“Parco”, a light electric bike made in Belfort developed by a student-entrepreneur from UTBM

Jean Mougenot, 24, a student at the Belfort-Montbéliard University of Technology in Franche-Comté, has designed and developed an electrically assisted bicycle weighing just 14 kilos. A first series of 500 cycles will be launched in December, in the Territoire de Belfort.

“The goal is to democratize cycling. People have a lot to gain with simpler things”.

Jean Mougenot’s project germinated two years ago, when the mechanical student was doing his apprenticeship at PSA, the automotive group, in Paris. “I saw the bicycle revolution, with the strikes then the covid, the number of VAE [vélo à assistance électrique] exploded”he tells us.

The young man, originally from the Vosges and studying at the Belfort-Montbéliard University of Technology, noticed that none of the cycles on the market corresponded to his needs. Too heavy, too powerful… He then became interested in the manufacture of bicycles, and realized that no one produced them in France anymore.

In May 2021, he returns to the UTBM and works for several weeks on his idea: a bicycle “light, simple”whose assistance is only used “only for hard knocks”.

It is innovation through use. I wanted a light bike. The electric assistance is not there to compensate for the weight of the bike.

Jean Mougenot, President of Parco Cycles

Several prototypes are made, with different techniques, until Jean Mougenot obtains the desired result, favoring local manufacturing.

The frame of the Parco bike is “really Belfortain”, the sleeves are melted in Offemont, the assembly carried out in Auxelles-Bas, with the Citèle group and FRB (Fonderie Rapide Belfortaine).

So of course, many elements come from abroad: the tubes are Italian (Dedacciai), the motor and the battery cells are Asian. Jean Mougenot hopes to be able to relocate the manufacture of the fork in the coming months.

If the bike is light, so is the battery, “that we can take in the bag”. She snaps onto the frame. “I worked with a doctoral student to increase the lifespanexplains Jean Mougenot. A conventional battery supports 500 charge and discharge cycles, here we will exceed 1500 cycles”.

The creator ensures that we can drive 30 to 40 km in town without needing to recharge. He also mounted the Ballon d’Alsace with a single battery.

At the end of a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, still at the UTBM, the young man now has the status of student-entrepreneur. He works within Parco Cycles with two apprentices, responsible in particular for communication and marketing.

The first series of 500 bikes will be launched in manufacturing in December 2022, for delivery in spring 2023. The price: between 1400 and 1600 euros.

Jean Mougenot will be present at the Science Festival in Montbéliard all weekend, where he will offer to try his bike.

Information and pre-sale on the Parco Cycles website.

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