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Recommend a folding e-bike

  • 21-02-2023 3:30pm
    Posts: 0

    I'm looking to get a folding e-bike on the BTW scheme but I've no idea where to start and I've limited time (2 weeks) to choose what I want and submit it through work

    I'm open to spending a nice bit but don't want to go crazy. I guess 2-2.5k would be the limit but I can stretch a bit more if its really worth the bit extra

    The most important thing to me is range. From what I have seen 50km is the standard but I'd really love to have double that but I don't know if thats feasible.

    If possible, I'd like to be able to put it into some kind of carry bag for taking on trains/buses, is that a thing? If one comes with the bike, great, otherwise any recommendations on something like this would be handy too

    If anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears. I've never ridden one and want it to give me flexibility when I travel around the country and for jaunts on greenways etc

    Where are good places that would have them in stock? Location doesn't really matter as I'll have to travel regardless as there's no bike shops near me so I don't mind, for example, popping up to Dublin for the day and visiting 4-5 places


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,463 ✭✭✭✭HeidiHeidi

    I got a Hercules RobFold from GreenAer in Dublin, I think they're up in Sandyford somewhere now (they used to be near Pearse Dart Station but that's just their workshop now).

    It has fantastic range - on the lowest power setting a full battery offers 125km (I've never come near to actually testing that, I'm sure it would probably be less - but still a great range. Whack it up to the highest power setting, and it'll offer about 50 or 60 (I have never used the top setting).

    GreenAer are e-bike specialists, and I couldn't recommend them highly enough (I have no connection to them, they were recommended to me by friends who had bought from them). I took as many test rides as I wanted on different bikes, and they were happy to discuss and advise ad nauseum (someone who knew precisely nothing about e-bikes).

    I went for the Hercules because it felt more solid than the lighter folding ones, and has a damper spring on the front wheel so it's not as "twitchy" to cycle. The downside is it weighs a lot, you wouldn't be throwing it under your arm and hopping on the Dart with it (well, I wouldn't anyway!). But there's a very simple but sturdy folding mechanism, the handlebars/pedals/body all fold up.

    I love it for tootling around Dublin, and would have no problem using it on a greenway or similar path, there are good solid wheels and fat-ish tyres (it's nothing like a fatbike).

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Cheers for that, just took a look and its the only model they don't have in stock 😐️

    Looks great though and the weight, at 22kg, isn't a deal breaker. The great range outweighs the 1-2 times I might have to lift it in a day.

    I just did a trawl online and can't see if for sale anywhere else so I've shot off an email to them to see if they'll be getting it back in stock, fingers crossed but I'll have to keep looking in the meantime just incase

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,463 ✭✭✭✭HeidiHeidi

    I'll be flogging mine in about 2 years time if you can wait that long!

    I have only used the folding potential about twice since I've had it, so I'm going to go for a full-size bike next time the BTW rolls around.

    The Hercules is a rock-solid, great piece of kit though. I've been absolutely delighted with it.

    GreenAer are worth a visit anyhow, they were just great to deal with, have a huge selection of bikes and are founts of knowledge.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,190 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    I'd suggest to try a few different options - both in terms of ride quality but also the folding mechanism - how easy is it to fold, how easy is it to transport when folded etc?

    If you just want a folding bike for storage at home or for putting in the car boot from time to time, then you have a lot of possibilities.

    If you really want to carry it on a train on a daily basis, I'd recommend testing a Brompton Electric. It will be a bit over budget but in my experience, it is 10 times better than many other folding bikes

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    No, its not for daily use, so it doesn't need to be a Brompton. I wouldn't use it enough to justify the spend on one but man I'd love one

    Don't have a car, so it'll be folded when its in coming in/out of the apartment or going on to public transport. Good tip about how easy that will be, I'll keep it in mind when I'm looking

    Ha! Sorry, can't wait that long

    I'm calling up to Greenaer on Sat in Mullingar, no idea how that shop compares to their main one in terms of product choices, but hopefully I'll get to try out a few different options

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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,463 ✭✭✭✭HeidiHeidi

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I took a spin up to Greenaer today and had a great chat with the guy there.

    I took out a Tern for a spin and it was brilliant. Only problem is it's over 4k.

    The Hercules will be back in stock but it'll be a newer model so will be 3.4k.

    Unfortunately I can't stretch to those prices.

    I asked about cheaper and the options were poor in terms of reliability. He took me to the service area with several rear hub Raleighs that they no longer sell. They were a lot cheaper but they appear to be a headache to keep running.

    It's given me food for thought and to be honest I'm not quite sure which way to go.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,280 ✭✭✭Ferris

    The Fiido X has a reasonable range. It has a 400wh battery which is probably the standard size on the Tern (although bosch also do a 500wh battery). If range is important to you a torque sensing motor inherently gives more range (Tern has this, as does the Fiido) as you do more of the work. The other opting is a cadence sensor where all you have to do is move the pedals in order to get power. Feel wise I prefer the operation of a torque sensor as it feels more like a normal bike, less like a scooter.

    My dad got the Fiido D21 which is a lower spec model but it was, in my opinion, quite good value for what it was. I did my research and its the lightest and best value folding bike that still has a decent range. The ride is 'sporty' shall we say due to narrow wheels but its a nice bike to ride, I am impressed with it. Not sure on range but he does a 40km round trip to the RDS for the rugby and i think he said that half the battery was left. I think the Fiido X has a better spec than the D21 with things like hydraulic brakes, a better torque sensor and motor so it maybe represents better value.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    So after much searching, trying to find the right bike at the right price, I ended up going with a Raleigh Stow-E-Way.

    Its got 50k range (depending on assistance level obv) and weighs about 20kg.

    I've taken it on the train twice already and not having to worry about playing the bike-space-roulette has been such a game changer in itself.

    The battery assist is sweet. It goes from level 1-4 and at the highest level it really motors along requiring minimal exertions from myself but as I use it more and more I find myself only using levels 3 and 4 on bigger hills with it typically left on 1 or 2.

    The downsides

    • weight. Its a heavy bastage, which would be so bad but because its a folding bike, its awkward to lift. But I knew this going in
    • Battery charging connection. I've no idea what connections other bike use, but this one uses a 5 pin connector thats tight AF to insert. I foresee a pin getting bent in my near future. Really a bad design. Its also awkward AF to plug it in when its folded (see pics
    • Rear hub. Because of this, there's a lot of resistance when freewheeling or not using the a lot! Its really not a bike for using without the assist

    Charging connector

    Charging when folded

    At 1650 eur it was the price that made me go for it. Its not the bike I wanted, but I had limited options in terms of locations I could purchase from due to BTW scheme limitations for my company so I could go for this, or something basically twice the price.

    In summary, I'm loving it, but I'd recommend it on price point and mobility only. There are definitely better options out there, but for my requirements, this will suit me perfectly going forward

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,913 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Nice. Neat fold. So many don't. Good to have that.

    Looks a nice bike. You don't know what works or what doesn't until you've done it a while.

    On the train on the bike space, be careful of the track the wheel fits in. On my folder it hits the derailleur as it sits low on a folding bike. Knocks it out of tune/alignment Same with hitting it off a door getting off and on. But I don't put my folder in the bike space for this reason.

    On the intercity my 20" folder actually fits in the space behind the last seat in a carriage. Dunno if yours will. Worth checking out gives you more options.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    The train is one of the big reasons I got the folding bike. Now I just fold it and throw it into the luggage shelves. Its heavy to lift on to the higher shelves, but doable. Those "bike racks" on the train are woeful and a massive pain to use

    On the intercity my 20" folder actually fits in the space behind the last seat in a carriage. Dunno if yours will. Worth checking out gives you more options.

    Oh thats something I'll have to try. Will give me an additional option for storage. Cheers for the info