The brand-new Hummingbird Flax foldable e-bike weighs even less than all these. This plant-based e-bike weighs only 10 kilograms. The Flax, according to Hummingbird, is the world's lightest foldable electric bike. However, it's not only physically light, but also light to the environment, too. Well, at least according to Hummingbird. That claim is, for the most part, attributable to its inventive frame design.
By inventive, I mean really inventive. You see, the Flax has a frame that’s made out of plant fiber—not carbon fiber, not fiberglass, but actual plant fiber. More precisely, it uses a special design that is both lightweight and extremely sturdy and is constructed of flax fiber. It's interesting to note that plant fiber is gaining popularity in the automobile sector as a more lightweight alternative to carbon fiber. Given how commonplace carbon fiber e-bikes appear to be these days, flax fiber may be the next big thing—especially when paired with trends surrounding environmental awareness and sustainability.
If you think the Hummingbird’s lightweight construction is its defining feature, hold your horses, as there are many more features on the table.To begin with, it receives a special hub motor with built-in batteries and a controller. Despite having a 250W power rating, the rear hub motor seems to be much larger than it actually is since the controller and batteries are housed inside the casing. As a result, the e-bike can achieve its featherweight construction, plus, a bulk of the weight is at the back wheel of the bike—the perfect recipe for a fun little wheelie machine, I think.
As for the battery, it is, indeed, rather small at just 158 Wh. Hummingbird claims a surprisingly impressive range of 31 miles on a single charge. That said, it’s worth noting that there’s no throttle, so that range figure is highly dependent on your pedaling contributions. As for its running gear, it’s likely that the Hummingbird will be made available in two options—one with a belt drive, and another with a chain drive, presumably to fit the budget constraints of certain riders.
While we’re at the topic of pricing, it’s worth noting that the Hummingbird Flax is by no means cheap. In the U.K., it starts at £4,995, or approximately $6,050 USD, with the inclusion of a 20-percent VAT. However, for the rest of the world, we’re looking at a price tag of $5,040 USD. Is it worth it? Well, it certainly depends. For the right audience, it certainly is. However, for those looking to get the most bang for their buck, there are certainly more affordable options with even better range and performance figures. All these alternatives do, however, miss out on a frame that’s made out of plant fiber.