At NYCeWheels, we specialize mainly in two kinds of bikes: folding bikes and electric bikes. Though there are specific niches that are interested in these two types of bikes, we are also seeing more and more people interested in a combination of the two: an electric folding bike. Heavier than most folding bikes, yet smaller than most electric bikes, the electric folding bike is a compact, electrified commuter. It's designed to fit into an RV or a closet with no trouble, and also provide an electric motor assistance to tackle hills. It's the best of both worlds.
There are many types of electric folding bikes out there, so how do you pick the best one? Recently, we got a chance to ride the IF Reach DC electric folding bike by Pacific Cycles, and we're pretty impressed with its design. Lighter than any other bike, it's very easy to manage up a flight of stairs. Plus, it's completely pedal-assisted, so the range of the battery is longer than most full-size electric bikes. It's the best electric folding bike we've seen thus far.
The IF Reach DC electric folding bike uses a 250 watt motor that is integrated into the bottom bracket. The motor is sensitive to the pressure applied to the pedals and responds accordingly. Press down harder, and you'll feel a bigger boost from the motor. This is convenient for hills, because you'll need the extra power. On downhill riding, there isn't as much response from the motor, so battery life is conserved.
How about the battery? The IF Reach DC is using a Lithium battery mounted under the seat post. It weighs about four pounds, making it one of the lightest Lithium batteries in production. Using the integrated pedal-assist motor, this battery can last up to 25 miles on a single charge. It's one of the most efficient systems for an electric bicycle.
In addition to the responsive electric system, the IF Reach DC electric folding bike has a folded size comparable to most non-powered folding bikes. A tension rod actually holds the frame firmly together, so you don't have to worry about this bike unfolding in the middle of a ride. Magnets on the wheels keep the package together, and it can be carried like a small suitcase when completely folded. With the battery, this bike weighs about 42 pounds. There is no other electric bike with such good battery range and such low weight.
Though other new electric folding bikes like the Dahon Boost are comparable in weight, nothing beats the responsiveness and the unique fold of the IF Reach DC electric folding bike. Is it the best electric folding bike? It's a bold claim, but I think this bike has got it in the bag.