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Riding qualities of folding e-bikes?

Old 03-10-19, 04:39 AM
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Aznman
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Riding qualities of folding e-bikes?

Would you say that frame stiffness is still highly relevant when it comes to e-bikes? Are there any folding e-bike frames (within a reasonable price range) that are as efficiently stiff as solid bike frames?
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Old 03-10-19, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Aznman View Post
Would you say that frame stiffness is still highly relevant when it comes to e-bikes? Are there any folding e-bike frames (within a reasonable price range) that are as efficiently stiff as solid bike frames?
I dont think there are any folding bikes with a stiff as normal bike. Even expensive folding bikes are still flexing around. Folding bikes are mostly built for short stretch, so the efficiency is in my opinion not as important.
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Old 03-10-19, 10:28 AM
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I had a short ride on a Brompton (non-e, Titanium fork and rear triangle) which didn't fit me well since I couldn't get enough leg extension, but it felt solid even though it was fairly lightweight. The other drawback for me was the narrow handlebars.
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Old 03-10-19, 01:35 PM
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Sure, I suppose some riders set up their folding bikes with drop bars and tuck in for an aero position, and have astounding high average speeds.

The typical folder is more flexible than a rigid bike, and why not, with a longer seat post, single tube frame, and a steerer tube with a hinge in it. but most owners aren't pedaling them hard enough to feel it. The gearing is more suited for slower bike speeds. The shorter wheelbase gets twitchy at high speeds. The folder is designed for efficiency in storage/transport.

One problem with ebikes is finding space for the batteries, With a a folder, there is even less space available, so most of them will use smaller batteries and lower power motors. Since folders are better for lower speeds anyway, I do not see this as a negative. There's no need for superstiff frame if you are on a pedal assist folder geared for 16-18 mph.
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Old 03-10-19, 07:14 PM
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If you donít need the folding function, and just want a compact e-bike, there are a few compact e-bikes with 20Ē wheels that do not fold and therefore should be sturdier.
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Old 03-10-19, 09:15 PM
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A minivello is a nice bike with 20" wheels. You get back to a classic diamond shape frame for strength. They come with flat bars or dropped bars. but I've never seen an electric model, aside from mine, which is a conversion.
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Old 03-11-19, 11:00 PM
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Informative. Thanks, guys.
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Old 03-13-19, 09:55 AM
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I've got a pair of Rad Mini folders that we never fold! Originally bought them for traveling in an SUV and then got back into riding my regular road bike 99% of the time. They're fun to keep around for buzzing around the neighborhood or to the store. I will say that the Rad Mini is just as stiff as a "non fold" bike. You'd never know it was a folder in riding it. I'm a big guy (230 lbs.), and there's no flex in this stout frame.
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Old 03-13-19, 01:56 PM
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Both Mid Drive conversions and buying a wheel with a hub motor can be done to what ever folding bike you find suitable..
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Old 03-14-19, 09:17 PM
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I have a Rad Mini. 750 watt motor. No flex. It will fit in my Grand Cherokee when folded.
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Old 03-15-19, 09:31 AM
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Bike Friday's ride just like regular bikes. You can get them from BF with motors or add your own. For travel, the NWT packs down to a regular suitcase size. For daily folding on multi-modal trips, the pakiT folds in less than 20 seconds. The frames are custom sized so no fitment issues. Since there is no hinge the frames are quite rigid.
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