Is this 12kg folding electric bike the lightest on the market?

Swiss start-up combines decades of engineering expertise with a magnesium frame to launch the ONE

United City Bicycles ONE

Swiss start-up United City Bikes has just unveiled what it claims to be the world’s lightest folding e-bike, the ONE.

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According to the brand, it’s enlisted engineers with decades of experience in motorcycle engineering, electronic engineering, energy-saving systems, and bicycle designs.

Claimed to weigh a feathery (for an electric bike) 12.5kg/27.6lbs, UCB says the battery offers a range of up to 60km/37.28 miles on a single charge.

Considering other ultralight folders such as the Helix Titanium and Tern Verge X10 tip the scales at a little over 9kg without motor, it makes this figure all the more impressive.

Using a 250-watt brushless motor that is said to weigh just 2kg, the ONE features the option for a 5.4Ah, 7Ah or 8Ah removable battery, which is hidden inside the seatpost. It has a claimed charge time of 3.5 hours.

UCB plans to release two versions of the ONE; an EU spec limited to 25kph/16mph of assistance, and a US version, which will do 32kph/22mph. The bike also comes with disc brakes.

United City Bicycles
The frame is made from magnesium, though it’s not the first as the brand claims

UCB further attributes the ONE’s light weight to its magnesium frame and claims that its the first bike on the market to be made from the material.

While this makes for great marketing, it’s not quite true, with magnesium being semi-popular in bike frames in the ’90s. The material was largely abandoned because it is a pain for frame builders to work with, and is susceptible to corrosion.

More recently, US-based Allite was pushing ‘Super-Magnesium’ frames claimed to be lighter, cheaper and stronger than carbon fibre and aluminium.

Spinning on 16in wheels and tyres, the ONE folds down to 74 x 25 x 50 cm and features a patented magnetic system, to keep the frame from unfolding as you try to manoeuvre it behind a train seat or into an elevator. There also appears to integrate lights and fenders too

UCB hasn’t specified the exact drivetrain specs, but the cables are internally routed, and the saddle is a design the brand claims to have patented and offers extra comfort in the seated riding position. The ONE also comes with a maximum rider weight of 100kg.

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The ONE is set to go live on Indiegogo today — early birds should be able to score one for $699.