The Tern Link B7 rides great, folds and unfolds quickly (in the same manner as our top pick, the Dahon Mariner D8), and has a forged aluminum crank and a decent-quality seven-speed Shimano rear derailleur and shifters, all for a price that’s on a par with that of cheaper bikes built with no-name components. What’s missing are a rear rack and fenders (available for purchase separately from Tern). This model also has a slightly larger all-around footprint than the Mariner D8.
Not all e-bikes take the form of conventional push-bikes with an incorporated motor, such as the Cytronex bicycles which use a small battery disguised as a water bottle. Some are designed to take the appearance of low capacity motorcycles, but smaller in size and consisting of an electric motor rather than a petrol engine. For example, the Sakura e-bike incorporates a 200 W motor found on standard e-bikes, but also includes plastic cladding, front and rear lights, and a speedometer. It is styled as a modern moped, and is often mistaken for one.
Your embark is more than a bike – it's a healthy alternative to traffic, hills, parking and sweat. 65% of riders use their eBike to replace their car. 66% said that they preferred an eBike because of hilly terrain near work or home. Nearly 75% rode their eBike to different destinations than their standard bike. The Embark brings your destinations closer and expands your world - all with simplicity and reliability.
Founded in 1962 by Alex Moulton, a key member of the Mini design team, Moulton has been honing its pylon-style “spaceframe” since 1977. Fast forward to 2018 and its stiff, strong frame and handsome geometry still looks utterly unique. Disclaimer: this bike doesn’t actually fold, but Moultons can be dismantled into two stowable pieces within a minute, thanks to a central “kingpin”, making it suitable for car boots and train journeys. Alfine 11-speed internal hub gearing, narrow 20in tyres, a rear disc brake, Brooks titanium saddle and Deda Speciale classic drop handlebars further boost its urban credentials. And if you really want to stand out from the crowd, there’s also the ultra-specced Moulton Speed Unique: only 30 models have been produced – but with a price tag of £14,995, it costs the same as a family car.
MIT graduate David Montague launched his folding-bike business in 1987 and counts the US Marines among its previous clients. The Massachusetts-based company offers a wide range of full-sized folders, but we went for this entry-level model for its stripped-back simplicity. The smart choice for commuters with longer journeys to the station (or those who simply have issues with smaller bikes), the 10.8-kilogram Boston comes in 17- or 19-inch frame options, with 700c alloy wheels, which allow for steady, speedy riding over medium distances. The folding system – essentially a bi-fold but for full-sized bikes – does a great job crunching the size down to a reasonable 90cm x 48cm x 30cm for stowing on trains or car boots, but the front wheel needs to be removed – albeit via a quick-release system – which delays the process by a few seconds.
The other standout feature is the front luggage system, which allows you to clip a number of well-designed bags from Brompton and other makers to the front of the bike; the bags can even hang out there (albeit a bit awkwardly) when the bike is folded. (This last feature, which allows you to roll the bike when it’s half-folded and use it as a shopping cart, works better if you have Brompton’s basket bag attached, rather than a touring-style bag.) We’ll look more closely at both Tern’s and Dahon’s front-carrier options for a future update.
"I never lock my Brompton. I just fold it and carry it with me. I have several bikes, and at 24 lbs my Brompton is the lightest bike I've got! I take it in its sack on the Long Island Railroad and everybody assumes its just a large soft-sided attache case. The bike is quite nimble but is not the fastest two wheeler on the street. I wouldn't want to ride it to Chicago but its great for errands around town and the trip between Penn Station and Wall Street or for a leisurely trip from my home on Long Island to anywhere within 25 miles or so."
The two most common types of hub motors used in electric bicycles are brushed and brushless. Many configurations are available, varying in cost and complexity; direct-drive and geared motor units are both used. An electric power-assist system may be added to almost any pedal cycle using chain drive, belt drive, hub motors or friction drive. BLDC hub motors are a common modern design. The motor is built into the wheel hub itself, and the stator fixed solidly to the axle, and the magnets attached to and rotating with the wheel. The bicycle wheel hub is the motor. The power levels of motors used are influenced by available legal categories and are often, but not always limited to under 750 watts.
The size, when folded, lands in the middle of the field, narrow enough to fit through subway turnstiles and compact enough to avoid getting too many annoyed looks on an elevator. Its 28-pound weight is average (news flash: none of these bikes are really very light), and this model is rated for riders up to 230 pounds. The handlebars both pivot and telescope to accommodate riders of different heights (from 4-foot-9 to 6-foot-3) or riders who simply prefer a more upright position.
Strida - what is with these Brits? They certainly are a creative bunch when it comes to folding bikes. The British Strida truly reinvents the concept of the bicycle. Its triangle frame is like nothing you have ever seen and its greaseless Kevlar belt drive (rated to last 100,000 miles) will never smudge your clothes. It folds in seven seconds (the shortest folding time of any model featured here) into a rolling, 22 pound walking stick with the dimensions of 44" X 20" X 20". This one is sure to turn heads. The Strida ranges in price from $430 to $680, depending on how many of the many nice accessories you get. T.A. members get free shipping just for mentioning T.A. in their phone or internet order. www.strida.com.
Want to read about more folding bikes? A buyer's guide to a wider selection of folding bikes appeared in A2B Magazine and is available here. Another more detailed buyer's guide is published by the Folding Society and is available here. The Folding Society is probably the single most detailed Web site on the subject of folding bikes and should be able to give you the answer to almost any question. Also take a look at
Designed specifically for travel, the Breakaway is a full-sized road bike frame that splits in two for easy packing. Ritchey uses high-quality butted cromoly steel for the frameset, which features an efficient road riding geometry and carbon fork. A locking compression system ensures the joints won’t come apart while you’re riding, and only adds 100 grams. The Breakaway weighs 5.2 pounds and is available in five sizes. Ritchey also includes a travel-ready packing case. Build it up to suit your traveling road cycling dreams. Price: $1600.
Your long bicycle commute to work means you are a sweaty mess before the day even begins, and you have never felt at ease leaving the bike locked outside the building all day, but now that you have a folding electric bike, both of these problems are solved. The electric bike assists you at the hardest parts of your ride and keeps you flying safely down the road at up to 20 miles per hour or faster, without pedaling. Its folding design then makes the bicycle so compact, you can fit it in a corner of the office without disturbing anyone. The large selection on eBay includes folding electric mountain bikes as well, for easily traversing more rugged terrain and in less than perfect weather. Folding electric bikes are safe, efficient, and fully rechargeable. Some brake systems turn the motor off automatically, which saves power. Brushless, gearless motors function quietly, which is more pleasant both for the rider and nearby pedestrians. Electric bike conversion kits are also available to help you install an electric bike motor onto a compatible standard bicycle.
A 2008 market survey showed that the average distance traveled in the Netherlands by commuters on a standard bicycle is 6.3 kilometres (3.9 mi) while with an e-bike this distance increases to 9.8 kilometres (6.1 mi). This survey also showed that e-bike ownership is particularly popular among people aged 65 and over, but limited among commuters. The e-bike is used in particular for recreational bicycle trips, shopping and errands.
As electric bike options continue to expand, more brands are integrating the battery more seamlessly. That makes them look sleeker (and more like a real bike). Batteries are expensive, so make sure there's a good way lock the battery to your bike if you'll be keeping it outside. Overall weight is important. Some battery and motors can add 15 pounds or more to the bike. With assist, you won't feel that much when you're riding, but you will if you have to carry your bike up stairs or lift it onto a bike rack.
The real purpose of folding a bike is to increase its portability. This is so that it may be more easily transported and stored, and thus allow greater flexibility in getting from A to B. Many public transportation systems ban or restrict unfolded bicycles, but allow folded bikes all or some of the time. For example, Transport for London allows folding bikes at all times on the Underground, but on buses it is down to the driver's discretion. Some transport operators only allow folding bicycles if they are enclosed in a bag or cover. Airline baggage regulations often permit folding bikes as ordinary luggage, without extra cost. Singapore has also implemented new laws to allow folding bicycles in its rail and bus transportation system, with certain size and time limitations.
E-bikes are classed according to the power that their electric motor can deliver and the control system, i.e., when and how the power from the motor is applied. Also the classification of e-bikes is complicated as much of the definition is due to legal reasons of what constitutes a bicycle and what constitutes a moped or motorcycle. As such, the classification of these e-bikes varies greatly across countries and local jurisdictions.