The eFormula vs. eBrompton

by Jack R. on November 28, 2014

by: Mike from DIYBIKING.COM

 

If I were a sophisticated writer and marketer, I’d draw out this ‘eFormula vs. eBrompton’ thing for months. I’d have NYCeWheels sell two different kinds of T-shirts: “Team eFormula” and “Team eBrompton.” There’d be endless discussions on Twitter with the hashtags #teameformula and #teamebrompton dividing folding bike fans across the world – much like what Edward and Jacob did for Twilight fans.

 

eformula ebrompton electric folding bicycles

eformula ebrompton electric folding bicycles

 

Instead, I’ll explain which bike I like better and tell you why you may not agree with my choice.

 

I’ve ridden both bikes separately for a few weeks and I concluded that I like the Dahon eFormula better. My selection is more interesting than it sounds, because if I were choosing between the bikes without the electric assist systems, I’d go with the Brompton, hands down. Part of it is because I’ve toured their factory in London – and met some of the men and women that put these things together – but also it just folds easier, smaller and tidier than the Dahon Formula.

 

eformula ebrompton electric folding bicycles

I figured out for myself that the Dahon eFormula has more torque than the eBrompton. If you ride both bikes, you’ll figure that part out too. While there’s nothing wrong with the eBrompton’s system, I decided that I prefer the eFormula’s because the motor is built into the rear wheel instead of the front. That, along with some sophisticated controls, means that the power from your legs and the power from the motor really do work together.

 

Where I live and how I live also makes me chose the eFormula. If I were in a position where I’d have to fold the bike several times in the course of a day, I probably wouldn’t pick it. Also, if I had a very limited amount of space in my home or in my office, I’d pick the eBrompton since it folds smaller (remember: the Brompton has 16″ wheels  while the Formula has 20″).

 

eformula ebrompton electric folding bicycle

Finally: If I had to carry the bike over a long distance, I’d go with the eBrompton. Thanks to the battery in the front bag, unplugging one wire and pushing one button allows you to carry the bike in one hand and the battery in the other. You can remove the battery from the eFormula but it isn’t quite as simple.

 

So there you have it. Both of these bikes are great, and the one I decided is better has an asterisk next to it. I recommend you give both bikes a try and think about what your relationship with you electric assist folding bikewill be. You’ll pick the perfect bike each time.

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Electric folding bikes: BionX vs A2B Kuo.

by Jack R. on September 27, 2014

One of the advantages of the BionX is that it can be installed on a wide range of bikes, from roadsters with full sized wheels, to folding bikes with 20 inch rims. Here at the shop we’ve had fun with this, putting our top BionX kits on our top folding bikes to create super portable lightweight electric folders.

Formula BionX bike

A2B Kuo Folded

But you don’t have to use a conversion kit to make a great folding electric bike.

Ultra Motors, known for their larger moped like electric bikes, released an electric folder called the A2B Kuo which packs a nice little punch.  Let’s take a closer look and see how the A2B Kuo compares with a BionX conversion.

With the BionX anything is possible!

One of the great advantages of the BionX kit is that it is very versatile. You can install the BionX on virtually any bike, and there are a wide range of BionX kits offering different levels of power, torque and range. This means that you will have a lot of control over what your bike looks and feels like, as well as how big your motor and battery is. It all depends on how much you’re willing to invest in the kit and how much power you need.

BionX Formula s18The A2B Kuo doesn’t offer so many options, it’s a buy what you see type of situation, but what you see looks pretty good. For a great entry level price you get a 250 watt motor, powered by a smaller 24 Volt 9ah battery, which will have a 15 mph top speed, and a 25 mile range. It will get the job done fine and without breaking the bank.

A2B Kuo

Power

BionX Motor

In general the BionX will be more powerful than the Kuo. Any of the kits with the 36 volt or 48 volt batteries will be faster, have better acceleration up hills, and more range.

The Kuo will best compare with the cheapest BionX kit, called the pl250. Like the Kuo, this kit is fit with a 250 watt motor, but it uses a slightly larger 26 volt battery. It will have about the same torque and hill climbing ability as the Kuo but the BionX will be quite a bit faster, capped at 20 mph instead of 15mph.

The BionX will also have a much better range, capable of up to 30 or 40 miles on a charge instead of 25.

Pedal assist or throttle?

With the BionX system, there are two ways to activate the motor. First, there is a red button located near your right thumb which acts as a throttle. Just push the button and you’ll rocket forward.

BionX Battery and Console

However, the BionX works best as a “pedal assist” e-bike.  With a pedal assist bike the motor is triggered by your pedaling. Each time you press the pedal, a signal is sent to the motor to give you a boost, creating a very smooth and intuitive ride. Using a console mounted to your bike’s handlebars you can select one of four different power modes which tells the motor how much you want it to help you out. This interactive system allows the BionX to have great range and great power.

Like the BionX, the Kuo also gives you the choice of throttle or pedal assist, but again it isn’t quite as thorough a system. Where the BionX has four different modes of power activated through an LED console, the Kuo has a switch located just below the black bell seen below.

A2b Kuo +

This switch has three settings: low, high, or off.  On low you get more range but less power, on high you get more power with less range, and on off you can just use the twist throttle and give pedaling a break. This is not quite in the same league as the BionX but also a lot cheaper so it could be a good option for someone looking for an entry level alternative.

BionX conversion kit

So there you have it! If you want to get a folding bike with a powerful motor,  top of the line lithium battery, and great range, the BionX Conversion kit is going to be your best option. But if you’re looking for something that isn’t going to break the band, the Ultra Motor A2B Kuo will be a great alternative, offering a nice package for the price!

Hope this was helpful!

Jack

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The Dahon Formula BionX Bike!

by Jack R. on August 20, 2014

Video Review!

If I were going to put an electric motor on any bicycle in the shop, it would be the Dahon Formula S18. I first rode this high performance folding bike 2 years ago on my first day at NYCeWheels. I had never really taken a folding bike seriously, the smaller wheels just seemed like they wouldn’t be as stable or go as fast. When I took the Formula out to Central park I was blown away by how sturdy the bike felt, and how well it performed.

Formula BionX Bike

 

Formula S18This high performance folding bike is light and fast, weighing just over 24 lbs, has 18 speeds, and powerful disc brakes. The frame is made of a high grade double butted aluminum which is lightweight and strong. The rapid fire shifters and Shimano Tiagra derailleur allows you to move smoothly from lowest to highest gear, and the fast Kojak tires are both tough and speedy. I was flying on the Formula s18, passing road-bikers, and smiling the whole way around the park.

Making a good thing better!

Formula BionX Bike

All of these features make the formula s18 a great candidate for electric conversion. This year we decided to go for it and installed a 48 volt BionX battery and powerful 350 watt motor on the Formula s18. Using the advanced pedal assist technology that BionX is known for, the electrified Formula can go up to 20 mph, has up to a 40 mile range, and still only weighs 39.1 lbs, 25 lbs less than most other e-bikes on the market!!!!

Formula BionX motor

Its strong frame can handle the extra weight of the battery and motor, and the powerful disc brakes are able to stop you on a dime even cruising at top speed. Best of all, it still folds to the same size. After a 20 mile cruise on your electric bike, just fold it up and put it in your closet!

electric-formula-s18-flagship-folding-electric-bike

Putting an electric motor on a folding bike just makes sense. If you want to get a little electric help riding around the city, why not put it on a bike that is more compact and able to fit in your apartment? It even ends up being cheaper than a regular electric bike. With its excellent components, light weight, and lower price, the Formula BionX Bike is without a doubt, one of the best folding electric bikes out there.

Jack

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New Website for BionX!

by Jack R. on June 11, 2014

BionX Conversion KitsProbably if you’re reading this, you are already familiar with BionX, whether you have converted your own bike with one of their kits, or are just interested in electric conversion kits in general. But whether you are a BionX expert or just learning about this great company, we have exciting news for you!

Just this last April, BionX released an awesome new website. The new platform, titled “Ride BionX,” is filled with outstanding resources, pictures, demos, troubleshooting guides, and great information about all of their latest products.

Let’s take a look:

The New BionX Homepage

The BionX homepage is a simple, easy to use interface that provides quick links to all of their different resources. Just click on one of the 7 Tabs at the top of the screen to direct you to information about products, news, customer service outlets, and contact information. I clicked around a bit, and found the interface easy to use and very intuitive.

BionX Homepage

Conversion Kits and Electric bikes

BionX DX motor kit

The first tab is all about the latest BionX products, ranging from electric conversion kits like we have here at NYCeWheels, to a wide range of other products powered by BionX.

In this products tab there is great information on entry level, more affordable conversion kits like the Bionx PL250 as well as more advanced systems like the new BionX DX Cassette Motor Kit.

BionX technology and FAQs

The new BionX website also has great information on their technology to help us understand more about how everything works. Here there is extensive information on battery technology, motor technology and console technology – all of the parts that make up the whole of their conversion kits.

A few tabs over is their customer service section, totally devoted to helping out customers in whatever way they can. Included here are answers to FAQs, as well as informational downloads for customers, and contact info. Remember if you can’t find the answer to your question here, we have a wide range of BionX articles on our site as well as a comprehensive BionX troubleshooting guide.

Sweet photos of BionX’s latest

One of my favorite parts of the site, they have a whole section devoted to BionX media, including a bunch of closeups of their latest products in action. The BionX rear rack conversion kit for example:

BionX rear rack kitThe classic down tube configuration:

BionX Conversion kitOff roading with a high powered BionX motor:

Offroading with the bionXAnd of course many many more great photos which you can browse here!

There is much more to the new BionX website than we can possibly go over here, but I hope that this was a good introduction, and that it will pique your curiosity to go see more. Check out RideBionX today, browse to your heart’s content, and when you’re done buy a BionX conversion kit of your own!!

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BionX for Postmates

April 29, 2014

I don’t know about you, but in spite of being on a bike for-as-long-as-I-can-remember, I still bonk out after about six hours of riding. Nothing could have possibly prepared me for the type of bonking I’d experience working for postmates, with four hours battling NYC traffic trying to meet strict hourly deadlines. For those of [...]

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Commuting on the Montague Crosstown w/BionX Motor

March 11, 2014

New York City weather can be unpredictable: one day it’s 10 degrees and trying to freeze your eyelids shut, and the next day it’s be 40 degrees, sunny, and the sidewalks are overflowing with folks from around the world enjoying the best weather of 2014 so far. With Alt-J playing in my headphones and a [...]

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BionX Online Resources!

February 13, 2014

BionX conversion kits are fabulous machines. Strap a motor to your rear wheel, a battery to your frame, and you’ve got yourself a custom made electric bike – it’s like combining the best of Robocop, Frankenstein, and Terminator, with all of the fun and none of the monsters or explosions. Exceptional support with BionX Another [...]

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Tern Link D8 with BionX Motor Kit: An Extra Boost When You Need It

January 11, 2014

I always look forward to going to NYCeWheels to try out and review their products. I was excited to try something a little bit new and different. Peter suggested I try one of the lighter electric bikes in the shop, the Tern Link D8 with the BionX Motor Kit. This particular bike is equipped with [...]

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Thank You BionX

November 20, 2013

Dear Bionx, One of the best things about running our business on a daily basis is that we get to sell products that we not only know are fun and extremely cool, but are also often life-changing. At least, this is the case with the BionX electric conversion kits that we install every day. Seriously, [...]

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Creative BionX Conversions

October 16, 2013

One spectacular thing about electric conversion kits is how they transcend just being a convenience or a toy, a tool or vehicle. With the ability to easily install a quality electric system on practically any bicycle, you become more than a mechanic or even an engineer–you become an artist! And some people have done truly [...]

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