UK-based Mycle’s range of electric bikes used to consist of a pair of functional-looking bikes – a simple folder and a 700c-wheeled hybrid. Both were good value but unexciting. Its new Classic has certainly shaken things up.
The Classic’s step-through frame stands out against contrasting black components.
The walnut-coloured ‘vegan’ leather grips and saddle, and chunky 1.75in butterscotch-coloured tyres mean the Classic doesn’t look like a hastily thrown-together collection of parts.
Its 250W 36v rear-hub motor is powered by an integrated lithium-ion battery housed in the bike’s oversized seatpost.
An LCD display enables you to switch between power modes and displays speed, distance, time and battery level.
How we tested
We tested four ebikes to see if the budget end of the category is now accomplished enough to encourage the commuter to forget about public transport or paying for petrol.
Are the ebikes at this price light enough to make them easy to handle, do their motors provide effective assistance in an urban environment and do their batteries provide a useful range?
In the main, the models on test instilled a sense of how far ebike technology has advanced in a short space of time. Rather than there being any discrepancies in the quality of design, the best model now comes down to how well it suits individual needs, which is by no means a bad place for the category to be in.
Other bikes on test
The Classic is a ‘one-size-fits-all’ design for riders from around 5ft tall. I’m over 6ft 2in and on the limit of its sizing; my 5ft-tall partner felt more than at home on its compact dimensions.
The ride position is urban-riding gold. Your back’s straight, the steering is stable and the high-rise, swept-back bar is great for visibility in busy urban surroundings.
The large-volume tyres deliver a smooth ride that makes short work of towpaths and rutted tracks, though experienced cyclists might struggle with the massively padded saddle.
It wouldn’t be my first choice but, for my non-cycling neighbour, the Cionlli saddle was a particular highlight.
Power delivery from the rear-hub motor is decent. I wasn’t expecting the punch of a Bosch or Shimano mid-mount system, but the Classic delivers enough grunt to get up steeper slopes without you having to break sweat.
And that’s all I want from the best electric hybrids bikes on the commute, where comfort and ease of use are more important than performance.
The Mycle’s five power modes seem like overkill. level 1 was fine on the flat and level 3 sufficient for most inclines, though I used level 5 at junctions to pull away from traffic.
Mycle claims a 50km range, and during testing I managed rides of 42.4km/26.3miles with 414m/1359ft of climbing and 48km/29.8miles with 302m/990ft.
The power delivery is subtle and feeds in without jerks or surprises. The power smoothly complements the seven-speed drivetrain, with its 48t chainring and 14-28t cassette offering a range of easy-going gears.
Shifting from the Shimano Tourney mech and Microshift trigger shifter felt quick and positive with no rattles or chain noise. It works very well, belying its ‘budget’ status.
The square-tapered bottom bracket may seem dated, but for a bike of this type it’s all you need. The Prowheel cranks are well finished and there’s a double-sided chainguard.
And while there is a wider Q-factor (the distance between the pedal centres) than on a performance bike, you appreciate the extra distance when you’re wearing trousers.
The Mycle’s cable-operated disc brakes did feel squishy at first, but after a bit of fettling they gave all the power I required, even on steep descents. The long plastic brake levers have a good shape but do bend when you’re really wrenching on them.
A secondary cable cuts the power to the motor when you brake, so there’s no chance of you lurching forward.
The 597g charger is compact and you can stow it in the basket, which should eliminate range anxiety.
You can charge the battery in situ or remove the battery-cum-seatpost to charge at your desk. The post is secured by a huge, lockable quick release, so the Classic is easy to adapt to different riders.
Its impressive array of extras include integrated lights, mudguards and a Dutch-style nurse’s lock, which immobilises the rear wheel and is very handy for cafe stops.
Overall, the Classic is a great little bike and superb value. I like the way it rides and how it looks. The brakes could be better and the one-size-fits-all approach is a compromise.
But if you’re looking for a bike that’ll get you to work in comfort and are on a tight budget, Mycle’s Classic is well worth a look.
For a Little less money
- Mycle Compact
A budget-priced folding ebike with the same approach to value-packed accessories as the Classic. It has a smaller 30km range, but Mycle does offer a second, range-extending battery for an extra £149.
For a Little more
- Mycle Climber
This is Mycle’s take on an all-terrain tourer, with a larger 12.8Ah battery based around the same seatpost-integrated technology. It comes with 26in wheels, a seven-speed drivetrain and a suspension fork.
|Weight||24.87kg (One-size only)|
|Features||Extras: 25kg capacity rear rack, front basket, Abus frame lock, Feimin non-slip pedals, integrated QD197 front light, mudguards
Colours: City White, Mustard Yellow, Hackney Blue
|Headset||1 1/8” threaded|
|Tyres||Kenda 24x1.75in cream|
|Shifter||Microshift 7-speed shifter|
|Seatpost||Combined seatpost and battery|
|Saddle||Cionlli NC09 vegan friendly|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Tourney TY300 rear|
|Motor||250W rear hub motor with LG 18650 li-ion 9.6Ah/345Wh battery, Kunteng KT LVD7 display with USB-out port, five power-assist levels|
|Available sizes||One-size only|
|Cassette||Shimano TZ500-7 14-28|
|Brakes||G3 mechanical disc with e-cut-out cabling, 160mm rotors|
|Bottom bracket||Unidentified square taper|
|Wheels||24in Cutter ring disc brake|