James Biggar – The DYU V1 is a ‘smart’ electric bike from F-wheel that has a compact, minimalist design focused on comfort and convenience.
It features long, foldable handlebars and foldable pedals so that you can sit up straight while riding, but also fold the bike into a compact size to easily store it away in a closet, under a bed, or in the trunk of your car – almost anywhere.
The bike is powered by a 36V, 250-watt brushless rear hub motor and a 10 amp-hour lithium battery which is neatly hidden in the backbone of the bike’s ‘V’ frame. Top speed is limited to around 25 km/h, so it qualifies as a street-legal e-bike here in Canada and other parts of North America and Europe without requiring licensing, insurance, etc.
The motor has lots of power to get over most hills around here on its own (max 15% slope), but with occasional pedaling the battery gives me around 20 km’s per charge. It comes with a small 110VAC, 2A charger which takes around 5-6 hrs to fully charge the battery.
The drive system is also set up with cruise control. Just maintain throttle input for roughly 8 seconds and the bike will maintain speed on its own after, then twist the throttle or squeeze a brake lever to shut it off and take control again.
For safety and security, the bike is equipped with a bright LED headlight, reflective markers, and a red rear brake light, so you can see and be seen by others when you ride at night. It also has a horn and an anti-theft alarm system to alert you when someone is messing with your ride.
My impression of the bike so far is good. It’s a fun and surprisingly comfortable little bike to ride. The suspension does a good job soaking up the many potholes in our roads here and helps compensate for the unusually small tires that would otherwise transfer a lot of input from the bumps into the bars and seat. Speaking of which, the tires may be small but they’re good quality. They grip the asphalt well when I find a patch that isn’t crumbling.
The steep head tube and short wheelbase give it a crazy tight turning radius, but the steering can be a little touchy at top speed as a result so you have to be mindful of that. The compact design is really convenient though. I can lug it in the house on one arm, and it’s being stored in a boot closet right now, with room for the boots too.
The only real problem that I can find with it is that it’s just a bit too small for me. I live in a rural community, so a 20 km range isn’t quite enough to even get me to a corner store, and at 25 km/h it will take a while to get there. But for just $690, I think this would be a great bike for urban environments, especially for seniors and young adolescents. The top motor speed is less than what a human can pedal and the throttle response is soft so it isn’t torquey and jarring. It’s comfortable, sensible, and safe. Not to mention legal.