Smart folding electric bike that will brighten up your commute
Pros: Fun to ride, boost trigger is a winner, good looks, well-pricedCons: The single gear could be limiting for stronger riders, soft-feeling brakes
The MiRider One is a keenly-priced, compact folding electric bike that will brighten up almost any cycle commute.
Some riders may find the single gear limiting, but the One’s ‘boost’ trigger provides a handy dose of added assistance when required.
The One offers 250 watts of assistance, up to the legal limit (in the UK) of 15.5mph / 25.5kph, via a rear hub motor. The removable and lockable battery is housed in the front half of the main frame, while at the rear there’s a comfort-enhancing suspension system.
MiRider One frame
The One certainly stands out against most folding bikes, even more so when compared to folding ebikes. The box-section magnesium frame sweeps back and up towards the seatpost and is mirrored by a rear swingarm anchored above the chainset, with an air-filled shock absorber.
This type of unified rear-triangle (URT) suspension may have gone the way of the Dodo on mountain bikes, but having the drivetrain contained solely within the back-end means a constant chainline with no chance of the chain being dropped (aided by the chainset with its dual chainguard). The last thing you want on a commute is oily hands from having to re-fit a slipped chain.
The constituent parts of the MiRider may be sourced from overseas, but each bike is assembled to order in the UK, and I was impressed with the attention to detail on what is a modestly-priced machine compared to the likes of Brompton’s Electric (from £2,715) or GoCycle’s GXi (£2,899) about R 53 000.
Details such as the neoprene cable wrap in front of the bar make folding fuss-free and simple; the integrated mudguards do their job well, are sturdy and don’t hinder folding either; and the lever-actuated seatpost is quick to adjust and secure.
Lots of MiRider’s rivals could do worse than emulating design touches such as this. It’s a smart-looking frame, too, and is free of ugly welds.
The adjustability of the One is an added bonus. The telescopic bar/steerer and seatpost mean the bike will fit anyone from 5ft to 6ft 4in, according to MiRider.
I’m 6ft 2in and the One fitted both me and a 5-foot rider in my household, though a 6ft 4in person at the top of the range may struggle with saddle height because the seatpost was at its limit for me.
Jump on board the One and, well, it’s a nice place to be. The power assistance comes in smoothly and tracks your cadence well, though with 16in wheels and a 48/14t drivetrain (which gives you a 49in gear), don’t expect to motor along at high speed on the MiRider.
However, as a singlespeed machine, the gear is a fair compromise. It’s light enough to ascend pretty much any urban slope you’ll throw at it when you add in assistance, and you can spin along happily at around 15mph.
The assistance system is based around a 250-watt rear hub motor, encased within the cast alloy six-spoke wheel and controlled by a bar-mounted LCD head unit displaying distance, time and current speed.
You can also switch between different power levels or turn on the integrated lights by pressing and holding the up switch.
The head unit is actually the same one seen on the Emu Mini Folding ebike we also reviewed recently. Like the Emu, the MiRider One offers five levels of assistance, which may seem a little like overkill. I quickly found myself leaving the bike on level two for the majority of my riding time, only switching up on long inclines and down – or off – when heading downhill.