Vika + at 500 miles

CommuterCity

New Member
Region
USA
I have put about 500 miles on this bike, mostly riding to the train and bringing it with me, and like it a lot. It feels very sturdy, the range of assist is great, the ride is pretty cushy on so-so roads, I feel safer in heavy traffic with the ability to get started from an intersection faster, I run fewer red lights than without an ebike because I know if I lose my momentum on the hill the motor will give it back. The extras, nice built in lights and rack and fenders and bell, are great. Build quality still feels solid.

More detailed notes:

I am five feet tall and this fits fine: both the handlebar and the seat would go a little lower.

I stripped one of the aluminum cranks putting on the steel threaded pedals, just using my hands, and I am not a muscular person. Be careful assembling. If it happens to you REI fixed it for under $20. The folding pedals are fussy and I don't see much value from that feature even in tight spaces; I replaced mine with lighter plastic with rounder edges so I don't bruise myself as much hauling it around.

Battery performance is better than advertised for me, but don’t let the many markings on the readout fool you: it only changes at 80/60/40/20, so what looks like 60% seems to go as low as 41% charge and the miles per 20% drop off steeply after the first one. As others have noted, the battery will work even if it’s not fully seated and locked, so make sure to familiarize yourself with that mechanism and that it’s actually firmly attached before you head off.

Speaking of the readout I would love a clock if the company is taking requests. The bike is a great commuting machine but it can’t answer the question “am I going to be late for work” at a glance and there's plenty of room on there.

The hinge is very stiff to start but it relaxes with use. I think routine folding would be a hassle with any of the extra baskets etc.

The magnet holding the two wheels together when folded fell off within the first few uses. Honestly if you really want it to stay folded in place while you move it at all you were going to want something stronger anyhow. I just have a foot long double sided Velcro strip that I had lying around and it works very well for this, I loop it around the handlebars when not in use. Seems like any old bit of pants leg out of the chain velcro would do the job.

This isn’t the heaviest e-bike around but if you haven’t used e-bikes before know: ~50 pounds of awkwardly shaped and unbalanced steel is a lot of weight. You may wedge it in that bag but you are not going to toss it over your shoulder and go very far unless you’re a big strong person- at least without the bag you have a lot of handholds in the rack and seat. It is rough to get up and down more than a couple stairs for me (as noted a small person). It doesn’t roll that well folded because you can of course only go forward, so no complicated maneuvers in the tight spaces you are most likely to want to use that capability.

Overall the folding electric bike design problem always involves some trade offs. When I nearly fell getting this bike from an elevated train car down steep narrow stairs to the platform below (go very slow in this situation and hang on to the hand rails! Keep the motor behind you so you are not pulled forward!) I looked again at all the bikes I had considered before buying this one, particularly the lighter ones, and I would make the same choice again. It will pay for itself in a year of my expected use (mostly saved station parking) and at a very rough calculation the avoided carbon emissions from driving will outweigh the emissions of manufacturing and shipping it to me at around 1100-1200 miles of use, which is way less than I expect to ride it over time.