Roodog’s Mayfair is a well-put together city bike for the money. It sits at the the top of their range but at £1,150 it’s still very much in the value bracket overall.
The Mayfair uses a rear hub motor with a cadence sensor for pedal assistance, and it’s powered by a generous 475Wh battery mounted in the rack. It’s controlled by a bar-mounted LCD display which gives you access to five levels of assistance, as well as giving you battery level information and some basic cycle computer functions: speed, trip distance, odometer and the like. The motor is paired with a Shimano Tourney 7-speed derailleur transmission which gives a decent range of climbing and cruising gears.
The aluminium alloy frame is a mixte design: that means that it has a top tube but it’s significantly dropped, to meet the seat tube well below the saddle. This gives more standover height at the saddle, and makes it easier to get a leg across the bike. It’s not as low as a true step-through, so not as good for anyone with significant flexibility issues, but it’s a good compromise and Roodog market the Mayfair as a unisex design.
The Mayfair sports a Topgun aluminium alloy suspension fork at the front. The wheels are 26” and that combined with the fairly low frame means that reasonably small riders can be accommodated. There’s an adjustable stem which allows you to tune the reach of the bike to your preferred riding position. There’s comfy faux-leather grips and a well-padded saddle to keep you comfortable.
The Mayfair is fully specced for city riding. You get full-length mudguards, a half chaincase, a kickstand and a lighting system all included. There’s even a derailleur protector at the rear to stop your gears getting knocked out of whack in the bike stand.
Dave says: It’s often the case that if you have a lot of assistance modes then there’s a couple that you’d never use. The first level on the Mayfair wasn’t really a step up over using your legs on their own, but the other four give a good spread of assistance for the flats and the hills. The motor is eager and not especially noisy. There can be second or two of lag away from a standstill, which is common with bikes with a cadence sensor. For the moment that can be overcome with judicious use of the throttle, but the next batch of Roodog bikes will only be able to use the throttle as part of the pedal assist system, rather than separately, to comply with the latest regulations.
Out on the open road the Mayfair rolls along very well. The semi slick Kenda tyres with a solid central strip feel smooth on good tarmac and there’s enough give in them to cope with rougher surfaces. The V-brakes are a touch on the spongy side but they’re not lacking for power to stop the bike.
The fork lets the bike down a bit, as telescopic suspension forks often do. The Topgun unit certainly isn’t as stiff as the better Suntour forks that you get at price points above this, and they’re not exactly brilliant. The lack of stiffness makes the front feel a bit vague at times, but the main issue is that you’re adding weight and complexity to the bike for a benefit that’s going to be really marginal for most riders. It’d be a better bike with a rigid fork and a suspension seatpost; your bum is where your weight is.
The 7-speed shifter isn’t an ergonomic masterpiece but it’s easy to use and shifts are crisp across the cassette. The grips and saddle are very good, giving a bit of extra comfort. The swept bars and adjustable stem give a nice upright position and plenty of adjustability.
Roodog suggest you’d get 40 miles out of the battery. At 475Wh it’s a decent-sized unit, especially for the money. That sounds like a pretty realistic estimate for most people and if you live somewhere flat and you don’t weigh that much (or spend too much time in turbo mode) you’d probably surpass that. The battery itself feels well made and the rack it sits in will take a normal pannier. The rack-mounted battery puts the centre of gravity higher than bikes that mount the battery in the main triangle or behind the seat tube, which could be an issue if you don’t have lots of upper body strength.
Overall riding the Mayfair was a positive experience. It feels well put together and offers a good range of assistance levels, coupled with a good-sized battery. The fork’s a miss rather than a hit, and the brakes aren’t best in class but you’re getting plenty for your money here.