Furo Systems has a very bold take on the “last-mile” electric bike. Imagine everything that makes a good last-mile option, and focus only on that.
The eTura is wonderfully tailor-made for last-mile commutes, but use the bike for any any other purpose, and the seams start to show.
Train, light rail, and all sorts of commuters rely on last-mile options to fill the gap between the landing platform and their destination. Some people even have a folding bike in their trunk at all times like a lifeboat dingy for far off street parking in congested areas. Cornerstone features of “last-mile” vehicles are a folding frame, being lightweight, ease of storage, and a minimalist approach for anything else.
For this reason, electric bikes commonly share space with skateboards, scooters, and a wide variety of wacky personal transportation inventions. The eTura from Furo systems is extremely useful in this environment. Since it’s explicitly made for last-mile, any other use really makes you wish you were on a different bike.
Furo Systems eTura tech specs
- Motor: 250W front hub motor
- Top speed: 20mph (32 km/h) with pedal assist (PAS)
- Battery: 36V 8.7AH (313 Wh) lockable and removable battery
- Range: 22 mi (35 km)
- Charge time: 4.3 hours
- Frame: Carbon Fiber
- Weight: 28.25 lb (12.8 g)
- Brakes: Tektro mechanical rim brakes
- Tires: 14 x 1.75 CST city
- Price: $1,879 (current sale price)
- Extras: Slim LCD display, single speed drive train, 2 bells, front light, turn signals
The lightest electric bike?
The real benefit of the eTura is that it’s lightweight, at 28.25 pounds. After seven years of riding electric bikes of all varieties, this is the lightest electric bike I have ever tried. The low-capacity battery, small motor, carbon fiber frame, and minimal components are all crammed into a very small frame. I’m 6 feet tall with slightly long limbs, so riding this bike was quite entertaining. Extending the seat and handle bars all the way felt a bit better for my limbs, but the folding joints and lightweight frame felt squirrely.
What does this bike do?
This little guy folds up very tight, and it was really easy for me to lift. This makes it easy to travel with for the times you don’t need a full-fledged bicycle. I could see the eTura being very valuable for a last-mile commuter, particularly if they need to go between multiple vehicles (like train to taxi, etc.). If there’s a small space a commuter needs to fit the bike into, such as under a desk, this bike is perfect. It could work for a smaller person, or someone who needs to lift a bike up a lot of stairs.
Pint-sized mechanical system
Mechanically, the bike is super-simple. After getting some momentum, it was quite relaxing knowing there was nothing to change or adjust. With single-speed gear, rim brakes, flat handlebars, and folding pedals, it’s a very simple operation without the need for shifters, derailers, and all that. The brakes are fine for the light weight and low speed of the bike. Given the nature of the bike, I have no complaints about the mechanical system, except the kickstand, which was not easy to get along with. Fortunately, the bike folds easy, so I didn’t really need it.
Tiny electric system does its job
The eTura’s simple electric system mirrors the simple mechanical system. The 250 watt front hub motor is about all you could ask for at this weight. Without the battery attached, picking up the bike feels like picking up the weight of the motor on a stick. A balanced 36v 8.7ah ltihium battery attaches to the rear. The battery attachment point is very intuitive, and the locking mechanism is out of the way.
One feature of the battery pack that stood out was the external housing for a rechargeable turn signal pack. The remote attachment is on the handlebars, making a clean execution. One obstacle for the bike is the pairing of a cadence-based pedal assist system and only a single gear for mechanical drive. This means that if you’re starting on a hill, you’ll need a bit of extra force to start the motor up.
The eTura hit a bull’s eye for a last-mile electric bike. It’s super lightweight, easy to use, has adequate features, and is very convenient. Part of that spot-on bull’s eye means that the eTura isn’t much of a multi-tool. It’s not meant for long hauls, carrying cargo, or cruising comfort, and I pity the fool who tries to take this off-road. If you like a sleek look and a carbon fiber frame but want something for broader use, Furo systems has a Furo X model, or even better, the Sierra model, which is very adaptable in comparison. For my lifestyle, I think I’d opt for one of those.
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