The 20” wheels run on puncture resistant Kenda tires. Keeping you comfortable when riding is a suspension fork, a rear shock, and a seat shock. With the huge range on offer, you may want to take the GB5 500 on some big rides, so this added comfort will be welcome. Even if you just use it for commuting, the smooth ride from the pothole-eating suspension will keep you smiling.
Pedelecs are much like conventional bicycles in use and function — the electric motor only provides assistance, for example, when the rider is climbing or struggling against a headwind. Pedelecs are therefore especially useful for people in hilly areas where riding a bike would prove too strenuous for many to consider taking up cycling as a daily means of transport. They are also useful for riders who more generally need some assistance, e.g. for people with heart, leg muscle or knee joint issues.
I also know people. To research this guide, I consulted with David Lam, owner of Bfold, a folding-bike shop in Manhattan that carries Bike Friday, Birdy, Brompton, Dahon, and Tern, among other brands; Steven Huang, a consultant for Birdy and Brompton and the owner of Foldie Foodie Brommie Yummie riding food tours, also based in New York City; Stephen Cuomo, a folding-bike industry consultant in Connecticut and founder of Biketube; general bike expert Damon Strub, owner of the Astoria, New York-based Nomad Cycle (which carries Dahon), who answered all my annoying technical questions about derailleurs and hubs; and our very own Mike Berk, executive editor of The Wirecutter and a longtime folding-bike enthusiast. I also recruited eight cyclists—ranging from recreational to competitive, and including males and females of various heights—to test-ride the bikes and provide their thoughtful feedback.
This is a fun commuting bike that’s ideal for going to school, work, daily commuting around town, etc. Its internally housed battery combined with the powerful motor allows the bike to go as far as 15 to 30 miles. Of course, this depends on the battery life itself, environment and power level. It features the 7-speed Shimano drivetrain that makes it easy to ride the bike on all kinds of tracks and roads. It’s good to know that the bike features pedal assist mode, and you can just turn the motor off and use the e-bike as you would a standard bike. The Vilano ATOM features mechanical disc brakes, as well as the 20’’ x 1.75’’ tires. It comes partially assembled so make sure to have professionals help you tighten everything into place before taking your bike for a ride. It folds into a compact size measuring 35’’ x 20’’ x 27’’, so it’s easy to store and carry around. Its unusual design will also turn heads wherever you show up.

Bought the vika plus and have been riding it around town. Love the sturdy feel and build quality of the bikes. Handles are firm, leather and shaped well. The lcd screen is clear and legible and lights up in the dark. All the controls are easy to use Even though it is a foldable bike, it feels like a one piece bike. Response to pedaling is quick and strong, you get ip to max speed of almost 20 mph really easily. Looking forward to many more miles of assisted biking


Electric bikes are, for all intents and purposes, bicycles. These small, compact bicycles differ from mopeds due to a key design feature – they can all be powered manually, simply by pedaling. However, each one incorporates a powerful rechargeable motor that can do the work for you when you need it to – such as on large hills, or if you’re tired after a long day – and be switched off when necessary.
German designers Heiko Müller and Markus Riese began working on the Birdy in 1992 for their university thesis – the first model comprised of parts of two old bicycles welded together. Fast forward 26 years and the Weiterstadt-based company have mastered the art of folding bikes. With 18-inch wheels for a more stable ride than the Brompton, the Birdy City offers impressive stability and comfort, and its aggressive, sporty geometry means it’s faster than many of its competitors. At 12.8kg, it’s not the lightest model around, but if you’re happy to take that hit in favour of a superior ride it won’t let you down. Eight-speed hub gear, front suspension/rear shocks, disc brakes adjustable-height handlebars and optional rear rollers all tick the right boxes, and although it’s not the smallest fold, it only takes 20 seconds or so to pack it down for the train or trunk.
Mate Bikes is focusing on volume right now, which helps to explain why its prices are so low. The company first wants to establish itself as a global brand, before introducing more premium bikes in 2019 and 2020 (a cargo bike is coming) using materials like carbon fiber. For now it earns money on thin margins and by up-selling buyers on higher-margin accessories. And yes, Mate Bikes, like most bike manufacturers, uses off-the-shelf components like Shimano shifters, LG batteries, and Bafang motors, but it’s not a white-label Chinese bike, the company assures me. The Mate X frame, for example, has been customized to the point of now being considered an original design, and each component has been independently selected to achieve the targeted cost and performance required from the overall product.
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