The Mate X, like the original, can be folded completely in about 10 seconds. That can be a huge convenience for many urbanites since you can pack it in the car or take it on public transport where folding bikes are often allowed free of charge all day long (in Amsterdam, there’s a €6.20 surcharge for regular bikes and they can only be taken on trains during off-peak hours). You can also just fold the handlebars and pedals if you need a thin profile to store the bike in a narrow hallway, a wall rack, or to roll it into a busy elevator. But don’t underestimate the weight or the size of the Mate X. At 29kg (64 pounds), this bike is heavy, and it can be unwieldy to lift because it doesn’t lock into the folded position.

Mate Bikes is a small brother-and-sister company based in Copenhagen that has raised over $12 million on Indiegogo since 2016. First they collected $6.8 million for the skinny original. Now they’ve raised close to $6 million more for the beefier Mate X, a laughable 11,785 percent beyond its funding goal with five days still to go in the Indiegogo campaign. Mate Bikes has no outside investors although that’s likely to change soon, the company tells me.


E-bikes can also provide a source of exercise for individuals who have trouble exercising for an extended time (due to injury or excessive weight, for example) as the bike can allow the rider to take short breaks from pedaling and also provide confidence to the rider that they'll be able to complete the selected path without becoming too fatigued[58] or without having forced their knee joints too hard (people who need to use their knee joints without wearing them out unnecessarily may in some electric bikes adjust the level of motor assistance according to the terrain). A University of Tennessee study provides evidence that energy expenditure (EE) and oxygen consumption (VO2) for e-bikes are 24% lower than that for conventional bicycles, and 64% lower than for walking. Further, the study notes that the difference between e-bikes and bicycles are most pronounced on the uphill segments.[59] Reaching VO2 Max, can really help your body as a whole[60]. Professor Janet Lord of Birmingham University in the UK published a study that looked at older cyclists, ““The study looked at muscle mass, blood cholesterol, their VO2 Max, lung function, and in many of those measures we found they didn’t age! No loss of muscle, their bones were a little thin (but nothing like the general population), their blood pressure didn’t go up.[61]
In the event that you're going to be living somewhere for an abbreviated period of time, a folding bike might be a smarter choice than a car, as long as your daily commute isn't too far. For many city dwellers, there is simply no place to park a car where they don't have to worry about getting a parking ticket on random days. A folding bike is ideal if you're living in a dorm room or a temporary apartment. Another benefits besides the low upfront cost, is the tremendous resale value many have, which means that you can recoup a lot of the bike's original cost when it's time to sell.
And indeed, the company’s best seller, the Mariner, ranked as the first choice after our testing thanks to its features, as it ticks all the boxes on the list of what most commuter riders want in a folding bike. First and foremost, we found it smooth to ride and to shift—with the newest model, the D8, rigged with a Shimano trigger shifter, an upgrade to the twist shifters seen on the previous D7 and many other folders—and appropriately geared for pedaling up hills. (I rode up the Queensboro Bridge to Manhattan comfortably on the fourth-easiest of its eight gears.) It folds down quickly, in about a five-step process, and locks together with a magnet between the 20-inch wheels.
I unboxed, assembled (if needed), adjusted, and assessed each bike for my initial impressions, taking them all on a short first ride around my neighborhood in Queens. In a few cases, the bikes needed more extensive adjustments, for which I brought them to Nomad Cycle in Astoria; if you buy a bike online, you should bring it to a mechanic for a once-over, no matter what.
As with any purchase, ask yourself how you plan to use the bike and try to find the one that matches your needs best. Remember that you often get what you pay for and that a lower-quality bike may make you wish you had bought a better bike in the first place. The better quality folding bikes may seem expensive, but considering that a typical non-folding bike takes up 20 square feet in an apartment, you'll save perhaps $10,000 over ten years by being able to get a slightly smaller apartment. So you can't afford not to buy a good-quality folding bike.
If you live in a city, it’s quite possible that folding electric bikes are the ultimate commuting machine. The huge number of convenience factors provided by a folding electric bike make it the smartest choice for use when traveling around the city daily. You have the versatility of a bicycle – the ability to switch to sidewalks, go around traffic, and ride in tight spaces – with the convenience of a powered form of transportation.

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.


This relative newcomer from the Banbury-based Hummingbird team pairs a streamlined, glossy carbon-fibre frame with a fast fold. The USP here is its weight: at just 6.9 kilograms, it can comfortably claim the title of lightest folding bike on the market. It’s a delight to ride, too: on the road it offers a stable, highly responsive ride, although the lack of suspension rattles the teeth over craggier terrain. Its innovative Swinglock folding system enables the anodized aluminium swingarm to pivot neatly around the bottom bracket, keeping total fold time down to around 15 seconds. One drawback: at 117cm, its folded length exceeds the size of some rail networks’ luggage compartments, so research is advised before committing to this beautiful but pricey model.
By 1898 a rear-wheel drive electric bicycle, which used a driving belt along the outside edge of the wheel, was patented by Mathew J. Steffens. Also, the 1899 U.S. Patent 627,066 by John Schnepf depicted a rear-wheel friction “roller-wheel” style drive electric bicycle.[7] Schnepf's invention was later re-examined and expanded in 1969 by G.A. Wood Jr. with his U.S. Patent 3,431,994. Wood’s device used 4 fractional horsepower motors; connected through a series of gears.[8]
I’ve been riding bikes around New York City for more than a decade and commuting regularly from Astoria to Manhattan via the Queensboro Bridge to my job as a personal trainer and fitness instructor. In addition, I was formerly a staff writer for the Good Housekeeping Institute, where I was intimately involved with the scientific testing of all manner of products for the magazine and website.
At the time of this writing, Dahon had just completed a Kickstarter campaign for its 35th Anniversary Curl, a high-end folding bike that operates similarly to the Brompton (though the company is very sensitive about that comparison). The campaign claims that the bike will be “not just a refinement of what has come before – it represents an almost total overhaul that completely changes the riding experience of folding bicycles.” We’re eagerly awaiting its production so we can test one.
Torque sensors and power controls were developed in the late 1990s. For example, Takada Yutky of Japan filed a patent in 1997 for such a device. In 1992 Vector Services Limited offered and sold an e-bike dubbed Zike.[9] The bicycle included NiCd batteries that were built into a frame member and included an 850 g permanent-magnet motor. Despite the Zike, in 1992 hardly any commercial e-bikes were available.
Depending on local laws, many e-bikes (e.g., pedelecs) are legally classified as bicycles rather than mopeds or motorcycles. This exempts them from the more stringent laws regarding the certification and operation of more powerful two-wheelers which are often classed as electric motorcycles. E-bikes can also be defined separately and treated under distinct Electric bicycle laws.
×