Flit-16 folding e-bike taps automotive design for stylish last mile commute
Many workers these days are leaving the car at home and commuting by bike. Little wonder then that the automotive and bicycle worlds often merge for two wheel designs. Back in February, General Motors launched its first folding e-bikes, and now former Jaguar Land Rover engineer Dave Henderson has unveiled the Flit-16.
The Flit-16 folding e-bike, which is raising funds on Kickstarter, has been 3 years in development and already undergone testing by hundreds of riders and industry experts.
"Our vision was to make an electric folding bike that feels great to ride, whilst keeping the convenience of a compact commuter bike," said Henderson. "Using my background as an automotive engineer, I focused on the e-bike's geometry to give a comfortable and responsive ride, perfect for city journeys."
There's a 250-Wh Li-ion battery pack built into the frame that should be good for around 30 miles (50 km) per charge. And the 220 W Bafang rear hub motor assists the leg-pumping efforts of the rider up to 15.5 mph (25 km/h). Five levels of assist are offered.
The rear light does double duty as a brake light and has been integrated into the e-bike's heat-treated 6000 series aluminum alloy frame (which has been reinforced with stainless steel at the hinges). That and the front fixed light can both controlled using the handlebar display, which also shows battery level, pedal-assist mode and ride data. It has a USB charging port for topping up mobile devices too, and is Bluetooth compatible.
The Flit-16's folding mechanism goes from ride-ready to folded down for transport in 10 seconds – around the same time as the latest Gocycle. In folded mode it measures 728 mm long and 632 mm high (28.6 x 24.8 in), and users can roll it along on its wheels. The e-bike tips the scales at 14 kg (30 lb), so lifting from platform to train or bus shouldn't be too much of a strain.
Elsewhere are Tektro alloy V-brakes front and back, 16-inch Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires, a Velo Sport saddle and Wellgo folding alloy pedals. The e-bike features a custom patent-pending suspension system that's constructed using rubber discs sandwiched between aluminum discs for smoothing out the bumps along the way.
The Flit-16 project is currently raising production funds on Kickstarter, where pledges start at £1,375 (about US$1,670). If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in March next year. The video below has more.