I live in Hong Kong now, so there’s pretty much minibuses, buses, and trains going anywhere and everywhere you need to go, regardless of the distance. Which means everything that is not within a 10 minute radius around you would have some mode of transportation to get you there; easy, simple, no fuss at all. But this is not the case in Canada. I used to have to walk 30+ minutes just to get to the local library whenever no one was free to drive me there (a car only needs 5 minutes to get to the library), so there really is a need for short-distance transportation solutions for those of us that don’t like walking all that much. China-based Smacircle has made it their mission to create convenient, short-distance transportation solutions for this kind of situation, and they have created the Smacircle S1: the world’s most compact and portable folding eBike.
The Smacircle S1 only weighs 15.4lbs, because its frame is created using carbon fiber instead of aluminium alloy, making lighter yet more durable. Its wheels may be small, coming at 8 inches, but they are solid and shock absorbing, ensuring safety and comfort during the ride. This eBike is also a little different from other ones, because it does not have pedals, so instead of having the rider doing part of the work, this one works a little more like a scooter. There are two fold-out platforms for you to place your feet while the bike’s motor drives itself forward. But due to its compact size, it can only accommodate riders that are between 4 foot 9 inches and 6 foot 5 inches; the seats and handlebars are adjustable to make the whole experience better.
For a bike this tiny, it can carry a lot of weight, going up to 220lbs and being able to climb inclines of up to 15 degrees. However, because this product is made for short distances, it only offers a range of 12 miles, enough for you to get around town to the local library, post office, or even for a mini grocery run. The Smacircle S1‘s 240W brushless motor drives the front wheel and can get up to 12mph, so you don’t need to have a licence to use this. To adjust the speed, there is a thumb throttle on the handlebar. The battery itself is a 36V, 5800mAh Samsung battery that is placed within the seat, and doubles as a lock to prevent bike theft. It fully charges in 2.5 hours and is compatible with standard wall sockets for your convenience.
When you need to slow down or stop, simply press the button on the left grip and the bike is able to stop itself completely within 13 feet from coming at full speed. It also comes with a built-in front light and side lights for foggy and night rides. Instead of a built-in control panel, the bike your Bluetooth connected phone along with an accompanying app to display battery life, trip duration, current and average speeds, and more. If you are worried about this draining your phone’s battery, worry not, you can charge it via USB through the bike. The best thing about this is that it is compatible with both iOS and Android phones, so pretty much anyone can use this.
This eBike is completely folded in a few simple steps, and is then compact and small enough to be placed inside a backpack. And since it is very light, you can easily bring it around without feeling it too heavy of a burden. To lock the bike, you simply need to do so through the app, and no one besides you can use it without unlocking it through your phone. Although I do suggest adding a physical chain lock of sorts, because people might just grab the whole thing and run.
The Smacircle S1 is currently available for pre-orders at Indiegogo, with an early bird price of USD699 for one bike and an exclusive backpack capable of holding the bike.
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