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folding bike

Electric Bromptons

by Jack R. on September 21, 2013

Friend of the shop TurboBob on his E- Brompton

Friend of the shop TurboBob has this classy, all white E- Brompton

One of the most uniquely NYCeWheels-y products we sell has to be the Electric Brompton, and with its versatility and practicality, it is quickly catching on as one of our most popular. Part of its appeal lies in its versatility–see a Brompton bike you like in the shop? We can electrify it.

Likewise, if you have an extremely specific Brompton setup in mind, or some ghastly, garish color scheme that we don’t keep in stock for obvious reasons but makes your colorblind hear sing, we can have a Brompton built for you from the floor up in London, and electrify it upon arrival. Or, on the other hand, we’ve had longtime customers bring in their beloved 5- or 10-year-old Bromptons in to be retrofitted with our electric setup–and that works brilliantly too!

What makes these bikes so irresistible? Let’s find out.

Everything Great About a Brompton…

E-brompton - fresh out of box

E-brompton - fresh out of box

The first astounding thing about these bikes is that their electrical systems do not interfere whatsoever with Brompton’s brilliant design.  They still fold to the same, incredible 22.2 by 21.5 by 10.6 inch package with ease and grace. Halfway folded, they can be carted around on Eazy Wheels just as a standard Brompton would, and even though the battery is housed in a front-mounting C-Bag, it doesn’t even need to be removed for the bike to fold.

Along with the Brompton’s legendary compactness, it can also be outfitted as a pretty lightweight bike. Because the electrical system is relatively light as well, the entire package comes out to 40-42 lbs or so. This is awfully light for an electric bike–consider the A2B Metro, which weighs in at 70+lbs!

…Plus a 250 Watt Motor…


Motor located on the front wheels of the E-Brompton

Because most Bromptons use internal gear hubs, where the bike’s gears are contained in the rear wheel, we always install the motor in the front wheel hub. The Brompton is perfect for a front wheel motor–it’s high quality chromoly steel construction is extremely durable but also able to flex enough that the tightly installed motor won’t put it at risk of damage.

Though the thought of a ludicrously overpowered little Brompton with a 500- or 750-watt motor certainly is entertaining, we knew that a small, practical folding bike like this wouldn’t need too much power. To keep weight and cost down, we paired it with a 250 watt motor–just enough power to easily fly you up the last hill on your way home, but not so much that you literally fly off the handlebars.

…and a 36-volt Battery

Powering the Electric Brompton is an advanced lithium polymer battery. These next-generation batteries represent the height of technology in electric bikes today, and offer excellent performance while keeping weight to a bare minimum. At 36 volts, this battery is also quite efficient, providing the motor with more than enough power to do its thing–even when it peaks at 400 watts.

The standard Electric Brompton comes with a 10 amp hour battery, which is a very large capacity for a lightweight, 250 watt bike. However, with an upgrade to our 15 amp hour battery, the range of this bike is truly outrageous.

No matter if you’re just looking for a fun twist to your Brompton or if you need an electric boost in order to get around, the Electric Brompton never fails to please. Order yours today!


Electric bikes, lights and bells

by Jack R. on August 25, 2012

Your electric bike riding experience is not complete without lights and a bell.

If you bought your electric bike here at NYCeWheels and regularly ride around New York City, you should know that New York law requires lights and a bell.

That’s right, reflectors alone don’t cut it, you need to be equipped with a front and rear light if you’re riding after sundown or before sunrise. Besides the legality of it, having a light on your electric bike (or even your regular non-electric bicycle, or adult kick scooter) is a huge safety plus. Being visible in traffic is essential, not just to oncoming cars but to other cyclists and pedestrians. An old-fashioned reflector doesn’t hurt, but those work better when there isn’t much ambient light. With so many light sources in New York, and so many things grabbing drivers’ attentions, having a bright light is the only reliable way to make sure your presence on the road is noticed. You’ll want a white light on the front of your bike (mounted somewhere on your handlebar), and a red light on the rear of your bike (mounted anywhere from the seat post to your rack, if present.)

Be visible as you ride your electric bike!

Some electric bikes even come with safety lights built into the package. Many electric bikes, like the Gepida Reptila electric bike, the Kettler Twin electric bike, and the Styriette electric bike by Bionx come with built-in lights.

The Kettler Twin Electric Bicycle

The Kettler Twin Electric Bicycle

For all other cases, you can always purchase and attach battery-powered bicycle lights. These generally mount universally, but in the case of a particularly wide seat-post some lights will not work. If you are unsure if a particular light will work with your bike, we’ll be happy to help you out and clarify.

Electric bike’s motor make no sound, so don’t forget a bell!

As for bells, it’s simply the law. You’re required to have a method of notifying pedestrians of your presence. Bicycle bells are certainly functional and useful. One could argue that they can make their presence known to pedestrians by shouting at them or whistling. While that will get their attention, a bicycle bell does the same thing, and it does it in a polite manner, and it does so in a very distinguishing way: the sound of a bicycle bell is very identifiable as a bicycle bell.

Bell on the Kettler Twin Electric Bike

Bell on the Kettler Twin Electric Bike

A pedestrian that hears it will instantly recognize that a bicycle is approaching and that they may or may not be in its path. Whereas a loud “Yo!” or “Ay!” does not offer any immediate context for those hearing it. A bell speaks as a warning to everyone within earshot. Shouted words or a whistle come off as an exchange between two parties, and can easily be ignored the the intended target. There are numerous options for bicycle bells, and most will mount on any bike. The only exception is wider diameter road handlebars, which none of our electric bikes use!

When riding your electric bike, do it safely.

If you’re stopped on your bicycle by a police officer (say you were riding on the sidewalk, ran a red light, or were riding the wrong way down a one-way street or in the wrong lane), you can be ticketed for not having lights or a bell in addition to whatever the original infraction was. And guess what, the ticket is the same as any vehicle moving violation. You’ll end up paying well over the cost of a light set and bell. In fact, the amount of money you’ll end up paying in fines could have purchased you several of each, for you and all of your cycling friends.

Cycling culture has been booming in New York, and not just around the 10028 zip code where electric bikes and folding bikes are commonplace. With more and more bicycles on the road, we all need to do our part to ensure not just our safety but the safety of others. And on top of that all of New York is watching us as a group (albeit a large, mixed, and sometimes dysfunctional group), and how the city continues to treat cyclists (more bike lanes, or more laws and restrictions?) is largely going to be determined by how we handle ourselves out there.

Watch out for yourself, watch out for others, and make your presence known. When you finally find that perfect electric bike for you, don’t forget to add on that perfect light next to your perfect bell!