There's been a few e-bike successes on corwdfunding sites. The most successful ever was the Sondors fat bike, raising over $6m. But coming up on its heels is MATE, a Danish folding electric bike that's currently standing at over $2.5m raised on the crowfunding site IndieGogo, after aiming for a modest $80,000.
MATE is touted as "the coolest and most affordable e-bike ever", and while it might fall short of out-cooling a fair few bikes we could mention, there's no doubt it's affordable. An EU-spec 250W bike is just $599, and even in these troubled Brexit times that's still mighty cheap, well under £500.
The MATE is a 20"-wheeled, alloy-framed folder. You get a rear hub motor, and battery in the main tube. It's a Samsung Lithium Ion battery and the standard capacity is 374Wh, with 468Wh and 612Wh options available for more. The motor spec depends on where you're buying for: there's a 250W EU-friendly option and a 350W US-spec version, which also includes an independent throttle for pedal-free zooming about, because that's allowed over there. The bar-mounted LCD display doubles as the controller and offers six levels of assistance; we're assuming at this kind of price that it's a basic cadence sensor to add the power, with varying levels of assistance up to the maximum. There's a USB port too for charging your devices.
You get a telescopic front suspension fork and a shock unit at the rear, too, and 1.5" all-purpose tyres for multi-surface use. The bike folds via a main hinge in the frame's main beam, and then you can also drop the seatpost and fold the bars down for a compact package. The pedals fold too.
Gears are Shimano 7-speed with a thumb shifter, and although you get a kickstand there's no city-friendly mudguards or chain case. The bike's available in four finishes: army green, matte black, metallic red and shiny white.
All in all it looks like a decent inexpensive e-bike: we're not blown away by the looks or the spec, no matter how many times the crowdfunder may say it's the coolest thing ever. But there's no denying that it's quite a lot of bike for not much money. If you're interested, there's a week left to get in on the action.