As you surpass looking at regular bikes, and you move on to electric bikes, you will notice that the price range tends to increase. This is also true for the section of electric bikes that are collapsible, as they are more of a novelty. However, if you are feeling intimidated by the foldable electric bikes that are of high expense, there are also bikes that can fit a budget. The company Big Cat has created the Hampton foldable bike that is only $1,195, a bargain for the type of technology you are receiving with an electric bike. To keep the price down, many of the components of the bike are simplified, yet the Hampton doesn’t skimp on worthy accessories. For example, it has fenders which are incredibly helpful while riding on muddy or dirty roads, or when the roads are wet from the rain. They help to prevent water and dirt from getting on your clothing or clothing and skin getting scratched by the chain. Also, the Hampton has a basic suspension fork which is a fabulous feature when you’re riding on bumpier streets or going on a path out of the city. The suspension fork will help to absorb the shock from rougher roads, leaving you more comfortable and stable while you’re cycling. Adding to the comfort are ergonomic grips, which will lessen the pressure you put on your wrists. And amazingly, the Hampton has seven speeds, which is definitely above average for foldable electric bikes. Having multiple speeds allows you to maximize pedaling efficiency, and will therefore get you places faster.
In terms of collapsible electric bicycles, the Hampton is on the heavier end at 56 pounds. This means that if you’re a commuter and you cycle for part of your journey and perhaps take public transit for the final part of your commute, folding and carrying around this heavier ebike may not be feasible for everyone. However, it is possible to remove the battery, which will lessen the weight enough to make the bike more comfortable to carry.
A very important feature to look at is the motor, especially as this is a budget ebike. But looking closer, the Hampton comes with a 350 Watt motor, a great, powerful motor for a bike of its price. The motor is lower in weight and quite small, so it’s not so obtrusive. The motor is geared so it will make a bit more noise than a gearless motor, but it should last for several years. However, the Hampton has a one-year comprehensive warranty, which includes everything including the frame and driving system. As stated before, the motor should be powerful enough for most riders, but some may struggle to reach top speed (20 mph) without pedaling assistance.
In order for the motor to run efficiently and for it to powered, the battery needs to be of good quality. Thankfully, the battery has 36 volts and 8 amp hours. The battery is included in the warranty, so you can use that in case anything happens to the battery, but you could also buy a second battery for less than $250. Inside of the battery are Lithium ions, which are known for being long-lasting and light-weight. And although the battery chemistry is top notch, it is a good idea to help sustain the battery as much as possible. To do this, it’s a good idea to store the battery in a non-humid environment, and to avoid extreme heat and cold. Also, charging the battery between 20% and 80% will sustain the cells inside of the battery instead of disrupting them, thus extending the lifetime of battery as much as possible.
Once you have charged the battery sufficiently, you will need to turn the key on the battery. After the bike has been turned on, you will be in one of the three pedal assist levels. Unfortunately there is no LCD display to give you more detailed information on speed or distance, but there is a LED indicator light that shows you the battery level. There is also another button on the control panel that allows you turn on the lights. The control panel may be very simplistic, but it does keep the price of the Hampton down. However, the system of operating the bike may be a bit frustrating for some users as the key has to be left in the battery in order to cycle. This can create a jangling sound as you’re cycling, and the key is more susceptible to breaking or becoming chipped, especially if you’re riding on rougher ground.
All in all, the Hampton is designed to be a budget bike and thus the bike isn’t going to come with high-quality parts. However, the Hampton does seem to maximize its benefits, which include having a high-quality motor and battery, along with various add-ons and accessories. If you’re looking for a reliable foldable ebike, then investing in the Hampton will be worth it.