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.
"[My Bike Friday] represents the pinnacle of 31 years of cycling for me. It is incredibly well designed and features excellent, predictable road manners consistent with high end road bikes. Steering response is very quick due to the lack of gyroscopic force in the front end. Low wheel mass makes for excellent acceleration and climbing. A delight to ride and own."
The Mariner D8 comes with fenders and a rear rack that has a nicely designed clip-on bungee cord so you don’t have to buy or hunt for something else to use; for my eight-block ride home, it held a 4-pound bag of dog food securely in place. If you plan to use panniers with the Mariner D8’s rear rack, Dahon recommends using front panniers, which are usually smaller, to avoid heel strike when you’re pedaling; if you want to try using larger panniers on the rack, we recommend taking the bike with you while shopping, or at least taking careful measurements. The D8 also has bolt holes for a front carrier attachment, should you prefer to outfit it with a so-designed front bag or basket.
Its fold really is innovative. The rear wheel rotates under, the front wheel tucks into the side, and the handlebars fall sideways and lock into place—the typical fold-in-half frames of our other picks look clunky and huge by comparison. (The larger wheels don’t help, of course.) The folded Brompton stands 3.4 inches shorter, and measures 2 inches narrower and 8.1 inches shorter front to back, than the Mariner—and the differences are even more dramatic when you compare the Brompton with the larger Tern models. If you want to tuck your bike under your desk or bring it into stores with narrow aisles, smaller is, of course, definitely better.
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.
Traditionally folding bikes are made with small wheels to make their foldability easy. Of course, models with small wheels tend to be lighter and gives you more portability. However, they may lack the ability to speed up. Foldable bikes with conventional size tires are much faster with rolling but their heavy load will give you a tough time while traveling through public transport.
Where the motor is mounted will influence the performance and ride characteristics of the bike. A front hub motor leaves the rear hub free for all gear options and if the battery can be mounted at the rear of the bike, the whole ride will be balanced. However, having so much weight on the front wheel will make you feel bumps more and negatively influence the steering. Also you may encounter traction problems when cornering on wet roads or riding uphill.
At nearly 29 pounds, the Link D8 is heavier than many of the bikes we tested, including our top pick, the Dahon Mariner; this Tern model also has a larger folded footprint (the Link D8 is nearly 3 inches wider than the Mariner). In my tests, when the bike was folded the handlebars kind of dangled, even when I “secured” them with the rubber strap; I found that if it was on too tight a notch, the balance of the folded bike was off and the whole thing was liable to tumble over. This bike is outfitted with a twist shifter (not as good at the trigger one on the Mariner D8), which, weirdly, has the gears in the opposite order of every other bike we tested—as an owner, you’d no doubt get used to it, but it was definitely an odd adjustment for us to make when we were testing bikes en masse.
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.