We’ve already reported at great length about the recently released lineup of GM ARIV eBikes, how they got their name, and that the bikes are now being sold in some European countries. And now, we’ve discovered something rather interesting about the GM eBikes: they can barely carry the weight of the average American man.
Case in point: the compact Meld and foldable Merge both have a maximum rider weight of 100 kg, or roughly 220 pounds, which is very close to the weight of the average American man. Meanwhile, the weight of the average American male is 196.9 pounds for those between 20-39 years old, and 200.9 pounds for those between 40-59 years old, according to the CDC.
The way we see it, the weight restriction could be a result of two things.
First, perhaps the underlying structure of the ARIV Meld and Merge might not be strong enough to support a rider over the 100 kg weight limit. If that’s the case, GM would have to increase the strength of the bike’s structure/frame – either by using more material (meaning increased weight) or a stronger material (typically leading to higher material cost). To note, the Meld weighs 43 pounds (19.5 kg), while the foldable Merge weighs 48.5 pounds (22 kg).
Another possibility is that the GM eBikes could sustain a heavier load than 100 kg /220 pound weight limit the way they currently stand, but the weight restrictions are in place as a result of reduced performance if the rider exceeds that weight limit. In other words, the range or speed of the ARIV eBikes might suffer if the rider is heavier than the cutoff noted in the specs.
Or perhaps the issue is with the electric motor, which GM designed specifically for the Meld and Merge models. The motor in the ARIV eBikes is a GM Mid Drive unit measuring in at 250 watts, with peak motor power being rated at 635 watts. It enables the bikes to travel up to a top speed of 15 mph (25 km/h), with four levels of pedal-assisted power. Meanwhile, the 250 watt-hour battery enables the electric motor to cover up to 39 miles (64 km) of range on a single charge, and charging them takes approximately 3.5 hours.
No matter what, exactly, is the actual circumstance, the way the GM ARIV Merge and Meld eBikes are configured for sale in Europe means they might not be an adequate form of transportation for the average American male rider. Take the rider’s weight, strap on a backpack, a cell phone, and a few other accessories, and the rider weight already exceeds the maximum set out by GM.
We’ll keep investigating on this intriguing GM alternative mobility solution, and will share more information as we get it. In the meantime, subscribe to GM Authority for more Meld news, Merge news, ARIV news, and ongoing GM news coverage.