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MiRider One review: A budget-conscious folding e-bike

Duncan Moore
27 Apr 2022
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Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,795
inc VAT

The MiRider One is a simple and easy-to-use folding e-bike that offers great value for money

Pros 
Compact dimensions when folded
Quick charging battery
Rear suspension
Cons 
Potentially short battery range
No gears
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The MiRider One is one of the best-value folding e-bikes on the market and it’s built in the UK by a family-run firm based in Wigan. It isn’t as light or as neat as the Brompton Electric but it rides nicely, folds away neatly and it’s a whole lot cheaper, too. Plus, you don’t have to sacrifice much when it comes to features and style.

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MiRider One review: What do you get for the money?

The most striking thing about the MiRider One is the unusual frame design, and this is in part due to the material used: magnesium alloy. The two sections of the main frame, the rear swingarm and the front fork are all cast pieces, which means unlike most bikes there’s no welding on the frame.

To allow the One to fold, the main frame is made up of two sections joined by a hinge in the middle. The front section also houses the bike’s 36V, 7Ah battery, which uses Samsung cells. This charges very quickly in around two to three hours – among the quickest I’ve experienced with an e-bike – and even better is that you can buy a quick charger that brings that time down to around 90 minutes.

When it’s time for a top-up you can either charge the battery in place via a DC input in the frame or fold the bike up, unlock and slide it out and charge it away from the bike.

There’s also the option to buy an extra battery, which means you can extend the range for longer rides where you can’t get to a power socket.

Unsurprisingly, given the relatively low price of the One, the motor that’s built into the rear wheel is a simple generic brushless 250W unit. As with all e-bikes available in the UK, it’s limited to a top speed of 15.5mph. When riding quiet roads the noise from the motor is clearly audible, but once you’re in traffic it quickly fades into the background.

READ NEXT: Our guide to the best single-speed bikes

A highlight of the MiRider One is the rear suspension. The simple elastomer shock only allows for a small amount of vertical rear wheel travel but this is enough to take the sting out of nasty bumps and potholes with which the bike’s small 16in diameter wheels might otherwise struggle.

The comfort of the ride is aided by the inclusion of large-volume Schwalbe Green Compound Road Cruiser 16 x 1.75in tyres, a generous inclusion on a bike at the lower end of the e-bike price scale. Further surprising standard additions include a front light that runs off the bike’s battery and a pair of simple mudguards.

It’s clear the manufacturer has put thought into the finishing touches with a host of neat touches scattered around the frame. One example of this is the use of protective tape along the top of the frame positioned at the exact point where you’re most liable to drag the sole of your shoe across the frame as you get on and off the bike. A small detail, but a very welcome one. Another detail that is not immediately obvious is the innertubes inside the tyres. These come already filled with puncture protection fluid, which will help prevent the tyres from deflating when you get a puncture.

The bike doesn’t come with any gears and, while that might be seen as a negative on a bike with such small wheels, there are also positives. A derailleur would be easy to damage during day-to-day use, folding and storage, and the lack of gears also means there’s less potential for them to leave greasy marks on your clothing when you’re carrying it around.

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MiRider One review: What’s it like to ride?

The initial impression when first pulling away on the MiRider One is that it’s a heavy bike. Pull away from a standing start, and the 17.3kg weight is noticeable. Of course, it’s also obvious when it comes to carrying the bike around when it’s folded. To put this into context, an electric Brompton is nearly 2kg lighter but, then again, it’s also over twice the price of the MiRider.

It’s also worth noting that the maximum rider weight limit on the MiRider One is 120kg, which is much higher than many comparable and, indeed, much more expensive folding e-bikes.

Fortunately, in addition to the five levels of assistance available from the motor in the rear wheel, the One also has a thumb-operated power boost button on the right side of the handlebars. You can either use this to get a little extra push when you set off or up to 4mph of help when you’re pushing the bike along.

Once you’re rolling, the bike’s weight is less obvious so long as you don’t encounter too many steep hills. Stay on level ground and all you’ll need are levels one or two showing on the handlebar-mounted digital display. However, find a hill and the lack of gears means you’ll need to start pressing the up button on the display to increase the level of assistance. In turn, this excessive use of assistance needed to get up hills significantly reduces the available range.

During my time with the MiRider One, I frequently found myself using levels four or five and having to recharge the battery after less than 20 miles of riding. However, if the assistance level is kept at the minimum it should be possible to see each charge last much nearer to the potential 45-mile range quoted by MiRider.

I was also not impressed with the Clarkes mechanical disc brakes. While it’s always good to see disc brakes on a bicycle, these have doubtless been fitted to help to keep the price as low as possible. While they stop the bike, it takes a hard pull on the levers to do so. I would prefer to see more powerful hydraulic disc brakes, but that would push the overall price of the bike up.

However, staying with the brakes for a moment longer, a nice touch is the electronics included inside the levers that cut power to the motor when the brakes are applied, which means the brakes have slightly less work to do.

Because the MiRider One is primarily a folding bike, both the seatpost and handlebar stem are easily adjusted – drop them down to their lowest level when you want to fold the bike and then extend them again when you want to ride. This means the bike is suitable for a whole range of rider heights, but it also means that – because the MiRider has been designed as a “one-size fits all” option – the distance between the seat and the handlebars has been kept relatively short, making for a very upright riding position.

The telescoping rider contact points also allows for a very compact package when the bike is folded. When the frame is hinged, the bike uses magnets on the side of each wheel to help keep the bike in its folded state, which means one less thing to worry about when carrying the MiRider around.

Another nice touch that further helps to reduce the overall size of the One when it’s folded is that both pedals are foldable, too. Not only that, but they’re made of metal and so are much more able to withstand everyday knocks and bangs than the plastic folding pedals more commonly found on folding bikes, even ones costing up to three times as much as the MiRider.

MiRider One review: Is there anything it could do better?

For a folding e-bike, the MiRider One is great value for money. However, to be able to make it so some obvious omissions have been made. A set of gears would, of course, push the price up but they would also make the MiRider a much more viable option for people living in hilly areas. Yes, you can ride it up and down hills, but the level of assistance needed to get you up the hills reduces the overall range available between battery charges.

And, while it’s great to see a front light included as standard, it seems a little strange that a rear light is an additional extra. It would be nice to have a front and rear light out of the box.

READ NEXT: The best folding bikes to buy

MiRider One review: Should you buy one?

If you’re a rail commuter who wants a folding bike for one or both ends of your regular journey, the MiRider is potentially a great choice. Around town, the lack of gears is not an issue, it folds small enough that it’s not going to cause a problem finding somewhere to store it, and the quick charging time means that, even if you do make the maximum use of the assistance, getting back up to capacity doesn’t take long.

Additionally, if you need a bike the whole family can use, the MiRider is worth considering as the telescoping seatpost and handlebar stem make the bike comfortable to ride for all people, small to tall.

The Brompton Electric is the better bike overall – it does all these things but is lighter and includes gears – but it’s also a whole lot more expensive. As a more reasonably priced folding e-bike, the MiRider One has plenty to recommend it and is hard to beat.

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