By Derek Markham, March 25, 2014
A new brand of electric bike is about to hit the market, offering a full-sized stylish frame that folds into thirds and is light enough to carry with you.
Bicycles can be the perfect vehicle for daily commutes and running errands, and when combined with an electric assist feature, could be just what's needed to get more people in the saddle and out of the driver's seat. But for those who also use public transportation for part of the journey, and may not have secure bike parking nearby, a full-sized bike (electric or otherwise) can pose a few logistical issues along the way, which may keep some people from riding them.
We've seen a few recent innovations that address the issue of portability and storage of personal transportation options, including a tiny electric scooter, a half-bike, and even a portable electric motor that fits on share bikes, but this latest electric bike could be a good solution for the bike commuter with limited storage space, both at home and at work.
The JiveBike offers full-sized electric bike performance and a normal upright riding style in a sleek and stylish frame that can fold up to about a third of its size for carrying along on a bus, train, or in the trunk of a car, or even for storing under your desk while at work.
This electric bike features a 20 mile range (in assisted-pedaling mode), a top speed of about 15 MPH, and can fully recharge in about two hours from a standard outlet. The JiveBike can also be manually pedaled, so a dead battery won't leave you stranded, or used in fully-electric mode for a low-effort commute. Riders can mount their smartphone on the handlebar and sync it with the JiveBike via Bluetooth, either for use with the accompanying app for keeping an eye on the charge level of the battery to see the estimated range they can expect, or to use a map app for directions.
Another appealing feature of this e-bike is its fully-enclosed chainless drivetrain, which is said to be virtually maintenance-free (a once-a-year lubrication is all that's required), and which will keep grease from staining clothes or furniture. The mechanical drivetrain is located inside the bike's frame, and it works in tandem with the integrated fenders to promise a "clean cycling experience," which may hold a lot of appeal to those who don't want to have to carry a separate set of clothes with them.
The biggest obvious weak point to this folding electric bike, which is expected to be available this summer, is its price, as climbing on the saddle of this e-bike will cost you about £1400 (~ $2300 USD). If you're interested in this sleek electric bike, a fully-refundable £99 (~$160 USD) down-payment will secure your place in line to get one of the first models. Get the full scoop at JiveBike.