Bicycles

Stark Drive creates folding e-bike you can take on flights

Stark Drive creates folding e-...
A version of the Stark Drive Mini called the Air can be taken on flights
A version of the Stark Drive Mini called the Air can be taken on flights
View 12 Images
The Stark Drive Mini folds our to 128 x 102 cm (50 x 40 in) when it's time to hit the road
1/12
The Stark Drive Mini folds our to 128 x 102 cm (50 x 40 in) when it's time to hit the road
Four Stark Drive Mini models are being offered through Kickstarter
2/12
Four Stark Drive Mini models are being offered through Kickstarter
The company's first e-bike, the Stark Drive, was successfully crowdfunded in April 2017
3/12
The company's first e-bike, the Stark Drive, was successfully crowdfunded in April 2017
The Stark Dive Mini comes with an LCD display which shows speed, charge remaining, distance traveled and assist mode
4/12
The Stark Dive Mini comes with an LCD display which shows speed, charge remaining, distance traveled and assist mode
The Stark Drive Mini has a throttle only speed of up to 25 km/h
5/12
The Stark Drive Mini has a throttle only speed of up to 25 km/h
Stark Drive Mini prototypes have been developed, now the Swedish company has launched on Kickstarter to fund production
6/12
Stark Drive Mini prototypes have been developed, now the Swedish company has launched on Kickstarter to fund production
The Startk Drive Mini can come with belt or chain drive
7/12
The Startk Drive Mini can come with belt or chain drive
The Stark Drive Mini folds down to 60 x 60 cm
8/12
The Stark Drive Mini folds down to 60 x 60 cm
The Stark Drive Mini comes in various colors and can be optioned with a more powerful hub motor and GPS tracking
9/12
The Stark Drive Mini comes in various colors and can be optioned with a more powerful hub motor and GPS tracking
The Stark Drive Mini has a throttle only range of 9 miles, or 25 miles in pedal assist mode
10/12
The Stark Drive Mini has a throttle only range of 9 miles, or 25 miles in pedal assist mode
A version of the Stark Drive Mini called the Air can be taken on flights
11/12
A version of the Stark Drive Mini called the Air can be taken on flights
The Stark Drive Mini should prove a highly portable last mile solution for the commute to work
12/12
The Stark Drive Mini should prove a highly portable last mile solution for the commute to work
View gallery - 12 images

Sweden's Stark Drive has launched a Kickstarter for a folding e-bike called the Mini, which can throttle up to 15 mph for 9 miles or can go for 25 miles per charge in pedal assist mode. Interestingly, the company says that one of the flavors on offer can save you on taxi or shuttle fees when you travel by air.

Stark Drive says its Mini folding e-bike doesn't need a lot of power, and has developed a "flight ready" battery pack to allow jet-setters to take their two-wheeler with them on their travels. The Mini Air comes with two FTA-compliant batteries that you can take with carry on, though it's a good idea to check airline rules before backing this option. Of course, if you don't need an electric bike when you land, you could just remove the battery and leave it at home. The Mini will work like a traditional bicycle with the battery removed.

If you don't need to fly, a standard Mini should prove a highly portable last mile solution for the commute to work. The folding frame collapses down to 60 x 60 cm (23.6 x 23.6 in) during transit, and opens out to 128 x 102 cm (50 x 40 in) when it's time to hit the road. The 13 kg (28.6 lb) Mini rides on 14-inch wheels and can be had with a low maintenance belt drive or traditional chain setup. It's reported capable of accommodating riders up to 194 cm (6.36 ft) tall and weighing 120 kg (264 lb).

The Stark Drive Mini has a throttle only speed of up to 25 km/h
The Stark Drive Mini has a throttle only speed of up to 25 km/h

There are four models being offered. The base City package comes with 250 W rear wheel hub motor, USB charging, integrated headlight, a 90 dB horn and an LCD display which shows speed, charge remaining, distance traveled and assist mode. That motor will power the e-bike up to 25 km/h (15 mph) for a throttle only range of 14 km (9 miles) or up to 40 km (25 miles) with pedal assist. Juicing up the locking removable battery unit from empty takes about 3 - 4 hours.

A motor bump to 350 W is available as an option, as is an integrated rear bike light, and GPS tracking can be added for extra peace of mind.

Stark Drive is funding production of the Mini on Kickstarter. Pledges start at just US$299 for the City model, while the "flight ready" Air version comes in at $599. If all goes to plan, shipping is expected to start in December, 2018.

If that sounds a little too good to be true, Stark Drive hears you. Similar disbelief surrounded the company's first e-bike, also crowdfunded in April 2017, but deliveries to backers began later that year and concluded in July 2018. Swedish backers who want to test drive a Stark Drive e-bike can arrange a time at the company's Wargentingsgatan 5 showroom in Stockholm.

Update December 17, 2018: Stark Drive's Kickstarter was cancelled and the company has now launched on Indiegogo, pledge levels remain the same but shipping is now estimated to start in January 2019. The campaign video below has been updated.

Sources: Stark Drive

Stark Drive Mini

View gallery - 12 images
6 comments
Mr T
The chain needs a guard to prevent chain grease from getting on other people's luggage etc.
Stark drive
Or you can upgrade to the greaseless CARBON Belt drive system.
Graeme S
I don't think it has a chain, it looks like a tooth belt??
Mr T
Ha, it does indeed have a belt drive, I didn't look at the pics close-up. Good that they thought of that. Damn, those prices are crazy low, I thought that they couldn't give much battery quality for that price, yet they are stating Japanese cells, would like to know how they are going to build these for such a low cost.
Mr T
Ok, a bit more on this, check out the comments on the kickstarter campaign, seems this is just a rebadged Chinese bike by the look of it, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1510179091/stark-drive-mini-the-most-affordable-ebike-ever-at/comments
Stark drive
Hi there! Thanks for your comments but no its not a rebadged chinese bike.
What we have done in order to keep the price so low is to take an 'open frame' (this is quite common if you look at all of the really successful crowdfunding projects that have launched over the last few years) and we have built onto this frame what we believe are useful features and components.
We actually discuss the same on our kickstarter. Our goal is to make ebike technology affordable for everyone, not mark up the price at every stage until affordability is no longer viable.
If we were to build an entirely new frame the tooling and frame production costs would eliminate any chance of being so ultra affordable. The frame is an excellent starting point and as we did with the original stark drive (www.starkdrive.bike) it has allowed us to offer an electric bike for prices which are similar to what domestic chinese consumers would pay, which is fundamentally our company's goal.