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mweldon 02-21-13 01:02 PM

In search of the perfect folding electric bike
Hi guys,

I'm new to this forum, hello to you all. I'm wondering if any of you could offer some advice?

I see a lot of discussion here about electric bikes, and another forum discussing folding bikes, but I can't find anyone here talking about what I'm in the market for: an electric folding bike.

I have fairly specific needs with this bike:

- needs to fold to no wider than 32 inches at the widest point (so that I can take it onto my local commuter train and store it in the luggage area, per their rules)
- probably has to have 20" wheels or smaller (see above)
- needs to have a pretty good top speed (17-18mph if possible, to vut down my commute time as much as I can)
- needs a range of at least 7-8 miles (though at least double that would be preferred)
- a ready-to-go bike (not a kit) that can be serviced by local electric bike shops

Highly desirable features:

- should have as smooth of a fold/unfold experience as possible (I'm going to have to fold/unfold it 4-6 times per day, 5 days a week, hopefully for many years)
- should be as light as possible (less than 45 lbs, the lighter the better obviously)
- carrying it should not be too awkward
- should be decent on hills (I live in San Francisco, CA, we have some crazy hills here, though my commute isn't too hilly)
- pedal assist is what I'm looking for, a throttle would be nice but it's not necessary.

I'm willing to spend a premium price for the right bike, assuming it's of high quality etc.


So far the bike that seems closest to my needs is the IF Reach DC by Pacific Cycles It's a couple inches longer folded than what I'd like but I think I could get away with it. The folding action looks great and the speed/range fits into my needs. The model is a couple years old at this point I think(?) but this is the best I could find.

I'd be really interested to hear what you guys think. I'm excited to find the right bike! I think it could make my commute worlds better than traveling by car. Thanks in advance!

FMB42 02-21-13 02:38 PM

Welcome to the Bike Forums mweldon,

You might take a look at the link below:

E-Moto also has (or had) one or more folding ebikes (this brand is/was sold through Sears, etc).

Note: I have no experience with either of the above companies...

Anyway, I'd also suggest that you contact and/or vist " ebikessf " for more info on your quest (this company has a pretty darn good reputation according to some of the dedicated ebike forums).

Btw, the hills found in SF will definitely be a problem for most ebikes (i.e. hills soak up battery power while, at the same time, placing extreme stress on the entire system). Such hills can result in excessive motor heat build-up and/or reduced range. But then again, you might "make up" for this somewhat on the down hill side (you'll probably want to make use of a system that's capable of regeneration).

EBikeFL 02-21-13 03:34 PM

Hello, mweldon.

What you're looking for has already been done by forum member sammy5001 using the Papamotor kit with a 20" wheel setup. Here's the link

Talk to sammy5001 if he doesn't respond to this thread. Yes, the Papamotor setup is a kit but you'll be better off in the long run knowing how everything works on your bicycle instead of paying your local bicycle shop. There's plenty of assistance here on this forum should you run into problems. You can find other ways to support your local bicycle shop. ;)

Sammy5001 also lives in San Francisco, CA and also commutes via commuter train. ;)

Jimi77 05-10-13 10:00 AM

They have several variations of the Paratrooper to choose from. :thumb:

alienbogey 11-03-13 10:04 PM

IIRC here are at least two outfits, NYCycles (sp?) and Freedom Bikes (?) that are making e-kits for the Brompton, which is widely regarded as a very high quality folder, if not the best, with the most compact fold.

anga 11-22-13 09:34 AM

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