Journey Folding Bike
Tebco make a range of electric bikes including this folding bike. The purpose of a folding bike is ease of transport and this bike is a bit of a winner in this case. Here are some of the reasons why.
The Lithium-Ion Battery lives in the frame.
If you are familiar with electric bikes, or ebikes, you will normally see the battery for the bike sitting vertically behind the seat post. You’ll notice that that is not the case with this bike. If you have a look for the battery, you won’t find it, so you’ll probably figure out pretty quickly that the battery is actually in the frame of the bike.
The advantages of this are that the bike doesn’t look like an electric bike which decreases the chance of theft of the bike or of the battery. This does happen because Lithium Ion batteries big enough to drive you plus the bike around are fairly big and thus fairly expensive.
The disadvantage of this is that a battery that fits in a frame can’t be that large. In this case it is a 36V 9Amp Hour battery that weighs about 2 kg and gives you plus the bike a range of around 40 to 50 km.
The Bike Doesn’t Weigh Much
This bike is about 17kg (37 pound) with battery installed. This is quite light for an electric bike and they have achieved it by keeping the battery small and the wheels narrow. The seat post and handlebar post are alloy rather than steel. All of this saves weight.
The wheels are 20 in are are more than enough for motoring around the suburbs. This isn’t meant to be a long distance bike and as mentioned, its design is so that it can fold up and fit in a car boot. Small wheels make a bike steer quicker than one with larger wheels and so smaller bikes can feel less stable than large bikes. For some this is a good thing and for others it isn’t. As with all bikes, I suggest you take one for a ride.
The bike fits all size of human
A lot of small bikes have their battery attached to the seat post. This keeps the cost down and lets the battery be bigger, but also often limits how low the seat can go. This bike has a full length seat post and because the battery isn’t in the way the seat can go all the way to the bottom.
In the picture you can see how low the bike seat goes. It is on an angle in this picture because the cargo carrier is in the way, but if the seat were moved a little forward it could fit pointing straight while being this low.
A seat this low would not be practical to ride unless one’s legs were particularly short but for some people being able to put both feet on the ground at the same time makes them more comfortable. This bike does have a throttle on the handlebars so it isn’t necessary to pedal to move forward, but as a general rule for cycling, it is a bad idea to ride where ones legs stay fully bent for most of the stroke.
The point is that the seat on this bike goes from the bottom where you see it all the way too a length that would suit some very tall people so it isn’t a bike limited to only small people.
The Bike Folds Up
A folding bike of course folds up, but the extra feature on this bike is that because the battery lives in the frame, folding it is how one accesses the battery for removal.
The locks for the bike fold point have their own security locks so the only way this bike starts to fold up is if you intend it to.
Notice the two black levers. The small one lets the big one go. The big one is the one that holds the frame together.
Notice the 36 Volt battery is locked into the frame with a key (6). There is also a rubber grommet to keep water away from the battery. Splitting the frame pulls the power pins of the bike out of the battery so while the bike is folded it has no power.
The handlebars also fold down and the front release also has a safety lock.
The front lever locks the vertical part of the bike so not the actual handlebar, just the vertical post the handlebars are connected to.
There is a second lever (not pictured) that lets you set the height of the handlebars by changing the length of the handlebar post. Even though this is a relatively small bike, it doesn’t mean that it is only for small people.
Handlebar Throttle and Pedal Assist
To make the bike go forward you can pedal it and the bike will sense the pedalling and engage the motor, or you can not pedal and just twist the throttle.
Under power from just the throttle the bike is limited to around 6 kph (unless you decide to roll down a hill at the same time).
Here is a summary of the specs for this bike.
• 20in Wheels – Cutting Edge Frame Design
• Max Speed 25kmh / Max Range 40km
• 200W Brushless Motor or 250 Watt.
• Both twist grip and Pedal Activation System to engage the motor
• 7 Speed Shimano Indexed Gearset
• High Quality Kenda K198 Road Tyres
• 36V 9Ah Samsung Battery and Charger
• Latest In-Frame Battery Mount Design
• 17kg with battery included
• LCD Trip Computer / Speedo / Battery Gauge
• No Licence or Registration Required
Type: Folding Bicycle
Battery: 36 Volt 9 Amp Hour Lithium battery.
In summary this is a nifty little folding electric bike. At 17kg it is very light and with the seat able to drop as low as this one can, it suits smaller people.
At the same time, the seat and handlebars can both be set to suit people over 1.8m (6ft) tall.
The bike has a rack and a comfortable gel seat as standard and my ride impression is that it is a quick bike which is what happens when a bike has the full size electric motor of a large bike put into the rear hub of a small bike. It won’t have any trouble with hills, even if you have the rear carry rack loaded up.
This bike would suit campervan people who are out to save weight in their van, or suit urban commuters who happen to work up a set of stairs and have nowhere to tie their bike outside.