Friday , August 18 2017
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Faulkner - ready to use

Faulkner electric foldable 20-inch city bike

An excellent option for exercise and touring
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4.5 stars
$1089 to $1139.95
  • 90%


Summary:

In my youth, I would ride a bike 75 miles a day to and from work, but as I got older and my knees started barking back at the exertion, and I thought I had to give up biking. However, the Faulkner electric foldable bike was just the thing I was looking for to tour the area, get around a campground and enjoy some exercise.

The bike comes in three modes: fully manual, pedal assist and fully electric. Switching between modes is as simple as pressing a button. When it comes to the pedal assist, there are three levels there as well. Set on lite, you get a great workout and when going up hills, the pedal assist brings welcome help. On high, you can fool your friends that you're indeed exercising because as soon as the pedals start moving, the power kicks in. In the fully electric mode, simply press down the throttle with your thumb and the power takes over traveling at speeds of 19 miles per hour for up to 24 miles between charges. It takes four to five hours to completely recharge it, and I've only needed to do that once since acquiring it in May.

The bike was shipped to me in a box and some assembly was required. Unfortunately, the box itself was damaged and a few pieces appeared to have fallen out. But, finding replacement screws, bolts and washers was not a problem. Total assembly time took about one hour, but people who are mechanically inclined could do it in about 20 minutes using two metric wrenches and two allen wrenches. The manual included with the bike provides step-by-step instructions and plenty of pictures to visualize the required steps.

It's a hefty, weighing in at about 50 pounds. The 13-pound battery accounts for a big part of that. Yet, I can still lift it into the back of the Jeep where it remains until I use it. Folded, it requires 33-by-36-19 inches of space to store, which was about 1.5 inches longer than my RV storage compartment. But, I've been told most newer RVs can accommodate the bike without issue.

To make it fit in tight spaces the wheels are only 20-inches round, which means that taller people will need to extend the seat almost to its limit.

To assemble the bike, swing up the handlebars and lock them in place, then fold together the two halves of the bike and lock into position. Easy peasy. I have noticed that I must frequently tighten the handlebar stem before riding it, so keep an allen wrench handy. The seat also needs frequent adjustment before riding, but holds position the entire time I use it.

It comes with a Shimano 6-speed derailleur, which works like a charm, but I'd like another six gears because speed 6 isn't the ideal touring speed. Still, the bike works great making it up moderate hills even without the pedal assist function.

The bike comes with a headlight and taillight. The taillight works as a reflector when not in the on position. The battery is locked into position, which prevents theft, and also means it can be unlocked and pulled out to charge, or simply charge it in place.

This is an ideal bike for getting around big campgrounds or running errands in nearby towns. I have also enjoyed riding it on several bike trails, which makes it a joy to own.

Faulkner - folded Faulkner - factory

Pros

  • Pedal assist function greatly helps getting up hills or on long stretches of flat road.
  • 36-volt, 250-watt rear-drive, brushless motor
  • Pedal assist comes in three modes — light, medium and high. High means little exertion is needed to use the bike, and it uses less energy than full electric mode.
  • In full electric mode, the bike will travel 19 mph for up to 24 miles
  • Comes with electric light and electric taillight. Taillight serves as a reflector in the off position
  • Relatively easy to assemble with four wrenches
  • 36-volt, 10-ampere hour battery pack, which weighs 13 pounds, can be removed for charging or locked onto bike to deter theft
  • Control panel on bike shows level of remaining charge.
  • Key required to operate the bike in electric mode
  • Gear shifter on handlebar is easy to access and to operate
  • Comes with six-speed Shimano derailleur
  • Folds down to 33-by-36-19 inches, which makes it easy to fit in RV storage compartments or the trunk of a car
  • Seat and handlebar can be adjusted for comfort
  • Fenders keep water from spraying onto rider
  • Aluminum alloy frame and rims can support 250 pounds
  • Cargo rack included that supports up to 10 pounds
  • Comes with a one-year warranty

Cons

  • Your thumb will get uncomfortable holding down the throttle for long periods of time. Safety concerns prevent locking the throttle down.
  • The handlebar stem needs to be tightened before almost every use
  • Weighs nearly 50 pounds, which some folks may find challenging to lift
  • The bike is pricey with average cost around $1,100, but the ability to fold it makes it a better deal than a moped.
  • Taking off on full-throttle electric mode can create a dangerous situation for children. They must pedal to get started, then activate the throttle.

About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is the editor of Let's RV and the editor of RV Daily Report. A Wisconsin native and father of three grown daughters, he is now based out of Arizona and travels the country in his Winnebago Adventurer motorhome interviewing industry professionals and interesting RVers alike. He can be reached at editor@letsrv.com

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