Faraday Porteur S e-bike, lifestyle

Named for a British physicist whose research helped develop today’s electric motors, Faraday Bikes is an electric bike manufacturer based in San Francisco, CA. The original Porteur was the company’s first e-bike, featuring a classy design inspired by European delivery bikes of the 1940’s and 50’s. The new Porteur S is a more affordable model of the Porteur. It features the same frame, motor and battery as the flagship model but at a much lower price point under $3000 USD.

“We don’t believe people should have to compromise quality, or great design, to get an eBike in their price range,” said Adam Vollmer, Founder and CEO of Faraday Bicycles. “That’s why we worked so hard to make sure this bike delivered the same great experience as our flagship model.”

Check out all the details and where the money was saved after the break…

The Porteur S provides pedal-assist power only, using a nearly silent 250 watt motor on the front hub that creates virtually no friction while you’re cruising. The bike is turned on by pressing a button on the compartment under the seat, and the motor offers three assist settings controlled by a thumb switch; Off, Standard and BOOST. The maximum rider weight limit is 275lbs. One of the best attributes of the original Porteur as we recently found out on a trip to Berkley, is the fact that when the motor is turned off the Faraday almost feels like a normal, non-assisted bicycle. That makes riding with the motor off or at the lowest level much more practical and allows you to save battery for any monster climbs or fast roads on your route.

The 240 watt, 43v lithium-ion battery is hidden in the frame’s down tube, charges in 3 hours with Faraday’s 2A charger and provides up to 20 miles of assisted pedalling. The battery should last for around 10,000 miles of riding, but if needed replacements can be performed by any bike shop and a new battery will cost about $400. All of the bike’s electronics are sealed to handle rainy commutes, and mostly hidden from view inside the frame.

Faraday Porteur S e-bike, white, front

To make the S model more affordable, Faraday switched from an 8 speed hub to a 5 speed Sturmey Archer internal rear hub, and stuck with a traditional chain instead of a carbon belt drive system. They also spec the bike with cork grips instead of leather, and alloy fenders in place of the original Porteur’s bamboo units. Otherwise it’s very similar to the Porteur with e-bike features like 4 watt LED head and taillights and Faraday’s E Ink fuel gauge.

The Porteur S has a chromoly frame and weighs 39lbs complete (size medium) so it’s still possible to lift it onto a bus or up stairs. Faraday’s swoopy handlebars put the rider in an upright position that provides a comfortable ride and keeps your head up so you can monitor the traffic around you.

Faraday Porteur S e-bike, grey, rear

Other components are mostly the same as the Porteur, with a few minor downgrades. The S is equipped with a chromoly fork with threadless steer tube, Avid mechanical disc brakes, 26x35mm tires mounted to 36 spoke Alex rims, Faraday’s city saddle, riser stem and alloy pedals, plus nice urban touches like a chain guard and scissoring kickstand. Upgraded saddles and matching front and rear racks are also available.

Faraday Porteur S e-bike, geo chart

The frame comes in small (51cm), medium (55cm) and large (59cm) sizes, and while it is intended as a unisex bike a step-through style frame is planned for the future. Faraday provides a two year warranty on the frame, all components excluding typical wear items, and the battery.

The Porteur S Comes in Classic White or Faraday Grey, and can be pre-ordered now through Faraday dealers or the company’s website with delivery expected for August 2015. All pre-orders will be automatically entered into a draw to win an upgrade to a fully accessorized Porteur S. MSRP for the Porteur S is $700 less than the original model, at $2799 USD.



  1. If the battery pack is in the down tube, why does the bike have two top tubes? Would it not make more sense to make this bike as light as possible by eliminating the redundant bits and pieces?

  2. Jason– the battery has got to be in the bottom Top tube. I don’t see a way to get a battery pack into and out of the down tube. It would slide right out the back end of either of those top tubes when it comes time to replace it. That may be an erroneous fact in the article. I could also be wrong, but it would explain why that second tube is there.

    I’m guessing the panel on the back of the seat tube is where all of the wiring junctions are hidden and not battery access.

  3. Are their any advantages to the front hub motors? Im pretty sure they are being phased out. At least in europe, where every second person rides a middle motor.

  4. https://www.electricbike.com/faraday/

    “My favorite feature of this bike is that the battery is actually built into the tubing of the frame. This is done by running 18650 cells (cylindrical, 18mm diameter, 65mm long) mounted inside the two standard-looking horizontal top tubes of the steel-framed bike.”

  5. Hey there. The battery is, indeed, in the downtube and is removable. There’s an access port underneath the bottom bracket shell. You simply remove the eccentric bottom bracket and the rubber cover and the battery slides right out.

    The double top tube is a design choice, though originally (in the prototype) the battery was there. Now it houses wiring very conveniently and cleanly, and provides a unique design touch.

    There are plenty of arguments on both sides between front hub and mid-drive motors. One advantage of the front hub motor is that it allowed us to use an internally geared hub. Also has aesthetic advantage, and decreases drive-train wear.

  6. I have one of the Kickstarter versions. If I recall correctly the batteries were originally going to be in the second top tube but ended up in the down tube, one reason they have no water bottle bosses there. I assume they come out thru the BB via individual cells but that is just a guess. The bike is nice and fun to cruise around on. It pedals pretty well with no boost as well.

  7. I’ve had several ebikes. I currently ride a BionX, which I do not recommend*

    Front Hub motors had the advantage of being relative easy to add to any bicycle. Just replace the front wheel. Or if you are technically inclined, re-lace your front wheel. You can keep your current drivetrain and use almost every one currently shipping — including internally geared hubs (Nexus/Alfine/Davinci). If you place the battery on the back of the bike someplace, it helps balance out the weight between the front and the back.

    Middle Motors are much harder to retrofit to a traditional bicycle. How do you power the rear wheel? It usually involves a freewheel attached to the crankset and some sort of bracket holding the motor. Most of these are relatively primitive designs and lack refinement. Bosch and Shimano are working on newer designs that enclose the motor and the gears in a central package but the bike has to be designed around this motor. Retrofitting is not impossible, but just impracticable. The location is ideal though. The motor doesn’t add to the rotating weight of the wheels and the bottom bracket is generally closer to the ground then the hubs. Weight is better distributed.

    A rear mounted motor and a battery is most common and the worst combination. A rear hub motor crams a lot of stuff into not much space. You also have to fit gears and hopefully disc brakes. Until recently it was hard to find a rear hub motor that supported cassettes. Most require weirdly spaced fly wheels. If you place the battery on a rear mounted rack, you have a bunch of weight in one location and the bike is not very balanced.

    That’s my 2 cents.

    *BionX does not stand behind their product. If it breaks, they won’t fix it. Their dealer network sucks. Most dealers will not touch a BionX product that they did not sell. If you move away from your original dealer, or traveled to buy the bike, forget about it.

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