It’s hard to tell anyone to spend more money. But seriously—if you’re looking for a folding electric bike that can reliably replace your car, then it might be worth it to save up for a sturdier e-bike that can schlep just a little more. If you’re actually looking for a fun toy to get you from the subway to work without breaking a sweat, Jetson’s own Bolt is both lighter and cheaper, leaving the poor Metro between a rock and a hard place.
From the leading manufacturer of folding bikes, the eight-speed Dahon Mariner D8 offers all of the features and performance most commuter cyclists might want in a folding model in a practical, affordable package. First, it’s comfortable to ride, going smoothly over bumps and shifting fluidly up and down hills. Second, it folds and unfolds quickly, and latches securely into both modes. Its design also addresses practical concerns: It has fenders to avoid rainy road splashes on clothing, plus a rack to carry stuff. Finally, it’s a good value—as with full-size bikes, in folding models you generally get what you pay for. But in the Mariner D8 you get a good-quality folding bike with the features you need for less than $600.
Bikes may partly fold and partly disassemble for packing into a standard or custom sized suitcase for air travel (e.g., Airnimal and Bike Friday). Other variations include: Bicycle Torque Coupling, a proprietary connector system that can be retrofitted to a standard frame; the Gekko, which folds from the seat tube like an upside down umbrella; the Giatex, which folds and retracts, adjusting to the size of the rider; the iXi, which literally breaks into two halves; and the Strida, which has a triangular frame and folds to resemble a unicycle.
The suspension works, but there isn’t any true dampening. That means you’re just riding around on springs. On a real full suspension e-bike (i.e. a few thousand dollars) you get actual oil-dampened shocks. Those absorb bumps and dampen the shock. With springs, the bike bounces a few times after bumps, with the energy dissipating through the spring stretching and compressing.