A new addition to KBC Autolease's very wide range of lease bikes is the up-and-coming Belgian brand JoolS. This bicycle manufacturer, with its headquarters in the Kempen region of Belgium, was founded in 2014 by three associates, the best known of whom is definitely the former Red Devil Marc Hendrikx. JoolS focuses principally on making city bikes and e-bikes. As CEO, Hendrikx has a clear purpose. ‘Our main goal is to design bikes that are stylish,’ he stresses.

The ideas of Marc Hendrikx and his associates did not come out of the blue. They felt that there were no really beautiful electric or city bikes on the market. They came up with a number of ideas and began working on them. They were spurred on by their belief that the electric bike market was about to grow explosively. That belief turned out to be accurate. They came up with a funky name – Jools Rooles – in 2014 and started their own development and production in the town of Mol, in the province of Antwerp. Just under a year later, JoolS made its entry into the market in both the private and corporate sectors.

Direct collaboration with Bafang

But what makes a good electric bike in the eyes of the JoolS creative team? ‘It’s mainly the components that determine the quality, and we’ve opted for what we think is  very good quality at a good price,’ says Marc Hendrikx  himself. One of the key components of an e-bike is, of course, the motor. JoolS works closely on this with Bafang, a Chinese company that has emerged as the world's largest motor manufacturer over the past 20 years. The idea of Chinese components might have negative connotations, but that doesn’t apply for this notor manufacturer. Bafang solid, reliable products bear the hallmark of quality. Moreover, JoolS works directly with Bafang, which offers crucial added value in terms of service.

Me’jor Blue and V30

As regards support, JoolS electric city bikes provide power assistance up to speeds of 25 kilometres per hour. That translates into a range of up to 200 kilometres according to the manufacturer, though of course a great deal depends on the altitude and the rider's braking and stopping behaviour. It’s a bit like electric cars in that sense. In terms of pricing, JoolS bikes cost about 20 per cent less than the big brands. A quality bike at an affordable price is consequently a slogan to which the company attaches high value. 

The most popular models in the JoolS range are the bikes with belt drive. Not surprising, since having no chain means a lot less maintenance. The Me'jor Blue and the V30 fit the bill perfectly here. The range provides bikes for the leisure cyclists as well as sportier riders. They are the same bikes but with different handlebars, which are interchangeable when purchasing the bike.

Homogeneity across the range

During the presentation by JoolS at KBC Autolease’s headquarters in Leuven, we were allowed to test ride several models. Our findings were surprisingly positive. The bikes scored very highly on flexibility and manoeuvrability, whilst also being very stable. The suspension is also top quality and the Bafang motors have been synonymous with quality for many years. The bikes really stand out with their finish and appearance, which create a high end impression. The elimination of many of the visible gives the bikes a smooth, homogenous look. The colours of the bikes also marry up happily with the orange JoolS logo.

The company’s design and development activities are based in Belgium. It’s also good to know that production takes place in Portugal and Slovakia, i.e. within the EU borders, something which offers a lot more certainty in terms of delivery and availability.

JoolS is currently growing into a B+ brand and positioning itself as a 'coming brand' in Belgium.