It's the Outrider that started it all. It’s the machine that gets you out of bed in the morning because your commute to work just became the best part of your day. It’s the Outrider that, with up to 200 miles of range, will have you dreaming about your next weekend adventure to a regional destination. It’s the Outrider that combines speed AND distance; the perfect Outrider for commuting to work or traversing the country. It’s the Outrider that comes standard with electric and pedal power, serving up a serious lifestyle upgrade, whether in your daily commute or your weekend adventures. It’s the iconic and streamlined Outrider Alpha.
The Alpha was the first Outrider model to evolve out of the original Outrider Transition way back in 2013. Initially the Alpha was just the longer range version of the Transition, but when Outrider USA developed their full suspension chassis in 2016, the Alpha became its own model, built specifically for sustaining high speeds on the road for long distances.
Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about the off road capability of Outrider’s newest 4WD model, the Coyote, but for riders who are looking for a more road friendly machine, the Alpha is the yin to the Coyote’s yang, and decidedly one of Outrider’s most compelling builds. Now manufacturing the 5th generation of Alphas, their technical design, reliability, and performance is downright unsurpassed. But user experience never took a back seat to tech specs- the Alpha was always designed to be the most enjoyable AND reliable pedal + electric machine on the market.
With top speeds of 50 MPH and great range, the Alpha is made for riders who want to ride on the road while keeping pace with the traffic, whether across town on a daily commute, or across the country on an epic adventure. Add in the option to contribute enough pedal power to work up a sweat, even at high speeds, and suddenly the lifestyle upgrades that the Alpha offers start to come sharply into focus. It’s much more than just basic electric transport - it’s daily, practical adventure served up with as much exercise as you like. Let’s unpack what makes the Outrider Alpha so special!
Designed to fit through a door (width: 33"-35” ) and weighing between 110-150 lbs. (depending on battery pack size), the Outrider Alpha is small enough to store in tight spaces, while also substantial enough to provide good visibility on the road. The 3-wheeled Alpha design (2 in the front and 1 in the back), called a recumbent tadpole style chassis, was chosen because of the many benefits of style. Unlike 2-wheeled electric bikes, the 3-wheeled Alpha offers a more aerodynamic position, especially with a reclined seat, making it much more comfortable for long distance riding. The seat can be adjusted in two different directions to allow for the perfect comfort level, and the recumbent style allows body weight to be spread out comfortably just like it would in the seat of a car or truck. With the battery packs under the seat, the center of gravity stays low, further contributing to good aerodynamics as well as the overall safety of the machine. Lastly, with two wheels up front, there is twice the braking power (Magura 180MM hydraulic disk brakes if you’re interested), making the machine safer and also extending the life of the brakes.
A custom, in-house designed, full front and back suspension system that more closely resembles that of a car or side-by-side than it does a recumbent trike is a foundational design element that straight out of the gate sets the Alpha apart from its competitors. Instead of using an elastomer suspension with a compressed rubber for the damping element, Outrider designed a full A-arm suspension for the front of the Alphas and used a rear suspension shock, like those found on mountain bikes, for the back of the Alpha, providing fully adjustable air suspension that serves up a smooth ride for riders weighing up to 350 lbs. The upfront suspension also includes a sway bar like you’d find in a car, SUV, or side-by-side to provide more stability and less sway and body roll while taking corners at higher speeds.
The steering is another element that is more akin to a car than a bike. Instead of a direct steering system which transfers movement from the handlebars directly to the wheels and can end up feeling pretty darty especially at high speeds (think regular bicycle style), the Alpha uses an indirect steering system that drives pushrods through a cam first, and then translates the direction to the wheels. The effect is a much smoother feel while riding, perfect for riding comfortably with traffic for any distance.
While the ride has been designed to match the comfort level of a car, the Alphas are, at their core, a very different mode of transport. The combination of an efficient, high powered American-made electric motor, a highly efficient German gearbox, and a pedal assist system that allows the rider to contribute as much power as they like, come together to provide a full lifestyle upgrade rather than just another mode of transport.
The electric power comes from a 5000 Watt mid-drive motor that is 94% efficient at its peak efficiency and maintains over 90% efficiency up to the 5000 Watt level. In other words, this system sends a lot more power to the wheels than other motors that operate at a much lower efficiency. The mid-drive system allows the motor to be cooled with an exhaust fan that actively keeps the motor cool at high power levels for sustained periods of time. This eliminates the need to let off the throttle and wait for the motor to cool down, as is common with other electric motors.
The German gearbox is as unique as the American made mid-drive motor system. The gearbox averages at about 97-98% efficiency, again, utilizing almost all the power available. The belt drive system is a cog timing belt with a gate-style tooth profile and a carbon-core belt. It requires virtually no maintenance and lasts a very long time, versus a similar chain set up that would typically be noisier, need to be oiled, and possibly stretch.
As the motors are geared for higher speeds rather than higher torque, the Alphas are designed to always start off with pedal power until about 3 MPH. The pedal power comes from the rear of the bike through a standard 9 speed rear cassette and derailleur. This system is similar to a bike set up where the vehicle must be moving in order to shift gears. However, an optional upgrade for the Alpha is the Shimano Alphine DI-2 system, an 11-speed internally geared hub that shifts the gears electronically, offering the rider the benefit of shifting gears while at a complete stop- a great feature when sudden stops are required. The battery for the electronic shifter is separate from the main battery pack, so even if the Alpha battery pack is fully discharged, the gears will still shift and the machine can be pedaled to a charging destination. Another optional add-on for pedaling the Alpha is the high speed Schlumpf drive which allows the rider to contribute pedal power even at high speeds, where typically an impossibly large chain would have to be used.
Every element of the rider experience has been thoughtfully designed and implemented into the Outrider Alpha. From the onboard cycloanalyst that keeps the rider informed of every detail of the machine’s performance, to an onboard charger that provides easy, high speed charging, to multiple built-in mounting points that provides options for as much storage as you could possibly need for the journey, the Alpha design hasn’t left anything out. In fact, it is as much the built in potential that makes this Outrider so exciting as the actual Alpha design itself! The optional electronics accessory package is essentially infinite potential in a box. From charging any USB based device from the Alpha, to powering your entire home, to charging your Alpha’s battery pack with a solar panel, the possibilities are almost endless, and just a plug away from reality whenever the desire to upgrade comes.
From the beginning, the Outrider design team has placed a very high value on longevity and the ability for customers to continue to repair or upgrade their machines far into the future. A great example of this built-in future-proofing is the Alpha’s electronics panel. Now an easily disconnected, fully contained cartridge, if there's ever a problem with the electronics on the Alpha, riders can easily disconnect and ship the panel back to our service department where we can diagnose and solve any issue going on.
The Alpha is all about bringing adventure and life back into the everyday moments of life. Whether it’s your daily commute to work that needs a boost of energy, or the indoor bike or treadmill that have lost their appeal- the Alpha takes these non-negotiable elements of your lifestyle and makes them the best part of your day, every day. And with up to 200 miles of range, your weekends may start to look a little brighter too, as you begin to truly see the journey as just as fun as the destination!