First Impressions: Faraday Porteur

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The Faraday is a sophisticated city bike with the classic posture of an English 3-speed blended with the modernist design of the Dutch Vanmoof. With its Gates Carbon Belt Drive and Shimano Alfine 8 internally geared hub, it is a super low maintenance machine designed to get you from A to B in style.

Oh, and it has a motor.

Yes, the Faraday is an e-bike, though you might not notice at first glance. Born here in Portland from a team of industrial designers who wanted to make the ultimate city bike, Faraday first enlisted the help of master framebuilder Paul Sadoff, better known as the guy behind Rock Lobster Cycles. The prototype was entered in the 2011 edition of the Oregon Manifest challenge where it collected the People’s Choice award. The team wanted to give the people what they wanted, so they launched a crowdfunding campaign in 2012 that was fully funded within a week and went on to nearly double its initial target.

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That capital led to the bike you see here. Available in three sizes, it sells for $3,499 as pictured, with accessories like a frame-mounted basket, a rear rack, secure axle nuts and more extras (each sold separately). You can custom spec a Faraday just as you’d like it on the Faraday website, then have it delivered ready-to-ride to your nearest dealer.

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The steel frame houses a 250Wh lithium-ion battery inside the downtube, though it was originally designed to fit inside the second top tube. The motor is a 250 watt unit at the front hub, which allows the rest of the bike to use conventional, off-the-shelf parts.

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The battery is not designed to be removed, though it can be if it needs servicing. This means you don’t have the ability to take the battery with you to charge it while the bike is parked somewhere else. A full charge takes approximately three hours. The charger attaches to the gray box at the rear of the bike, which houses the “brain” of the system. Holding down the button turns the bike on, and powers the full-time LED headlight and taillight.

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The thumb switch controls the power boost, with three settings: off / low / high. Next to the thumb switch is the LED battery indicator light, which is fairly difficult to see (and photograph) during the day and impossible to see at night.

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At 42 pounds, the Faraday isn’t the massive tank that many other e-bikes can be. In fact, I’ve been riding it quite a bit with everything turned off and it gets along just fine. On terrain that is flat or even remotely downhill, I switch off the motor to conserve the battery.

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This is my first time commuting on an e-bike and I am completely smitten by the Faraday’s ability to get me where I want to go with minimal fuss. I think I’m going to have a hard time returning it when I must.

Keep an eye out for the full, long-term review in a future issue of Bicycle Times. If you want to make sure you don’t miss it, order a subscription today.

 

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Congrats to Ashlee Hall, winner of the Raleigh Misceo iE

Congrats to Ashlee Hall who won the Raleigh Misceo iE we raffled off in conjunction with Raleigh Bicycles.

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Dear Bicycle Times,

I received the Misceo IE Bike yesterday. It came on a perfect day—my ten-year wedding anniversary. I had decided from the start that I would not share the winning information with my bike-obsessed husband Chris, so the timing was perfect. I had the bike delivered to my friends house, who is also obsessed with bikes. He helped me unpackage it and adjust everything so it would fit me perfectly. I took it for a spin, up a hill, and it turned that hill into a piece of cake!

My friend Brett and I decided that he would bring the bike to another friend’s dinner party, scheduled for the same night. He frequently demos bikes for a bike shop in State College, Pennsylvania, (Freeze Thaw Cycles) so when he shows up with a new bike my husband is always the first to want to try it out.

So dinner time came and my husband and I arrived at the home of our friends while it was raining. Brett and his wife arrived a few minutes later. Brett’s wife played her part, and mentioned that it Brett had a demo bike and she hopes it stops raining. We had a lovely dinner to the sound of a heavy rain, several glances between Brett and I about how we would present the bike if the rain did not stop, but once finished with dinner the clouds parted.

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Brett and Chris went out first as the rest of us hung back. Then we saw Chris speed up a small hill with little effort on the Misceo iE eBike. I went down to be with Brett at the car for Chris’s arrival back. As Chris came to a stop I said, “Can you please get off my bike so I can ride it?” Not fully grasping what I said, Brett stated “Chris, Ashlee won this from Bicycle Times Magazine.”

Chris just started to laugh and say that it was a joke. We showed him the proof of emails I had between Bicycle Times, and Raleigh. His smile was so worth our effort hiding the bike. All six of us at the party tried the Misceo iE and were impressed with the handling, speed and comfort. I think the bike will be well used, my husband is going to add a rack and some fenders so I can use it for my around town bike. Thank you so very much for this opportunity.

Sincerely,

Ashlee Hall

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Enter to win a Raleigh Misceo iE with the new Shimano STePS drive system

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Turn the city into your own personal playground with the Raleigh Misceo iE, one of the first e-bikes in the U.S.A. to feature the new Shimano STePs drive system. Raleigh’s heritage of fun bicycles and Shimano’s industry-leading technology combine in this agile eBike that will make your ride an adventure, whether you’re commuting to work or cruising to the coffee shop!

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Enter to win one of your own, a $3,200 value, by filling out the short survey below or open it in a new window here. Please read the contest terms and conditions, and don’t delay, the drawing will be held Monday, July 13, 2015.

Create your own user feedback survey

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Apply now to demo a Bosch e-bike for a month

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Curious about e-bikes and wondering how one could fit into your daily life? Maybe it’s taking the kids to school, or carrying your groceries, or even just getting to work without getting sweaty. Bosch wants to know how one could change your life, and if you send your story you may be selected to demo a Bosch-powered e-bike for the summer in San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Ten cyclists who send their vision for how an e-bike would expand their horizons to [email protected] between April 1 and April 20, 2015, will be selected to demo a bike from one of Bosch’s partners: Haibike, Felt, Lapierre or Xtracycle.

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The Bosch e-bike system is fully integrated into the design of the bike, not strapped on after-the-fact. The drive unit is mounted in the bottom bracket area to keep weight low and centered, and provides a pedal-assist boost up to 20mph. The control unit monitors battery life, power assist level, as well as traditional cycling computer metrics like speed and distance.

We sampled one of the Bosch-powered Lapierre e-bikes last year and found it easy to use. Would it ever replace my normal bike? No way. But it could replace my car…

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First Look: Felt 2015 lineup with ‘adventure road’, new fat bike

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Felt Bicycles develops bikes in nearly every category with worldwide distribution, an impressive feat for a company with a crew of 32 in its Irvine, California, headquarters. Its 2015 launch for more than 30 journalists from around the country highlighted several Bicycle Times-friendly models alongside the standard high-zoot carbon machines, including e-bikes, endurance, commuting, fat bikes and dirt.

See them here.

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