Folding ebike powers pedal-assist or throttle-only urban adventures
Pedal-assisted bikes are a great way to get around the city and beyond, with foldable models offering extra between-ride storage convenience. Budget-friendly e-mobility startup KBO Bike has launched a 60-mile e-folder with a half-twist throttle that comes in at under a thousand bucks.
KBO operates its direct-to-consumer business model out of Carson City, Nevada, though its ebikes are manufactured in Asia. The Flip joins commuters, all-terrain rollers, a stealthy urban adventurer and a cargo hauler as the newest member of the company's low-cost ebike offerings.
It's built around a 6061 aluminum folding frame rocking quick-release levers, and collapses down to 36.6 x 14.6 x 27.6 in (92.9 x 37 x 70 cm) in three steps for between-ride transport or indoor storage. The frame even sports a built-in carry handle for an easy heft up the steps to the office or onto the train carriage.
The ebike weighs in at 57 lb (26 kg) and offers a total payload capacity of 275 lb (125 kg), and thanks to an integrated rear rack, riders can haul essentials on out-of-town adventures, carry books to school within the optional bag or strap on a backpack full of shopping.
The Flip features a 500-W geared rear-hub motor and offers three pedal-assist modes via cadence/speed sensing or half-twist throttle up to a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). KBO has also included a Shimano 7-speed gearset for ride flexibility.
A lockable and removable 15.6-Ah Li-ion battery sits behind the seatpost and is reported good for more than 60 miles (96.5 km) of per-charge assisted riding or 35 miles on throttle only. A suspension fork and wide comfort saddle should help smooth out any bumps along the way, assisted by the 3-inch Chaoyang all-terrain tires wrapped around the ebike's 20-inch wheels. Stopping power is provided by disc brakes with 160-mm rotors.
A CPSC-certified LED headlight and brake tail-light with turn signaling allow for daylight visibility in traffic or after-dark riding, there's a backlit LCD display for at-a-glance speed, status and distance checks, and a side kickstand should make for easy parking.
The KBO Flip went up for pre-order late last year and is now available to buy for US$969 with complimentary fenders and multi-tool, or $1,176 with added rack bag, frame bag and U-lock. The video below has more.
Product page: KBO Flip
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