Big Cat Hampton Folding Bike Review

Big Cat Hampton Electric Bike Review
Big Cat Hampton
Big Cat Hampton 350w Geared Motor
Big Cat Hampton Removable Battery
Big Cat Hampton Handle Bars
Big Cat Hampton Derailleur Protector
Big Cat Hampton Led Headlight
Big Cat Hampton Electric Bike Review
Big Cat Hampton
Big Cat Hampton 350w Geared Motor
Big Cat Hampton Removable Battery
Big Cat Hampton Handle Bars
Big Cat Hampton Derailleur Protector
Big Cat Hampton Led Headlight

Summary

  • Entry level folding electric bike with more basic components and heavier frame offered at a good price
  • Includes mechanical disc brakes, LED light, fenders, throttle mode and pedal assist
  • Centered battery keeps weight low and balanced, suspension and padded saddle add comfort

Video Review

Introduction

Make:

Big Cat

Model:

Hampton Folding Bike

Price:

$1,195 USD

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Urban, Travel

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2014

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

56 lbs (25.4 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, Folding

Frame Colors:

Black with Neon Green Accents, Red

Frame Fork Details:

Basic Zoom Suspension

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

6 Speed 1x6 Shimano Tourney

Shifter Details:

SIS Index Shifter on Right Bar

Pedals:

Folding Plastic Platform

Stem:

Folding Quick Release

Handlebar:

Low Rise

Brake Details:

Zoom Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors

Grips:

Rubber Ergonomic

Saddle:

Oversized Comfort

Tire Brand:

Kenda

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Accessories:

Single Side Adjustable Kickstand, Front and Rear Fenders, Derailleur Guard, Front LED Light

Other:

Removable Silver Fish Style Battery Pack with Integrated LED Charge Level Indicator, 260 lb Maximum Weight

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

360 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

10 miles (16 km)

Estimated Max Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Display Type:

LED Console

Readouts:

Battery Level, Assist Level

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)


Written Review

The Big Cat Hampton folding ebike is a value driven electric bike with more basic components but a range of accessories that make it functional. The battery pack is mounted right where it should be (low and center) and the control panel lets you choose from three levels of assist to extend range and improve climbing ability. It’s got a light, fenders, seven speeds and disc brakes along with a one year warranty. It’s one of my favorite Big Cat bikes because it’s versatile and comfortable with a basic suspension fork and ergonomic grips. The components are entry level and it isn’t the lightest folder out there but the price is decent.

The motor is a standard 350 watt geared design with good torque and efficient freewheeling. It’s light weight (compared with most gearless designs) and small so it doesn’t stand out. Geared motors produce a bit of noise and can wear out faster than gearless but should last several years. This one is modular with a quick disconnect plug on the right seat stay for wheel maintenance or motor replacement. It’s powerful enough to move most riders but may struggle to climb moderate hills or reach the 20mph top speed without a bit of pedaling help.

The battery pack on this bike offers 36 volts of power and 8 amp hours of capacity. It’s not the largest configuration so range is a bit limited but replacements are only ~$249 so you could potentially buy a second one to keep at work. The pack is removable which is great because it makes charging and storing inside much easier. It also reduces the weight of the bike if you need to lift it up for transport. The cells inside are Lithium-ion which are known for being light weight and long lasting. To maximize their lifespan I’ve been told it’s best to discharge to ~50% the first few times but always avoid completely depleting. Store them in moderate temperatures (avoid extreme heat and cold) and top the pack off when finished riding with refills every couple of months if you haven’t gone out.

The cockpit area of this bike is relatively simple and easy to use. After inserting the key into the battery pack and turning it to on, the bike is in one of three pedal assist levels. At any time you can twist the grip throttle for an extra boost but this drains the battery faster. A basic LED battery indicator gives you some idea of how much capacity is remaining and there’s a separate button on the display to activate the lights. It’s a simple design that doesn’t show your speed or distance but keeps the price low and seems pretty well sealed against water. In order for the bike to operate the keys have to be left in the pack (so they can jingle around a bit when riding) but this reduces tampering when the bike is parked if you take the keys with you.

I appreciate how balanced this bike is with the suspension fork in the front balancing out the hub motor in the rear and the battery pack right in the middle. At ~56 pounds I’m glad the battery is removable because this makes loading the bike into a storage closet or carrying it up stairs much easier. For someone who is interested in a smaller bike that’s easier to store this could be a great fit. It’s easy to get onto thanks to the low-step frame and operating it is very simple. The seven speed cassette is great for climbing and pedaling if the battery runs out and the smaller wheels provide mechanical advantage for the motor which gives it a bit more torque.

Pros:

  • One year warranty covers covers the motor and battery pack against factory defects
  • Battery uses higher end Lithium-ion cells and is removable for easier charging and transport
  • One of the more affordable folding electric bikes available at just over $1,000
  • Basic suspension fork and padded saddle add comfort, especially nice given the smaller wheels
  • Includes both twist throttle and a basic pedal assist mode (for extended range, climbing or exercise)
  • Comes with a front LED light that run off the main battery pack (can add a rear one separately for optimal safety)
  • Solid 160mm mechanical disc brakes with brake levers that cut power to the motor
  • Plastic chain guide on front ring keeps the chain on track when riding over bumpy terrain

Cons:

  • One of the heavier folding electric bikes I’ve tested but the removable battery helps
  • No rear light or reflector and no rear rack (though there are mounting points to add your own)
  • No braze ons for adding a water bottle cage, consider using a CamelBak
  • No LCD display showing speed, distance or precise battery capacity
  • Only available in one frame size (kind of medium) with low-step configuration

Resources:

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