Electric bikes are fast becoming an essential boating accessory, offering effortless exploration once ashore and taking up minimal storage on board. Jack Haines puts the MiRider One through its paces...
Folding electric bikes have become popular accessories among the motorboating fraternity; they’re compact enough to fit inside a lazarette or deck locker and allow low-stress transport and provision-hunting after landfall.
The MiRider One is built in the UK – Lancashire, to be precise – and even in its most restrained grey frame colour is a funky looking thing. It has a magnesium alloy frame with a built-in 36V battery that can be removed and charged away from the bike in a couple of hours.
The geared brushless motor is incorporated into the rear wheel hub and provides pedal assistance up to a top speed of 15.5mph with twin disc brakes in place to help bring it to a halt. Total weight is 19kg, which isn’t bad for an electric bike but you
won’t want to be hauling it in and out of the lazarette too regularly.
To ride, the MiRider One is a joy. It has tyres that are fatter than usual and some shock absorption on the rear wheel so it handles scarred surfaces better than most and the way the pedal assistance comes in is smooth and well-controlled. There are five assistance settings; level three is the best for cruising and barely feels like you’re getting any help at all, and level five feels genuinely nippy.
The range is 30-35 miles but I easily boosted that by turning the assistance off on long flats to conserve battery life for when I needed it. With no mechanical gears, it’s worth keeping some juice in reserve in case you’re faced with a nasty hill on the return journey.
Downsides? The LCD screen is a bit clunky and doesn’t give a useful readout on the range or battery time left and the padding on the handlebars is very thin so your hands begin to ache after a while. And though it comes with handy accessories like a handlebar bag and carry case, they both feel rather cheap.
Overall, however, the MiRider One is a nicely built bike that is fun to ride and well suited to the sort of short trips that boaters will tend to do from the marina. For the price, which falls somewhere in the midrange of what you can pay for an electric folding bike, it’s hard to fault.