Sorry, another "What should I buy?" thread...

welly

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 14, 2019
5
0
#1
Hey all!

I think my requirements are a little different to others but if they're not, I apologise for repeating the same question! And apologise for the long message!

A bit of background. I'm currently living in London and have been commuting to work on a Brompton which I love, it's a great bike. I live on a narrowboat and so the Brompton has been fantastic in as far as space saving goes and so I'm currently swayed towards a folding bike, which I think will limit my options. I've come into a little bit of money so have a pretty reasonable budget and so happy to spend £3k or a bit more if necessary. Certainly my Brompton has paid for itself in the year or so I've owned it - I literally use it every day and have avoided tube fares to a great extent with exceptions I'll explain below.

I'm currently moving myself (and my boat) up north to Yorkshire and while public transport is still great up there, it's more limited than London and so as part of the requirements of my boat licence, I have to at some point during the year be at least 20 miles away from where I started. So I may have as much as a 20 mile commute back into Leeds for work. In London, I'd just jump on the tube or the overground and that was fine. Not an option in Leeds! Although there is a pretty good rail network that gets back into Leeds, however I still need to consider at some point going 20 miles into town.

So! With all that in mind, I think I'd like a folding bike for space saving requirements and also to stop my bike getting nicked! It'll sit under my desk at work and basically not be out of my sight. I've never locked my Brompton up whenever I've been somewhere with it as it is always within arms reach. So ideally I'd like a folding bike but not necessarily a Brompton. I'm open to other suggestions.

I understand that e-bikes are limited to 15mph but I also understand you can de-restrict them. Ideally I'd like to be able to derestrict my bike so I can travel 20mph or a bit more because I don't want my 20 mile commute to be taking me over an hour! Not sure if I fancy doing that speed necessarily on a Brompton though! So I'm probably looking for something with at least 20" wheels.

I'm also thinking I'd like a bike that I could possibly use for a bit of cycle touring and while I cycled around Yorkshire on my Brompton for a week last summer (doing around 25-30km a day), I'd probably like to go a bit further and so again I'm probably looking for something a little larger but has the capability of carrying some, not a lot, but some luggage.

At a push I'd consider a non-folding bike and would basically have to figure out how to store it - on top of the boat is not really an option, bikes get stolen from the top of boats all the time although I could possibly build a box for it to live in but then have to consider getting a 20kg+ bike on the roof!

I think that should be it! I'm still thinking about a Brompton Electric or possibly even debating having my Brompton converted. Wondered if anyone has any thoughts on all this?

Thanks!

welly
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
449
125
Basildon
#2
I think you're going to be disappointed with an electric folding bike. You'd be surprised at how awkward they are to carry and how much space they take up.

Whatever bike you get, you can make it take up a lot less space by adding quick release levers to the stem clamp and folding pedals. That makes the bike very flat when you turn the handlebars in line with the front wheel and fold up the pedals. Even if you get a folding bike, it's easier just to drop the bars and fold the pedals to store it rather than wrestle the folding mechanism.

One day, someone will come up with a design for a folding bike that works.

Have a look at the various Gocycle options. There's a fast-folding one now (GX), but even the non-folding versions go quite small when you drop the bars and fold the pedals. Gocycles are great bikes if you can afford them, specially if you can persuade the dealer to give you access to the speed and power options in the software. These bikes have the advantage that they're very clean with no bits sticking out everywhere.
 
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Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
9,763
1,794
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
#4
One day, someone will come up with a design for a folding bike that works.
this one might, but I reckon Brompton's lawyers will land on me like a rash:

 

welly

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 14, 2019
5
0
#5
I think you're going to be disappointed with an electric folding bike. You'd be surprised at how awkward they are to carry and how much space they take up.

Whatever bike you get, you can make it take up a lot less space by adding quick release levers to the stem clamp and folding pedals. That makes the bike very flat when you turn the handlebars in line with the front wheel and fold up the pedals. Even if you get a folding bike, it's easier just to drop the bars and fold the pedals to store it rather than wrestle the folding mechanism.

One day, someone will come up with a design for a folding bike that works.

Have a look at the various Gocycle options. There's a fast-folding one now (GX), but even the non-folding versions go quite small when you drop the bars and fold the pedals. Gocycles are great bikes if you can afford them, specially if you can persuade the dealer to give you access to the speed and power options in the software. These bikes have the advantage that they're very clean with no bits sticking out everywhere.
Cheers! Yeah, was looking at the Gocycle GX that comes out in April. It looks interesting! It's certainly within my budget so something to think about although not sure what the options for hanging panniers or small baggage are for it.

Before I had my Brompton, I had a Bickerton folding bike (the ones that are almost exactly like the Dahon/Tern bikes) which was a great bike to ride but the thing with it was that it was an absolute lump and not fun to carry around on the tube. So got rid fairly quickly and replaced it with a Brompton. My requirement for a folding bike to carry around on the tube/public transport is far less now, it's more the space it takes up on the boat is my primary consideration. Even if it's bigger than the Brompton when folded, that's still fine. I'm just a bit hesitant to get a full sized folding bike although when I keep looking at them, I'm thinking I may try and make it work! The Moustache Samedi looks brilliant.
 

JPGiant

Pedelecer
Sep 3, 2017
219
20
West Yorkshire
#6
Having lived in and around Leeds since the '70's, make sure you get a big battery version to accommodate the hills round here - remember Leeds city is in a river (Aire) valley so on average, it's easy going in and a workout to leave.
 
Apr 22, 2017
50
28
#7
Have a look at Tern Folders - when folded they are designed to be moved on one wheel, holding the saddle. Get the biggest battery and strongest motor - Fully Charged Bikes in the City of London sell them.
 

welly

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 14, 2019
5
0
#8
Yeah been looking at the Tern bikes, the Vektron S10 looks brilliant and still within my budget but the guy in the shop (Velorution in Islington) suggested the D8 saying it was much better value with a more torque-ey motor. Seemed to suggest everything else was almost identical. Any thoughts? So far that's the one I'm swaying towards but still considering a non-folder if I see the right one.
 
Apr 22, 2017
50
28
#10
Welly,

I had the same advice from three dealers - they reckoned it was by far the best Vektron currently on sale, with a well regarded Bafang motor. BUT -

That said, when I was looking, in 2018 the S10 had the Bosch Active line motor (40nm torque) and the current S10 now has the Active line Plus with 25% more torque, a very well regarded motor on this forum which has a good range.

See the Bosch website software to calculate your range using all factors, fairly precisely. My guess would be that the Bafang would be better for hills ( 60nm torque) but the Bosch (50nm torque) might give a better range.

At the time I was looking, the Bafang was reduced in price by two dealers and I think that customers spending 2-3k were probably going for the Bosch.

The Reisse and Muller Tinker Vario 2019 has a 500wh battery and Bosch CX Motor (75nm torque) - the Rolls Royce of compact bikes - the handlebars fold down and the seat slides right down, by all accounts a brilliant bike. Electric Bike Review in the States has a good video review on YouTube.
 
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welly

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 14, 2019
5
0
#11
I've had a revelation overnight.

My main impetus for getting an electric bike is for my longer commutes in to Leeds when me and my boat are miles away, and for weekend "getaways". When I'm close to work then I'll be happy cycling in on my Brompton and there is a lot to be said about the convenience of jumping on the Brompton to the local shops and back or sticking a pizza on the rack!

So I think I'm going to look for a full sized/non-folder instead and find somewhere else to put my carbon road bike, which I only really use for things like audax and going for day rides with mates.

I'll start looking for something in my budget and see what you all think!

Cheers!
 

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