure I had enough remaining for the next. 

The NewGen 345-S e-bike on the grass near the shore
Andrew Lanxon/CNET

And while there are various fat-tire -bikes that offer more range (the Biktrix Juggernaut promises 100 miles per charge), that 30-plus miles is probably sufficient for most of your day-to-day needs and is on a par with what I achieved from the similarly styled Uni Moke Classic -- a bike that costs around the same but lacks the suspension and some of the refinements of the Newgen. 

While it's far from cheap (and yes, I'd like a touch more range), the high quality of its build, its luxuriously comfortable ride and its killer good looks mean it's a great option if you're looking for this kind of statement electric cruising bike. It's not for those of you wanting to set new personal best times on your cycle routes in lycra shorts, but if you're more of a mindset to swoop into town in your Danner boots, film camera slung over your shoulder, to meet your friends for a fancy latte, then this bike will be right up your alley.

Just make sure you've got room for it.