Electric and eccentric, the Micro is imported from Nanjing, China, by Batribike, who say this is the lightest electric bike in the world and probably the smallest. It has the ultra-convenience of being a fold-up with the indulgence of being power-assist. The 14.4V Lithium battery is concealed inside the alloy frame to keep weight down and appearance up.
Bright orange and cute as a button, it looks a bit looks like a toy until you see someone sitting on it pedalling. “A lot of people pass the bike on its stand and think it’s a gimmick,” says Batribike director Sue Coulson “they don’t realise it’s an electric bike with a serious use.”
The two speed, 120 Watt High Torque magnetic motor can see you travelling up to 12 mph. The suspension bush and comfort saddle make for a surprisingly smooth ride. At 9.5 kg including battery and front wheel-mounted motor, it has been attracting interest from the fly-and-lunch-brigade.
“A lot of light aircraft owners like to pop across the Channel for lunch. But typically airfields are out of town and people have to park at the furthest reaches of the airport, so a bike like this is very useful,” says Sue.
Most electric bikes have a switch, twist-grip throttle or pedal-actuated mechanism for turning the power on. To engage the actuator here you press the silicon tag with its magnetic chip against the handlebars with your thumb. So, good for those who like to control when their power assist kicks in. The incorporated LED lamp at the front of the bike also turns on by swiping the lamp with the tag.
The bike folds into a black canvas bag with a PU-coated, breathable lining meaning you can put it in the bag wet. It is a realistic option for having your cake and eating it – for commuters wanting an electric bike they can carry onto the tube, put in a locker or under a desk – or a couple of them going in a hatchback with a picnic hamper.
It should do well in caravanning and yachting circles or anywhere where space and weight are a premium and you might want to do a bit of sightseeing. Pint-sized and eco-friendly, at £599 it is more than competitive with non battery fold-ups.