Jump to content

Folding electric bikes


Featured Posts

Very sad day this week,  my triumph Sprint has gone.  Anyway, we are looking for a half decent electric bike, one that will fold so it can go in the back of a car.

 Prices range from about £1K to over £3K and upwards.  A cursory browse suggests that quality does not closely correlate with cost. I’m probably prepared to consider something in the middle of the price range above.

Something with reasonable range, reasonably quick and capable of coping with a typical towpath. (What’s reasonable? Not sure, but able to cope with my 80kgs and manageable for my wife’s 5’6” 50kg.

 Any suggestions?

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, dor said:

Very sad day this week,  my triumph Sprint has gone.  Anyway, we are looking for a half decent electric bike, one that will fold so it can go in the back of a car.

 Prices range from about £1K to over £3K and upwards.  A cursory browse suggests that quality does not closely correlate with cost. I’m probably prepared to consider something in the middle of the price range above.

Something with reasonable range, reasonably quick and capable of coping with a typical towpath. (What’s reasonable? Not sure, but able to cope with my 80kgs and manageable for my wife’s 5’6” 50kg.

 Any suggestions?

I dream of being twelve and a half stone :(

Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

I dream of being twelve and a half stone :(

I wouldn't recommend the method whereby I got my weight down from 16 stone to 12 and a half!

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, dor said:

I wouldn't recommend the method whereby I got my weight down from 16 stone to 12 and a half!

What was that? Sticking your fingers down your throat after dinner?

 

Have you seen this? https://www.swytchbike.com/p/universal-ebike-conversion-kit/. It’s basically a replacement front wheel for a normal push bike that converts it into an electric bike. Currently £450 for the kit plus a bike.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For that budget I would suggest purchasing a Brompton folding bike and fitting a electric bike kit. SWYTCH do a Brompton specific kit (As suggested above) which is very easy to fit , other lower price kits are also available from other sources.

Advantages are that the Brompton is a known quality bike and fitting a separate kit means that spares can be obtained independent of the bikes supplier.

Eta

SWYTCH ebike Brompton kit

https://www.swytchbike.com/p/brompton-electric-bike-conversion-kit/

Or read up details of this kit and others here 

https://electricbikereport.com/electric-bromptons-compared-brompton-electric-swytch-nano-velospeeder-video/

Edited by reg
Link to post
Share on other sites

Having seen ads on Youtube for the Swytch system, it looks impressive and the idea of one on a Brompton would seem to have distinct merits. Battery and e-bike tech move quickly and a  decent spec e-bike today could be obsolete with parts lacking in years to come. With a Brompton as the base bike, it's a quality piece of kit, established design over decades and good reputation. If in five years time the battery pack or motor is woefully outdated and underspecced it would be far easier & cheaper to swap out the wheel and battery pack than trying to upgrade a standard e-bike with all the parts integral to the original design.

 

One question I have is the pre-order thing, so many ordered, so much raised etc. Is this kit ready to ship now or do buyers have to wait for full scale production to commence? Not really relevant to me though as at £550 it's definitely down on the ideal world wish list, below needs and wants.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 I bought one of these https://www.asbikes.co.uk/ good quality and the aftersales is exceptional should you need it. I’m 18 stone and the bike handles me ok 😂. I forgot to mention that I have the 26” wheel folding version, battery is good for approx 20 miles with me on it, it does struggle on very steep hills with my weight but on the flat it flies.

Edited by Jinna
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jinna said:

 I bought one of these https://www.asbikes.co.uk/ good quality and the aftersales is exceptional should you need it. I’m 18 stone and the bike handles me ok 😂. I forgot to mention that I have the 26” wheel folding version, battery is good for approx 20 miles with me on it, it does struggle on very steep hills with my weight but on the flat it flies.

Just curious, does the motor give any drag to normal pedalling if it's turned off?

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, WotEver said:

Just curious, does the motor give any drag to normal pedalling if it's turned off?

Not that I’ve noticed

 

19 minutes ago, David Mack said:

Do any of these come with 12V chargers for recharging on the boat?

Mine doesn’t, when I bought mine for the mh I asked about charging via inverter and the chap said at least a 600w one, I have a 1000w so I was ok.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Jinna said:

... when I bought mine for the mh I asked about charging via inverter and the chap said at least a 600w one, I have a 1000w so I was ok.

Which leads me to another question.  Is your inverter MSW or PSW?  I'd expect a switch mode charger to be less happy with MSW but it's not something I've ever tried.

21 minutes ago, Jinna said:

Not that I’ve noticed

Thanks :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, WotEver said:

Just curious, does the motor give any drag to normal pedalling if it's turned off?

Some do but a half peddle backwards will negate the effect. 

 

Usually happens when dropping down to 0 (zero) setting i.e power off or when dropping down to 1.

 

  • Happy 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Whilst I have above suggested the Brompton Swytch combo as a possible solution to the op it does have some downsides namely pricing. The battery prices seem high for the AH capacity and Swytch prices in general are outside my budget. Also you are tied to Swytch for spares. 

A CHEAPER OPTION for those with a lower budget could be as follows. 

1.Second hand Dahon bike (many on ebay) 

 

2.Replacement front fork to 100mm fork width. Search Ebay for Dahon fork. 

E. G 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/loopwheels

 

3.A standard 100mm ebike kit (see 5 below to combine 3 and 4)

search eBay for.  "Electric bike kit 250w 20" 

 

4. Battery 10ah or bigger (preferably genuine Samsung or Panasonic batteries. Anything else  are of unknown quality) 

5.combined ebike kit and battery 

E. G Ebike kit with battery

 

Advantages of this approach

Lower costs

Ebike kit parts a pretty much generic and spares are readily available

Using a 100mm front fork gives many more kit options and, important for towpath usage, allows a wider wheel and more rugged tyre to be used. 

Batteries can be purchased separately. 

Downsides 

More work in sourcing parts initially. 

 

General notes 

Thumb throttles are much better and easier to use than twist throttles. 

 

For towpath use, where punctures are not unknown, front wheel motors are easier to remove than rear wheel motors. (tip carry spare cable ties, required when replacing front wheel wiring) 

 

250w is the maximum legal UK size for bike to classified as a push bike. It's also IMHO more than adequate for most jobs. 

 

Hope this helps

Edited by reg
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, reg said:

Downsides 

1. More work in sourcing parts initially. 

2. Battery not easily removable to prevent theft (the Swytch battery simply lifts off).

 

Other than that, it looks a much better solution - twice the battery capacity for a start.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, WotEver said:

2. Battery not easily removable to prevent theft (the Swytch battery simply lifts off).

 

Other than that, it looks a much better solution - twice the battery capacity for a start.

Batteries are Usually  removable as they are normally mounted in a lockable frame. 

 

Swytch battery is only 5ah and costs £250.

I can usually get a samsung 10ah for <£200

 

In fact the last one I got, albeit a special deal, was a hailong Samsung celled @£129.99. Current on ebay at £149.99. Only downside is that it is frame mounted so prevents folding the main frame, although this could be done by removing the battery holder by undoing the 2 Allan bolts which is acouple of minutes work. Personally I just leave it as it is in the boat but for car use it is a consideration. 

Edited by reg
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, WotEver said:

Just curious, does the motor give any drag to normal pedalling if it's turned off?

Yes.

But hardly noticeable on that kind of bike.,

There is also the weight of motor and battery when the battery has gone flat.

Sounds like I am against electric bikes, I’m not they are fabulous things, every family should own some.

We are waiting to electrify one of our tandems.

  • Happy 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought an electric bike a few years ago. Handy for helping with the odd hill here and there to/from work.

The big problem I have with them is the weight. Most of them are around the 19kg mark. Not overly heavy, but you'll struggle to fold it and put in a bag to maybe carry on a train, or put in the boot of your car. Unless you really want a bad back (or hernia).

Also, if anything happens to the battery and it's out of warranty then expect to spend about £200 (at least) on a replacement battery.

Most only have 6 gears. So even in first gear it's still a struggle to get up some hills. Dropping from 12th to 6th (or less) on a bog standard bike is a big help, but you don't have the luxury of 18+ gears on an ebike. Six is yer lot.

The battery will also charged almost every day/two depending on how you use it. Half a battery left might sound OK, but it means you get half the power from the motor. So that hill that's fine with a full battery is harder with only half power at your disposal.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on ebikes. They're good, but they're just not there yet. Too heavy. Batteries don't last long and are expensive.

  • Greenie 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.