The Mycle Compact comes as standard with:
- Robust Kenda tyres fitted to 20″ wheels
- Rear rack
- Shimano entry level 7 speed gears
- Disc brakes
- A choice of two batteries – one a longer range that the other – the battery is the seat tube and is lockable
- Bafang brushless 250 watt electric motor (rear hub) – 5 assistance options
- The warranty choice is 12 or 24 months – the 24 month option pushes the price up to £799
Firstly, why an electric folding bike and not a standard Brompton style bike? For commuting, it’s important, often, to be able to dress for the final destination and not to arrive huffing and puffing, looking for a nearby shop selling shirts, the replace the one that you are wearing that is now sodden.
With a folding ebike, it is all rather sedate, if you want it to be. You set the power level to suit the effort that you want to put in and then you set off. With five assistance options, you can whizz to your destination in 30 degrees C heat and arrive feeling as fresh as a daisy!
Mycle reckon that the longer range battery has a maximum range of 20km. I achieved 32 km twice and that was using the highest settings 4 and 5. I was wearing a backpack and I weight 83kg. As you will know, this is more than enough range for commuting around a city.
You might wonder what the build quality is like. The manufacturing is very good indeed. The welds are spot on and the manner of folding and unfolding the bike is easy and feels secure. Our test model was built quickly for us and did need the tool kit opening up and some adjustments made. As you can see from the photo, the frame even has bottle cage bolts, as standard. Overall, this is a well made machine, that comes with mudguards, a front light and a rack. On many other folding bikes, these are optional extras.
The bike is quirky to use, from an eBike perspective and the Mycycle bike handbook, is well written and explains, easily, how to use the bike. For example, most folding bikes, once folded, can be pushed (using the saddle as a handle) to say a waiting train. The rear wheel on the Mycle that we tested did not rotate well when the motor was turned off. Using the bottom button on the controller (shown above), if held down, the bike goes into assist mode and the bike becomes much easier to push.
Folding the bike is very fast – Mycle estimate 10 seconds and that seems about right.
Even though the bike comes fitted with magnet clips (to hold the bike together when folded), we recommend using a small bungy to keep the bike together (once folded). This is largely due to the bike’s weight. This is no Austin Cycles Atto/Hummingbird – this is a £749 folding ebike and if you want lightweight with cycling, you need a heavyweight wallet!
For carrying the Mycle Compact up and down railway station steps, I found that keeping it unfolded balanced the weight out more evenly and made it straightforward to carry.
The ‘Compact’ fits easily into a standard saloon car boot and in this case, the ‘trunk’ of a Tesla Model 3. Having any folding bike in the boot, IMHO is a great idea. Stuck in traffic, can’t get into town? Shop on the internet! Well, not in this case – park up and ride in.
Considering the competition; here in the UK, it’s probably Bromtpton and a Brompton electric is twice the price of a Mycle. Having ridden Brompton’s, folding them can be a real pain in the ass. The Mycle is so easy to fold and unfold.
To finish off; what is there not to like about the Mcycle / what could be improved?
- An improvement for future models would be a belt drive instead of a chain. I was very careful in testing not get get a chain tattoo on me or my clothes. However, not having to worry would be superb
- Weight – there is no getting away from it, this is a heavy bike – when you are riding along, it is not noticed. It is only when carrying the bike. Saying that, context is everything and if you are storing the bike at ground level and you are going to do utilitarian trips, you won’t notice that much.
- This is more about me than the bike. Don’t fight against and eBike and especially one of this Banfang motor design. I measured my heart rate when trying to get over the maximum speed and on a commute. It was similar to pushing it on a non-electric power assisted bike. I could have taken it easy and still achieved the same speed and with a lower heart and sweat-rate! I do have a Merida eMTB with a Shimano motor and it’s a very different experience and it was six times the price of this bike!
- A little more time spent on the final build would be great and this may just have been rushing a test bike out to us? It was nothing that a few Allen keys could not sort.
- As a belt and braces approach, we would offer puncture resistant sealant for the inner tubes, to prevent a flat during a morning commute / or a leisurely ride along the sea-front.
On the road, the Mycle Compact felt stable and solid. Even down the local test hill, with it’s gravel final. Having disc brakes is always good to know when the leavers are being pulled.
Further information about the bike can be found here on Mycle’s website:
That’s it. Never would I have thought that I’d be writing about a sub-£1,000 folding eBike, with disc brakes, mudguards and a rack – and that has the livery of a classic Morgan motorcar.