When you’re looking for a folding electric ebike, you want to choose one from a company that has a good history of delivering high-quality ebikes with excellent systems. The company Dahon is one of these companies, and they have been at the forefront of creating innovative folding ebike designs that would be fit a multitude of different lifestyles for different people. In the past few years they’ve delved into the electric bicycle business as well, and for their Formula S18 they’ve decided to use another well company, BionX, for the motor. From the name, you might gather that the Formula S18 offers 18 speeds, which is an improvement on the previous model that was only single-speed. Although 18 speeds is quite normal for a full-size bicycle, it is very impressive for a folding ebike, as many only offer upwards of 7 or 8 speeds. The Formula S18 also has four levels of pedal assist, and a trigger throttle as well. Pedal assist and throttle mode can help you immensely to scale hills, cycle against the wind, or just to give you a rest if your legs are tired. The ebike also has a top speed of around 20 miles per hour, which is a solid offering.
As stated before, the motor comes from BionX, and has 350 Watts, which is quite standard for American models, but amazingly it has a peak output of about 700 Watts! It is also gearless, which means that there’s no need to replace parts within the motor, or worry if they will rust or require repairing. A gearless motor also entails that the motor is very quiet, which can give you a bit more peace during your commute or on a weekend ride through a neighborhood park. The motor also offers regenerative riding, which means that you can capture some of the lost energy when you cycle down a hill. This motor from BionX also is significantly lighter than the previous model, which makes an impact on the Formula S18, as it is less than 40 pounds. The casing around the motor is metal and meant to be protective, so you don’t need to worry so much about the safety of your motor. Even if something were to happen, there’s a two-year warranty on the motor and battery, five years for the frame, and one year for other mechanical parts. That is how strongly Dahon and BionX believe in their products!
In order to have an efficiently run motor, you need to have a reliable battery, and the Formula S18 has a fantastic one. The battery pack has 48 volts and 6.6 amp hours, which is a great offering, and above-average for folding ebikes. In reality, 48 volts would be considered excellent for full-sized ebikes as well! The higher voltage on this ebike also contributes to the ebike being able to operate at longer ranges. The chemistry inside the battery is made up on Lithium ions, where are known for being long-lasting and lightweight. Although the battery is included in the two-year warranty, it is also a good idea to take as much care of it as possible in order to extend the life of the battery. Taking good care of it includes storing the battery in a place that isn’t too hot or cold, and an environment that is dry (non-humid). Also, keeping the battery charged between 20 and 80% is optimal, but thankfully if you don’t use the Formula S18 for a certain period of time, the battery is designed to not discharge, so you don’t have to constantly monitor the level when you’re not using the ebike.
After discussing how fabulous the driving system of the ebike is, you may think that there wasn’t enough money left to spend on the design and the functionality of the control panel. Thankfully, that is not the case, as there’s a beautiful LCD display on the Formula S18. There are up and down keys that let you decide which regen mode you would like to choose (which can help alleviate the pressure on your brakes when you’re going down hills). The keys also work to choose a level of pedal assist if you need a bit of help alongside your pedaling. You can also choose to ride in a neutral mode where you pedal the Formula S18 like a regular bicycle. If you want to activate the trigger throttle to ride in throttle mode, you need to first be cycling at 2 miles per hour, and then it will work (this is in place as a safety measure). Like the battery, the LCD screen is also removable, which is great if you leave your ebike locked in a public place. Overall, the Formula S18 would be a fabulous purchase for anybody who desires a lighter folding ebike that is also powerful, reliable, and will withstand the test of time.