The JIVR folding e-bike could spell the future for cycle commuters

Lightweight, folding electric bike from London

Born out of a highly successful Kickstarter pledge, where 204 backers pledged more than £125,000 between them, London-based JIVR is now entering production with its chainless, folding electric bike.

Designed for hassle-free commuting, a 250w motor at the JIVR’s front wheel gives assistance for up to 20 miles while a chainless, sealed drivetrain at the rear makes the JIVR a true hybrid.

JIVR folding e-bike: jivr folding e-bike
JIVR folding e-bike: jivr folding e-bike

JIVR's clever, asymmetric design can fold in four simple moves

Keeping those transmission components within the JIVR’s frame also makes for a machine without the trouser tearing, gunky drivetrain of most folding bikes. Depending on the regulations where you live, the JIVR can be throttled up to 16mph or 20mph (25km/h or 32km/h) through a flick of the right wrist. Once you’re out of juice, a regular power outlet can fully charge the JIVR in just 90mins.

Unlike many e-bikes, an unassisted JIVR isn’t too frightening a prospect, that’s thanks to a complete claimed weight of sub 15kg (33lbs) – and that’s including the internal battery. Compare that with a Brompton, which can total 13kg without assistance, and we’d suggest it’s a very reasonable figure.

Another plus point for the JIVR is its hydraulic disc brakes, which in terms of performance and consistency should be a world away from caliper options commonly found on folding bikes. A potential disadvantage is the JIVR's singlespeed transmission, which will have to be well configured or could prove frustrating for those who want to pedal.

But how does it fold? Well, thanks to some very clever design work, the JIVR can pack down to a fraction of its size in four simple steps. It doesn’t end up quite as small as some of its competition, but the positioning of its 20in wheels means that the JIVR can tag along behind you like a wheeled holdall.

JIVR folding e-bike:
JIVR folding e-bike:

Once folded, the JIVR can be dragged along like a wheeled holdall

A dock at the handlebar means the JIVR will safely hold most modern smartphones, while open-ended iBeacon technology leaves plenty of room for potential with developer types too.

Retailing at £2,000 (US$3,000), early adopters will have to stomach quite a price tag but JIVR has committed some pretty epic customer service to those customers. Should your JIVR fail on you then as long as it is still under warranty, the company will either fix or replace it within 48 hours.

We think the JIVR holds a lot of promise, and are looking forward to trying one out in the near future. For more information on the JIVR and its availability, head on over the the JIVR website.

JIVR folding e-bike:
JIVR folding e-bike:

Oli Woodman

Section Editor, UK
With more than 10 years of experience riding mountain bikes, Oli knows the good from the bad when it comes to gear. He's a total bike nerd and loves few things more than fettling with spangly riding bits. Also, he seems to have a talent for crashing hard but emerging unscathed.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Loamy singletrack
  • Current Bikes: Marin Pine Mountain, Pinnacle Dolomite
  • Dream Bike: Honda RN01
  • Beer of Choice: Corona
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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