Looking for a lightweight folding e-bike?

Discussion in 'Which electric bike should I buy?' started by Farleymarley, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. Farleymarley

    Farleymarley Just Joined

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    Hi all
    My last posts were in 2012 :rolleyes: when I had purchased a Rayleigh Velo Trail through the Cyclescheme. Well that has been and gone and although I loved how the pedal assist just gently edged in (none of that horrid jerk forward when the motor kicks in) it was just so incredibly heavy and the battery on the rear made it feel rather unbalanced. Eventually I gave up riding it, the dead weight battery started to give out and it has now been sold.

    So I am now looking for something new and I wondered if I could have some advice please as I have been searching for what seems like weeks! My main issue appears to be finding a small folder that is also a pedelec.

    My requirements:
    I am asthmatic so a pedelec is a must, not really interested in the throttle, but dont want that jerk forward like you find with the Freego type.

    It MUST be foldable, reasonably light and as a girl who trips over most things, a low stepover. I have hardly any storage space so my ideal would be an electric Brompton, but I have tried a normal Brompton out today but it feels like I am going to go over the front handlebars.

    I would like it to be able to be small enough for me to lift it to sit on the back seat of a car (I have a dog crate in the boot).

    I will be riding on tarmac or compacted chippings on canal towpaths for pleasure and to get fitter. Dont need particularly long range as I live 25meters from the towpath!

    Budget up to £2500 max

    I have discounted Freego, Rayleigh Stow-e-way (cant find any reviews on this one and all the ones online are on sale) Halfords ones as they are extremely heavy and look like they are made of iron girders, I am a girl after all. :p

    Janice:)
     
  2. I think you're on a hiding to nothing. A non-electric folder is hard enough to get in the back of a car on your own, let alone an electric one.

    Much better would be to get a towball rack fitted to your car. It's dead easy to carry a bike anywhere then, and you can have whatever ebike takes your fancy.
     
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  3. Farleymarley

    Farleymarley Just Joined

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    Thank you, but I no longer have a garage and the bike will have to live in the cupboard under the stairs, so I really do need a folder of some description :(
     
  4. Woosh

    Woosh Trade Member

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  5. Electric Transport Shop

    Electric Transport Shop Official Trade Member

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    Hi Farley,
    If you're stuck for space then nothing folds like a Brompton. There are a few options for handlebars and some may feel better than the setup your tried. If you try another option and it feels better then we could electrify the Brompton for you with the Sparticle for Brompton system. The standard Brompton tyres are relatively narrow and you can't change that too much so the terrain you will be riding on may prove a little bumpy.
    If you decide the Brompton would be suitable then we can help and you can contact us here..
     
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  6. RobF

    RobF Pedelecer

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    What you seek doesn't exist - as you've discovered.

    Closest would be a Brompton Nano.

    The battery in the front bag means you split the weight for storage, bike/motor and bag/battery.

    But the total package is still not light.

    A straw in the wind is the imminent release of the factory eBrompton.

    No details of that yet, and they were promising it would be out soon when you were last here.

    There's no magic wand when it comes to weight, batteries and motors are heavy.

    So it's unlikely the factory eBrompton wlll be a giant leap forward, but there may be some innovations.

    http://www.nanoelectricbikes.co.uk/?gclid=CPzN9KCsldMCFfMW0wodWdkD0A
     
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  7. Farleymarley

    Farleymarley Just Joined

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    Well.....I have discovered the reason that the Rayleigh Stow-e way was on sale, they were just about to bring out a brand new version. So I have bought the new version of the Rayleigh Stow E Way in charcoal and orange. The only electric bikes I have to try out locally are the Freego, so I am taking a bit of a risk buying untried, but I like the slow ease-in of the pedelec system torque sensor of the Rayleigh.

    Btw, I rang Brompton to find out when the e-Brompton is going to be released. Apparently the original release date for selected cities/people was going to be August, this has now been put back until later this year. General release is now going to be next year. The closing date for the "Customer Service Job - Electric" at Brompton was today, so it looks like it is definitely happening.
     
  8. RobF

    RobF Pedelecer

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    Interesting about the eBrompton - so it looks like it's 'next year' again.

    Bromptons are excellent bikes, there is no better folder, but research and development has always been glacially slow.
     
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  9. Ultrafunkula

    Ultrafunkula Pedelecer

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    Get the Brompton and then purchase the Brompton kit from Grin technologies specifically designed for it, e.g. Made to order Narrow motor so you don't have to spread the forks and grind/file the fork to fit the motor spindle, proper wire lengths, mount for controller and wire routing etc. You can have pedal assist or torque sensor as well as throttle override ,2 kits are available, in different wattages, I've linked the NSM 250w version for you, customisable to suit your needs, read their review of it while you are on their website.

    http://www.ebikes.ca/shop/electric-bicycle-kits/brompton-kits/front-brompton-kit-with-nsm-motor.html
     
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  10. Woosh

    Woosh Trade Member

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    a bit heavy though.
    I would like to remind you, in my personal experience, the Brompton is not very comfortable ridden at high speed because you now have a motor to assist you.
     
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  11. flecc

    flecc Member

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    Weight is the problem though, of necessity folding e-bikes generally range from 18 to 25 kilos. The lower weight ones are the least bike like, those feeling like a proper bike to ride tend to be the larger, heavier ones.

    A to B magazine, which incorporates The Folder magazine, test them and have always complained that no e-folder yet is anything like light enough to be satisfactory as a folding bike.
    .
     
  12. I wouldn't recommend that kit. By the time you add duty and shipping, it's about £700 for the basic kit, then you need to add at least £200 for a battery. It's a direct drive motor, so not very pleasant to ride because the free-wheeling is compromised. It's also relatively heavy - more so if you add the torque sensor. Much better is a Q85 kit from BMSBattery, which is about half the price and half the weight, and it works really well on the Brompton.

    Even at half the weight of that Grin kit, a Brompton with a Q85 kit is still too heavy and cumbersome to take on public transport and fold regularly.
     
  13. Woosh

    Woosh Trade Member

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    the common issue for small folding bikes is their small 16" wheels, OK to ride at 10mph but unsatisfactory at 15mph.
    When you increase the wheels to 20", you extend the speed at which you can ride comfortably but you also increase the bulk by 30%.
    What could be carried like a luggage case is no longer possible.
    The issue is then to prioritize:

    - range
    - weight
    - speed
    - size
     
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  14. Ultrafunkula

    Ultrafunkula Pedelecer

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    Ditto Woosh above , u get used to the small wheel twitchiness after a while but not a bike to go high speeds on, I had the Tern S10 with bigger wheels but hated the way it rode and the poor way it folded, not to mention it got recalled twice for the frames snapping in half issues.
     
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  15. mountainsport

    mountainsport Pedelecer

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    I like the look of your bike.

    MS.
     
  16. Ultrafunkula

    Ultrafunkula Pedelecer

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    That's an old ebike I had around 5 yrs ago, Carrera banshee X 30 mph throttle assist only , was purchased as a kit from Frank at xipi had pretty good range considering, but a big, heavy , hard to pedal beastie when the battery went flat. The original tyres were continental mountain king which nearly killed me first time I went out , so I got some shwalbe super moto's fitted, they were fantastic tyres, S&@t to a blanket style , mucho corner lean angles.
     
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  17. Ultrafunkula

    Ultrafunkula Pedelecer

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    Picture below is Same as my My Brompton NYC ltd edition of 1200 bikes worldwide I have the S6 version with telescopic seatpost,all white paintwork/ lettering is reflective long with the Shwalbe Kojak tyres , I'm seriously considering the tiny NSM13 motor kit as I wont have to mod the forks ,pretty quick under my own steam too, probably because the tyres are bald and around 120psi
    IMG_0534.JPG
     
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  18. Farleymarley

    Farleymarley Just Joined

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    Thank you all for your lovely replies. As much as I love the look of the Brompton, there were some significant issues with adding the electric system as it stands. Brompton have a 'no internet sales' policy, so I couldn't buy one from an online shop that I could purchase the bike AND the motor from without being able to collect it in person. They are all too far away. I am also a single girl that owns a toolkit that comprises one screwdriver and a hammer, so I wouldn't have the confidence to fit it myself, let alone widen the front forks. Plus it invalidates the warranty and I couldn't justify adding £700-900 to the cost of the bike and invalidating the warranty in the process.

    Soooo..I dont need the bike to fold small to commute, I just need to fold it small to store at home. So I have bought the Rayleigh Stow-E-way, which fits the bill and is comfortable to ride with 20" wheels, its currently folded up under my stairs whilst I wait for a bike lock to arrive. Its the 2017 version, which is matt black with orange decals, so my son also feels comfortable taking it out and about too.

    Perhaps when the E-Brompton comes out officially, I might be able to upgrade to that at some point. I will have one, one day :):cool:
     
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  19. mountainsport

    mountainsport Pedelecer

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    Shwalbe tyres good choice.
     
  20. mountainsport

    mountainsport Pedelecer

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    Brompton bikes I quite nippy, I always see them in action.
     
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