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.
There’s a reason the chunky, quirky Brompton is ubiquitous on today’s urban roads: it does the job remarkably well. Tough, easy to carry (the M6L weighs in at 11.7 kilograms) and well constructed, the London company’s bikes have barely changed since the early 1980s. Once you’ve mastered the tricksy folding process, the Brompton can be stowed into the smallest of nooks within 20 seconds. Its folded dimensions are an impressive 53cm x 59cm x 29cm – but being the tiniest folder also means tiny components – 16-inch wheels and narrow handlebars take some getting used to. Steering is super sensitive and you have to be on alert for potholes. But for those with space issues in their lives, a short-to-medium distance to cover and an appreciation of solid, reliable engineering, this remains the leader of the pack. We’ve chosen the raw, smokey 2018 Black Edition for its handsome industrial sheen, but Brompton offers a wide range of colourways and collabs, not to mention its impressive 2017-released Electric model, to suit all tastes.
With our “most people” rider in mind, we started by zeroing in on the brands and models that had good reputations and good reviews from other outlets, such as BikeRadar, Folding Bike Guy, and Momentum Mag. I discussed at length the merits of a variety of options with experts Lam, Cuomo, and Berk, as well as the specs to use as limiting factors to narrow the field. We settled on bikes with:
E-bikes use rechargeable batteries, electric motors and some form of control. Battery systems in use include sealed lead-acid (SLA), nickel-cadmium (NiCad), nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) or lithium-ion polymer (Li-ion). Batteries vary according to the voltage, total charge capacity (amp hours), weight, the number of charging cycles before performance degrades, and ability to handle over-voltage charging conditions. The energy costs of operating e-bikes are small, but there can be considerable battery replacement costs. The lifespan of a battery pack varies depending on the type of usage. Shallow discharge/recharge cycles will help extend the overall battery life.
Folding bikes have long been popular among commuters who need to store their bicycle in a small space at home or in the office. Thanks to their small folded size, they are easy to get onto trains and buses, or even a taxi. With the rise in popularity of electric bikes in recent years, it is no surprise that folding electric bikes have come onto the market as well.
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.
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.
This electric powered mountain bike runs on a 300 watt rear motor that gives it all the power it needs. The battery is lithium which adds to the long battery life. The electric bike has an all-aluminum frame and wheels that make the bike incredibly durable, this adds to its strength. The hydraulic shocks and off-road tires provide incredible grip and traction.
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]

If you are like a lot of New Yorkers, you may have trouble finding a safe and dry place to put your bike at home. Your tiny apartment refuses to budge another inch, and the street seems to be the place bikes get left to find new owners. You may also want to ride to work, but parking is hard to find. If you try to take your bike into your building, the concierge looks at your bike as if it was a giant wheeled rat and refuses to let you onto the elevator. You may also long to take your bike along on a trip that requires transit, but cannot because of rush hour restrictions or outright bans on bicycles on trains or buses. The solution you are looking for might be a folding bike.
But with prices ranging from a few hundred to many thousands of pounds, it pays to do your homework before choosing what’s best for your requirements. We took a range of folding bikes out in central London, on to commuter trains and into the depths of suburbia in order to ascertain which is best folding bike in each category. And if you'd prefer a little electric boost for your commute, have a look at our guide to the best electric bikes.
Common to almost all models is that the handling is more responsive than on a full-size bike, and that can take some getting used to. It is not advised that you ride a folding bike with no hands or try any cute stunts. Gears on small-wheeled folding bikes are higher to compensate, but limited gearing on some models may slow you down. If that is a major concern for you, you might want to look more toward higher end "performance" folding bikes. If you plan to take a lot of trips that utilize transit, a bike that folds quickly and compactly may be best for you. If you are a tall rider, you may want to check out how each type of folding bike can adjust to fit you.
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]

5 levels of pedal assist and a thumb throttle allow you to control the amount of power, with a top speed of 20 mph. When power is applied, it is not overwhelming. You remain in control of the 500-watt geared hub motor at all times. The battery is a 36v 9 Ah Lithium-ion model. You can get 20-30 miles of range on one charge, in part thanks to the motor inhibitor that cuts power when the brakes are applied.

Brussels-based Ahooga picked up a prestigious Red Dot design award earlier in 2018 for this hybrid bike, which pairs design simplicity with a little added oomph from a 250W rear hub electric motor. Weighing in at 13kg including battery, it’s light enough ride as normal but with the electrical assistance as an luxury extra. The Style+ model comes with leather anatomical Saddle, Wolfy pedals, puncture-resistant Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres and a pair of rather natty roll-open mudguards. But perhaps the biggest draw with this handsome model is its colour options – there are 215 to choose from, in matt or glossy finish.
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Dahon builds the Boardwalk S1 with a single-speed drivetrain and 20-inch wheels to keep things simple. The Boardwalk S1 includes both a coaster brake and linear-pull front brake for easy stopping. Despite its sturdy steel frame, the whole package weighs in at just 27.6 pounds (about the same as a mountain bike). Stash it at your beach house or slide it into your apartment’s front closet for quick escapes. Price not available.
Brussels-based Ahooga picked up a prestigious Red Dot design award earlier in 2018 for this hybrid bike, which pairs design simplicity with a little added oomph from a 250W rear hub electric motor. Weighing in at 13kg including battery, it’s light enough ride as normal but with the electrical assistance as an luxury extra. The Style+ model comes with leather anatomical Saddle, Wolfy pedals, puncture-resistant Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres and a pair of rather natty roll-open mudguards. But perhaps the biggest draw with this handsome model is its colour options – there are 215 to choose from, in matt or glossy finish.
The eight-speed Tern Link D8, the company’s most popular model, provides a few upgrades over the Mariner D8 that may suit taller riders or those willing to pay more for some higher-end components. Our test riders raved about the proprietary handlebar stem, which allows both height and angle adjustment via two easy quick-release levers. One bike expert praised the design of the rear derailleur and front brake, both of which sit close to the frame to reduce snagging, as well as the “top-shelf” puncture-resistant tires. Still, our testers’ reviews were mixed regarding the fold, which positions the handlebars outside the folded package—some testers found this setup easy to manage, others preferred the tighter package (and lighter weight) of the Dahon model.
The Moterra is Cannondale’s biggest and baddest e-mtb and just looking at this thing you can see that it’s built to withstand some wicked downhills and big drops. With 130mm of front and rear travel, paired up with 27.5-inch wheels and trail-grabbing 2.8-inch tires, along with a KS LEV Integra Dropper Post make this pedal-assist mountain bike a great option if you want to climb farther to shred longer, but don’t want to lug your bike uphill for ages. The 250w motor, placed slightly farther forward than most other bikes to optimize weight distribution and handling, will give you a nice boost so you can enjoy the ride up and not be too gassed when you get to the top. After all, it’s all about the ride down, right?
Tern has been in business since only 2011, but it has an interesting pedigree: It was formed by the son and wife of David Hon, none other than Dahon’s founder. This development has proven to be a boon for folding-bike buyers, with Tern quickly turning out folding models of excellent quality. The Link D8, Tern’s best seller, is feature-packed, with just enough upgrades to merit the current $150 premium over the Dahon Mariner D8—if those upgrades matter to you.
For anyone familiar with the folding-bike category, it may not come as a surprise that a Dahon—the Dahon Mariner in particular—topped our tests and emerged as our pick for most people. Founded in Southern California by David Hon 30-plus years ago, the company lists 18 current models on its site, from basic grocery-getters to step-through beach cruisers to high-performance bikes.

The prototype Mate X I rode still had a few obvious issues related to non-final software and components. My prototype was not even meant for press previews. That bike, I’m told, was stolen the day before my test ride. As a result, there were some tuning issues and a battery mismatch on the bike I rode. After about 30 minutes of riding, for example, the motor started cutting out every 30 seconds or so, before resetting and coming back online. The culprit is likely the removable battery pack which didn’t fill the housing completely, causing it to rattle around when riding on bumpy surfaces. The company assures me that none of these issues will exist when the bikes start shipping to backers in December, as they didn’t exist in the stolen prototype.
A big selling point of the attractive Citizen Bike Seoul, sold direct from the company’s website, is that it comes straight out of the box ready to ride—on our test unit, even the tires were inflated. Unfortunately, we didn’t find the ride and gearing as smooth as those of bikes costing just $100 more. Though the folding and unfolding were easy, the magnets simply wouldn’t hold when the bike was folded, and it kept flopping open (especially problematic when I was carrying it down subway stairs); the company told me that an update on that was coming. Plus, the Seoul’s folded footprint was so large it wouldn’t fit through the subway turnstiles.
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.
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