1.) The Integrale has plenty of travel for street riding with a great air fork, solid braking
from the hydraulic disc brakes and confidence-inspiring grip from the Schwalbe Big
Ben tires. The tires have a reflective strip on the side for high visibility at night.
2.) The power connector for charging the Kalkhoff’s battery is magnetic, similar to
Apple’s MagSafe. The unique thing about this connector is that it can only plug in one
way; it repels any attempt to connect it incorrectly. It also disconnects easily to avoid
damage if it’s accidentally kicked.
3.)The Impulse system offers a large display and a ton of customization even before
adding navigation via the Android/iOS app. You can control power profiles to make
power more or less obvious. There is a control for the amount of delay in the shifting,
but we noticed almost no difference in the entire range. Mounting it lower on the stem
would’ve been nice, but then there wouldn’t have been access to the USB charge port
to keep your phone going on long trips.
4.) The integrated battery in the downtube, Impulse motor mid-drive and the Gates
carbon-reinforced belt drive make this bike stealthy, not just in looks but in sound. The
11-speed internal-shifting rear hub is smooth, and power is added almost imperceptibly. Most of the rear cabling is routed through the stem and neatly back out through
the bottom of the fork and into the frame. Ample hydraulic disc brakes slow or stop you
as quickly as you might need.
The tires are Schwalbe Big Ben,
which we love for all-around riding
thanks to their grip and very useful
reflective sidewall strip. They offer truly
confidence-inspiring performance on
any surface and every corner we took
The Integrale uses an Impulse mid-drive motor driven by a Gates Carbon
reinforced belt instead of a chain.
When you’re riding, you barely hear the
high-performance motor, and there’s no
chain noise. You’re struck by the low
noise, even when going full speed. It’ll
never squeak, get rusty or require any
lubricant. In fact, it’s self-cleaning.
The handlebar-mounted display is
big and clean, mounted atop the front of
the stem. It actually sits so much in your
field of view that we thought at times it
was a little too omnipresent. But, were
it mounted over the amply wide stem
area, it would likely have covered the
USB port on the back, which is perfect
for charging your phone on a long ride.
You see, you’ll need your phone,
because there’s an app for the
bike, which connects to the bike via
Bluetooth. It’s a navigation app that
uses your phone’s GPS to get you wherever you want to go. It’s useful, though
we discovered that the maps don’t
have every restaurant listed. On our first
attempt we found everyone around the
one we wanted but not the exact one—
and that one wasn’t new and was in a
Even without the app, though, the
on-screen menus allow for immense
choices for customization. If you like to
feel a “whoosh” of power when you ride,
you can tweak the software for that. If
you’d prefer a smoother, subtler application of power, you can have that as well.
User customization is not only possible
To really try out the Integrale, we
traveled to Ojai, California, an artistic
resort town filled with boutiques, galleries and resorts north of Los Angeles.
We rode the trailhead of the Ojai Valley
Trail, which is a fun place to visit and
ride. It’s part of a trail that goes all the
way to the beach in Ventura, California.
It’s a great place to take some bikes,
ride to the beach, have lunch and then
head back. It’s about 18 miles each
way and a 745-foot elevation difference. Not a steep overall climb, but a
good test of the battery and motor.
It takes about two hours getting
down to the beach and stopping to
enjoy the views and taking your time.
We had the Integrale set in Eco and did