Italjet pedelecs are designed and assembled in Bologna, Italy with some of the components being hand-crafted to give it that special one-of-a-kind style. The coachwork is beautifully finished-off with the contrasting pin striping being applied by hand, making each bike a unique production.
The Italjet Ascot Sport is in a class all of its own with stylish looks and timeless elegance harking back to the last century with lots of brass, chrome and aluminium. This is a serious bike to pose on but it is at home almost anywhere and wherever I have been while out riding, it’s drawn admiring glances and lots of attention.
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Love at first sight
From the first glance I fell in love with this super-stylish modern bike; with its retro feel and looks it could have come straight from the ‘Back to the Future’ film set, or even an old 1920s movie where it could have passed for a small classy-looking motorcycle.
The Ascot Sport is available in a choice of black or white; I prefer the looks of the black version which had been supplied for this review, as I felt it had a more retro look about it – but that’s just my personal opinion. It comes with a key to operate the electrics system and has a clear multi-function display and an on/off switch. I found the latter to be one of the very few things that I didn’t get on with, as it was located on top of the battery housing (which was cunningly disguised as a petrol tank).
I found I was catching the on/off switch with my leg and switching-off the bike’s power system accidentally whenever I stopped for traffic lights, etc. Inside the battery housing, the battery itself is a rectangular shape with a built-in carrying handle which unplugs so that it can be charged off the bike. Full charging time is five hours, which Italjet says gives a range of around 38 miles (60km) and has a life span of 2000 charges.
The devil is in the detail
The front light is a lovely design feature in keeping with the theme of the bike with both front and rear LED lights activated by light sensors or manually from the digital multi-function display. I particularly liked the addition of an analogue clock which gave an easy to read at a glance display mounted in a brass top cap.
The saddle is made by Brooks in leather. It is super-stylish though not as comfortable as a gel seat, but one of those would not have created the right look for this machine. The handlebars are aluminium with brass-capped stitched leather handlegrips for comfort. Everything is topped off with a (very loud) large brass bell.
This is not the lightest of bikes at 30kg; and until you get used to that weight, you could find it difficult to manoeuvre. On my first ride I found it hard to judge ‘pull-away power’, particularly on uphill starts. The electrical power takes a second or two to kick-in and while on the top setting you have ample power to get up even the steepest hills, it does not necessarily go up unassisted – you do need to pedal. I liked the gear change on the handlebars and the little bicycle display was quite quirky, changing as you went up and down the gears. Top speed is restricted to 15.5mph (25kph) as with all pedelecs under current UK law.
The front forks have large double springs (something else which reflects the stylish design) which help to smooth out the ride; these along with the chunky wide tyres, all help to provide a nice comfortable ride. The hydraulic disc brakes are progressive and smooth when applied and bring you to a halt safely.