As for tech specs, the Mariner D8 comes with a forged aluminum crank (according to our experts, more long-lasting than the pressed/riveted steel or aluminum that manufacturers sometimes use to cut costs) and a Shimano Altus rear derailleur (an upgrade to the Tourney on the previous D7 model), which offers good quality for the price. The D8’s tires, Schwalbe Citizens, are about on a par with the just-okay Kenda Konversions seen on the D7. Finally, and possibly most telling, our cyclist testers gave the Mariner D7 a unanimous thumbs-up, saying it “felt most like a real bike.” Although they weren’t able to test the D8, I was, and the ride quality hasn’t changed.
Folding bikes are often uncomfortable for taller riders. Not so with the 3OND. The seat and stem can extend far out of the bike, accommodating all but the tallest people. As always, be aware of extending the stem too far. You do not want to stress the cables when turning. Adding to the comfort is a basic suspension fork. Although you cannot adjust the rebound or preload, it does have a lockout option.
The E-mazing Innovations e-bike goes about 15 miles per hour and has both throttle and pedal assist modes. It features instant fold option that allows you to fold the bike into a compact size in just a few seconds. Because it’s lightweight, you can easily bring it upstairs, in your car trunk, or wherever you need. With its unusual design, you’ll attract attention anywhere you go. The bike is one of the most stable models on the market, and it’s because of its tires and maximum speed. If the bike were to go faster, it probably wouldn’t be as stable. The motor and battery that power the bike are the 8Fun front-mounted geared hub motor, and a 9ah, 324wh Samsung 36V lithium-ion battery. You can go about 30 miles once you fully charge the battery for which you’ll need 5 hours. This folding electric bike features an LCD that shows battery life, a kickstand, and fenders to keep your pants clean and dry. Keep in mind, though, that the bike features some unusual parts that are much different than those you find in standard models. This isn’t a deal breaker, but keep in mind that for this reason, some parts may be hard to replace if need be. All in all, it’s attractive, modern and well-made to last you a long time.
Unfortunately, not even this great bike is perfect. The otherwise great performance is somewhat let down by the weak disc brakes. Stopping time could be improved with an upgrade. The relatively high weight of 59 lbs is also a disadvantage, and lots of the weight is on the rear wheel, making the GB5 500 prone to accidental wheelies if you accelerate too hard in throttle mode.
Backing any high-tech crowdfunding campaign always comes with a degree of risk. In the case of the Mate X, I’d rate that to be fairly low. The brother-and-sister company now employs about 15 full-timers, and has the experience that comes from shipping over 8,000 bikes to more than 50 countries. As such, the company is much better positioned to handle the logistical and support issues that resulted in delays and frustration in the overly ambitious Mate campaign from 2016.
It’s easy to figure out how to fold and unfold it. I put a stopwatch on myself and discovered that it usually takes under twenty seconds for me to take it apart or put it together. Of course, that’s not including the times when I couldn't align the crossbar properly, or when it took extra grunt to close the clamp. I thought about loosening the nut to make it easier to clamp the crossbar together, but loosening parts on a bike that can go 16 mph didn't seem like a great idea.
Our test bike was a six-speed, Brompton’s most popular option, configured with a three-speed internally geared front hub (gears 1, 2, 3) and a rear derailleur that shifts between two external gears on the rear hub (called + and –). Though the internal gearing is certainly a higher-end feature, the shifting itself takes some getting used to—you aren’t supposed to pedal when changing the front gears, but you do need to pedal when changing the rear, so you have to remember which gear you’re in (or glance down really fast). And to go from, say, 2– to 1+ to climb a hill, you have to coast and drop way down to 1– using your front shifter and then pedal while shifting back up to 1+ using your rear derailleur (the alternative is to pedal really hard for a moment to go from 2– to 2+ in the rear, and then coast while shifting down to 1+). I also perceived a big difference between the gears, so I sometimes felt like Goldilocks, forever looking for the gear that was “just right.” This problem may have been remedied, though, with a custom gear ratio, which I didn’t get to select on the test bike.
More powerful pedelecs which are not legally classed as bicycles are dubbed S-Pedelecs (short for Schnell-Pedelecs, i.e. Speedy-Pedelecs) in Germany. These have a motor more powerful than 250 watts and less limited, or unlimited, pedal-assist, i.e. the motor does not stop assisting the rider once 25 km/h has been reached. S-Pedelec class e-bikes are therefore usually classified as mopeds or motorcycles rather than as bicycles and therefore may (depending on the jurisdiction) need to be registered and insured, the rider may need some sort of driver's license (either car or motorcycle) and motorcycle helmets may have to be worn. In the United States, many states have adopted S-Pedelecs into the Class 3 category. Class 3 ebikes are limited to <=750 watts of power and 28 mph.
One of the biggest advantages of a folding electric bicycle is that they are operable completely manually – if you run out of power, you can just ride your bike as you would normally until you get a chance to charge up. This makes them extraordinarily versatile and allows you to take extended trips on your bike with no fear of being stranded when out of power.
Richard M. aka El Tigre is an avid adventure traveler with extensive trekking experience throughout Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. In 1998 he weathered category 5 Hurricane Mitch on the northern coast of Honduras. He has mountain-biked, hiked and 4x4 toured extensively in Central America, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Mexico. In the summer of 2004 he lived among the Kuna Indians of the San Blas islands in Panama. Today, he manages a real estate investments company based in San Jose, Costa Rica and organizes adventure travel excursions to Costa Rica. He is a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys sport touring and dual-sport riding. Richard lives in Arizona.
It absorbs shocks well and the tire quality makes the ride smooth and easy. It has 8-speed gears that allow you to pedal accordingly. This e-bike is not just electric but can fit into different places like a motorbike. It does not take up much space and can be parked easily. Its speed lets you travel faster than a car. This may result in a great collection as you won’t be late and will also help you lose some calories.
According to Bike Friday, the New World Tourist will fit into a Samsonite F”Lite GT 31 suitcase, and will accommodate front and rear racks for panniers, as well as a trailer. Bike Friday offers the New World Tourist with multiple drivetrain options and disc brakes. There is also a belt-drive version with an internal shifting hub. Builds start at $1300.
An electric bicycle, also known as an e-bike, powerbike or booster bike, is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor which can be used for propulsion. Many kinds of e-bikes are available worldwide, from e-bikes that only have a small motor to assist the rider's pedal-power (i.e., pedelecs) to somewhat more powerful e-bikes which tend closer to moped-style functionality: all, however, retain the ability to be pedalled by the rider and are therefore not electric motorcycles.