Folding bike - Kudos Secret vs Woosh Zephyr CD vs Other?

richardadc

Pedelecer
Jul 2, 2013
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I'm looking to purchase a folding bike, probably on the 20" size. The intention is to use this at least intially to cycle to the train station 1.5 miles away that has hills ranging from a 5% to 20% incline - there are no flat road.

The beginnning of next year i'm considering taking the bike on the train into London to cycle to work everyday. This journey will be about 3 miles.

My weight is about 100KG but my intention is to lose this weight. Budget is about £1K but for it to be at that it would have to be below 18KG. Otherwise around £700.

The two bikes i've looked at so far are the Woosh Zephyr CD and the Kudos Secret. The 19KG weight of the Kudos appeals to me and the ability to charge the battery away from the bike. The Woosh appeals to me becuase of the CD motor, and that it supports my weight where as the Kudos only support 90KG. The Woosh weighs 2KG more though.

The looks of both bikes appeal to me though the Woosh looks quite plain - I would expect at least a logo on there. That is being picky thhough.

My only worry regarding these bike are that I won't be able to cycle fast down hills due to the gearing - my other bike has 21 gears so i'm use to putting it on the highest gear available. What will also happen when i'm on a flat road and cycle above 15mph - will the motor cut out immediatly or gradually?

It's also been recommended that i should Fit Schwalbe Big Apple tyres - does this make sense?

I would also consider a kit but only if the weight is a reasonable amount less.

Thanks for any help :)
 

trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
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I can give you a bit of information about the Woosh Zephyr because I've ridden it last month when I visited Woosh in Southend. The Zephyr CDN is the better of the two, with Nexus-3 hub gear. When you fold the bike and put it in the boot, the bike can lay on its side without worrying about bending your derailleur and also the chain is never going to come off accidentally. The Nexus gear ratio is third gear 1.364, second 1, first: 0.733, chainring 44T front, 18T rear cog. That gives the third gear effectively 13T rear - making pedalling at 15mph very easy at about 70-74 RPM. The Zephyr CD/CDN has sine wave controller giving it a very quiet ride, you can't hear the motor on flat roads. Both have puncture resist Kevlar tyres.
There is a Woosh logo on the headtube.

Zephyr CDN:

 
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D

Deleted member 4366

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There aren't many bikes suitable for taking on the train every day. The weight and size is still significant making it quite inconvenient. The length of your journeys is very short, so any folding bike should have the capability as long as it's strong enough. I have two very light-weight folding bikes with what looks like a Q85 motor in them. With the small wheels and a slow-wind motor, they can get me (100kg) up fairly steep hills.

The only bike I've seen apart from the one below, that you can practically take on the train is the Brompton. Did you consider a self-build one with a 201 rpm Q85 and 5aH lipo pack?

 

richardadc

Pedelecer
Jul 2, 2013
37
3
Trex, I'm quite new to all of this so not really sure how those technical specs relate to real life experience. Before i've just seen a bike that had at least 21 gears and bought it. With my current bike I travel at 20mph on straight roads and quite a fit faster down hills but always being able to pedal more without the pedals starting to spin freely. Is this something i would expect from the Zephyr? Regarding the Nexus hub gear i was initially looking at that but like the idea of having more flexibility from the 7 gear system - is this an incorrect assumption e.g. 7 must be better than 3? I basically have a maximum of 5 minutes to complete the 1.5 mile journey so need to be able to travel on the down hill parts as quickly as possible.

d8veh, the size isn't as much of an issue, every so often I'll see people with full size 26 inch bike on the train. It's generally not so busy that there isn't room for a bike. I'm guessing weight will be the main issue. I would consider perhaps a 20 inch Tern or Dahon converted but not really sure what route i should be going down. CD motors seem to appeal to me with my limited knowledge - not sure if this is the route i should continue with.
 

trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
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I only used two gears when I took the Zephyr CDN for a test spin. Gear 3 all the time except when climbing up the cliff road, I changed down to 2. Only at one very steep bit near the top of Pier hill, I changed down to gear 1 and rode at about 8-9mph on 15% gradient for 3-4 seconds. The bike has a huge 70NM torque, making gear 1 almost redundant.
It's so easy to pedal, you reach 15mph in about 10-12 seconds, that it's a piece of cake going faster than cars in town. So 1.5 miles in 5 minutes is doable if you don't stop at traffic lights.
 

RobF

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Sep 22, 2012
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To do 1.5 miles in 5 minutes you will need to average 18mph.

The motor cuts out at about 15mph and you have hills.

There's no chance of achieving that target on a legal ebike.

Or at least, if you can do it you will be pedalling unassisted so you may as well buy a Brompton.
 

trex

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May 15, 2011
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he does not have to derestrict the bike. The bit where he goes uphill is assisted up to 15mph, then he's got a bit of downhill where with 100kgs on the saddle, he can easily freewheel at 20+ mph, should be doable.
Actually, I agree with you RobF, for 1.5 miles, he'd be better off with a rock solid Brompton but I reckon he can't make it in 5 with the B.
 
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Kudoscycles

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Apr 15, 2011
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Richard,I will try not to say that 'my bike is better because' type reply. If it is your intention and try to fold these bikes and then store on the luggage rack on the train then I think you will be disappointed,even the 18kg of the Secret is too heavy and the fold too bulky.
These bikes are better carried without folding but with the seat and handlebars lowered,the bike balances well in that mode.
I use 2 Secret bikes on my boat,I weigh 108 KGs and have no problems with my weight,these bikes are surprisingly good hill climbers,no hill has beaten me yet,the throttle is useful for quick take offs.
As you live in London,my suggestion is to borrow a bike from the London Electric Bike Company at Hampton Wick and experiment using a Secret bike on a trial journey.
Am not sure what are the advantages and disadvantages of using a 20" wheeled bike against say a 26" wheeled bike on a train,perhaps others can advise.
I have always been impressed by the folding or should I say collapsing of a Brompton,it is light enough to stow on a train but those 14" wheels are a bit small to use for lengthy journeys and avoid potholes. The addition of electric to the Brompton appears to undermine its stowability ,but I am sure others may disagree.
Inevitably there are compromises whatever your choice,you just need to try some options to determine which option works best for you.
We recently increased the chainring to 52 tooth which gives a lower but easily driven cadence at 15mph ,the bike also feels more powerful and faster with or without power. I have never seen any advantage in making this bike crank drive.
Hope that helps
KudosDave
 
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richardadc

Pedelecer
Jul 2, 2013
37
3
I should have made the journey clearer - it's basically on the way to the station two thirds of the journey is pretty much downhill ranging from 5-15% decline which is where I normally make the speed up . The last part of the journey is a ~20% hill which is where i really want the electric part to at least avoid turning me into a sweat bucket before i start work. On the way home I don't need to rush so would probably benefit from the electric part too. Obviously when i do use the bike in London it'll be 3 miles to work on mostly flat ground but without any major rush.

If I did find the speed down hill too slow is it possible to change the chainring on either of these bikes to make them bigger if required? I really need to get my down hill speed as close to my current bike as possible which I'd guess is 30+.

I'm not sure about a Brompton - the small wheels and gearing doesn't appeal especially when i'd want to feel quite confident on the bike in London. Never mind the cost of the bike alone. Would a Tern of Dahon make better sense? They seem lighter and fold up smaller than at least the Whoosh. I wouldn't have a clue where to start on converting them though and how much weight this would truly add.
 

richardadc

Pedelecer
Jul 2, 2013
37
3
KudosDave, what size is the bike folded? I intend to store the bike by the doors of the train carriage which is where most people seem to store their Brompton's. I guess it just need to be small enough to not get in the way and stable enough not to fall over.

I'll have a look at testing a Kudos. I commute into London from Essex so it's not necessarily that easy.
 

Kudoscycles

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Apr 15, 2011
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I don't think it possible to fit a chainring above 52 tooth,30 mph on a 20" wheeled bike would be exciting!
We could talk a lot about these bikes but you really do need to try one and experiment .
Why do you need to do such a short ride so quickly,surely a couple minutes more would make little difference but the ability to ride up the steep hill without sweating is more the priority.
KudosDave
 

Kudoscycles

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Apr 15, 2011
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KudosDave, what size is the bike folded? I intend to store the bike by the doors of the train carriage which is where most people seem to store their Brompton's. I guess it just need to be small enough to not get in the way and stable enough not to fall over.

I'll have a look at testing a Kudos. I commute into London from Essex so it's not necessarily that easy.
All these bikes are awkward when folded,I am at home at present so cannot give you dimensions but I am always concerned when I hear customers want to use such a bike as a competitor to a Brompton,they are much larger and heavier.
I thought it is possible to take big wheeled bikes on a train,some of my staff come to work on a bike such as the Kudos Arriba and come on the train?
I have a friend who commutes into Birmingham on a 700 c wheeled bike,he stands in the area at the entrance to the train with his bike, a 20" wheeled bike would be less intrusive.
The folding aspect of these bikes is about stowage in a car or storing away in the winter more than stowage on a train.
KudosDave
 
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RobF

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Sep 22, 2012
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Even my Brompton Nano is not brilliant on a train because of the extra weight of the motor and battery.
 
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richardadc

Pedelecer
Jul 2, 2013
37
3
I'm not looking for a competitor to a Brompton - just a foldable electric bike that i can take on the train that is reasonably small. While most people seem to use Brompon's, you get people with 20 inch Dahon's too. The official rule the train company has is only that the bike has to be folded before it is put on the train if i want to take the bike into London during peak time. All the bike has to do is not take up so much room that people can't get on or off and that it can stay up by itself without falling over. Am i going down the wrong route with these bikes? I'm really surprised about the Brompton Nano comment.

Just to be clear from my POV a 20 inch Dahon D8 folds small enough to not be an issue and i'd happily put that on a train.
 

trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
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just a couple of points: one: the Woosh Zephyr CD can climb up to 15% on throttle, above that, you may have to pedal a bit, two: you can't change its chainring.
 

Kudoscycles

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With the handlebars folded down and the seat tube dropped that reveals the smallest practical package,if you fold the bike in the middle it is obviously half it's length but twice it's width,
I have tried to be honest and admit that folding or unfolding these bikes on a busy station is not easy,you cannot compare them with folding a non assisted bike,which is half the weight.
It depends also on your capabilities, one person would find the task easy,another almost impossible....sorry to repeat,but the only way you are going to make a decision is to try it.
KudosDave
 

richardadc

Pedelecer
Jul 2, 2013
37
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Thanks - I appreciate the honesty. I'll try the Whoosh bike as Southend is convenient for me. I'll probably try a normal folding bike too just for a comparison.

Trex, I only really want pedal assist - not really sure I'd use the throttle. Thanks for the info on the chain ring - that could be the deal breaker.

Just out of interest if I was to do a kit would I be able to get it much lighter than these pre built ones or is it the motor and batteries that add so much weight? There seems to be little info on converting folding bikes. I would also be prepared to pay someone to do the work.

Either way though even if I can't take it on the train I'm going to need one just to save me paying parking charges that amount to £1k for the year.
 

trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
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it won't be easy to make a conversion much lighter than the Zephyr CD. The in frame battery is about 2kgs, the motor 4.5kgs the bike itself about 13.5kgs. The Zephyr has full suspension, so you may be able to get a lighter frame and lose the front suspension fork, lose also the two disc brakes, that'll take away 2kgs (eg Tern P9 11.5kgs) . You would have to add battery casing and rear rack (3kgs), that adds back 1kg. Replacing the crank drive with a hub motor (3.5kgs to include controller and wiring) saves 1kg. Total net saving: 2kgs. Your kit bike weighs about 18kgs against the Zephyr 20kgs. If you use a CD kit with the Tern P9, the bike will weigh about 19kgs. On top of that, you may get away with a light lock on the Zephyr because it does not attract much attention but an electric Tern P9 will need a substantial 2kg Kryptonite.
 
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richardadc

Pedelecer
Jul 2, 2013
37
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I have to say that Tern P9 looks very nice though. Basically though I'm only going to get it to weigh pretty much the same as Kudos Secret. The Zephyr however weighs 21KG which is quite a bit more - i imagine mainly down to the suspension which I didn't even realise it had. On this size of bike it would have been better without IMO.

I think i'm going to have to worry about the train part another time as by the looks of it the best i will get is the Kudos Secret anyway. Gearing may be more of the decision maker in this.
 

trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
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you should try it (the zephyr), it'll change your view about small electric bikes.