This may not be the prettiest, the most compact and certainly not the lightest folding bike out there, but the Volt Metro makes perfect sense once you’re in the saddle. Its hefty 21.7-kilogram (including battery) bulk takes it out of the everyday commuting equation – this is more for packing in the car and cruising around. And riding it is a treat, thanks to a rear-hubbed 250W SpinTech motor that gives electrical assistance up to 25kph with a claimed battery life of 96km. Suntour forks, Velo Sport comfort saddle, wide Kenda tyres and sit-up-and-beg geometry further enhance the riding experience that’s more Sunday driver than urban bus-dodger. If you’re looking to turn heads or ride at pace (without electricity) then look elsewhere, but this Volvo-like bike/wagon is not without its charms.
E-bikes are zero-emissions vehicles, as they emit no combustion by-products. However, the environmental effects of electricity generation and power distribution and of manufacturing and disposing of (limited life) high storage density batteries must be taken into account. Even with these issues considered, e-bikes are claimed to have a significantly lower environmental impact than conventional automobiles, and are generally seen as environmentally desirable in an urban environment.
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.
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.
"[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."
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.
This eco-friendly bike is completely electric and emissions-free. If you care about the environment but still want to enjoy easy commuting, consider this bike. The Swagatron SwagCycle uses a 36V battery and a 250W motor that allow you to go up to 10mph. The battery takes about 2.5 hours to charge, and you can go up to 10 miles before having to recharge it. The frame is made of aerospace grade aluminum and folds into a compact size. It’s ideal if you struggle with storage space since it can fit pretty much anywhere. The handlebar display shows you the battery life and allows you to honk the horn, turn on the headlight, and brake and accelerate. One of the coolest things about this bike is that it features a USB charging port for charging all your gadgets and devices. However, note that this bike doesn’t have any pedal assist mode. Also, SwagCycle comes with a battery charger and user instructions that help you with the assembly.
In 2012, two e-bike advocates completed the first 4,000-mile (6,400 km) transcontinental e-bike tour from New York to San Francisco to advocate for e-bikes in major cities across the U.S. Pedego Electric Bikes is the best selling brand in the U.S. Many e-bikes in the United States are standard bicycles converted using a kit. In general, the kits include the motor (the majority of which are hub motors built into the front or rear wheel), a speed controller, throttle (usually twist-grip or thumb throttle), necessary wiring and connectors, and a battery. Several U.S. companies offer conversion kits which also offer advanced lithium battery packs. Major manufacturers also offer complete e-bikes. Trek offers a line of e-bikes using the Bionx system in which the rider programs the controller to determine how much effort the motor will give in response to rider effort, from 25% up to 200% of the rider's power. This system ensures a minimum level of rider participation and is also used to comply with many European laws mandating partial human effort before the motor engages.
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.
The Benno e-Joy promises to be as fun to play with as it is to look at. Benno says it took inspiration from the timeless style of vintage Italian scooters and classic German cars. Add in the functionality of front and rear cargo racks and the 250w pedal-assist motor and you have a beautiful bike that's ready for anything. Cruise into town for groceries, wander comfortably along a gravel path on 2.35-inch balloon tires, or add the child seat attachment and take your kid along for the ride, and beach-goers will appreciate the surfboard rack. Whatever your cycling pleasure pursuit may be, the e-Joy can be your ticket to fun.
What the Link B7 doesn’t have, however, are a rack and fenders, which come standard on both the Dahon Mariner and the Tern Link D8; you can purchase them from Tern separately for $35 and $40, respectively, but they will of course add about 2 pounds to the nearly 27 pounds the bike already weighs (and unless you’re really bike-handy, you’ll also pay a mechanic—$45, give or take—to install them). The Link B7 also feels more sluggish than the Mariner D8 and Link D8: The gearing definitely isn’t calibrated for speed. On the Queensboro Bridge, I pedaled uphill comfortably in a middle gear, and I sometimes thought that the hardest gear (which is meant for going fast on level ground, not for climbing) wasn’t enough for zipping along on flats or slight declines (we’re talking 15 or so miles per hour—I’m no speed demon). One last note: The bike I tested was the 2017 model, which is now sold out. The company says that the 2018 model, which will be available in early September 2017, is what’s called a carry-forward model—it’ll be identical to the previous year’s.
Folding mechanisms vary, with each offering a distinct combination of folding speed, folding ease, compactness, ride, weight, durability, and price. Distinguished by the complexities of their folding mechanism, more demanding structural requirements, greater number of parts, and more specialized market appeal, folding bikes may be more expensive than comparable non-folding models. The choice of model, apart from cost considerations, is a matter of resolving the various practical requirements: a quick easy fold, a compact folded size, or a faster but less compact model.
Tackle your daily commute with ease or go for a weekend cruise in style with the Gazelle CityZen T10 e-bike. And don’t worry about those thigh-burning hills; the Bosch motor offers four assist levels—Eco, Tour, Range Sport, Turbo—making hills a breeze and the Lithium-Ion battery provides a range of up to 85 miles in Eco mode. The bike is one of the first to use Bosch's new integrated battery, which is concealed in the downtube. The matte black paint and classic, step-through design give a classic look while fenders, pannier racks, and integrated lights add practical functionality. The bike is easy to maneuver in city streets, but still has assist up to 28mph so you can cover a lot of miles and power up steep hills. There's a suspension fork too. It's not at the level of something you'd find on a mountain bike (or even some better e-bikes) but it takes the edge of some potholes and curbs.
Throttle only, or 9 levels of cadence-sensing pedal assist are available and everything is shown on the LCD display. And we mean everything: Speed, average speed, pedal assist level, power, time, clock, odometer, range, battery voltage or percentage, and a battery infographic. There is also a USB port on the display to run another light, charge a GPS device, or your phone.
Among other bike manufacturing brands, Ancheer is popular for its electric-powered bicycle manufacturing. First off, the detachable lithium battery gives you the opportunity to ride fast up to 50 km. The brushless gear motor offers high speed of 25 km per hour. Along with it, the frame is extremely lightweight, made of aluminum alloy material. This folding electric bicycle has got secure brakes with premium 7 speed Shimano transmission mechanism.