Hop On, Hop Off – Electric Folding Bike


Here’s a project which reached its funding goal on Kickstarter in less than 24 hours: what is claimed to be the world’s lightest and most compact electric folding bike, the “A-Bike Electric”, which comes in at just 12kg including its 138 w/h 24v 5.8 Ah battery. This provides pedelec power for up to 25km: “pedelec” means that you pedal and the power assistance automatically kicks in, when the bike’s sensors detect that you are slowing down on a hill, providing more assistance when you need it.

The A-bike concept came from British inventor Sir Clive Sinclair, who wanted to change the way people thought about daily commutes and travel. A-Bike Ltd, a small team in London, has been working to revitalise the A-Bike, modernising the design and making it easier to ride.

“We envisage A-Bike as the ideal solution for travelling at both ends ofa commuter journey. A typical commuter needs to get from home to local station and thereafter from destination to office or workplace – without anxiety of portability, parking and security” said Sir Clive Sinclair

The battery can either be charged in situ on the bike or taken out and charged, for example, at a desk during the working day, prior to an evening commute home. The battery is controlled by a red power button, with a simple one click action to turn the electric motor on or off. There are 4 LEDs in a display so you know how much further you can go before needing to recharge, but you can still ride the bike as a “normal” bike, if you run out of battery power.

The bike can be unfolded in about 10 seconds and folded away again in about the same time. The telescopic design means that it looks as though it will be usable by riders of all heights, weighing up to 100kg.

The bike has small wheels, but has a dual chain drive which is configured to increase gearing, giving an easy pedalling action, to make it seem like riding any other bike. The dual chain-drive is fully encased to keep your hands and clothes free from grease. A brushless motor is housed in the front wheel, ready to give you a hand up hills.

The bike is forecast to have a retail price of £699 and should ship from October of this year. If you go on to Kickstarter and back the project (which is already above its goal), you can get one for £589.


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