Folding Electric Bike

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KlangFool
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Folding Electric Bike

Post by KlangFool » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:18 pm

Hi,

I wonder any Boglehead bought one of those folding electric bike and what will your recommendation. I am confused. There are some sold as cheap as $600. And, others go as high as $3,000. I had read a fair amount of reviews but not sure what do I get for the higher priced bikes.

I live in DC metro area and I will not be using this for the commute. It is more for weekend casual biking.

Thanks in advance.

KlangFool

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:26 pm

Why folding?

I went to a local eBike retailer to look at the various bikes and found that they vary greatly between build quality, weight and power. I personally liked the Easygo Race because it is very light, under $1k and simple (single speed, assist-only). I would expect if you called, they would get good advice. Electric Bikes of New England.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

KlangFool
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by KlangFool » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:28 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Why folding?

I went to a local eBike retailer to look at the various bikes and found that they vary greatly between build quality, weight and power. I personally liked the Easygo Race because it is very light, under $1k and simple (single speed, assist-only). I would expect if you called, they would get good advice. Electric Bikes of New England.
Jack FFR1846,

<<Why folding?>>

Because it is easily transportable. You can take it with you on a train, bus, car and so on.

KlangFool

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weltschmerz
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by weltschmerz » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:37 pm

I recently bought a folding bike, though it is not electric. It is a Brompton, custom made in London England. You can design the bike any way you like, with the gearing, color, etc.

I have been modifying my bike with lighter components, as time and money allow. Check out my blog for details:

http://www.bromptonbicycle.wordpress.com

I have taken this bike on the train several times, it would be perfect for you in DC, it will travel on the Metro very easily.

I also like the fact that the folding bike takes up very little space, whether in my house or in the trunk of my car. I even took it with me on a road trip this summer, it was fun to whip it out and ride around some of the towns I visited.

KlangFool
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by KlangFool » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:36 am

The Dan wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:37 pm
I recently bought a folding bike, though it is not electric. It is a Brompton, custom made in London England. You can design the bike any way you like, with the gearing, color, etc.

I have been modifying my bike with lighter components, as time and money allow. Check out my blog for details:

http://www.bromptonbicycle.wordpress.com

I have taken this bike on the train several times, it would be perfect for you in DC, it will travel on the Metro very easily.

I also like the fact that the folding bike takes up very little space, whether in my house or in the trunk of my car. I even took it with me on a road trip this summer, it was fun to whip it out and ride around some of the towns I visited.
Hi,

I have a folding bike. It is the Dahon Boardwalk S1. It is about 27.6 pounds. My sister has a Tyrell FX. It is about 20 pounds.

https://tyrellbikesint.ning.com/the-fx

If I going with an upscale non-electric folding bike, I probably look at Tyrell. Not sure if I can get this in the USA.

I am looking for an electric bike to help me go further.

Thanks.

KlangFool

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just frank
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by just frank » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:50 am

I am concerned about the weight factor RE a folding EV bike. If it folds, but weighs another 20lbs, it might be a hard lift for a lot of people...so market is smaller?

KlangFool
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by KlangFool » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:54 am

just frank wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:50 am
I am concerned about the weight factor RE a folding EV bike. If it folds, but weighs another 20lbs, it might be a hard lift for a lot of people...so market is smaller?
just frank,

1) No idea. But, the normal electric bike is even heavier.

2) If the battery is removed before lifting, it saves about 5 pounds.

KlangFool

btenny
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by btenny » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:13 pm

MY BIL has two folding regular bikes. They work great and are light weight and easy to ride. He carries them in the back of his truck. I think they weight about 15 pounds so they are easy to handle and load and so forth. I have other friends who carry their regular road or mountain bikes on car racks all over the area. The key is the bikes are light weight and easy to load.

My wife has a Pedigo electric cruiser bike that is fun to ride and it has great range and speed. But it is hard to maneuver in tight places and it is way to heavy to load in a car or on a bike rack. We use it around the house for local rides and never take it anywhere. The electric battery and motor are just too heavy. It weighs over 50 pounds (?). I have never seen a electric folding bike. But I have seen lots of other electrics including "light weight mountain bikes" and they are all HEAVY. My friend spend $4K on his and he was complaining how heavy it is to maneuver on rough mountain trails.

So I think you need to rethink your needs.

Good Luck.

KlangFool
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by KlangFool » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:19 pm

btenny wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:13 pm
MY BIL has two folding regular bikes. They work great and are light weight and easy to ride. He carries them in the back of his truck. I think they weight about 15 pounds so they are easy to handle and load and so forth. I have other friends who carry their regular road or mountain bikes on car racks all over the area. The key is the bikes are light weight and easy to load.

My wife has a Pedigo electric cruiser bike that is fun to ride and it has great range and speed. But it is hard to maneuver in tight places and it is way to heavy to load in a car or on a bike rack. We use it around the house for local rides and never take it anywhere. The electric battery and motor are just too heavy. It weighs over 50 pounds (?). I have never seen a electric folding bike. But I have seen lots of other electrics including "light weight mountain bikes" and they are all HEAVY. My friend spend $4K on his and he was complaining how heavy it is to maneuver on rough mountain trails.

So I think you need to rethink your needs.

Good Luck.
btenny,

You have a valid point. The one that I am looking at is 43 pounds.

http://www.wearea2b.com/us/e-bike-colle ... a-kuo-plus

I guess I have to try this out at the local dealer before deciding to buy.

KlangFool

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just frank
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by just frank » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:42 pm

I guess another approach to get an EV-assist kit that is designed to be as an add-on, and put it on a folding bike (assuming the frame is compatible). If not handy, I expect that a bike shop could handle it.

I think once you go e-assist, most people want power and range (that comes with weight). That said, there are some cheaper, lower power assist kits out there (at least there were years ago when I looked) that might suit your uses, without overly impacting your folding/loading ease too much.

Also, of course, go for Lithium, not NiMH.

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weltschmerz
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by weltschmerz » Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:47 pm

Brompton has just released their new electric bike version. It just came out, so it's not yet widely available, but it should be in the US later this year or early next year. It has a 250W front hub motor, and the whole bike weighs about 17 kg (37 pounds).

https://www.brompton.com/Brompton-Electric
https://www.brompton.com/brompton-gbr/u ... -77/p-2897

KlangFool
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by KlangFool » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:01 pm

just frank wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:42 pm
I guess another approach to get an EV-assist kit that is designed to be as an add-on, and put it on a folding bike (assuming the frame is compatible). If not handy, I expect that a bike shop could handle it.

I think once you go e-assist, most people want power and range (that comes with weight). That said, there are some cheaper, lower power assist kits out there (at least there were years ago when I looked) that might suit your uses, without overly impacting your folding/loading ease too much.

Also, of course, go for Lithium, not NiMH.
just frank,

Those conversion kit costs around $1,500 to $1,700. It is the same as a complete folding electric bike.

KlangFool

freebeer
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by freebeer » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:58 pm

I can suggest Rad Mini. I live near their operation and test drove other models and was generally pleased. I bought something else due to Seattle's large hills but for DC area this could be just fine. https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/ ... 7586850561

I can also suggest Luna's folder https://lunacycle.com/luna-mini-folding-ebike/ I don't know much about this particular model but I bought my (second) e-bike from them and was very pleased. It is a bike with pre-installed kit and battery for the price you might pay for just the kit and battery.

lightheir
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by lightheir » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:47 pm

Thel weight is the real problem with these bikes, which usually makes folding electric bikes less practical than the nonfolders. Most electric bikes even with an aftermarket setup will weight 40+ pounds, if not 50+ pounds, which makes them in all purposes unluggable folded.

The 3k bikes will be lighter (but still a beast to carry), have better range, and better components than the $600 bike. I actually would be pretty skeptical of buying any electric bike <$1000 unless you knew exactly what you were getting as nearly every decent e-bike I've seen has been north of $1500, if not $2500.

As expensive as these bikes are, it's a lot more worth it to buy a $3k bike that you use a fair amount compared to a $1k bike that is annoying enough to use that you find yourself never using it.

I'd focus on the ELECTRIC part and just ignore the folding issue for these e-bikes for now. Seriously, even non-electrified folding bikes typically weigh 25+ pounds, which is heavy enough.

I'm curious as to what model that 15lbs bike mentioned above is - a tiny Brompton already weighs 20 lbs min.

KlangFool
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by KlangFool » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:03 pm

lightheir wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:47 pm
Thel weight is the real problem with these bikes, which usually makes folding electric bikes less practical than the nonfolders. Most electric bikes even with an aftermarket setup will weight 40+ pounds, if not 50+ pounds, which makes them in all purposes unluggable folded.

The 3k bikes will be lighter (but still a beast to carry), have better range, and better components than the $600 bike. I actually would be pretty skeptical of buying any electric bike <$1000 unless you knew exactly what you were getting as nearly every decent e-bike I've seen has been north of $1500, if not $2500.

As expensive as these bikes are, it's a lot more worth it to buy a $3k bike that you use a fair amount compared to a $1k bike that is annoying enough to use that you find yourself never using it.

I'd focus on the ELECTRIC part and just ignore the folding issue for these e-bikes for now. Seriously, even non-electrified folding bikes typically weigh 25+ pounds, which is heavy enough.

I'm curious as to what model that 15lbs bike mentioned above is - a tiny Brompton already weighs 20 lbs min.
lightheir,

At $1,500 to $2,500 level, both foldable and normal electric bike is about the same. Except the foldable version is slightly lighter.

KlangFool

lightheir
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by lightheir » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:28 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:03 pm
lightheir wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:47 pm
Thel weight is the real problem with these bikes, which usually makes folding electric bikes less practical than the nonfolders. Most electric bikes even with an aftermarket setup will weight 40+ pounds, if not 50+ pounds, which makes them in all purposes unluggable folded.

The 3k bikes will be lighter (but still a beast to carry), have better range, and better components than the $600 bike. I actually would be pretty skeptical of buying any electric bike <$1000 unless you knew exactly what you were getting as nearly every decent e-bike I've seen has been north of $1500, if not $2500.

As expensive as these bikes are, it's a lot more worth it to buy a $3k bike that you use a fair amount compared to a $1k bike that is annoying enough to use that you find yourself never using it.

I'd focus on the ELECTRIC part and just ignore the folding issue for these e-bikes for now. Seriously, even non-electrified folding bikes typically weigh 25+ pounds, which is heavy enough.

I'm curious as to what model that 15lbs bike mentioned above is - a tiny Brompton already weighs 20 lbs min.
lightheir,

At $1,500 to $2,500 level, both foldable and normal electric bike is about the same. Except the foldable version is slightly lighter.

KlangFool
Yes, but my point was that at 40+ pounds, it really doesn't matter if it folds or not. You're not going to want to pick it up after folding in any case!

KlangFool
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by KlangFool » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:22 pm

lightheir wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:28 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:03 pm
lightheir wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:47 pm
Thel weight is the real problem with these bikes, which usually makes folding electric bikes less practical than the nonfolders. Most electric bikes even with an aftermarket setup will weight 40+ pounds, if not 50+ pounds, which makes them in all purposes unluggable folded.

The 3k bikes will be lighter (but still a beast to carry), have better range, and better components than the $600 bike. I actually would be pretty skeptical of buying any electric bike <$1000 unless you knew exactly what you were getting as nearly every decent e-bike I've seen has been north of $1500, if not $2500.

As expensive as these bikes are, it's a lot more worth it to buy a $3k bike that you use a fair amount compared to a $1k bike that is annoying enough to use that you find yourself never using it.

I'd focus on the ELECTRIC part and just ignore the folding issue for these e-bikes for now. Seriously, even non-electrified folding bikes typically weigh 25+ pounds, which is heavy enough.

I'm curious as to what model that 15lbs bike mentioned above is - a tiny Brompton already weighs 20 lbs min.
lightheir,

At $1,500 to $2,500 level, both foldable and normal electric bike is about the same. Except the foldable version is slightly lighter.

KlangFool
Yes, but my point was that at 40+ pounds, it really doesn't matter if it folds or not. You're not going to want to pick it up after folding in any case!
lightheir,

The only difference is that the folding bike fits the car trunk. Which probably matters to me since I only have 2 Nissan Altima. My existing bike rack is probably not strong enough for a heavy electric bike.

<<You're not going to want to pick it up after folding in any case!>>

Probably not picking this up alone.

KlangFool

hicabob
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by hicabob » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:36 pm

freebeer wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:58 pm
I can suggest Rad Mini. I live near their operation and test drove other models and was generally pleased. I bought something else due to Seattle's large hills but for DC area this could be just fine. https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/ ... 7586850561

I can also suggest Luna's folder https://lunacycle.com/luna-mini-folding-ebike/ I don't know much about this particular model but I bought my (second) e-bike from them and was very pleased. It is a bike with pre-installed kit and battery for the price you might pay for just the kit and battery.

The rad-mini looks nice but 60 lbs is quite significant. Those Brompton's are slick too and for the same price you get titanium and whatnot for a very light ride that's much easier to lug about..

halfnine
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by halfnine » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:10 pm

Based on what I've seen for a higher price you are getting a lighter weight, an even smaller fold, or performance that is closer to a road bike. Depending on one's usage any of those could be quite important in their own right. But since you are looking for a bike that you can ride around casually and just toss into your car then none of those features and their associated costs are really that important.

FWIW, We have a Brompton and a Dahon.

bloom2708
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:34 pm

I have been following the "Copenhagen Wheel" project for several years.

They have shipping product. The wheel or a complete bike.

https://content.superpedestrian.com/

I do not see a folding model. However, you could find THE folding model you want and add the Copenhagen wheel to it.

The folding bike would have to meet the criteria to retro fit a Copenhagen wheel.

At some point I want to try an electric bike. I am a bike dabbler and this is the only kind of bike I haven't owned yet.

Maybe a Montague Paratrooper (folding full size) with the Copenhagen wheel?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Montague-Paratr ... 5731.m3795
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead | | Want to buy something? Watch this first: https://vimeo.com/41152287

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Uncle Pennybags
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by Uncle Pennybags » Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:45 pm

I bought this one and it's great. Be careful, it puts out 108 ft/lb of torque and weighs 38 pounds.
https://lunacycle.com/luna-mini-folding-ebike/

KlangFool
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by KlangFool » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:38 pm

Uncle Pennybags wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:45 pm
I bought this one and it's great. Be careful, it puts out 108 ft/lb of torque and weighs 38 pounds.
https://lunacycle.com/luna-mini-folding-ebike/
It looks amazing!! Any local dealer?

Thanks.

KlangFool

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Uncle Pennybags
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by Uncle Pennybags » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:59 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:38 pm
Uncle Pennybags wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:45 pm
I bought this one and it's great. Be careful, it puts out 108 ft/lb of torque and weighs 38 pounds.
https://lunacycle.com/luna-mini-folding-ebike/
It looks amazing!! Any local dealer?

Thanks.

KlangFool
No dealers, he is mostly a DIY parts distributor battery builder. His bikes are off the shelf parts. You really don't want a bike with proprietary parts. If you must have a local shop sale's support you will pay 50% more for 50% less bike. The battery is almost 1/2 the cost of an ebike, his batteries are the absolute best. He uses only Japanese cells of the highest amperage.

KlangFool
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by KlangFool » Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:02 pm

Uncle Pennybags wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:59 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:38 pm
Uncle Pennybags wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:45 pm
I bought this one and it's great. Be careful, it puts out 108 ft/lb of torque and weighs 38 pounds.
https://lunacycle.com/luna-mini-folding-ebike/
It looks amazing!! Any local dealer?

Thanks.

KlangFool
No dealers, he is mostly a DIY parts distributor battery builder. His bikes are off the shelf parts. You really don't want a bike with proprietary parts. If you must have a local shop sale's support you will pay 50% more for 50% less bike. The battery is almost 1/2 the cost of an ebike, his batteries are the absolute best. He uses only Japanese cells of the highest amperage.
Uncle Pennybags,

I do not see this any place. Does it support pedal assisted mode or trigger power mode or both?

Thanks.

KlangFool

KlangFool
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by KlangFool » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:30 am

Folks,

Is there an electric bike club in the DC metro area? It is probably useful for me to try out as many electric bikes as possible.

Thanks in advance.

KlangFool

alfaspider
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by alfaspider » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:13 am

I'd second the posters that say a folding electric doesn't make much sense. It's going to be so heavy that you won't actually want to lug it on a bus, train, etc.

When I lived in NYC, I had a single-speed Brompton. That thing was great. With a few basic modifications, it weighed right around 20lbs. Great riding bike that I even rode a hilly century (100 mile ride) with. You are never going to ride 100 miles on an electric bike (or you will really hate your life after the battery runs out). One distinct advantage of the Brompton compared to other folding bikes is how quick it folds- I had it down to around 10 seconds. Some folding bikes take a minute or more. People's jaws would drop when I hopped off it and folded it up.

I used large fiber-reinforced plastic bag with a shoulder strap to haul it around, which would easily stuff in my backpack when not in use. With the bag, I could throw it over my shoulder and easily move it through subway trains, airports, etc. Favorite use was when I rode it to the airport, folded it up as regular checked luggage (no oversized fee) and then rode off at my destination. Obviously, that's only possible at certain airports. DC is fantastic for that use with the bike path rolling right past the terminal :happy

Passive_Poster
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by Passive_Poster » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:22 am

I recommend the Transporter from Team Fat Bike in Minnesota. Check out the website, full of great pictures and videos.

https://www.teamfattirebike.com/transporter

emanuel_v19
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by emanuel_v19 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:29 am

I know you are asking for a folding bike but I figured I would post this link just in case you liked their bikes. I don't think they offer folding bikes though??

https://shop.juicedbikes.com/collections/e-bikes

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Uncle Pennybags
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by Uncle Pennybags » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:40 am

KlangFool wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:02 pm
I do not see this any place. Does it support pedal assisted mode or trigger power mode or both?
Both. A folding bike is mandatory on NJ Transit rush hours. An electric "assist" makes the bike a viable taxi bus alternative. I don't like the busies in Newark NJ. I regularly take my ebike to Newark on the train. My station is way out in Indian Territory and isn't wheel chair accessible ;I have no problem carrying the 38 pound bike up the steep train steps. Off is easy, I roll it on the back wheel. Most stations are wheel chair accessible so rolling on and off is easy.

Once I get to Newark I can cruse 30 MPH down my private green bike lane, surprising cars stay off the green. Once down town I jump on the sidewalk and use the bike as a walking horse. No one notices the tiny bike. For some limited situations there is no faster form of transportation. I get about 25 miles to a charge if I go easy on the throttle. This is with the smallest battery offered.

Stop in at http://www.electricbike.com/; it's mostly for do it your self but there is no better place to get into custom programming and maintenance.

KlangFool
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by KlangFool » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:48 am

Uncle Pennybags wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:40 am
KlangFool wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 7:02 pm
I do not see this any place. Does it support pedal assisted mode or trigger power mode or both?
Both. A folding bike is mandatory on NJ Transit rush hours. An electric "assist" makes the bike a viable taxi bus alternative. I don't like the busies in Newark NJ. I regularly take my ebike to Newark on the train. My station is way out in Indian Territory and isn't wheel chair accessible ;I have no problem carrying the 38 pound bike up the steep train steps. Off is easy, I roll it on the back wheel. Most stations are wheel chair accessible so rolling on and off is easy.

Once I get to Newark I can cruse 30 MPH down my private green bike lane, surprising cars stay off the green. Once down town I jump on the sidewalk and use the bike as a walking horse. No one notices the tiny bike. For some limited situations there is no faster form of transportation. I get about 25 miles to a charge if I go easy on the throttle. This is with the smallest battery offered.

Stop in at http://www.electricbike.com/; it's mostly for do it your self but there is no better place to get into custom programming and maintenance.
Thanks.

KlangFool

KlangFool
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by KlangFool » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:52 am

alfaspider wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:13 am
I'd second the posters that say a folding electric doesn't make much sense. It's going to be so heavy that you won't actually want to lug it on a bus, train, etc.

When I lived in NYC, I had a single-speed Brompton. That thing was great. With a few basic modifications, it weighed right around 20lbs. Great riding bike that I even rode a hilly century (100 mile ride) with. You are never going to ride 100 miles on an electric bike (or you will really hate your life after the battery runs out). One distinct advantage of the Brompton compared to other folding bikes is how quick it folds- I had it down to around 10 seconds. Some folding bikes take a minute or more. People's jaws would drop when I hopped off it and folded it up.

I used large fiber-reinforced plastic bag with a shoulder strap to haul it around, which would easily stuff in my backpack when not in use. With the bag, I could throw it over my shoulder and easily move it through subway trains, airports, etc. Favorite use was when I rode it to the airport, folded it up as regular checked luggage (no oversized fee) and then rode off at my destination. Obviously, that's only possible at certain airports. DC is fantastic for that use with the bike path rolling right past the terminal :happy
alfaspider,

1) You can do 100 miles with a single speed bike! You are in a better shape than I am.

2) I have a 30 pounds single speed Dahon foldable bike. I could not do 30 miles with that bike. I need help.

KlangFool

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Uncle Pennybags
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by Uncle Pennybags » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:59 am

Passive_Poster wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:22 am
I recommend the Transporter from Team Fat Bike in Minnesota. Check out the website, full of great pictures and videos.

https://www.teamfattirebike.com/transporter
I notice he states;
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration States that electric bicycles meeting the definition of bicycles will be considered the same as an ordinary bicycle, and is not considered a motor vehicle under U.S. DOT regulations. The U.S. Congress defining "electric bicycle". Stipulate that electric bicycles are exempt from classification as motor vehicles providing they have pedals, an electric motor less than 75W, and top motor speed of less than 20 MPH, Electric bikes with these specifications will be regulated simply as a bicycle for purposes of federal law.
What he doesn't states is that Department of Transportation law has nothing to do with ebikes/mopeds falling under state and local motor vehicle laws. That DOT law if for manufactures only. In NJ no ebike is legal under the letter of the motor vehicle laws but I never have a problem because my ebikes look like bicycles. Even going 30 MPH I courtesy clown peddle, don't ask don't tell.

That DOT law is what brand name ebike builders go by and that is why DIY is the only way to go. Of find a builder who will sell "off road" only bicycles.
KlangFool wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:52 am
alfaspider,
1) You can do 100 miles with a single speed bike!
On a folding bike in the hills too, the flaccid frame eats power. It must have gotten tiring riding 5 hours on 20 inch tires.
Last edited by Uncle Pennybags on Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

alfaspider
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by alfaspider » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:08 am

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:52 am
alfaspider wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:13 am
I'd second the posters that say a folding electric doesn't make much sense. It's going to be so heavy that you won't actually want to lug it on a bus, train, etc.

When I lived in NYC, I had a single-speed Brompton. That thing was great. With a few basic modifications, it weighed right around 20lbs. Great riding bike that I even rode a hilly century (100 mile ride) with. You are never going to ride 100 miles on an electric bike (or you will really hate your life after the battery runs out). One distinct advantage of the Brompton compared to other folding bikes is how quick it folds- I had it down to around 10 seconds. Some folding bikes take a minute or more. People's jaws would drop when I hopped off it and folded it up.

I used large fiber-reinforced plastic bag with a shoulder strap to haul it around, which would easily stuff in my backpack when not in use. With the bag, I could throw it over my shoulder and easily move it through subway trains, airports, etc. Favorite use was when I rode it to the airport, folded it up as regular checked luggage (no oversized fee) and then rode off at my destination. Obviously, that's only possible at certain airports. DC is fantastic for that use with the bike path rolling right past the terminal :happy
alfaspider,

1) You can do 100 miles with a single speed bike! You are in a better shape than I am.

2) I have a 30 pounds single speed Dahon foldable bike. I could not do 30 miles with that bike. I need help.

KlangFool
Long distance rides are mostly a matter of staying fed, hydrated, and being able to put up with a bit of discomfort (though discomfort shouldn't be extreme). Unless you are seriously out of shape (like you are out of breath from a single flight of stairs), fitness mostly just determines how fast you ride. I would add an exception for very hilly rides where you don't have sufficient gearing to slowly spin up the hills.

If you are having trouble riding 30 miles, the problem may be more fit related. A common problem (which may or may not apply to you) is riding with the seat far too low, which causes a very inefficient pedal stroke. Alternatively, you may be getting dehydrated. One more item is tire pressure, I also often see recreational riders running very low tire pressure, which adds quite a bit of rolling resistance (and exposes you many more flat tires).

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Uncle Pennybags
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by Uncle Pennybags » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:11 am

alfaspider wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:08 am
Long distance rides are mostly a matter of staying fed, hydrated, and being able to put up with a bit of discomfort
How long did it take to ride a folding single speed bicycle 100 miles in hilly terrain. The 20 inch tires must have gotten very tiring.

alfaspider
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by alfaspider » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:16 am

Uncle Pennybags wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:11 am
alfaspider wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:08 am
Long distance rides are mostly a matter of staying fed, hydrated, and being able to put up with a bit of discomfort
How long did it take to ride a folding single speed bicycle 100 miles in hilly terrain. The 20 inch tires must have gotten very tiring.
The hills were fairly moderate rolling terrain (New York City to New Haven, CT). I wasn't keeping strict track of time as I ran into a fellow who was beginning a cross-country bike tour and we ended up chatting for most of the ride. I certainly wasn't fast- I recall it taking most of the day. I had a more appropriate road bike, but wanted to see what my new folding bike could do :happy

Other than the single speed being a bit of extra work on the hills, I found it to be a pretty good long distance bike. It was much easier than doing a 100 miles on a full suspension mountain bike (which I have also done). The impact of small wheels is actually pretty minimal on the work required. Mostly, they just make the steering a bit more sensitive. You have to be extra careful around potholes and storm drains.

lightheir
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by lightheir » Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:29 pm

Uncle Pennybags wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:11 am
alfaspider wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:08 am
Long distance rides are mostly a matter of staying fed, hydrated, and being able to put up with a bit of discomfort
How long did it take to ride a folding single speed bicycle 100 miles in hilly terrain. The 20 inch tires must have gotten very tiring.
There's a guy in our riding club who does 100+ mile tours and rides all the time on a 20 inch wheel bike - he says there's no speed penalty for him when going to his 20 inch wheel bike, which surprised me, but after he dropped the hammer on the climbs, it was pretty clear it was true!

bloom2708
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:34 pm

lightheir wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:29 pm
Uncle Pennybags wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:11 am
alfaspider wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:08 am
Long distance rides are mostly a matter of staying fed, hydrated, and being able to put up with a bit of discomfort
How long did it take to ride a folding single speed bicycle 100 miles in hilly terrain. The 20 inch tires must have gotten very tiring.
There's a guy in our riding club who does 100+ mile tours and rides all the time on a 20 inch wheel bike - he says there's no speed penalty for him when going to his 20 inch wheel bike, which surprised me, but after he dropped the hammer on the climbs, it was pretty clear it was true!
He must be a beast if the 20 inch tires are not slowing him down and he can power by 700 bikers. Just the lower tire pressure and additional rolling resistance would make a difference. 700 x 18 or 20 at 120+ PSI makes for very little rolling resistance. Are the 20" tires BMX size or narrow? Plus add the weight of the bike compared to a 13 or 15 pound road bike. :shock:

It is it like a scratch golfer playing with blades from the 70s? A good golfer can mop the floor with any old blade sticks. As a hacker myself, newer clubs are more forgiving.

I had a Fat Tire bike for a couple years. I really liked it in the winter, but the rolling resistance for normal commuting is kind of crazy. Even at higher PSI, you are just pushing a lot more tire on the ground.
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Uncle Pennybags
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Re: Folding Electric Bike

Post by Uncle Pennybags » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:57 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:34 pm
He must be a beast if the 20 inch tires are not slowing him down and he can power by 700 bikers.
A folding bike is not very efficient, the "flex" robs power on every peddle stroke. I'll bet the poster was not borne in the first half of the last century. :P

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