The evolution of the mountain bike is certainly an interesting story that can be nerded out for hours and hours on end. A lifelong mountain biker myself, I’d like to think that I know a thing or two about these go-anywhere two-wheelers. I currently have seven MTBs of different eras and types in my collection, including one with an electric-assist motor. However, even I was surprised when I saw this strange three-wheeled contraption.
The Rungu Dualie is essentially an electric mountain bike fitted with two wheels up front. However, what makes it strange is the way the two front wheels are mounted. Rather than sharing a single suspension strut on either wheel, as is the case with the Yamaha Niken, the Dualie gets two front forks situated side-by-side. That’s right, it literally uses two standard MTB forks and steers with two stems and two fork tubes. The steering is then unified with a linkage that connects the two stems. Pretty strange, if you ask me.
Now, certainly, the Dualie will have a hard time tackling technical single-track trails with tight corners and steep climbs and descents. It’s clear, though, that it wasn’t built for that. Instead, it seems that the Dualie is better suited for leisure riding on gravel roads and rural areas. Its laid-back ergonomics, tall handlebars, and luggage rack mounted at the back are a testament to this. However, I’m not thoroughly convinced that it’ll be any more capable than a decent electric mountain bike.
Nonetheless, the Dualie’s spec sheet is pretty impressive, and so, too, is its price tag. For the tidy sum of $4,899, which is the same money you'd be paying for a lightweight 400cc naked bike, you get a 52V mid-mounted motor that pumps out a claimed 328 Nm of torque. It draws power from a range of battery packs available from 780 Wh to 936 Wh, depending on the model. Rungu claims that the bike’s powertrain is capable of powering through inclines of up to 27 degrees, not bad.
Apart from the torquey motor, the Dualie also gets two suspension forks up front, as well as two hydraulic discs at the front, and one at the back. It rolls on fat bike-spec Maxxis tires, and features a wide-ratio rear sprocket and derailleur assembly for even more efficient riding. Rungu doesn’t state how many gears it has, however, based on the pictures, it looks to be an eight-speed system. The Dualie gets an LCD instrument panel, LED lights, and can even be fitted with an optional trailer hitch to fit accessories onto, or to tow a small cargo cart.