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Folding bikes

Folding bikes

With or without an electric motor. Why no boat should be without them

Just a few seconds to assemble, get on and start cycling – a folding bike is the ideal companion for sailors and motor boat enthusiasts. For the morning trip to the bakery, shopping in the supermarket or a bike ride across the island. Folding bikes, with an electric motor or without, have distinctive advantages over "conventional" bikes, especially if they are taken with you on a sailing or motor boat. Their compact size, low weight and integrated gear system make accelerating easy, ensuring a better ride comfort, especially in the strong winds of the harbour. Today’s models have an excellent gear ratio, so there is no need to pedal more often than normal bikes. Furthermore, because they are foldable, they require little space for storage. They can thus be stowed easily, either folded in your boat’s backbox or assembled up on deck. They are also perfect to take with you in the car, caravan, or on public transport. You will almost always find space for them.

A large selection of high and lower quality folding bicycles is currently available on the market. Prices range from a few hundred to several thousand Euros. The characteristics, qualities and features of the different manufacturers and their models vary greatly. We want to help you find the best bicycle that suits your needs, offering the most value for money, and give you helpful tips on important selection criteria, technical characteristics and any accessories you may need.

Folding bikes offer great flexibility for everyday life and make your life in the harbour or at your holiday resort a lot easier!

Folding bicycle with or without an electric motor?

Folding bikes have been around for a long time, even those with electric motors. In 2008, SVB was one of the first water sports mail order companies to import electric motor-powered bikes and offer them to customers. Both types of folding bike, with or without electric motor, have their advantages. Besides from the electric motor, they differ primarily in price and weight. Choosing a classic folding bike or one with an electric motor depends on a number of factors:

Classic folding bike – pros and cons

Advantages of non-electric folding bikes are that they are cheaper, more compact and lighter than motorised models. If you have little space, are planning short trips, and for easy, simple chores, such as a short visit to the bakery or the harbour showers, a non-motorised on-board bicycle, for example an aluminium folding bike from our own brand SEATEC, is a good choice. With this kind of bicycle, you are independent, do not have to worry about charging the battery and are quickly and safely on your way. The bicycle can be folded and unfolded in the blink of an eye and easily stowed away. Disadvantages compared to motorised folding bikes include the lower speed, geater effort needed for pedalling, and in short, the lower level of riding comfort.

All advantages at a glance:

Folding bike

  • For short tasks and trips
  • Easy to unfold and collapse
  • Light weight
  • Particularly compact and easy to stow (folded size)
  • Use at any time, not reliant on battery charging times

Klappbares E-Bike

  • In very windy, mountainous and hot regions
  • For comfort or health reasons
  • For long trips and excursions
  • Easily keep up on group rides
  • Compact and easy to stow despite battery and motor

What to consider when buying a folding bike?

Weight, Size & Stability

In addition to aesthetic criteria, the weight, size and folded size of the bicycle are particularly important features when choosing a suitable folding bike or folding e-bike. Furthermore, a good folding bike should have a height-adjustable seat and handlebar, so that taller people can also ride comfortably.

The SEATEC BLIZZARD is not the only bike to score highly on this selection criteria, the non-electric SEATEC VENTO on-board bicycle has also impressed in this aspect, as reported in a folding bike test carried out by the sailing magazine Yacht (issue 25/26 of 2014). Depending on where the bike is to be used, the folding technique is also important. In most cases, folding has to be done quickly. The mechanism should be as simple and self-explanatory as possible.

Type Folding bike Electric folding bike
Model SEATEC Vento TERN Link C8 SEATEC BLIZZARD SEATEC BLIZZARD PRO
Net weight 13 kg 12,8 kg 19,9 kg with battery
17,9 kg without battery
21,8 kg with battery
19,8 kg without battery
Fold dimensions 80 x 60 x 33 cm 80 x 73 x 39,5 cm 89 x 73 x 34 cm 89 x 73 x 34 cm
Max. load 100 kg 105 kg 100 kg 100 kg
Max. seat height 94 cm 96 cm - 100 cm

Manufacture & Design

The finish makes the difference! Bicycles, particularly with water sports, are constantly exposed to sea water, rainwater and sunlight and must be made of stainless and robust materials. Design and aerodynamics also play a major role when making your selection.

Type Folding bike
Model SEATEC Vento TERN Link C8
Finish / Material • Aluminium frame, handlebars, seat post, rims & brakes
• Steel spokes
• Stainless mudguards
• Reinforced aluminium frame
• Robust steel bike rack
• Aluminium frame
• Steel forks
• Torsion-free, perfectly interlocking FBL folding joints
• Smooth running 4 Igus bearings
• Weldless steering column
Colour(s) Dark Blue Black/Orange
Type Electric folding bike
Model SEATEC BLIZZARD SEATEC BLIZZARD PRO
Finish / Material • Light but robust aluminium frame
• Aluminium handlebars, seat post, rims, brakes, bike rack and electric motor housing
• Stainless mudguards
• Stainless steel spokes
• Adjustable aluminium side bike stand
• Light but robust aluminium frame
• Aluminium handlebars, seat post, rims, brakes, bike rack and electric motor housing
• Stainless mudguards
• Stainless steel spokes
• Adjustable aluminium side bike stand
Colour(s) Mauritius Blue Mauritius Blue / Sun Yellow / White / Racing Red

Gear Change & Ratio

In windy and mountainous regions in particular, a strong and reliable gear shift system is essential for finding the right gear ratio to match your personal performance and environmental variables such as bad roads, gradients and weather conditions. A hub gear also prevents the chain from slipping from one of the sprockets if the bike is stowed in a bag or folded carelessly.

Type Folding bike
Model SEATEC Vento TERN Link C8
3 gear hub gear with back-pedal brake 8-speed derailleur system
Type Electric folding bike
Model SEATEC BLIZZARD SEATEC BLIZZARD PRO
Shimano-NEXUS -3 gear hub gear with back-pedal brake Shimano-NEXUS -3 gear hub gear with back-pedal brake

Comfort & Technical Features

Better riding comfort can be achieved through technical features such as wide tyres, a hydraulic front wheel suspension fork and a comfortable saddle. Balloon tyres, such as those used in SEATEC folding pedelecs, should always be ridden with maximum tyre pressure. This ensures the highest level of comfort with the lowest possible roll resistance, thus increasing the battery range.

Type Folding bike
Modell SEATEC Vento TERN Link C8
Extras • Comfortable saddle
• Entry height 54 cm
• Safety quick-release fasteners
• Impac BigPac tyres from Schwalbe with large volume
• Choise between bike rack, basket and front bag
Type Electric folding bike
Model SEATEC BLIZZARD SEATEC BLIZZARD PRO
Extras • Adjustable, hydraulic front fork
• Height adjustable saddle with cushioning elements
• Comfort tyres 20x2.125
• Push aid
• On & off switch and charge status indicator on battery
• Intuitive twist-throttle control with LED battery charge status indicator
• Adjustable, hydraulic front fork
• Ergonomically shaped handles
• Height adjustable saddle with cushioning elements
• Comfort tyres 20 x 2.125
• Push aid
• On-board computer (battery charge, trip duration, trip, km/h, error messages, energy consumption, level of support, lighting control)
• 4 intuitive support modes for greater range & flexibility: 1. Eco - efficient - for high range 2. Tour - balanced - for long rides 3. Sport - powerful - for city & mountain rides 4. Race - maximum – more ambitious & sporty rides

Battery & Range

Battery life and weight must be considered for folding bicycles with electric motors. Good quality batteries have an average range of 70-80 kilometres. Our SEATEC bicycle batteries are equipped with high-quality Panasonic lithium-ion batteries.

SEATEC BLIZZARD SEATEC BLIZZARD PRO
• 36 V/8.7 Ah Lithium-Ion battery with SANYO/Panasonic cells
• Capacity: 313 Wh
• 250 W / 36 V wheel hub motor
• Integrated Intelligent Battery Management System (BMS)
• Range up to 70 km
• Support up to max. 25 km/h
• 36V/10.5 Ah Lithium-Ion battery with Panasonic cells
• Battery capacity: 400 Wh (18% more than Seatec Blizzard)
• 250 W / 36 V wheel hub motor
• Charging & energy consumption controllable via bike computer
• Range up to 80 km
• Support up to max. 25 km/h

Safety

As with any bicycle, a folding bike must adhere to the current standards of road traffic regulations. Our bicycles have the required reflectors or reflective strips, which make them visible to drivers even in the dark. In addition, a back-pedal brake makes stopping even faster. Many folding bikes, such as our SEATEC VENTO and the TERN Link C8, are supplied without a lighting system. These must be retrofitted with battery-powered bicycle lights, which are available from specialist dealers.

Folding bike
SEATEC Vento TERN Link C8
• Aluminium V-brake front + back-pedal rear brake
• Bell
• White front reflector
• Red large area rear reflector
• Spoke reflectors
• Pedals with yellow reflectors
• Aluminium V-brake front and rear
• Bell
• White front reflector
• Red large area rear reflector
• Reflective strip on tire
• Pedals with yellow reflectors
Electric folding bike
SEATEC BLIZZARD SEATEC BLIZZARD PRO
• Aluminium V-brake front + back pedal brake rear
• Bell
• Detachable LED front headlight
• White front reflector
• Permanently installed LED rear light
• Reflective strip on tyre
• Pedals with yellow reflectors
• Removable battery with anti-theft protection
• Aluminium V-brake front + back-pedal rear brake
• Bell
• White front reflector
• Permanently installed, battery-powered LED headlight (15 lux)
• Permanently installed LED rear light
• Reflective strip on tyre
• Pedals with yellow reflectors
• Removable battery with anti-theft protection
• ABUS frame lock

When is it worthwhile getting a folding bike?

If you are a sailing or motor boat enthusiast, you not only want to enjoy the time on the water, you also want to explore the surroundings in the next harbour. A bicycle is a good way to do this. It gives you more flexibility and you are not dependant on local public transport, or on the opening hours of bicycle or car rental companies. You can get going on your trip ashore when everyone else is still sleeping, or in the mornings, quickly get some bread from the baker on the bike. A folding bike is also very practical in everyday life, as it can usually be taken on public transport without additional costs. Something that commuters in particular will appreciate. And for all users, a folding bike takes up extremely little space! Whether you want to store it in the backbox on board or in your small city apartment - there is always a little corner for a folding bike. What’s more, you don't have to worry about theft because it can be folded in just a few easy steps and taken with you to the restaurant or office.

Motor and battery location on electric bikes

With electric folding bikes, the motor can be integrated into the front wheel (front motor) on the bottom bracket (middle motor) or in the rear wheel (rear motor). All types have their own advantages and disadvantages. For our SEATEC electric folding bikes we have decided on a front motor, which makes all gears and a back-pedal rear brake possible. The motor is relatively unobtrusive and there is little chain wear. A hub motor is also lighter than a middle motor.
Batteries on electric bicycles are installed on the bike rack, in the main frame or in the middle of the frame. SEATEC e-bikes have their battery on the bike rack. Here, it can easily be dismantled, making the bike a further 2 kilos lighter. The rack can still be used despite the battery being there. For our SEATEC folding e-bikes we use modern lithium-ion batteries, which are characterised by their environmental compatibility and high performance, combined with low weight. In addition, there is no memory effect with this type of battery and it has a long range and low self-discharge.

Transporting the bicycle

There are several ways to get your folding bike on or off the boat. If you have a ramp or gangway, you can easily push the ready to ride bike on or off the boat. A boat crane also offers a good and easy way to move folding bikes. If both are not an option, there is a suitable carrying bag for our electric and normal folding bikes, in which the whole bike can be stowed in folded form. This is also very practical when on the move and for storage. Furthermore, you can remove the battery of our folding e-bikes, making them even lighter.

Accessories for your Aluminium Folding Bike

With our handlebar bags and baskets, you can easily transport your shopping to the boat and store food, sun cream and valuables on excursions. All bags, such as the RIXEN & KAUL TOURINO bike bag, which offers even more compartments and storing options, can easily be attached to the bicycle using the KLICKfix system. We recommend our SEATEC carrying bag for storing and transporting your folding bike. While the new SEATEC BLIZZARD PRO electric folding bikes are equipped with a frame lock, our spiral cable lock is recommended for all other models.

Expert tip: Ever thought about a second battery? While you are using your electric folding bike, you can charge the other battery at the same time. Your folding electric bike will then always be ready for use!

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