An electric conversion kit for the Brompton folding bike designed and built by the Brompton fanatics at NYCeWheels!Brompton doesn't have a proprietary electric bike system so we've come up with a great solution for electrifying the amazing Brompton folding bike. Our system will keep your Brompton at exactly the same folded size, without any modification to your bike or fork. This system is both lightweight and powerful. The kit is available both for installation on your current Brompton or as an Electric Brompton custom built to your specifications.
Brompton folding bike motor kit features:
The top speed of about 18 mph is plenty fast for small wheels. Your Electric Brompton will have a range of about 20 miles per charge (14 miles per charge with a 28lbs dog in the basket).
Check out our line of Brompton folding bikes if you do not own one yet or just want to get a second one with electric motor.
This electric motor kit includes:
Electric drive system
Installation on your own bike or a new Brompton folding bike.
We also offer a ready to ride Electric powered Brompton folding bike
Note: This kit is designed, built, and warrantied by NYCeWheels exclusively. Motor, console, controller, and wiring warrantied against manufacturing defects for a period of 1 year - battery 6 months. This is an after-market modification that may void your Brompton Bicycle warranty.
|Battery||36 volt Lithium Polymer 10(AH) Sanyo. 7.2 lbs|
|Charger||High-Power smart charger, metal casing with cooling fan|
|Motor||Brushless, gearless, 250 watt / 400 watt peak|
|Controller||36V 20A custom brushless speed controller|
|Throttle||Comfortable thumb throttle with battery indicator|
|Speed||18 mph, great hill climbing too|
|Range||20 miles per charge with pedaling|
|Weight||18 lbs (total weight added to Brompton)|
I know you. You want to take your electric powered Brompton bike with you everywhere. You want to fly with it, you want to tour with it, you want to explore Europe and the Far East with it! It's your New York Taxi, your London Limo, your trusty dusty camel carrying you through the crowded squares of Cairo. The electric Brompton is your magic carpet unrolled at the right moment and whisking you off to destinations far and wide..
There's just one thing: how do you take your batteries on an air plane?
When the International Air Travel Regulators announced their tightening up of Lithium Ion battery regulations a few years back we had to start telling customers that it was no longer possible to fly with their bike in carriage. We hate doing that. We know you love to travel with your Brompton and it's just a shame to leave the poor guy at home. He's lonely...
You see, the rule is that "with the approval of the airline, lithium ion batteries...not exceeding 160 W.hr may be carried as spare batteries in carry-on baggage. No more than two individually protected spare batteries may be carried." You also need to notify your airline in advance that you intend to bring these batteries with you.
What's the rub? Well, "W.hr" stands for "Watt Hours" and is calculated by multiplying the voltage of a battery by its amp hour capacity (V x Ah = W.hr). By that calculation the typical 36 Volt 10 Ah electric bike battery has a capacity of 360 W.hrs! That's well over the regulations and the airline would be well within the rules to turn you away. So what about a 160W.hr battery, why not just power your bike with that?
You definitely could run our electric Brompton motor kit on a 160 W.hr battery (36V 4.4ah) but it be sort of wimpy. The battery would drain our within a few miles and you'd have to replace it sooner due to these deep discharges. What to do, what do to... Ah-ha! What if we run two of these packs in parallel? That way the voltage will remain 36 volts but the combined capacity will be 8.8Ah (or 316.8 W.hr)! Now that's more like it.
With a split battery pack we've provided an elegant solution that satisfies both stipulations of the regulations: individual batteries below 160 W.hr and no more than 2 of them needed to power the bicycle!
Well, the benefits of a split battery don't stop there. The new set up also makes better use of pockets on the Brompton bag. Our older "interior" battery sat inside the main portion of the bag, inside the zipper pouch that is intended for a laptop. With the new split battery, the two packs fit inside the two rear pockets of the bag and leave the entire inner compartment free. You connect the batteries together using a simple wiring harness that takes about 2 seconds to hook up, and then you're good to go.
Already have the older interior battery? Never fear, upgrading is as easy as ordering an airline battery set, placing them in the back pouches of your current bag and plugging them into your bike. Done. We love when upgrades can be retrofitted to existing products and that's just how we design our own!
That about covers it. Our new airline battery option is your ticket to far off lands and endless adventure!
About the author: Peter Yuskauskas is the manager at NYCeWheels. He is a Brompton owner himself and very interested in electric powered vehicles.
This is a nice guest review by our happy customer, Steve H. I've inserted a few comments when appropriate to address some of his thoughts and questions. -Peter
Just returned from our boat trip to Canada. Sarah and I rode about 60 miles (she has a trip computer). That is more than I have cycled in YEARS. Fell off only once when I went from sidewalk to grass to give way for pedestrian and went over when I tried to get back to the concrete and failed to approach the concrete edge at a sharp enough angle...tried to drift back on the walk but front wheel skidded off walk edge and I went down. No damage to bike or body. Lesson is that small wheels are just more sensitive to road conditions and require bit of technique.
My wife was DELIGHTED I had that bike because it let her bike at her usual all out she-woman pace and I could easily stay with her or catch up with a burst of "warp mode." What I really found was that the bike allowed me to maintain flat road conditions at all times, letting me pedal and get exercise without showing my age and having a coronary. As the hills came on I eased on some volts to reduce my pedaling effort. The bike was much admired at various stops.
I never saw the charge light go down by even one "red" after two or three hours. Don't know if the battery is just so great or if the the lights are not all that accurate. Never lost any juice in half day rides. Charged it each time which took several hours. Peter: Steve's 15Ah battery is very large capacity and should last him 30-40 miles of riding with pedaling.
Love that the HEAVY front bag is mounted on the stem and not on the handle bars which would be really dangerous. The weight always stays centered. A really good feature.
The bag holds a ton of stuff and is very well designed. I would like a rear bag or rack but don't know if they make it or if it would interfere with folding. Peter: you can get a rack and a bag for it too, the bike folds just fine with these attached.
The old fart seat I bought was a good decisions. No "SA" (sore ass) even after two straight hours biking.
I was thinking it would be nice for there to be an easy to mount/remove main tube clip (between the legs) to hold spare battery. I would buy a 10AH spare just to have it. I always expect the worst. :)
The e-bike could use a special tool assortment. I made my own: open end 19mm and 15mm wrenches for flat tire fix, open end wrench to release brake caliper for wheel removal (I realize that if tire is flat you don't have to do that). one each 10amp and 30 amp (red and green) fuses (may or may not fix a problem but then again it might). Roll of electrical tape, a few black zip ties, plus the usual tire patch kit. All that fit nicely in one of the two small side pouches on the bag.
I am going to take a sharp tool and scribe the seat post at the appropriate point for my seat height rather than guestimating. Peter: scribing a long seat post like the one on a Brompton can lead to cracking down the road if you go too deep, be sure to make this a cosmetic mark only.
The bike is just great. At first I had a problem of getting the front wheel hook up over the tube to release it but now I've got the trick down. Slow learner.
PS. There is a tiny space behind the ladder from the deck to the bridge just made for the Brompton. Of course we cover the bike and then bungee it securely to the ladder rails. You do not want bikes bouncing around in 5ft waves. Here we are in Kingston, about to go riding on Wolfe Island.
Peter: Does this sound like the bike you've been looking for? Order your own Electric Brompton today!
My first time riding a Brompton electric bike was when we were making our electric Brompton video. As part of the shooting I got to do all the fun stuff this kit allows and try out each aspect of it again and again. It was really fun for me, having worked so closely with regular Brompton folding bikes for years, to play with an electric one. You have to know a bit about the regular Brompton to understand why, so those of you that own a Brompton can skip ahead but if you don't let me give you a quick run down on the regular Brompton folding bike before we get to the Brompton electric bike.
Brompton folding bikes are made in England. They are put together by hand in a factory just west of London where extra care is taken in every step of the process to produce the world's finest folding bike. The real claim to fame of a Brompton is not in its manufacturing quality, though this is obviously a hallmark of the bike, what's really remarkable is how small it folds. The Brompton folding bike gets smaller than just about any other folding bicycle out there without sacrificing its excellent ride quality. The steel frame is both strong and light, lasting a lifetime. So there's your background, now let's look at why the electric Brompton folding bike is so incredible.
The first thing many people think about electric bikes is, "they're heavy aren't they?" Well, to a degree. Electric bikes have a bit more going on than regular bikes and are naturally a bit heavier. But as you'll see with the Brompton electric bike, this doesn't mean they are much heavier. The electric Brompton weighs a mere 45 lbs! Compare that with some full sized electric bikes that weigh around 68lbs. The electric Brompton folding bike is pretty incredible in that the electric system only adds 18lbs onto the bike itself. I found that I was still able to pick up the bike when folded just as I would with the regular Brompton. This was made especially easy because the battery pack is stored in the front luggage bag which is detachable. More on the battery pack locations to come...
The next thing I really liked about the electric Brompton was how easy it was to use. Pressing a single thumb throttle is all it takes to accelerate up to 20 mph and that is more fun than you might think (if that's possible). The Brompton folding bike is already really fun to ride, adding an electric bike kit only heightens the experience. With no resistance from the motor you can pedal the electric Brompton just like a normal bike, using the throttle as a boost when starting up and on hills. This really can put the fun back into riding for a lot of people.
When you're cruising along at 20 you don't want to be deciphering codes off of a cryptic dash panel, that's why it was so nice to see a simple and easy layout for the dash of the Brompton electric bike. It's simple layout has only 2 buttons: on/off and power level. With the power button you can cycle through 3 levels of power: low, medium, and high, depending on what kind of assistance you're looking for. Above On/Off you have a battery life meter so you always know how much juice you have left. This simple setup is really one of the great features of the Brompton electric bike.
As I said earlier, I really liked how the battery pack of the Brompton electric bike was located in a detachable luggage bag. Not only does this make charging the battery of the bike much easier by allowing you to bring it inside with you, concealing the battery in this way really masks the fact that you're in fact riding an electric bike. I like things discreet and I like things with seamless integration. The Brompton electric bike really strives to be the most discreet possible by keeping all the bulky extra bits aside from the motor out of sight.I must say my ride on the Brompton electric bike blew all my expectations away. I really enjoyed writing this review and discovering the great bits of design and planning behind the electric Brompton folding bike. You should know that the kit is available by itself as an electric motor kit for Brompton or as a Brompton electric bike which is ready to ride. Check those two pages out for more information.
The Brompton electric bike we designed and prototyped for nearly a 2 years finally went into production in the winter of 2010. Each one is hand built and assembled in our shop by Brompton fanatics with vast experience in electric bicycles. Being a leader in both electric and folding bikes, NYCeWheels is in a unique place to produce the first custom Brompton electric bikes available in the US.
The NYCeWheels Brompton electric bike is not a Brompton Bicycle product, rather it is a custom design resulting from years of experience with electric bikes and folding bikes in New York City.
In 2010 our Brompton electric bike was featured in a video review by Huffington Post contributor Captain Gadget! Great press and a great review. We hope you enjoy!
Our Brompton electric bike comes as a kit which can be installed on the Brompton bike you know and love or purchased as a ready to go package - usually a 3 speed with fenders but any configuration is possible.