Mycle are a relatively new company but showed their ambition by launching a very sizeable and capable longtail e-cargobike, the Mycle Cargo which we reviewed and liked back in May. Treading more conventional ground, Mycle's Compact Plus is a well-priced electric folding bike with 20" wheels, rear hub motor and a removable 360Wh battery located just behind the seat tube.
There are many models of e-folder out there, and a good proportion are based on the familiar fold-in-half frame design with a budget hub motor and budget gearing and brakes. None of this is a criticism - get the combination right and you can have an effective electric folder, albeit one that may not be in the same lighter and more compact orbit as pricier electric folding bikes from Brompton and Flit.
The Compact Plus has a chunky, hinged main frame with supporting smaller gauge tubing just behind the hinge that continues on to form the rear triangle. Including the battery it weighs just under 24kg and folds to around 93cm x 54cm x 78cm (with folding pedals folded) - about what you'd expect from a folder of this price and design and bulky in comparison to 16" folders like Brompton and Flit.
The weight and bulk mean it might be handy for the boot of a car but it's certainly not a train and ride folder that would be lifted onto a luggage rack.
It's a one size fits all frame with a good amount of height adjustment in the seatpost and handlebar stem.
The max combined rider and load weight is a fairly impressive 120kg and the rear rack is rated for a useful 25kg. It's a practically-equipped bike with a wide padded saddle, front and rear hardwired lights, mudguards and kickstand in addition to that impressively rated rear pannier rack. There's also front suspension, 7-speed derailleur gearing, cable-operated disc brakes and CST slick tyres at 20" x 2.215" wide with puncture protection.
Overall a comprehensive package, but of course the proof of the pudding is putting feet to pedals during test riding...
First impression is of a super comfy ride - upright and stable, rather like riding a Dutch bike. That fits the brief of a utility bike like this. The height adjustment on the handlebars comes in very handy in getting your ride position just where you want it. It's quite a small cockpit area so if you want or prefer a stretched-out reach to the bars, you can't have it with the Compact Plus.
The Compact Plus posted a respectably average time up our extended hill climb and a great time up the ultra-steep hill the test rider tests all e-bikes on. It made great use of the natural torque of the small wheels, the low gearing and the punchy rear hub motor.
Range was around 20 miles from the 375Wh battery - a rather disappointing 18.75 Wh per mile. This is in fact one of the most inefficient systems we've tried in terms of power consumption. Even given the fact the Compact Plus was tested in sub-zero temperatures and over a pretty hilly course - both of which will impact the range quite a bit - we would have expected at least a bit more.
Equally disappointing, but rather more par for the course, were the inaccurate battery capacity lights on the handlebar control (which features buttons only for on/off, lights, walk assist and three power levels with no display for speed etc).
The good news is that this is a reasonably powerful, nippy and manoeuvrable e-bike - just what you want for making short hops in city traffic. This is where it's most at home, although the throttle control it came with wasn't really effective and the test rider found himself overlooking it.
Elsewhere the bike performed pretty well. The seven-speed SIS Shimano gearing was as reliable as ever, the Tektro cable disc brakes strong but not that progressive and the LEDs great at night, even on unlit paths. In other words, just what you would expect on a well-specced e-folder - and apart from the surprisingly inefficient use of battery power that's just what this is.
Value for money
As we noted in the intro, there's quite a lot of competition in the area of reasonably-priced folders with a modest motor and battery spec. The pick of the bunch is probably the Raleigh Stowaway - rated highly enough to get the best budget folder accolade in our group roundup. It's about the same money and spec on paper as the Mycle Compact Plus, but the motor system is lighter and far more efficient. We also loved the Dallingridge Oxford - especially its big 504Wh battery and great climbing ability. Also note there are other folding options in the Mycle range including the cheaper, smaller batteried Compact and also their fat-tyred e-folder.
Even if it doesn't hit the heights of some other e-folders, the Mycle Compact Plus is decent value for money if you can live with the shortish range.