A folding e-bike is the perfect combination for city commuting – small enough to tuck under your desk or take on the train, with the power to iron out hills on your morning ride and ensure you arrive fresh in the morning. It’s a tricky balancing act involving power, weight and size, but the MiRider One pulls it off admirably.
Its battery pack and magnesium alloy frame are surprisingly light, making it easy to lift whether folded or not, and you can call on a little power assistance when wheeling it along stretches of your daily route where it’s not possible to ride.
The whole bike feels strong and tough, and gives a smooth, comfortable ride. The rear shock absorber and soft saddle soak up bumps and dips, and the overall feeling is more like a full-size conventional bike than a folding one.
The motor provides welcome assistance, with five power settings giving you far more control over the motor than most e-bikes. You may often find yourself coasting or choosing to pedal unassisted, though; the ride is just that pleasant.
When you arrive, the whole bike can be stashed away in well under a minute, and secured with well designed magnets on the hubs, plus a buckle-equipped strap and weatherproof case to keep everything safe and dry.
It’s not quite perfect – the motor is a little noisy, and the lack of a smartphone app means you won’t get turn-by-turn navigation – but these are minor issues, and overall this is an exceptional package for the price.
Price and availability
The MiRider One is available direct from MiRider starting at £1,395 (about $2,000 / AU$2,500). That’s surprisingly affordable for any electric bike, let alone a good quality folding model, and makes it impressive value.
For context, the GoCycle GX, another of our favorite folding e-bikes, costs just over twice as much.
The MiRider One is designed with practicality firmly in mind, and really stands out as a good choice for regular riders. It’s quick and easy to fold, with the handlebar stem, seatpost and frame all easily unlocked by robust-feeling levers. The pedals can be pressed inward and folded up as well, and you can easily have the entire bike folded down in seconds with a little practice.
When folded, the MiRider One’s magnesium alloy frame is held together securely via magnets on the front and rear wheel hubs. It also comes with a sturdy strap that you can clip around it for added security, plus a weather-proof case to keep it dry. A small extra wheel makes it possible to roll along while compacted.
The MiRider tips the scales at 17.2kg (a little less than the GoCycle GX) which isn’t feather-light, but is easy enough to lift up short flights of stairs. If you need to push the bike on a pavement for a stretch of your journey you can call on a little assistance from the motor to make it easier to wheel along, and a small extra wheel near the crank lets it glide while folded.
The bike is controlled via a ride computer attached to the handlebars, which draws its power from the bike’s main battery. Holding the central power button turns the bike on, and tapping the up and down arrows allows you to adjust the power assistance level. All these controls are within easy access of your left thumb, so you can keep your eyes and concentration on the traffic.
There’s also a throttle control to help you get off the mark quickly at traffic lights, which is another thoughtful touch. The throttle only provides a small, brief boost (electric bikes that can be ridden without any pedal assistance at all are classified as mopeds rather than bicycles in the UK, where the bike was made), but is enough to get you rolling even for hill-starts.
A sturdy kick-stand, built-in reflectors, integrated front light and lock complete the package. We opted for the orange paintwork to help us stand our from our usual leafy cycle path, but the MiRider One is also available in dark gray if you prefer something more subtle.
Everything about the MiRider One feels reassuringly solid and comfortable, with the rear shock absorber and soft saddle doing an admirable job soaking up the occasional bumps in our preferred cycle path.
Despite its compact design, its telescopic seat and handlebar stems make is suitable for a wide range of heights. Our tester is 5’10”, and was able to ride comfortably without the seat fully raised. No Allen keys are necessary; just lift the lever, raise or lower the stem, and flip the lever back down.
There are a few small compromises, but none that should really affect your daily ride. The MiRider One isn’t the quietest electric bike we’ve ridden (MiRider says the 2021 model is less noisy than its predecessor, but bikes using the Mahle Ebikemotion drive system emit a much less noticeable whirr. That’s not much of an issue, though; this is an e-bike built for practicality rather than stealth.
There’s no smartphone app either, which means there’s no navigation system, but again for a commuter bike this isn’t a great hardship and it means there’s barely any setup necessary before you head out on your maiden ride.
Just give the MiRider One an initial charge, unfold it, secure the handlebars following the quick-start instructions, adjust the handlebar and seat height, and you’re ready to roll. You can always attach your phone to the handlebars and use Google Maps if you need help finding your way.
MiRider says that the bike charges from flat in two to three hours (a measure that proved accurate in our tests) so if you forget to top it up overnight you can still plug it in first thing in the morning and have it ready for your ride to work.
The bike has a 40-mile range in ideal conditions, but coasting will help conserve battery power, and the MiRider One gives such a smooth ride that we found ourselves doing this quite often – something we weren’t expecting from such a compact bike.
Whereas most e-bikes give you a choice of three power settings, the MiRider One gives you five, allowing you more control over the motor, and letting you have just a gentle boost if that’s all you need. In our experience, some electric bikes tend to be a bit all-or-nothing. For moments when you do need some extra oomph, there’s a boost option that can kick the speed up to 15.5mph, which is the legal maximum for pedelecs in the UK.
The bike’s cable disc brakes give reassuringly firm stopping power. Their cables aren’t internally routed, which would have been useful to protect them from accidental damage, but are kept neat with a Velcro-secured cover that can be removed for maintenance. The bike’s electric system is rated to IP65, meaning it’s resistant to dust and low-pressure water jets from any direction, so it’s safe to ride in the rain.
Buy it if
You’re a regular commuter
The MiRider One thrives on city streets thanks to its nimble handling, rear suspension to handle cracks and bumps, and throttle to help you get off the mark quickly at traffic lights and junctions.
You’re on a (relatively) tight budget
The MiRider One is one of the best value e-bikes around, folding or otherwise, which is particularly impressive considering the engineering involved in its construction.
Don’t buy it if
You want a bike for long weekend rides
Forty miles is perfectly respectable, but the MiRider One doesn’t have the range for long touring breaks. For that, you’ll need a premium bike like the Specialized Turbo Creo SL Expert.
You want to ride off-road
Despite appearances, we took our photos on the grass adjacent to a cycle path, not in the woods. The MiRider One is built for asphalt and paved surfaces rather than mud.