Attn Big Cat Hampton Owners: What can you say to keep me from buying one?

#1
I know that this isn't the best bike out there but the price is nice for a 1st time e-biker like me. It is at the bottom of my list but not scratched off for financial reasons. (I can spend two grand if I wanted to but I am trying to make the smartest investment. I work ten months a year and would normally spend a hundred dollars a month on gas without an average five day per week commute.) I know it is middle of the road. I know it is heavy. (However, it is 20 lbs lighter than the Currie bike that I was going to originally purchase before discovering folders.) What I don't know about this bike from Court's video and review is: Does it malfunction? Are the disc brakes still good after a few months? Does the battery get wet and die? How about that front shock? Is it nice or just there? Is throttle power always available? Any info will be helpful!
 

calvin

Active Member
#2
If you have a pressing need for a folding bike, then buying this model would perhaps be justified. I personally like the stiffness of a single unified frame "no wiggling allowed!". Court also reviewed the Big Cat Cruiser model. I think that I would take a hard look at that one instead.... From my experience, ( I haven't driven my car for a couple of months) I wouldn't hesitate to spend 2, 3 or 4K for a ebike, if it was what I wanted, even if that necessitated taking out a loan.
 
#3
Thank you for your input @calvin. I do have to have a folder. This is because: I live in a one-bedroom apartment, I drive a small car, and I plan on wheeling or folding up my bike and taking it into work with me. Had I not known about folding bikes, I would be able to do something the size of a cruiser bike, even though I dislike cruiser handlebars with a passion. This cruiser sure seems cool though.

Court introduced me to folding bikes via YouTube and I am now hooked on the idea. I have discussed my options with Court and I can say that this isn't the bike he would choose for me. This bike certainly isn't my first choice but with 7 speeds, shocks, disc brakes, fenders, rack eyelets, and the power, it is certainly worth the look. It is also worth thinking about because neither this bike nor my other options are even available until the end of the month.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
#4
I would consider the E-Joe Epik SE. It's a little more money, but a much better bike in my opinion. I'd be concerned if Big Cat will be around in a year from now when you need parts. There's a phenomenon in the ebike industry of the smaller "importers" unloading a bunch of bikes then closing up shop.
 
#5
I would consider the E-Joe Epik SE. It's a little more money, but a much better bike in my opinion. I'd be concerned if Big Cat will be around in a year from now when you need parts. There's a phenomenon in the ebike industry of the smaller "importers" unloading a bunch of bikes then closing up shop.
Yeah that is why I ask the questions... because I am the new guy. There is something to be said about publicity and a following. E-Bykes/Big Cat customer service is very attentive but I did notice that the bikes are from China, including the Zoom parts such as the suspension piece and the disc brakes. Perhaps E-Joe parts are Chinese too... I have no idea. That isn't a bad thing so long as there is a good domestic customer support system in place. They seem to have a decent following. Thanks, Chris.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
#6
Yeah that is why I ask the questions... because I am the new guy. There is something to be said about publicity and a following. E-Bykes/Big Cat customer service is very attentive but I did notice that the bikes are from China, including the Zoom parts such as the suspension piece and the disc brakes. Perhaps E-Joe parts are Chinese too... I have no idea. That isn't a bad thing so long as there is a good domestic customer support system in place. They seem to have a decent following. Thanks, Chris.
Really they both use Chinese parts, but so do ~85% of the ebikes in the US market today. It's more so about the technology, quality of parts and the viability of the company. E-Joe has more skin in the game so to speak. Not that I don't want to support the little guy, it's just much riskier. I bring this up often, but I think it's an important consideration based on my experience.
 
#7
I know that this isn't the best bike out there but the price is nice for a 1st time e-biker like me. It is at the bottom of my list but not scratched off for financial reasons. (I can spend two grand if I wanted to but I am trying to make the smartest investment. I work ten months a year and would normally spend a hundred dollars a month on gas without an average five day per week commute.) I know it is middle of the road. I know it is heavy. (However, it is 20 lbs lighter than the Currie bike that I was going to originally purchase before discovering folders.) What I don't know about this bike from Court's video and review is: Does it malfunction? Are the disc brakes still good after a few months? Does the battery get wet and die? How about that front shock? Is it nice or just there? Is throttle power always available? Any info will be helpful!
My thoughts shouldn't carry much weight as I am very new to the ebike world and have been away from bicycling for a while.
I recently purchased a folding ebike and I love it and I am going to get rid of it as quickly as I can.
When I moved aboard my sailboat there just wasn't room for my bike and there wasn't much chance that I would have the stamina to make the climb from shore to any form of transportation. Mr. Rye and EBR was my gateway to ebikes. A folding ebike solved both the storage and the stamina issues or so I thought. Folding the bike made storing the bike more difficult. On a small sailboat with everything I own onboard every cubic inch counts and to get to anything I have to move everything. The bikes ability to fold was useless to me. Folded the bike is an unwieldy space hog. To get it to shore I first put the bike in my canoe and then fold it.
The reason I will replace my ebike as quickly as I can is it will not accept real bicycle parts. I only had 75 miles on the bike before I realized that it can't be repaired by me and parts are nonexistent. When I called the man who told me that his company wanted to build a reputation for customer support he was very nice as he explained that he had no way of finding out who manufactured my broken taillight and doubted that it could be repaired or replaced. Bill Clinton feels my pain but that is no help either. I started looking at my delightful new bike with the knowledge that I had to sell it before anything else failed. Throw away disposiblle bicycles is too high a price for mother earth to pay and I regret that I supported the nature haters who caused it to be manufactured with my purchase.
When a teenager asked why I was pushing my SR touring bike down the Bicentennial Bicycle Trail and I showed him the rear derailer that had been mangled by a stray twig he took me to a pile of old bicycles and I took the most accessible derailer without caring who manufactured it or what brand of bike it was on. In minutes I was pedaling back toward the bike path. I don't dare ride my ebike any further than I want to carry it back if anything fails. There doesn't seem to be a single bicycle part on it.
I will replace my ebike with a real bicycle and add a motor. The 250 watt motor is plenty of power to make up for what age has taken from me and I really enjoy being able to ride again.
I will follow this thread with anticipation. Thank You for starting it.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
#9
I am also impressed with this Downtube 9FS non-electric folding bike on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1QRlkSU

But of course you would then need to add a ebike kit to it. You could go with something simple like the ShareRoller coming later next year: http://www.shareroller.com/

That bike and a ShareRoller would only weigh 32 to 35 pounds total depending on how big a battery you get with your ShareRoller, which is over 20 pounds lighter than the Big Cat Hampton. You can also remove the ShareRoller and ride it as a regular 27 pound folding bike. The Downtube bike has a lot of features for the price including front and rear suspension.

Note added: they just came out with an 8 speed version for an even lower price that is almost $200 less: http://www.downtube.com/8FS-Full-Suspension-folding-bike-p/8fs.htm
I have no idea how they can offer these bikes at these prices, but they are only selling them direct, so no middle man.
 
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Nirmala

Active Member
#10
My thoughts shouldn't carry much weight as I am very new to the ebike world and have been away from bicycling for a while.
I will replace my ebike with a real bicycle and add a motor. The 250 watt motor is plenty of power to make up for what age has taken from me and I really enjoy being able to ride again.
I will follow this thread with anticipation. Thank You for starting it.
A really great thing about the ShareRoller is that if anything fails, you could just ship the entire unit back for repairs under warranty or after the warranty ends. Of course it is not available yet, and there is no way to know if the company will succeed, but I think this is going to be a big advantage to a simple add on motor system that can be added to and removed from a bike in 10 seconds. And you can mount it on most regular bikes which will use regular parts.
More info is also on their Indiegogo campaign site and also on some other discussions on here:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/shareroller-add-on-e-power-for-bikes-scooters#/
It also appears that the folding bike on Amazon uses a lot of name brand regular parts if you are still interested in a folding bike: http://amzn.to/1QRlkSU
Not all folding bikes are completely proprietary in their parts.
 
#11
Nirmala. Amazon does have lower priced folding bikes,(from the top of the page at Amazon just click the word folding>) but the downtube.com bikes you referenced have Amazon beat on price for a 8 speed 20 inch wheel bike.
 

Nirmala

Active Member
#12
Nirmala. Amazon does have lower priced folding bikes,(from the top of the page at Amazon just click the word folding>) but the downtube.com bikes you referenced have Amazon beat on price for a 8 speed 20 inch wheel bike.
Yes, the Downtube 9 speed bike is available both on Amazon and on downtube.com: http://www.downtube.com/Full-Suspension-Folding-Bike-p/9fs.htm and it seems to me to be a lot of bike for the money with its front and rear suspension and upgraded features and components. I believe that Downtube just recently came out with the 8 speed version of basically the same bike which appears to have the same frame and suspension, but lower grade components, and it does not show up for sale on Amazon yet. Either bike seems like a very good deal compared to the other non-electric folding bikes listed on Amazon. When riding a bike with 20 inch wheels, suspension becomes much more desirable to smooth out the ride. The Big-Cat has front suspension only.

There is one folding ebike on EBR that has full suspension: http://electricbikereview.com/eg/vienna-250-ex/ and there is also this one on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Greenbike-USA-Electric-Bicycle-Lithium/dp/B0131H5TS6

All of these electric folders are pretty heavy (50 pounds and up) for such a small bike. I thought the option of one of the 27 pound 9speed Downtube bikes with a 5-8 pound ShareRoller could be a much lighter solution....but of course that means waiting for the ShareRoller to be released.
 
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