- One of the lightest weight folding electric bikes available anywhere
- Only offers one gear, small 180 watt motor and a maximum throttle speed of 12mph
- Folds long and flat vs. compact and square taking very little space
The 1 Speed VeloMini is the lightest weight folding electric bicycle I’m aware of. It’s light by any standard, even when compared with high end carbon fiber road style ebikes! This is hugely important when transporting the bike. At just 31 pounds it’s easy to lift with one hand and carry on the subway, bus or even store in an RV or boat. While it may not have the strongest motor, it does offer both pedal assist and twist throttle modes. This lets you either help the bike up hills or keep your legs completely still (and your pants clean) when riding in flat city environments.
The VeloMini folding design is very unique. The seatpost connects to the downtube in two places and forms a triangle when in riding mode that offers great structural support. When completely folded the bike gets long and flat, in part because the 12″ wheels don’t stick up, and this means you can store it on end without using much space. While the smaller wheels don’t offer as much comfort as larger ones when traversing potholes, they get the job done and the ride is relatively comfortable at low speeds.
The maximum allowable weight for the VeloMini is 230lbs which is a bit more than the comparable bob from e-Mazing Innovations. The VeloMini features a weaker 180 watt motor than the bob and is paired with a smaller 24 volt 6 amp hour battery that won’t go as far but is lighter weight. Since the ratio of the motor hub to wheel is larger on this and other 12″ wheeled bikes, it actually feels like the bike has good torque when riding. You can see the same technique applied on the front chain ring which is very large, making it easier (but slower) for the rider to pedal.
The top speed of the VeloMini is just 12 miles per hour but given the folding nature of this and other ebikes, that’s pretty standard. What I really like is how the frame folds and unfolds to create that stable ride. The frame is also sleek and minimal in appearance because the battery pack is built right into the downtube. This means you can’t easily remove the battery for charging but that’s okay since it’s so small.
Without sacrificing too much in terms of weight, the VeloMini includes a couple of welcomed creature comforts. The front and rear fenders keep you dry when streets are wet and the rear light keeps you safe at night.
In the ultra-compact electric bike space this is one of my favorite designs. Not only does it feel stable, it looks nice and folds to become very small. The company offers a full line of accessories and a 3 Speed model that lets you pedal faster. The rear brake light and fenders do a lot to make this bike functional and the warranty adds security and trust in my mind. For under $1,000 it’s hard to beat this package and it could really come in handy for commuters who need help getting to or from public transportation hubs.
- Folds flat and long, takes up very little space when stored one one end
- Lots of fun accessories including seat racks, baskets, lights, a trailer and carry bags
- Strong folding-triangle design used to support seatpost
- Offers both pedal assist and twist and go mode
- Simple, intuitive controls are durable
- V-brakes on the front, band style hub brake on the rear
- Wider seat to handlebar span is more comfortable than other compact folding ebikes
- Solid 1 year frame warranty with 6 month warranty for the battery
- Includes a case a carry strap for easier transport
- Weaker 180 watt hub motor paired with 24 volt battery pack
- Battery is built into the frame so you have to plug the whole bike in vs. detaching a battery alone
- Small 12″ wheels don’t offer as much shock absorption or traverse gaps and potholes like a larger wheel would
- No front headlight, just a rear brake light
- No LCD or fancy computer display for distance, speed etc.
- Top throttle speed 12 miles per hour, only one speed when pedaling
- No chain cover, though there is a plastic bash guard