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17 Apr 2020

Hummingbird launches ultra-light folding electric bike

It's a featherweight compared with rivals, but what's it like to ride? We've taken the Hummingbird Electric for a spin to find out

Hummingbird is known for its premium lightweight folding bikes, and now it's released an electric version for those looking for a bit more pedal power.

The brand says it's the lightest folding e-bike around. And it's certainly a fair bit lighter than other models we've tested.

It weighs in at 10.3kg, whereas other folding electric bikes can weigh more than double that. It even makes the Brompton Electric folding bike look a bit hefty, at 16.6kg.

At more than £4,000, it's no small investment, either. But with longer evenings beckoning, and cycling a good way of getting around or exercising during lockdown, is it a good time to finally bite the bullet?

We've taken this e-bike for a trial ride. Read the full Hummingbird Electric folding bike review to get our first impressions.


Folding e-bike buying guide - we explain what to look for and how to choose


Hummingbird Electric bike: features and specs

It's nearly all about the weight with the Hummingbird Electric. It's even lighter than a standard (non-electric) Brompton folding bike - impressive for a bike which has a motor and a lithium-ion battery built in.

Everything about this bike is designed with weight savings in mind. It has a carbon seat post and handlebars, the wheels are made with ultra-light aluminium alloy, and even the brake levers, handlebar grips and pedals are designed to shave off as many grams on the overall weight of the bike as possible.

Gallery

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This makes a difference, as we've found weight is one of the major drawbacks with e-bikes, which can be much weightier than their non-electric counterparts.

Hummingbird Electric vs the Brompton, GoCycle and Carrera folding e-bikes

In the table below, we've compared some of the key specs of the Hummingbird Electric with a few key rivals.

WeightRange on max settingMotor positionFolded dimensions (H x W x D)Price
Hummingbird Electric10.3kg*19 miles*Rear hub117cm x 60cm x 20cm*£4,495
Brompton Electric H2L16.6kg26 milesFront hub66cm x 63cm x 31cm£2,595
GoCycle GX17.8kg17 milesFront hub62cm x 38cm x 90cm£2,899
Carrera Crosscity18.9kg14 milesRear hub60cm x 92cm x 40cm£850

*Based on manufacturer claims, figures for other bikes are from our independent lab tests.

The Hummingbird certainly wins on weight and it has a decent range, too (how far you can cycle with motor assistance before you'll need to recharge).

However, it doesn't fold down as small rivals such as the Brompton and it's significantly more expensive.

See how rivals fared in our full lab tests, which include assessments on the build quality, how nice it is to ride, and how easy it is to fold and carry - head to our folding electric bike reviews.

Other folding e-bikes to consider

Brompton Electric H2L - £2,595

This battery-powered version of the classic Brompton folding bike supports you for a long distance from a single charge - and claims to be light to carry, and easy to fold up and transport.

But how does it compare with other folding electric bikes in our independent lab tests? Read our full Brompton folding e-bike review to find out.

GoCycle GX - £2,899

GoCycle says that its bike is the most cutting-edge folding electric bike in the world. Could its racy lines be the perfect solution to the drudge of a daily commute?

Carrera Crosscity - £850

There's no denying folding e-bikes can be very pricey, so this Halfords offering could be a savvy buy, coming in at less than £1,000.

The Carrera Crosscity is heavier and can't go quite as far as pricier rivals, but it still folds down pretty small and gives you a boost for a good 14 miles before needing a recharge.

But is it a good budget buy? Find out in our full Carrera Crosscity review.

Three things to consider when buying a folding electric bike

1. Weight

This can range from 10.3kg to 22.5kg - making some models heavier than a standard bike.

The heavier the bike, the harder it is to lift and carry, and the more effort it will take to get it up to speed, particularly if the battery has run flat.

We check how easy it is to pick up and carry each bike, and how balanced it feels in the hand. Our tests reveal that some folding bikes are so heavy they almost completely impractical to carry around, so check our reviews before you take the plunge.

2. Range

We test exactly how long each bike's motor will support you for on flat terrain as well as on hills. Some can manage as far as 45 miles on max before the battery needs a recharge.

Before you buy, it's worth thinking about how far you intend to travel and how hilly your journey typically is (hilly terrain will use up battery power more quickly).

Manufacturer range claims are hard to compare as each uses different criteria. But our tests are conducted in lab conditions and we control factors such as weight, rolling resistance and air resistance, so you can accurately compare the figures for different bikes against each other.

3. Portability and storage

You'll be folding and unfolding the bike a lot, especially if you're planning on commuting with it.

We time how long each bike takes to fold and unfold. We also tell you how compact the bike is when it's in a folded state, if it's easy to carry and how balanced it is.

Some folding bikes are difficult to fold and unfold, and take up a lot of space, even when folded. They may also have poor-quality hinges that are difficult to tighten or untighten, and can be prone to wear and tear or even rust.

Find out more about how we test folding e-bikes.